The House Public Safety Committee approved an amendment Tuesday that would strengthen Missouri auto insurance laws and protect Missourians from uninsured out-of-state drivers.


The House Public Safety Committee approved an amendment Tuesday that would strengthen Missouri auto insurance laws and protect Missourians from uninsured out-of-state drivers. Offered by Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, the amendment was added to an omnibus crime bill, HB 1205, that was then voted do pass by the committee. Flanigan’s amendment is similar to HB 1996, which he sponsors.

Flanigan’s amendment would expand Missouri liability laws to apply to out-of-state drivers. Current law requires Missouri drivers to maintain liability insurance but does not apply to drivers registered outside the state.

“We’ve seen incidents where law enforcement officials have been powerless to take action against uninsured motorists from other states because there is nothing currently in law that covers this. The weakness in Missouri law came to light after a Jasper County resident was hit by an Oklahoma driver in Joplin. The end result has been that Missouri drivers, who have done everything to abide by the law, are left with the bill to repair damage to their vehicle,” said Flanigan. “With this change we can address a weakness in Missouri law that has resulted in a great deal of unfairness for Missouri drivers. This will give law enforcement officials the power they need to take action against uninsured out-of-state motorists so that we can protect law-abiding Missourians.”

Flanigan’s amendment would require non-residents to adhere to the financial responsibility laws of their state of residence. Missouri law enforcement officials would be able to hold out-of-state drivers responsible for not having auto insurance. If out-of-state drivers are not in compliance with their state’s requirements, they would be guilty of a class C misdemeanor and would have their driving privileges in Missouri suspended. In addition, the Missouri Department of Revenue would notify the state in which the driver resides of the offense.

HB 1205 now moves to the House Rules Committee for approval before heading to the House floor for discussion.