Louisiana drivers will soon face stiffer penalties for driving without car insurance.  Governor Bobby Jindal signed legislation last week (Act 641) that becomes effective July 1, and with the new law Louisiana joins Maryland, Texas, Rhode Island and Montana among states clamping down on uninsured drivers.

Under the previous law, if you were uninsured from 1 to 30 days, you paid $25.  That fee becomes $100 after July 1. If you were driving uninsured for 31 to 90 days, you paid $100 in the past.  Now, you'll pay $250.  And if you dragged your feet and let your insurance lapse for 91 days or more, the fine used to be $200.  Effective July 1, it's $500.   

According to Charles Nguyen of Online Auto Insurance News, the state's fiscal report expects the new fees to generate $53 million in additional revenue.

 Part of Act 641 uses the revenue to fund an auto insurance verification system.  The system will use database containing information about Louisiana auto insurance policies and drivers.  It will allow authorities to check whether drivers have auto insurance policies and verify whether there have been any lapses in coverage. The system will contain 'real-time' data for police to reference during traffic stops. 

Some of the increased fees that are collected will go to an "Insurance Verification System Fund" that would back the creation and maintenance of such a database.