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Instant motor vehicle insurance verification goes live in Wyoming

Wyoming's motor vehicle insurance verification system went live on June 1st, allowing state police troopers to instantly verify whether drivers have car insurance whenever they check a license plate during a traffic stop.

Several states are working to get their motor vehicle insurance verification systems online, but the systems require coordination of databases from insurance companies operating in the state.

Police can use license plate scanners to check vehicle registrations against the database of motor vehicle insurance. Authorities in Oklahoma are working to establish such a database for law enforcement there.

In Arizona, police in Phoenix have been using license plate readers to search online databases for stolen vehicle records, which authorities say has contributed to a drop in auto theft in that city.

License plate readers can be used by police from their cruisers, or the readers can be affixed to traffic signals. For example, in Chicago, license plate readers have been attached to red light cameras.

Databases of criminal violations, accidents and other information could make it much easier for insurance companies to assess individual drivers for risk when setting an insurance premium.

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