New OK Proof Of Insurance Law Creating Problems For Police
TULSA, Oklahoma - A new law means Oklahoma drivers no longer have to carry proof of insurance with them in the car.
The law went into effect November 1st, but police say they’re already running into issues.
Not having to remember to carry a piece of paper proving you have insurance might seem like a law of convenience, but police say it’s causing some problems – one is that you might get a ticket, even if you have insurance.
As long as an officer can confirm you have insurance you no longer have to carry the piece of paper or a picture of it on your phone, but confirming people’s insurance is where the problem has been seen.
"It's only if I can confirm it, so if the state system is down then I'm not able to confirm it," said Corporal Steve Wood with the Tulsa Police Department.
You could also get a ticket if you bought insurance but your company didn’t update the state records.
On the flip side, if people admit they don't have insurance but the state says they do, officers have to let them go.
Plus, the state system doesn't show drivers excluded from the policy like the paper does.
"I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place," Wood said.
The corporal ran into trouble on his very first traffic stop of the day.
"Here on my computer system it shows insurance is not good but he shows me valid proof of insurance," he explained.
Wood said if he calls the company to find out which one is true they usually say they can't release that information over the phone.
He's called the State Insurance Department and they agree the law needs to be fixed, so his advice is to still carry the piece of paper or a picture on your phone.
When it comes to your driver’s license, the law hasn't changed - you still have to have the physical copy of your license.
Just because the law doesn't require you to carry it with you in the car, you still need to have it. Tag agencies say you must have your proof of insurance when you go buy a tag.