Dear Mahatma: You know my peeve about temporary tags and unlicensed vehicles. My question is whether or not a driver can insure a vehicle that is not registered. — Your Western Arkansas Correspondent
Dear Correspondent: Our immediate thought was not only no, but heck no.
Naturally, when relying on memory we fall into a hole. (Clever Orwell reference.)
So we pitched the question to Scott Hardin of the Department of Finance & Administration. He hit it out of the park. (Baseball metaphor.)
In Arkansas, he reminded us, a vehicle must be insured in order to remain registered. And DF&A now gets updates in real time if a vehicle is registered here and insurance expires or is ended. The owner then is notified and must obtain coverage or the registration will be canceled.
Prior to this change, Hardin said, it could be up to a week between the time insurance lapsed and DF&A (and law enforcement) learned it.
What a wonder is technology. Then we got to thinking — always dicey — and asked Hardin about the number of uninsured vehicles. He said about 9.2% percent of registered vehicles are uninsured. The state has about 2.75 million registered vehicles. So roughly 250,000 are unregistered.
Some of these vehicles are in storage. Our own family has done this — take a vehicle out of storage, call the insurance guy, get it insured, then lapse the insurance once the vehicle is back in storage.
But it would take a new level of naive to think 250,000 vehicles in Arkansas are in storage. We suspect most of those uninsured vehicles are on the road and about to get into an accident with some poor guy who has been properly insured for 50 years.
Dear Mahatma: At night coming from the airport