If you drive in Montgomery, you’ll want to know about a new ordinance aimed at reducing the number of unlicensed and uninsured drivers on city roadways. Beginning Feb. 1, 2014, vehicles involved in a crash in Montgomery will be impounded and towed if the driver has no valid license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Here’s what you need to know:
If You’re Involved in a Crash:
·The officer will ask for your driver license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
·If your insurance company provides online verification, you can demonstrate proof of insurance from your insurance company via your smart phone or tablet.
·In addition to asking you for proof of insurance, the officer will check the state’s Online Insurance Verification System to confirm insurance for your vehicle. This system was set up to help officers verify insurance under Alabama’s Mandatory Liability Insurance Law.
·If the online system verifies that your vehicle is insured, the officer will accept that verification even if you don’t have proof of insurance with you.
·If you can show proof of insurance, the officer will accept your proof of insurance even if the online system does not verify that your vehicle is insured.
·The officer also will check to make sure your driver license is valid and that your vehicle is registered.
If You Have No Insurance or Valid License:
·If the officer can’t verify that you have a valid license or insurance, he/she may impound your vehicle and have it towed.
·If your driver license has expired within in the last 60 days, your vehicle will not be towed as long as you can demonstrate proof of insurance and registration.
·If your vehicle is impounded, the officer will have it towed to the garage of a towing service, storage lot or other place of safety designated by the chief of police.
·If your vehicle is impounded and towed, the officer, to the extent possible, will help secure transportation for you to a place of safety.
If Your Vehicle is Impounded and Towed:
·To redeem your vehicle, you must have a release document issued by the Montgomery Police Department.
·MPD will issue a release document to you after verifying your proof of insurance and when you provide your vehicle registration, government-issued photo ID and a $50 processing fee. If you do not have a valid driver license, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver.
·When you go to pick up your vehicle at the storage facility, you must present the release document provided by MPD and pay towing and storage fees for the services of the towing company.
·You have 60 days to redeem your vehicle. If you don’t redeem it within 60 days, the towing company at the written request of MPD may advertise your vehicle and sell it.
What are State Penalties for Not Having Liability Insurance?
·If you’re convicted of violating the Alabama Mandatory Liability Insurance Law, you may be fined up to $500 for the first violation, up to $1,000 for second and subsequent violations, and/or a six-month suspension of your driver license.
·If your vehicle is registered or operated without liability insurance, the registration will be suspended and you will be charged a $200 reinstatement fee for first violation and $400 fee for second and subsequent violations.
To protect yourself and others who share the road, make sure you have a valid license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration with you before you get behind the wheel.