Ala. Senate approves instant check for insurance

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Senate has voted to set up a computer database that would allow county tag officials and law enforcement to instantly check whether a vehicle has liability insurance.

The Senate voted 35-0 Wednesday for a bill by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur. It would require insurance companies to provide electronic data to the state Revenue Department about which vehicles have liability insurance, which is mandatory in Alabama. County tag officials would check the information before renewing a license plate, and police could check it after stopping a vehicle.

Orr says his bill is needed because national studies estimate that one-fourth of Alabama's motorists don't carry insurance. For his bill to take effect, it still must be approved by the House and by the governor.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)