Posted: Jan 2, 2013 3:46 PM by MTN News
BILLINGS - If you don't have car insurance, don't plan on getting behind the wheel.
The Montana legislature passed a bill in 2009, known as the Montana Motor Vehicle Insurance, Responsibility and Verification Act. The goal is to reduce the number of uninsured vehicles across the state.
Today, that bill goes into effect.
Yellowstone County Treasurer Max Lenington says that the new system will help ensure that only people with verifiable auto insurance will be able to register and renew their vehicles.
"It's always been up to the motor vehicle owner to secure that insurance and maintain that insurance himself," says Lenington. He says that oftentimes people were saying that they have liability insurance, but no one ever had to verify it.
"Now we're kind of entering into the 21st century with some other states where we build a database from all the insurance companies that do business in Montana and set up this giant database to verify insurance based upon the vehicle identification number," says Lenington.
The Montana Highway Patrol introduced the identification system for trial purposes in May 2012. After a successful trial run in a few select counties, all county treasurers now have access to the program.