New Alabama laws to take effect January 1

New state laws will take effect in Alabama January 1.

A new mandatory vehicle insurance law will be enacted at the start of the new year which will be used by the DMV and law enforcement. Authorized users will take advantage of an online system to check insurance companies' records, and within a few seconds they will be able to see if a driver has insurance. County license plate officials will use the service when issuing or renewing a tag. Police will use it during traffic- stops.

Research estimates that 22 percent of Alabama's cars don't have liability insurance.{}{} {}

Revenue commissioner Julie Magee says the state's largest insurance companies,{} Allstate, State Farm and ALFA are ready for change next week.

There are other new laws are taking effect in Alabama. One would give the state insurance department the authority to require the fingerprinting of new insurance agents. Another makes it easier for Alabamians to adopt children from a foreign country. Another one cracks down on human trafficking by requiring bars, airports, bus stations and other businesses to post signs notifying people how to contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline.