TN governor signs law to boost fines, tow cars of uninsured drivers
Effective July 1, the law will:
* Raise the misdemeanor fine for violating Tennessee’s financial responsibility (proof of insurance) law from $100 to $300.
* Authorize the creation of a statewide insurance verification program that would track down uninsured drivers through their vehicle registrations. Fine revenue, estimated at $2.8 million, would help finance the program, which would be developed and managed by the Tennessee Department of Revenue. The program would follow the Insurance Industry Committee on Motor Vehicle Administration’s tracking model and would not be implemented before Jan. 1, 2017.
* Create a rising schedule of fines on drivers determined to be uninsured through the verification program. The maximum penalty would be suspension of their registrations and seizure of their tags, with a $300 reinstatement fee.
* Give police departments the discretion to tow the vehicles of drivers cited for violation of the financial responsibility law.