Alabama drivers caught without liability insurance will face stiffer penalties starting Nov. 1.
Passed by the State Legislature in 2016, the Alabama Mandatory Liability Insurance Law will go into effect the first Wednesday in November, according to officials with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
“There has been a grace period in enforcing that law to give motorists time to obtain the proper insurance coverage,” Alabama’s Secretary of Law Enforcement Hal Taylor said. “Beginning Nov. 1, motorists are subject to a civil penalty if involved in a motor vehicle incident, the vehicle you are operating is not covered by the state’s mandatory liability insurance and you are not issued a citation for no insurance at the time of the incident.”
The fine for the first offense will be $200, increasing to $300 for the second offense and $400 for each subsequent offense.
Failure to pay the fine within 45 days – or request a hearing on the citation – could result in a 90-day suspension of the motorist’s license. An additional $100 fee will be assessed for those looking to have their driver’s license reinstated. Due process provides motorists with the option to appeal the citation, Taylor said, and a hearing will be conducted to determine whether the vehicle being operated at the time of the incident was in compliance with the law.
Alabama law requires motorists to carry liability insurance to cover $25,000 for death or bodily injury to one person; $50,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons; and $25,000 for damage or destruction of property.
Alabama Department of Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling said the law was put in place to protect drivers who are insured.
“It just makes sense to have liability insurance on your vehicle because operating a motor vehicle without it drives up everyone’s rates,” Ridling said. “Do the right thing, and follow Alabama’s Mandatory Liability Insurance laws to help stabilize rates for Alabama insurance consumers.”
A 2015 report from the Insurance Research Council found more than 18 percent of Alabama drivers were uninsured, the sixth highest percentage in the country.