The Florida Legislature
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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Review of the Uninsured Motorist Program Administered by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles , Report No. 95-15, December 1995
Full report in PDF

  • Florida's system of compulsory insurance is similar to that of most states, but it uses more advanced methods for detecting uninsured motorists than do most states. Florida also imposes more sanctions for insurance violations than do most other states.
  • However, we noted five weaknesses in the system: (1) DHSMV initiates cases against a large number of drivers who are already insured; (2) DHSMV does not use information it receives through its monitoring efforts to correct its databases, which can result in multiple enforcement cases being initiated on already insured persons; (3) lengthy time periods can elapse between motorists becoming uninsured and DHSMV taking enforcement actions; (4) DHSMV does not monitor some cases that have a high risk of being uninsured; and (5) many motorists continue to drive after their licenses and registrations have been suspended. While the number of uninsured motorists on Florida highways is uncertain, estimates range from 15% to 27%.
  • Alternative methods for establishing vehicle insurance requirements have been proposed and are used in some states. These include making vehicle insurance non-compulsory, assessing a fee on motorists who do not wish to purchase insurance, and instituting a system in which motorists would pay for uninsured motorist coverage through a fee added to fuel prices. These alternatives could reduce the costs of insurance for some motorists, but could be controversial and increase costs for other motorists or the state.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Driver License Field Operations

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 04-52 Information Brief: Department Has Taken Steps to Improve the Detection of Uninsured Motorists, published in August 2004.
  • Report No. 02-52 Progress Report: Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Addresses Most Driver License Recommendations, published in October 2002.
  • Report No. 02-35 Progress Report: Legislature Ends Vehicle License Plate Seizure Pilot Program Due to Error Rate, Driver Inconvenience, published in June 2002.
  • Report No. 00-25 Program Review: License Plate Seizure Program’s Error Rate Still High; Program Should Be Abolished, published in December 2000.
  • Report No. 97-20 Follow-up Report on the Uninsured Motorist Program, published in December 1997.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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