Oklahoma Electronic Insurance Verification System Not Reliable Yet

December 29, 2008

A new electronic system to verify automobile insurance in Oklahoma is operational, but not yet reliable.

A law passed in 2006 takes effect Jan. 1, 2009, allowing law enforcement agencies and tag agents to check for up-to-date automobile insurance electronically through a database maintained by the Department of Public Safety.

The system is in place, but testing shows it is accurate only 60 percent of the time, Oklahoma Tax Commission officials said.

Because of that, law enforcement officials and tag agents are being told not to rely on the information it provides, said David Beatty, the department’s project manager for the Oklahoma Compulsory Insurance Verification System.

The system is able to verify coverage from some insurance companies, but a few have not entered clients’ information in the database, Beatty said.

Dan Ramsey, president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, said the main delay has been in the issuance of new security verification cards, which now must include insurers’ five-digit codes from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Ramsey said state Insurance Department rules and procedures for verification forms were finalized in October, which put the insurance industry behind in getting its part done.

Beatty, who has worked on the project February, said the Oklahoma Tax Commission, the Department of Public Safety, Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma and the state Insurance Department had input.

Vehicle owners will have to continue to carry insurance verification in their cars and have it when renewing a tag or registering a new vehicle, said Russ Nordstrom, director of the Tax Commission’s motor vehicle division.

Nordstrom said tag agents will not turn away anyone who has an authentic insurance verification card but does not pass an electronic check.

Beatty said he hopes the new system will be reliable within six months.

Information from: The Oklahoman, www.newsok.com

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