Montana Highway Patrol to Begin Using New Online Motor Vehicle Insurance Verification System
On Tuesday, Montana Highway Patrol Col. Mike Tooley and Motor Vehicle Division Administrator Brenda Nordlund announced a new online tool that allows law enforcement officers to check from the roadside that motorists have the required liability insurance.
The new system – the Montana Insurance Verification System, or MTIVS – was authorized by Senate Bill 508, passed by the 2009 Legislature. Col. Tooley and Nordlund were joined by Rep. Galen Hollenbaugh, D-Helena, and Rep. Gary MacLaren, R-Victor, who supported the legislation authorizing the new system.
“By allowing an online check based on the vehicle’s license plate number or the driver’s name, the new insurance verification system will let troopers know for sure whether a motorist does or doesn’t have liability insurance,” Col. Tooley said. “So, rather than just having to rely on their best guess, MTIVS will enable troopers and other law enforcement officers to base their decision on whether to issue a warning or a ticket on accurate, real-time information.”
Troopers in the Highway Patrol’s District III will begin using the new system on May 21, 2012 and, over the summer, access will be extended to Patrol troopers statewide. District III covers Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Granite, Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, Madison, Powell and Silver Bow counties. Access to MTIVS will be available to all law enforcement agencies in Montana by August 1, 2012.
MTIVS will allow Patrol troopers to verify whether motorists have the required liability insurance, even if drivers can’t find a current insurance card in their glove box. Troopers will also be able to use the system to determine whether a driver was covered by liability insurance at the time of an accident.
Tooley said that, for drivers who have liability insurance but can’t find their insurance card during a traffic stop, it will likely mean one less trip to the courthouse.
Drivers do not need to take any action to have their insurance information entered into the system. The information is provided by the insurers who write individual policies in Montana.
The online system was designed by MV Solutions, Inc., a Blythewood, South Carolina, company that provides similar services to other states, including Wyoming, South Carolina and Washington, D.C.
Additional information on the new system and the related laws can be found on the Department of Justice website at https://doj.mt.gov/driving/insurance-and-verification/.
SB 508 directed that the Department of Justice, Motor Vehicle Division:
“…in cooperation with the commissioner of insurance, shall establish an accessible common carrier-based motor vehicle insurance verification system to verify the compliance of a motor vehicle owner or operator with motor vehicle liability policy requirements under 61-6-103, 61-6-301, and 61-6-302 and facilitate or monitor proof of financial responsibility filings under 61-6-133 and 61-6-134.”