To reduce the number of drivers without auto insurance, the state of Texas has launched a database that allows law enforcement officials to tell which drivers have insurance and which don't.
The program, known as TexasSure, began in the Austin area on June 2, and is being tested for about 60 days before it is expected to go statewide.
Texas drivers are required by law to have auto insurance, but one in five is uninsured, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
Drivers will still be required to carry proof of insurance, but the database was created to counter those who purchase an, insurance policy, get an insurance card and then cancel their policy.
The $7 million program is a joint effort among DPS, the Transportation Department, the Texas Department of Insurance and the insurance industry. It is being financed by vehicle registration fees. TexasSure requires all Texas insurance providers to supply a list of customers with up-to-date policies. The state then matches those policies to a driver's license number, license plate number and vehicle identification number.
Under current law, drivers pulled over fora traffic violation who are found to be uninsured are ticketed $350 for the first offense, plus fees. Repeat offenders face fines of up to $1,000 and a two-year license suspension.