La. drivers launch complaints at OMV over insurance fines
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles is under siege from upset motorists after they sent more than a million letters earlier this month asking drivers to pay fines for expired auto insurance.
Many are complaining to the OMV that they aren’t at fault for the lapse in coverage and shouldn’t have to pay the fines as a result.
If you’re interested in finding out about your status with the OMV, visit their website by clicking here.
While the letters caused plenty of annoyance, now people attempting to contact the OMV are experiencing further headaches as the office is struggling to keep up with demand as people try to sort out their fines.
The attempt by the OMV to collect the fines is an attempt to cover an estimated $444 million in outstanding debts after a law passed this year that lets the agency use the state’s Office of Debt Recovery to try to recoup the funds. The response from drivers has been less than contented though as many are having difficulty getting the fines waived even after providing proof that they weren’t driving without insurance.
James “Jim” Donelon, the state’s Commissioner of Insurance, added his voice to the outcry Thursday as he called the attempt to collect the fines a cash grab aimed at plugging a hole left in the state’s budget.
“Yes, we want all drivers to be insured because when more drivers are insured, auto insurance rates can go down. But the way that this has been handled is fundamentally unfair. For years the state has failed to collect fines. now, years later, the average citizen likely does not have the documents to prove that they had insurance one way or the other,” said Donelon in a release. “How can any reasonable person defend themselves from an alleged infraction 10 years ago? And why should any of us assume that the records are accurate and correct?”
The Office of Motor Vehicles have said they are making adjustments to better handle consumer calls, but said consumers can also call the governor’s office in the interim to express their complaints.