How do police know if you are insured?



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Thread: How do police know if you are insured?

  1. #1

    How do police know if you are insured?

    Besides the obvious of getting into a major accident...

    I've been lead to believe that police have the ability to scan your license plate and you'll be flagged if you don't have insurance. However, after doing a little Googling, I've found that police still have no way to see if you have valid insurance or not provided you have an insurance card?

    http://www.thestar.com/news/investig...free-ride?bn=1

    Can someone clarify this?

    http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforum...Canadian-bikes

    This thread was what triggered my curiosity (note, curiosity, don't read above, below, or in between what I said; most people on this site are superhero wannabes fighting against anything they deem unjust, I'm simply asking a question; not doing something illegal.).

  2. #2
    crankcall's Avatar
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    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    When you plate your vehicle or renew your plate you need to provide Ins carriers name and policy #, i think this goes into the data base so if they run your plate your insurance would come up, you also provide the plate # of vehicle to ins co. so if they pull or you cancel the policy it may be updated in a data base the police access.
    This is what i have been lead to believe, can anybody else verify?

  3. #3

    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Quote Originally Posted by crankcall View Post
    When you plate your vehicle or renew your plate you need to provide Ins carriers name and policy #, i think this goes into the data base so if they run your plate your insurance would come up, you also provide the plate # of vehicle to ins co. so if they pull or you cancel the policy it may be updated in a data base the police access.
    This is what i have been lead to believe, can anybody else verify?
    I know the first part, I did the same thing last year. The rest is what my father believes and told me (we have 3 cars, one is always not insured). But that article on Toronto Star is contradicting quite a bit, but it occurred in 2010. Prior to 2010, were you allowed to replate/renew a vehicle without insurance? O_O

  4. #4

    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Not via the ministry. They won’t be give you the plates or the sticker unless you have insurance.

    You might be able to order and receive custom plates without insurance but i don’t know for sure but my custom plates were ordered as a gift so I’m guessing its possible.

    However there are other things to think about when considering if its worth the risk other than if can the cops tell

    If a wrong is committed IE a pedestrian is hit by an uninsured vehicle the government will pick up the tab out of a fund that is covered by tax payers directly when you or I renew your license. But so are any injuries that the uninsured driver has. Not to mention the fine and possible jail time. Fine and chance of jail time will increase depending how the cops fine out. An at fault accident chances are fine will be maxed. Someone is killed and the cops want to make an example and issue jail time. Additionally if it’s to expensive to afford it now with a conviction it will be another 3 years until its affordable.

    For me from a purely risk versus reward stand point its not worth it. Even more so if we are talking about a bike they are like cop magnets in some places. Cars probably a little less of an issue.
    Last edited by Two50noob; 01-19-2012 at 07:43 AM.
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  5. #5

    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Quote Originally Posted by Two50noob View Post
    Not via the ministry. They wont be give you the plates or the sticker unless you have insurance.

    You might be able to order and recive custom plates without insurance but i dont know for sure but my custom plates were ordered as a gift so im guessing its possible.
    Yeah, I think the renewal plate part is the thing we're all 100% sure about; but can police just scan your plate and a bunch of **** pops up saying if you have insurance or not? Or what if you hand them a insurance card...but the policy is actually cancelled?

  6. #6

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    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    All the bits and pieces are there to make it happen but the police need to be able to access the insurance companies data bases to see if policies are cancelled or restricted. While the insurance companies would like to stop uninsured vehicles and drivers I'm not sure if they are open to allowing unrestricted police access to their data.

    A number of years ago I believe there was a trial project where the insurance association gave the police cell some phones so they could call to verify coverage but the insurance companies aren't staffed 24/7. I'm not sure how that would pan out in court if charges were laid, who said what etc.

    Then there are privacy issues so I don't think it's as easy as it sounds. I don't like the thought of an underwriter giving my info to someone who calls and says "I'm a cop and need to know..."

    When replating a vehicle I've never been asked for proof. All I do is write in the policy number and insurance company.

    My wife has worked in most of the clerical departments of a major insurance company and never mentioned a department that does anything that suggests any police / MOT verification process.

  7. #7
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    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Quote Originally Posted by 油井緋色 View Post
    Yeah, I think the renewal plate part is the thing we're all 100% sure about; but can police just scan your plate and a bunch of **** pops up saying if you have insurance or not? Or what if you hand them a insurance card...but the policy is actually cancelled?
    Any cop can call a 24-hour number to confirm the policy, and they do. Then not only do you face a $5000 to $25,000 fine for no insurance, but you also face an additional $10,000 to $50,000 fine for presenting an insurance card that is fake or no longer in effect because the policy was cancelled.
    Last edited by turbodish; 01-19-2012 at 07:53 AM.

  8. #8

    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    As far as i know they dont know when they pull you over. But they can and do check if your insurance is valid. They do that buy having dispact or themselfs call your insurer.
    Current
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    OLD
    Katana 600 - 2001
    VT250FE - 1983

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0la5DBtOVNI

  9. #9
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    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Quote Originally Posted by nobbie48 View Post
    Then there are privacy issues so I don't think it's as easy as it sounds. I don't like the thought of an underwriter giving my info to someone who calls and says "I'm a cop and need to know..."
    The underwriter doesn't give a caller your "info". The caller gives the call center the information they already have from the driver's license and insurance slip that they now have in hand after stopping you. The only info the call center gives a cop is a "yes" or "no", and that would not violate any privacy laws.

  10. #10
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    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Quote Originally Posted by nobbie48 View Post
    When replating a vehicle I've never been asked for proof. All I do is write in the policy number and insurance company.

    My wife has worked in most of the clerical departments of a major insurance company and never mentioned a department that does anything that suggests any police / MOT verification process.
    That's changed. Apparently the new system allows for insurance companies to notify the MTO when insurance coverage lapses or is cancelled.

    I have a car in my garage that is uninsured for the winter months. This year I received a notice from MTO advising me according to their records this vehicle is no longer insured, and that sticker renewal on this vehicle will be denied until insurance is once again obtained for that vehicle. If I don't tell them that I suspend insurance coverage for the winter months, who does?

  11. #11

    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Quote Originally Posted by nobbie48 View Post
    When replating a vehicle I've never been asked for proof. All I do is write in the policy number and insurance company.
    That used to be an issue with the system you could just write any number and they didnít check it but i believe in late 2010 they are able to see if its a valid policy when its added. At least they should be if there is still a gap there that needs to be fixed. But cops still donít have the tie in on their computers to see if your insured via your plate number as far as i know.

    Someone should ask a cop. Although donít do it while your near your bike.. They might find it a bit suspicious
    Current
    650 VSTROM - 2012
    GSX400 - 1982

    OLD
    Katana 600 - 2001
    VT250FE - 1983

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0la5DBtOVNI

  12. #12

    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Quote Originally Posted by Two50noob View Post
    As far as i know they dont know when they pull you over. But they can and do check if your insurance is valid. They do that buy having dispact or themselfs call your insurer.
    Oooo

    Is that way they always take so fooking long? Every time I get pulled over (one time was because I bought booze with friends, and looked like I was drunk...but clearly was not), they take forever.....but now that I think about it, that specific time, the cop didn't even ask for ownership or insurance, wtf. He just got mad at me for giving him lip and asking him 'why you wasting my time'.

  13. #13

    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Its not the only thing they check.

    The check insurance, Warrants etc. I had my warrants checked at a protest once that took a little time. Dispatch must have slow computers. BTW the cops will often hold you up more if your like that with them. Hey time try and be a little less abrasive you might find you interaction with the police improves.
    Current
    650 VSTROM - 2012
    GSX400 - 1982

    OLD
    Katana 600 - 2001
    VT250FE - 1983

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0la5DBtOVNI

  14. #14

    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Quote Originally Posted by Two50noob View Post
    Its not the only thing they check.

    The check insurance, Warrants etc. I had my warrants checked at a protest once that took a little time. Dispatch must have slow computers. BTW the cops will often hold you up more if your like that with them. Hey time try and be a little less abrasive you might find you interaction with the police improves.
    I've only had decent interactions with female cops (**** you not). Male ones try too much to display their "alpha-ness" and end up pissing me off right off the bat. Then they're almost always surprised that I have no record of anything but don't understand why I give them attitude.

    I've had a decent interaction with a male cop w/ a german Shepperd once. Was smoking with a friend in a parking lot, he drove by and told us "what's up?" and we said "smoking", and he replied "I'm bored, wanna pet my dog?".

    ....if only more cops were like that (oh yeah, he was also smiling, something you rarely see male cops do).

  15. #15

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    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Quote Originally Posted by 油井緋色 View Post
    I've only had decent interactions with female cops (**** you not). Male ones try too much to display their "alpha-ness" and end up pissing me off right off the bat. Then they're almost always surprised that I have no record of anything but don't understand why I give them attitude.

    I've had a decent interaction with a male cop w/ a german Shepperd once. Was smoking with a friend in a parking lot, he drove by and told us "what's up?" and we said "smoking", and he replied "I'm bored, wanna pet my dog?".

    ....if only more cops were like that (oh yeah, he was also smiling, something you rarely see male cops do).
    "I'm bored, wanna pet my dog"...
    (and let me see if he alerts me to anything you may be carrying...)

  16. #16
    Wasted's Avatar
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    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    When I was a broker I used to get calls pretty regularly from a cop on the side of the road verifying valid insurance. "This is const. XXXX. I have a 2005 Blue honda civic with Joe smith driving under policy# 123456. Is this a valid policy?"
    I gave no other info and the cop didn't tell me what he pulled you over for.
    There are 2 reasons that they do this. 1 is obviously to make sure that you do have insurance. If they have any doubt they call. The second is a backhand way of reporting a ticket to the drivers insurance company. Believe me, when a cop calls to say he's got someone pulled over and they want to check on valid insurance, that policy is getting brand new reports pulled at renewal.
    Last edited by Wasted; 01-19-2012 at 09:00 AM. Reason: typo
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  17. #17

    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Quote Originally Posted by raginduck View Post
    "I'm bored, wanna pet my dog"...
    (and let me see if he alerts me to anything you may be carrying...)
    no kidding

    Cops are always working. Nevermind that "nice" stuff. Shut up and keep your interaction with them at the barest minimum.
    all my posts are serious; internet is serious business

  18. #18
    Salos Dafee's Avatar
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    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Sometimes bureaucracy and red tape get tangled. Here in Florida, insurance is not required for motorcycles, but I have it on my bikes. Once upon a time, I had two bikes, and two insurance policies. When it came time to renew, I inquired about saving a few dollars by having one policy cover two bikes. Yes, they said, that would save you $8 per year. OK, I did it.

    So instead of having policy #1 cover bike A and policy #2 cover bike B,
    I have one policy to cover both bikes. That wasn't too difficult, was it?

    Well, it was too difficult for the small-minded dopes at the insurance company.
    They reported to Tallahassee that vehicle B was no longer covered by policy #2.
    And the bigger dopes at Florida's capital wrote me a nasty letter telling me that
    I had committed an offence by cancelling insurance on automobile #2 and
    not mailing them the license plate, yada, yada, yada.

    I faxed Tallahassee to show them all their errors,
    and after a few go-rounds they said all was well.

    I don't think it is, but so long as they leave me alone ...

    I am willing to bet that Ontario can screw up and inconvenience its citizens just as well and just as often as Florida can, because oddly enough the laws are very very similar.
    "Stay at least one standard deviation away from everybody else."

  19. #19

    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wasted View Post
    when a cop calls to say he's got someone pulled over and they want to check on valid insurance, that policy is getting brand new reports pulled at renewal.
    Sneaky! I like it.

  20. #20

    Re: How do police know if you are insured?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmmnaked View Post
    no kidding

    Cops are always working. Nevermind that "nice" stuff. Shut up and keep your interaction with them at the barest minimum.
    Bah, I never have anything to hide. Plus I like dogs anyway.

    Thanks for the answers btw everyone.

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