Mandatory Liability Insurance law change goes into effect

Published 7:45 pm Friday, February 7, 2020

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New changes to the Alabama Mandatory Liability Insurance law are now put in place by the Covington County Probate Office.

The Alabama Mandatory Liability Insurance (MLI) law provides that no person shall operate, register, or maintain registration of a motor vehicle designed to be used on a public road or highway unless it is covered by a liability insurance policy. The law was passed to protect individuals when they are involved in an accident.

The MLI law is administered by the Alabama Department of Revenue who verifies that all registered vehicles have liability insurance through an online insurance verification system. If the insurance cannot be verified, the owner has thirty days to provide proof of insurance to the Department of Revenue. If they cannot provide proof of insurance, their registration is suspended. Once their registration is suspended, the individual must provide proof of insurance and pay a $200.00 fine to have their registration reinstated.

“In the past, the $200.00 fine could be waived by probate office staff if an individual could provide written proof that a vehicle was inoperable on the date that the Department of Revenue was unable to verify their insurance,” Probate judge Stacy Brooks said. “The law allowing the fine to be waived recently changed, however.”

On January 1, 2020, Act 2019-446, which amends the MLI statute, became effective. Under the new MLI law, an individual may only claim an exemption to the $200.00 fine if they request the exemption within 30 days of their receiving a MLI notice from the State. When requesting an exemption at the probate office, the individual must provide documentation, such as a detailed mechanic’s receipt, as proof that the automobile was inoperable.

“In the past we have been able to waive the $200.00 for our customers as long as they could provide documentation indicating that the vehicle was inoperable,” Brooks said. “It did not matter how long the vehicle had been inoperable and uninsured. The new law limits the time that an individual can request a waiver of the fine. Under the new law, the fine can only be waived if it is requested within thirty days of the date of their MLI notice.”

If you have questions about MLI fees please call the Probate Office at (334) 428-2510.