Category: Louisiana

Louisiana Car Insurance

Vehicles registered in the state of Louisiana must meet or exceed state requirements regarding car insurance. Because Louisiana is a tort state, which means that every time there is accident involving two or more vehicles one of the drivers must be found at fault for the accident and it is the at fault driver that is required to take on financial responsibility for all injuries and damages caused by the accident.  As of 2010 minimum Louisiana car insurance requirements are set at $15,000 in individual bodily injury liability coverage, $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident and $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. Louisiana’s minimum property damage coverage makes it one of the few states that requires resident to purchase more property damage coverage than individual bodily injury coverage since in most states these two amounts are either the same or the property damage coverage is lower.  In addition to vehicles that are not designed to be driven on the highway and vehicles that are nonoperational, vehicle that are owned by the state and buses owned by individual municipalities, such as cities, are not required to meet minimum state car insurance requirements.

In Louisiana motorists are legally obligated to provide proof of insurance to a law enforcement officer upon request. Proof of insurance requirements can be met by producing an insurance card issued by the insurance company, though the declaration page from the policy or a written statement from the insurance company will suffice as well. If a driver is not able to provide proof of insurance upon request they will be in violation of Louisiana car insurance law and will likely be penalized accordingly. When a motorist is found to be driving without insurance in Louisiana state law permits immediate seizure of the uninsured vehicle or the vehicle’s license plates and requires the placement of a yellow sticker on the vehicle to indicate that it does not have insurance. In order to get the vehicle or license plates back the vehicle owner must present proof of insurance and pay any necessary fines. The first time a driver is caught on the road without insurance they will be hit with a fine ranging from $75 to $100; subsequent offences can result in fines as much as $700.

The state of Louisiana also has a rather unique law called “no pay no play.” The no pay no play law prevents uninsured drivers from collecting the first $10,000 in injury or property damage benefits paid out by an insured driver’s policy. In other words, if an uninsured driver is involved in an accident, even if they are not considered to be at fault in the accident, they will forfeit their right to be reimbursed for the first $10,000 that they would otherwise be owed. Under this law an uninsured driver that is involved in an accident and sustains $12,000 in property damage would only be allowed to collect $2,000 from the insurance company and will still be penalized by the state for driving without insurance.

Louisiana state law also dictates when an auto insurance policy can be canceled. If a policy has been active for at least 60 days a policy can only be canceled for certain reasons. Most of the most common reasons for cancelation, such as failure to a pay insurance premiums or the suspension of the policy holder’s license, typically allow the policy holder a grace period ranging between 10 and 30 days before the policy is actually canceled by the insurance company.

Louisiana is one of the few states that operate an automobile insurance plan, which helps high risk drivers obtain an insurance policy. If a driver has too many negative marks on their driving record or has a history of accident or drunk driving they may not be able to find a car insurance company that is willing to voluntarily insure them, even at an inflated cost. If a Louisiana resident is unable to find a car insurance company that is willing to write an auto insurance policy for them they can request an automobile insurance application from any insurance company licensed to sell insurance in Louisiana. As part of the application process the applicant must certify that they have been unable to find an insurance policy over the last 60 days. The application will be sent to the automobile insurance plan office and, if approved, the driver will be assigned to an insurance provider that will be legally required to write them a car insurance policy. Once on the automobile insurance plan the insurance company will be required to insure a driver that is placed with them for at least three years, after which the driver must re submit another application if they still are unable to find an insurance company to sell them car insurance in Louisiana.

Filed under: Articles, Car Insurance, LouisianaTagged with: ,

Louisiana – General Emissions Information

The state of Louisiana requires that vehicles which are registered in the state to complete a motor vehicle inspection. This is enforced by the Louisiana State Police and you must have an inspection every other year.

There are many reasons that your vehicle will need to have an inspection and if you fall into the following categories, you should see what you need to do about obtaining an inspection going vehicle:

  • if you are new to the state and are looking to register your vehicle with the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles
  • If your current break tag or emission sticker is near expiration. These inspections are required to be completed no later than one calendar month following the expiration date of your sticker If you do not have a valid inspection sticker you could be cited for a secondary offense
  • if you have purchased a used vehicle and are looking to register it with the Office of Motor Vehicles
  • If you have been ordered by a law enforcement officer to have your vehicle submitted for inspection. In this case, you must complete the inspection within five days after being ordered to by the officer.

There are two parts of the motor vehicle inspection:

  • a safety inspection is required for all vehicles
  • emissions inspections are required in certain areas

Vehicles are required to have a safety inspection at least every other year, but no more than twice a year. The sticker that you receive will have an expiration date that shows when the next inspection will be required.

LA Vehicle Safety Inspection

The reason a safety inspection is required in the state of Louisiana is to make sure that your vehicle is not a safety hazard either for yourself or for other drivers who are on the road with you. Below are some of the common areas that are inspected during these inspections:

  • Brakes and Brake Lights
  • Wheels and Tires
  • Windshields and Windows
  • Seatbelts
  • Horn
  • Headlights and Turn Signals
  • Exhaust System
  • Steering Mechanisms

Technicians will inspect a number of other items as well and you should take a look at the inspection checklist before you arrive for your inspection. The cost of an inspection in the state of Louisiana is $10.

Smog and Emissions Testing in Louisiana

Some residents are required to have a smog emissions test along with their safety inspection. Depending on the location where you live, your vehicle may require an emissions inspection or an enhanced inspection if the vehicle is gas powered, weighs less than 10,000 pounds, and is registered in one of the following areas:

  • Ascension
  • East Baton Rouge
  • Iberville
  • Livingston
  • West Baton Rouge

During this test, your vehicle will be tested for a number of items, such as gas cap pressure, onboard computer system check, and a visual inspection of items, like the catalytic converter and air injection system.

There is a fee of $18 in relation to the safety and emissions test, which is valid for one year. You may also be able to learn more about the emission test when you are reviewing your inspection checklist before you have your inspection completed.

In Louisiana, most vehicles are required to pass emissions testing before they can register their vehicle. Let’s take a look at which vehicles require emissions testing.

A car, truck, or motorhome is required to go through emissions testing when the following criteria are met:

  • It runs on gasoline
  • It’s a 1996 model year or newer
  • It has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less

If Louisiana residents are out of the state, they can apply for an extension if they are currently in school, the military, for a job, or any other reason as long as it’s valid. You can send a written request for an extension by email with the following:

  • Reason for your extension
  • Details of the vehicle’s registration
  • Vehicle Identification Number
  • Inspection certificate number
  • Return address of the petitioner

Some vehicles are exempt from emissions testing, here are the current vehicles that don’t require testing:

  • Farm tractors and associated equipment
  • Vehicles which are 40 years old or older like exhibition/parade vehicles not used for transportation on a daily basis
  • Vehicles which regularly carry more than 15 passengers and therefore need a commercial MVI sticker
  • Vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 20,000 pounds or more which need a commercial MVI sticker
Filed under: Articles, Louisiana, State Emissions Testing