Citizen Alert! New Vehicle Insurance Law goes into effect January 1, 2020

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Idaho State Legislture

 Citizen Alert!                                                                                         October 25, 2019    

Representative Heather Scott - District 1



"Obama-CAR" for All!

In 2012, House Bill 540 was passed by the Idaho Legislature to create an online insurance verification program.  This program verifies the existence of insurance coverage on all motor vehicles used on public roads and was made available to law enforcement, the Idaho Department of Transportation, the Department of Insurance, and the courts.  This law made it easier for peace officers to determine if a vehicle was insured or not.   


During the final weeks of the 2019 legislative session, the Idaho Legislature voted to expand this program and inch Idaho closer to a nanny state.  The law requires vehicle owners to have vehicle insurance on each vehicle used on roads or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your vehicle registration.  This law uses the force of government to pressure citizens to buy private insurance premiums while using insurance carriers to act as a watchdog agency on the behalf of government.   Neither seems the appropriate role of government.  I voted against this bill.  


Starting January 1, 2020, increased scrutiny of all registered vehicle owners will occur by the DMV, as bureaucrats will be monitoring every registration to find out if you let your vehicle insurance lapse, didn’t pay your bill, or simply chose to remove a vehicle from your policy.   This new expanded law will grow bureaucratic government and their budgets while burdening citizens with more documentation, responsibilities, red tape, and possible fees.  It will also shift the burden of proof to you the citizen if an insurance carrier isn’t registered in the “snitching” program, forgets to enter your information, or makes a mistake. 


Here is how the law will work:

  • The DMV will establish a program to match information on the insurance verification system with all owners of vehicle registrations, to make sure they have bought insurance and it is current.
  • If a citizen has not paid their insurance bill (or did not get an exemption*), the DMV will revoke (suspend) their registration.
    • Once the DMV identifies you have not had insurance for two consecutive months, an initial notice will notify the owner that they have not paid for insurance.
    • A citizen will have 30 days to purchase insurance and prove it, before the registration is suspended.
    • Your vehicle registration will be suspended if you do not respond to the notice, even if you did not receive it. You are responsible for maintaining your address with the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD).
    • If you have a policy from an out-of-state insurer that is not reporting to the Idaho DMV, you will be classified as not having insurance until an alternative method of proof is provided.
  • Citizens will be charged $75 to re-instate their registration.

* There are some exemptions for certain cases (for example seasonally used vehicles), but you will have to fill out a Non-Use form (ITD3119).


More information can be found by clicking here:   (More Information) 

You can also review frequently asked questions by clicking here: (FAQ)


Spending your tax money to create and implement a program and then charging you fees when you don’t follow the rules of that program seems unfair.  If you pay a fee to register your vehicle and then don’t pay to buy insurance, what purpose is the vehicle registration other than a tool to force you to buy insurance premiums to benefit a private industry?  This sounds similar to a federal healthcare debacle forcing ALL to buy health insurance or pay the price! This New Law Goes into Effect January 1, 2020.


Below see how your legislators voted on the 2019 expansion of this program: