Posted: December 28th, 2016

Legislation regarding those who are registered licensed drivers in Maryland was passed by Maryland’s 2016 General Assembly. This auto insurance related legislation went into effect Oct. 1, 2016. One of the laws in particular includes three specific requirements that may affect Maryland drivers and their automobile insurance.

Mandate for Auto Insurers

The initial portion of the new official order requires that insurance companies provide a “specified insurance identification card” to its insured. The format of the ID card is up to the insurer. The law allows the insurer to issue either a physical ID card or a specified electronic format that is accessible using a mobile device.

Proof of Auto Insurance

The second section of Maryland’s new ID card legislation mandates that drivers carry these insurer issued ID cards when operating a motor vehicle. Maryland has been a mandatory auto insurance state since 2011. It was not required to carry proof of coverage until now.

Consequences of Non-compliance

The third section of the new legislation lays out the consequences for those caught driving without proof of insurance. If the operator of the vehicle does not have proof of insurance readily available, the state can levy a fine of $50. Whether this fine impacts your insurance rates depends on whether the state places it on your driving record. Some insurers will consider it an administrative violation, similar to receiving a seatbelt ticket. Thus, they will impose a minimal increase in your rates. However, other insurers will let you slide on one violation. If you are not a fan of surprises, review your policy and talk to your agent.

Uninsured Motorist Education and Enforcement Fund

Finally, this last section of the law also establishes the Uninsured Motorist Education and Enforcement Fund subsidized by these fines. Additionally, the bill provides a “delayed implementation of the fine,” until July 1, 2017. So, this gives Maryland drivers plenty of time to have your license, registration, and proof of insurance on hand.
Contact with any further questions regarding this recent legislation. One of our insurance professionals will be glad to help.