By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
While some people may have already received notifications from the state concerning their automobile insurance expiring, even more persons may receive a similar letter beginning in June.
Laurel County Clerk Dean Johnson said the state will be notifying persons when their auto insurance has expired. When the insurance has been reinstated, the Clerk’s Office can help resolve the issue.
Johnson said his office had been part of a trial basis for the program which requires insurance companies to report when insurance policies have expired to the state agency. The vehicle owner must then bring their letter to the County Clerk’s Office once insurance has been reinstated.
However, those persons who have seasonal vehicles such as motor homes and motorcycles or those who have vehicles sitting unused have an exception to maintaining year-round insurance on vehicles.
“If that’s the case, they need to bring their letter to the Clerk’s Office and we can fix that for them,” Johnson said. “But they have to come in. We can’t do this over the phone.”
Copies of the letter may include other information, such as errors in the vehicle’s VIN number or if expired insurance policies may have been reinstated.
While Laurel is one of only eight counties currently participating in the notification system, the policy will be effective statewide in June.
“I try to keep ahead of things if I know something is going to go into effect,” Johnson said. “We wanted to get started early on this so it wouldn’t be a new thing when it went statewide.”
Exclusions from carrying liability insurance year-round include the following:
• seasonal use of motor vehicle
• inoperable condition of the motor vehicle
• transfer of ownership of the motor vehicle
• junking the motor vehicle
• no longer a resident of Kentucky
• out-of-state sale of motor vehicle
• military deployment
Anyone receiving such a letter can bring the letter to the County Clerk’s Office on the second floor of the Laurel County Courthouse. Johnson said the date and time are then logged into the state system, showing whether expired insurance has been reinstated or whether the vehicle qualifies for an exclusion under the items listed above.
“We just wanted people to know about this so they will know what to do if they get one of these letters,” Johnson said. “But we want to emphasize that if you do get a letter, you have to bring it to the Clerk’s Office before we can fix it for you.”