Be ready, new online insurance verification coming to Alabama

BeginningJanuary 1, 2013, the state of Alabama will begin using a new Online InsuranceVerification System (OIVS).{} The new system, created through Act 688 in 2011 and signed intolaw by Governor Robert Bentley in 2012, allows authorities and county officialsto instantly confirm a vehicle's coverage status. The online, real-time systemwill be used by officials issuing county license plates to verify the coveragestatus of a vehicle at the time of registration and by law enforcementofficers.

Car owners will be unable toregister their vehicle unless it is verified through OIVS or they can provideproof of coverage to the official issuing the license plate. The AlabamaDepartment of Revenue (ADOR) is testing the program in 10 counties throughoutthe state before the statewide launch that is coming up on Jan. 1, 2013.

First-time offenders found lacking coverage face a fine of up to$500, which ramps up to $1,000 for second and subsequent violations. Repeatoffenders can also have their driver's license and registration suspended forsix months.