Oklahoma is moving closer to seizing the license plates of uninsured drivers. HB 1792 was signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin back in April and it takes effect January 1, 2014.

Under the new law, uninsured drivers will have 10 working days under Oklahoma's Temporary Motorist Liability Plan (TMLP) to obtain coverage on their own before paying a $125 fee to reacquire their license plate. That fee is in addition to the state’s $250 maximum fine for driving without coverage, and, other court and administrative fees may apply.

The Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association (OSA), which was tapped to administer the TMLP, will hold “training sessions” with state authorities beginning next month, according to Ken McNair, OSA’s director.

John Doak, Oklahoma Insurance Dept. (OID) commissioner, said that the nearing launch of the harsher enforcement program signals the state’s commitment to “turn the tide” against uninsured drivers.

“The goal is to lower the number of uninsured motorists over the long-term while also providing minimum liability insurance in the short-term at no cost to the state,” he said.

According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), Oklahoma has one of the highest statewide rates of uninsured motorists in the U.S., with nearly one-fourth of the Sooner State’s licensed motorists on the roads without the proper coverage.

Approximately $8.8 million in tax revenue is lost annually because of uninsured motorists, say OID officials.