MOTOR VEHICLE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
49-1234. online insurance verification system — peace officer duties — rulemaking. (1) The department shall establish and maintain an online insurance verification system for motor vehicle insurance coverage required by the provisions of this chapter, subject to the following:
(a) The department shall consult with representatives of the insurance industry to determine the objectives, details and deadlines relating to the verification system;
(b) The verification system shall be accessible through the internet, world wide web or a similar proprietary or common carrier electronic system by authorized personnel of the department, department of insurance, courts, law enforcement entities and of any other entity authorized by the department;
(c) The verification system shall provide for direct inquiry and response between the department and insurance carriers, or such other method of inquiry and response as agreed to by the department and individual insurance carriers;
(d) The verification system shall be capable of sending inquiries to and receiving responses from insurers for the purpose of verifying current motor vehicle insurance coverage via web services established by insurers through the internet, world wide web or a similar proprietary or common carrier electronic system, in compliance with the specifications and standards of the insurance industry committee on motor vehicle administration (IICMVA), provided that the department shall promulgate rules to provide insurers an alternative method for verifying motor vehicle insurance policy data rather than establishing web services or utilizing IICMVA’s insurance data transfer guide;
(e) With the exception of unplanned system outages, the verification system shall be available twenty-four (24) hours a day to verify the insurance status of any motor vehicle registered in this state through the vehicle’s identification number, policy number, national association of insurance commissioners’ (NAIC) code or registered owner’s name; provided that a reasonable amount of downtime may be allotted for planned system outages;
(f) The verification system shall include appropriate provisions, consistent with IICMVA standards, to secure its data against unauthorized access and to maintain a record of all information requests; and
(g) All information exchanged between the department and insurance companies, any database created, all information contained in the verification system and all reports, responses or other information generated for the purposes of the verification system shall be exempt from disclosure as provided in section 74-106, Idaho Code.
(2) As a condition for writing motor vehicle liability insurance policies in this state, insurance carriers shall cooperate with the department in establishing and maintaining the insurance verification system and shall provide access to motor vehicle insurance policy status information as may be provided in rules promulgated by the department.
(3) Insurers that make good faith efforts to comply with the provisions of this section shall be immune from civil or administrative liability related to this section.
(4) The department shall establish a program to match information from the online insurance verification system with motor vehicle registrations to determine whether owners of motor vehicles have established financial responsibility. The department shall suspend the registration of any motor vehicle identified by the department as having failed to comply with the financial responsibility requirements. The program shall include:
(a) Insurers reporting data to the verification system monthly;
(b) The department performing a periodic match at least monthly of the information from the online insurance verification system with motor vehicle registrations to determine whether owners of motor vehicles have established financial responsibility;
(c) An initial notice to an owner of a motor vehicle who is shown to not have established or maintained financial responsibility for two (2) consecutive months. Such notice shall provide thirty (30) days for an owner to comply with the financial responsibility requirements or to notify the department of exemption before suspension of an owner’s registration will be effective;
(d) A final notice of immediate suspension of registration shall be mailed to an owner of a motor vehicle who does not establish financial responsibility after being given thirty (30) days to comply with such requirement;
(e) That the department may offer, and that an owner may consent to, the sending of all eligible notices by e-mail in lieu of sending such notices through the mail;
(f) The opportunity for an owner to provide a certificate or proof of liability insurance prior to any action taken against the registration;
(g) That a registration may not be reinstated unless evidence of insurance is provided to the department and a reinstatement fee of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) is paid to the department. These fees shall be deposited into the state highway account. These fees are in addition to any other applicable fines, penalties, and fees;
(h) That an owner may lawfully suspend vehicle insurance pursuant to section 41-2516, Idaho Code; and
(i) That an owner may notify the department when exempt from the requirement to possess proof of vehicle financial responsibility for reasons allowed by Idaho Code or pursuant to rules promulgated by the department. If an exemption applies, the department shall mark the registration record as exempt and such registration shall not be suspended.
(5) Peace officers shall access information from the online insurance verification system to verify the current validity of motor vehicle liability insurance. If insurance is verified, then the peace officer shall not issue a citation for an infraction violation of the provisions of section 49-1232, Idaho Code.
(6) If an Idaho uniform citation is issued to a person for an infraction violation of the provisions of section 49-1232, Idaho Code, and it is subsequently found that the legally required motor vehicle insurance coverage was in force at the time of the issuance of the citation, then the court shall dismiss the citation without penalty and such citation shall not appear on the person’s record.
(7) This section shall not apply to any vehicle insured under commercial motor vehicle coverage and shall not apply to implements of husbandry and golf carts. As used in this section, "commercial motor vehicle coverage" means an insurance policy that covers a business’s vehicles and employees.
(8) The department may promulgate rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code, to carry out the provisions of this section.
[49-1234, added 2012, ch. 103, sec. 1, p. 275; am. 2013, ch. 291, sec. 1, p. 767; am. 2015, ch. 141, sec. 128, p. 475; am. 2016, ch. 141, sec. 1, p. 407; am. 2019, ch. 269, sec. 1, p. 787.]