Category: Alabama

Alabama Car Insurance

Alabama Car Insurance – The state of Alabama has a variety of different laws and policies in place regarding car insurance and while many are fairly common there are a few laws which are quite unique. In Alabama, as in most other states, a majority of the laws concerning car insurance establish minimum amounts of coverage that must be obtained in order for a car to be legally driven. The minimum amount of injury liability coverage for instance is set at $25,000 for a single individual and $50,000 for multiple people. The injury liability coverage required by Alabama covers injuries received in an accident caused by the person with the insurance policy and does not typically cover the person with the insurance policy. Alabama state law also dictates that a registered car must also have a minimum of $25,000 in property damage coverage. As with the injury liability coverage, the property damage coverage is meant to pay for damage caused in an accident by the at-fault driver and does not cover the damage done to the at-fault driver’s vehicle. This type of “at-fault” car insurance is common in most states and is intended to make sure that the person that causes an accident is the one that ends up paying for it. Although these are the minimum levels of coverage set by the state of Alabama, insurance on some vehicles, such as those that are purchased new, may have more minimum requirements in addition to those set by the state. The purchase of a new car for instance typically requires that complete coverage be placed on the vehicle for the period of the loan though since this is a minimum requirement set by the loan company and not the state it is not considered to be illegal to carry less than the required coverage even though it may affect the terms of the loan.

In addition to laws concerning minimum coverage the state of Alabama also has a law in place that requires drivers to keep proof of insurance in the vehicle at all times. While this law tends to be a bit dated considering that police officers can access the status of a car’s insurance by running the license plate it is still enforced on occasion. There are a few different types of proof of insurance that will satisfy this requirement by the state, the most common of which is a basic insurance card that most insurance companies issue. In lieu of an insurance car a receipt for the insurance policy, or the insurance policy itself, can be used to satisfy this requirement under Alabama state law.

In order to enforce its car insurance laws concerning minimum coverage the state of Alabama has a variety of penalties in place for those that fail to meet state requirements for car insurance. Being caught without insurance or insurance under the minimum levels in the state of Alabama, which is known as a MLI violation, typically results in the suspension of the license plate registration. First time offenders can get their license plate unsuspended for a fee of $100 but are also required to show the court proof that the car is legally insured before the matter can be resolved. Repeat offenders are penalized a bit more harshly by the state as they are required to wait four months before being able to lift the suspension and the fine is $200 instead of $100. In addition to these penalties drivers caught driving without car insurance in Alabama could also face a separate $500 fine for the first offense and a $1,000 fine and a six month suspension of their license for subsequent offenses.

While the state of Alabama does require that drivers maintain a certain level of insurance coverage on their vehicle there are a few situations where a driver may not have to meet the minimum state car insurance requirement. The main way a driver can avoid having to meet the minimum car insurance requirements is by purchasing a motor vehicle liability bond, which the state of Alabama has set at $50,000, or be able to prove that they have $50,000 in the bank they are willing to use in order to reimburse someone if they are involved in an accident that they caused. Both the vehicle liability bond and the $50,000 in cash, which may need to be turned over to the state treasurer, are essentially forms of self insurance. By purchasing the bond or handing the cash over to the state treasurer a driver is basically setting aside the $50,000 minimum coverage amount required by the state and acting as their own insurer. While this practice is not especially common it is used on occasion by the wealthy and people with tarnished driving records that would make monthly insurance costly over time.

Filed under: Alabama, Articles, Car InsuranceTagged with: ,

Alabama Fighting for Emissions Testing

As of today, Alabama does not have any laws set into place for emissions testing on vehicles. This can certainly change in the coming years, and when it does it usually happens quickly. There is a large number of groups in Alabama that are concerned about the planet and the quality of air we breathe. They have been fighting to have emissions laws set into place, but so far no luck. These groups offer free testing from time to time, if you reside in Alabama, keep a lookout for these special events, they will test your car for free.

If you would like to have your car tested when the event isn’t taking place, there is a number of facilities that will test your vehicles emissions for you in Alabama, check your local listings. Alabama does currently offer rewards for driving a vehicle that passes emissions testing. You can be rewarded with tax breaks and special auto insurance discounts.

If you live in Alabama and are concerned about the low air quality, there are some things you can do to protect yourself and your family. Look for your local news channel to let you know when there is a heavy air pollution alert. During this alert, you can do the following:

  • Stay indoors as much as you can
  • Carpool to work and school
  • Telecommute if at all possible
  • Keep your thermostat turned up or down, depending on the season, this helps to conserve energy
  • Ride on public transportation
  • Ride a bike or walk
  • Choose the coolest time of the day to put gas in your car
  • Avoid using anything that requires fuel to power it
  • Try to get all shopping done at one time

If you are concerned about the air quality in Alabama, why not take a stand with your fellow residents?

Filed under: Alabama, Articles, State Emissions Testing

Alabama Voluntary Emissions Testing

Alabama does not currently require emissions testing for your vehicle. However, if you are concerned about the environment or are wondering if your car is a high emitter, you can have your car tested for free.

The Waste Reduction and Technology Transfer Foundation has partnered with a few organizations to bring free emissions testing to Jefferson County and Shelby County. If your car is found to be a high emitter The Car Care Program will pay for 80% of repairs, and a max of $500. If 80% of the repair exceeds $500 the owner will be responsible for 20% of the repair plus the excess over $500.

This program is a great way for you to get involved, and contribute to improving Alabama’s air quality.

For more information about this week’s free emissions testing locations, hours, and more information about The Car Care Program please visit Alabama Partners for Clean Air – Voluntary Emissions Testing.

 

Filed under: Alabama, Articles, State Emissions Testing

Alabama – General Emissions Information

Alabama Emissions

The state of Alabama does not have a requirement for testing vehicles for emissions. However, according to state law, individual cities are allowed to pass laws that require testing to begin. There are also many privately owned facilities that complete this testing throughout the state.

Throughout the years, there have been a number of groups that were interested in protecting the environment and have therefore began pushing for legislation to be put into place that has strict guidelines for emissions. However, these groups have been unsuccessful in getting these items passed thus far.

Periodically, these same groups offer voluntary testing to those who are interested so that residents can easily determine if their vehicles require attention. These special events often focus on learning what you can do to make your vehicle more environmentally friendly and seeing how well it tests for pollution.

Alabama Incentives for Eco-Friendly Driving

The state Motor Vehicle Division, although smog and emission testing is not required, still lists reasons that keeping your vehicle environmentally friendly is beneficial. The state offers a variety of perks to those who are interested, including special tax breaks and vehicle insurance discounts. These are referred to as green driver incentives.

Protect Yourself, Your Family and the Environment

Pollution can be damaging to humans and it is important that you understand the ways that you can protect yourself. For this reason, the State of Alabama offers guidelines to follow as well as special announcements in the case of a high air pollution situation. Residents can keep themselves safe if they stick with the following items as indicated through the state’s DMV guidelines:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • Carpool to and from work
  • Telecommute as much as possible
  • Adjust your thermostat to conserve energy – up in summer, down in winter
  • Ride a bus, subway, metro line, or other public transportation
  • Ride a bike or walk whenever it is possible
  • Refuel your vehicle during cooler parts of the day; avoid filling your vehicle up when it is hot outside
  • Do not use lawn mowers or other gas powered equipment on smog alert days
  • Limit or discontinue use of aerosol products, oil-based paints, and solvents
  • Eliminate unnecessary trips; combine errands when possible.

Your Vehicle

With vehicles that are newer than 1996, you probably have access to a Diagnostic system Check feature. This system helps determine when there are issues occurring within your car. Be sure to have these items checked whenever the “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light appears.

You may also find that you are having emission issues when this light comes on as well. In order to protect both you and the environment, be sure to have these items reviewed when the light does come on.

Conclusion

Although the state of Alabama does not have specific requirements regarding checking for emissions, they are very conscious of the effect of car emissions on the environment. They offer multiple reasons for residents to be inclined to improve the emissions that are coming from their vehicle as well as a number of suggestions as to how to keep vehicles working well.

Filed under: Alabama, Articles, State Emissions Testing