Louisiana cracks down on uninsured drivers

Louisiana cracks down on uninsured drivers | Insurance Business America

Louisiana cracks down on uninsured drivers
The recently formed Office of Debt Recovery of Louisiana has cooked up creative ways to collect fines from those the state believes are driving without any form of insurance coverage.

The Office of Debt Recovery, created in 2013 through state legislature, has the power to extract money directly from the bank accounts of uninsured motorists, intercept their tax refunds, and even recommend an individual’s professional license be suspended.

With the Office of Debt Recovery and its capabilities, Louisiana’s Office of Motor Vehicles has managed to mail more than 1.2 million letters to drivers, informing them that they are driving without insurance and what penalties they face should they continue without coverage.

Since the letters were sent, the office has collected $22.5 million of the projected $444 million owed to the agency, noted OMV Deputy Commissioner Staci Hoyt.

The Office of Debt Recovery has also collected more than $5 million for the OMV, confirmed Department of Revenue spokeswoman Kizzy Payton. On Dec. 15—the same date the OMV gained jurisdiction over fining uninsured drivers—the Department of Revenue took over 555,628 of the OMV's files, which is about $292 million in debt.

Payton stated that the agency has sent letters, informing recipients that their debts have been transferred to the Department of Revenue. While the office has yet to recommend the suspension of a motorist’s license, Payton noted that the agency will soon begin offsetting tax refunds.