Proof of insurance needed in vehicles

Posted: Tuesday, October 01, 2002

A new law went into effect in Alaska today requiring motorists to carry proof of vehicle liability insurance in their cars, and some Kenai Peninsula residents were one step ahead of the law.

"We've had several people come into our office today," said Kristie Leaf, Kenai State Farm Insurance agent, Monday.

"They wanted to be sure they had proof of insurance."

Although mandatory insurance became law in the state more than 10 years ago, having proof of insurance coverage on one's person or in the vehicle was not required, unless one was involved in an accident.

That changed today as a result of a Legislature-approved amendment to Rep. Norman Rokeberg's Omnibus Drunk Driving legislation, House Bill 4.

If motorists don't carry the insurance proof now, they can be ticketed and charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or not more than 90 days in jail or both, according to Rokeberg's office.

Local municipalities also have the option of implementing even tougher ordinances and higher fines, but none on the Kenai Peninsula has done so yet, a spokesperson for Rokeberg said.

In anticipation of customers wanting new or additional proof-of-insurance identification cards, Leaf said her office "stocked up" on blank cards so it could be manually typed up as motorists came in.

"We're happy to do it," Leaf said.

"We've had the I.D. cards here in Alaska for years, and we usually send them out with (insurance policy) renewals.

"We welcome anyone with questions about the I.D. cards to stop by our office or give us a call," she said.

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