ST. PAUL — Minnesotans who are registering, renewing license tabs or transferring ownership of motor vehicles and motorcycles will need to provide insurance information under a law change that takes effect on Jan. 1.
The Minnesota Legislature changed state law last session to require insurance information for vehicle registration. Prior to the change, the law required owners to attest that the motor vehicle or motorcycle was covered by an insurance policy during the registration process; the specific policy information was not required.
Every owner, when applying for motor vehicle or motorcycle registration, renewing their tabs, or transferring ownership, must provide information showing that the motor vehicle or motorcycle is covered by an insurance policy. Owners will need to provide the following information under the new law:
- Name of insurance company
- Policy number
- Expiration date of the policy
Renewal notices and the new requirement
The Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) is notifying vehicle owners of the new requirement on all 2016 renewal notices, some of which are being mailed this month.
Customers will be prompted to provide the information when applying online, in person and by mail. If a customer fails to provide the information by mail, DVS will contact the customer and require the information to be returned within 30 days.
Why the change?
Minnesota lawmakers changed the law at the recommendation of the Motor Vehicle Insurance Task Force to reduce the number of people driving without insurance. The 2014 Minnesota Legislature established the task force, which deliberated for seven months before submitting a report to the 2015 Minnesota Legislature on February 1.
Minnesota law requires drivers to possess proof of insurance at all times and maintain insurance when a vehicle is operated or when its use is contemplated. According to the task force report, an estimated 10.8 percent of Minnesotans drive without insurance.
One of the recommendations of the task force was to strengthen the state’s proof-of-insurance requirements and processes.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety (DPS)
DPS comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the DPS Driver and Vehicle Services Division (DPS-DVS)
DVS is responsible for driver testing, driver licensing and maintenance of driver records; driver evaluation and compliance; motor vehicle title and registration; commercial vehicle registration; motor vehicle dealer licensing and regulation; and enforcement of no-fault insurance requirements.
- DVS conducted more than 500,000 written and road tests and issued about 3.8 million licenses.
- DVS registered 4.658 million vehicles and issued 1.462 million titles.
- The DVS Public Information Center handled 1.031 million telephone calls and 77,000 emails.
- DVS licenses and regulates 3,558 vehicle dealers in Minnesota.