SB 181 Reinstates the Motorist Insurance Identification Database program which expired on June 30, 2007
Sponsor: Stouffer
LR Number: 0729S.03I Fiscal Note: 0729-03N.ORG
Committee: Small Business, Insurance and Industry
Last Action: 2/15/2011 - Hearing Conducted S Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2011

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Current Bill Summary

SB 181 - This act reinstates the Motorist Insurance Identification Database program which expired on June 30, 2007. Under the terms of the reinstated database program, the Missouri Highway Patrol shall by, January 1, 2012, enter into a contract with a designated agent to establish a motorist insurance identification database program to verify compliance with the motor vehicle financial responsibility laws (Section 303.406). The designated agent must, no later than June 20, 2012, develop, deliver, and maintain a computer database to verify compliance with Missouri's vehicle financial responsibility law.

Under the terms of the act, insurance companies will be required to provide information to the designated agent. Beginning July 1, 2012, insurance companies shall provide specified policy information to the designated agent (Section 303.412). The Department of Insurance may assess a fine (not to exceed $1,000 per day of noncompliance) against any insurer who fails to comply with the reporting requirements.

Once the database is operational, the designated agent shall, at least monthly, update the database with information provided by insurers and the department, and compare then-current motor vehicle registrations against the database to see if individuals are maintaining insurance.

Any person knowingly disclosing information from the database for an unauthorized purpose will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

If the database indicates that the owner of a motor vehicle has failed to maintain financial responsibility for 3 consecutive months, the designated agent will notify the owner that the department will suspend the owner's registration if the owner does not present proof of insurance within 30 days of the notification. The notice of suspension shall also notify the owner's right to request a hearing. The act also sets forth the periods of suspension (including increased reinstatement fees for repeat violators)(Section 303.409).

The act requires motor vehicle owners to pay an annual fee of one dollar when the person registers or renews the registration of a motor vehicle. These fees shall be deposited to the credit of the state highways and transportation fund in an account known as the "Motorist Identification Database Account" and shall be used solely for operating and administering the program (Section 303.406).

Under this act, towing companies performing nonconsensual tows shall, within 45 minutes of completing such tows, notify the designated agent of such tows, and provide the following information to the designated agent:

(1) Date and time of service;

(2) The tow truck operator's name and address;

(3) The VIN number and license plate number of the motor vehicle towed;

(4) The name of the law enforcement agency requesting the tow, if applicable;

(5) The name, address, and telephone number of the storage facility where the motor vehicle has been towed to, if different than the address provided for in subdivision (2) of this subsection;

(6) Any additional information required by the Highway Patrol.

After receiving this information, the designated agent shall attempt to locate the automobile insurance company providing insurance coverage on the motor vehicle which was nonconsensually towed. Within 3 business days of receiving the information, the designated agent shall contact the automobile insurer with the information.