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Lannom Williams Law Group - Providing criminal defense and civil trial practice for Wilson County, Tennessee

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Lebanon, TN 37087
615.444.2900
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New TN Law Increases Fines & Penalties For Those Without Car Insurance


Beginning July 1st, the penalties for driving with insurance in Tennessee are getting much tougher. While "Proof of Financial Responsibility (Insurance)" has been required in Tennessee for a few years now, there were few teeth in the law. 


The Tennessee Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, a new law which will greatly up the penalities for uninsured drivers. Starting tomorrow, July 1, 2015, if a driver is unable to provide proof of insurance, the minimum fine will be $300 (triple the old fine) and the car can automatically be towed and held until proof of insurance is provided. So, in addition to the increased fine, the uninsured will lose their vehicle and, to get it back, must provide proof of current insurance and pay the towing and impoundment fees. We can keep in mind that just because an officer CAN do something, that doesn't mean they WILL do it. So, this law will probably, like most others, be enforced at the officer's discretion. 

Beginning in 2016, the DMV will have a system in place that will let them check for valid insurance before issuing a vehicle registration and no insurance will mean no registration. If the driver tried to buy insurance to get their registration and then cancel it or let it lapse, that registration can be revoked. There is also a provision in the new law that will let counties add an additional penalty to the $300, not to exceed $25 per ticket, if someone is caught in that county driving without insurance. Each county commission will have to enact that penalty for it to come into play.

Most of us carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist on our auto policies. Sometimes this coverage is included automatically and sometimes it has to be "elected" or purchased for an increased premium. State officials warned in public hearings that this new law should not prompt insured drivers in Tennessee to drop their UM/UIM coverage as there would still be people who will drive without insurance despite the increased repercussions of their actions.

Tenneessee ranks 6th in the nation for uninsured motorists, with one in five Tennesseans driving without insurance, and lawmakers point to 46 other states who have or are about to have similar laws to enforce fiscal responsibility for those driving on our roads.

Take a minute to be sure you have proof of your current insurance in your glove compartment!




LANNOM & WILLIAMS
137 Public Square Lebanon, TN 37087
Via Phone: (615) 444-2900 Via Facsimile: (615) 444-6516 Toll Free: (866) 820-4457

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