BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Right now, Louisiana motorists can make partial payments to the state's Office of Motor Vehicles for lapsed insurance coverage, but they face losing driving privileges until the debt is paid.
"It's a burden! It's a hardship," one St. Tammany driver told us.
In his case, the state said his car insurance dropped for 13 days not on just one vehicle, but all three, so his OMV fees added up to more than $1,900.
A proposed law that passed the Louisiana House and Senate with no opposition this week would give drivers in the same boat some relief. If Gov. John Bel Edwards signs House bill 245, the state would offer drivers payment plans to pay outstanding fines, penalties and fees owed to the OMV.
"You start that process, you sign your name on it, you pay that deposit, you show me you're in compliance, and you can start paying monthly. And you will get your license that day," OMV Commissioner Karen St. Germain said in May.
Again, with this proposed law, registration and driving privileges would be re-instated with an installment agreement. Also under the proposal, the agreement requires fixed and equal monthly payments. For example, a driver owing $250 would be allowed to pay that debt over six months. Fines that range between $251 and $750 must be paid over 12 months. The breakdown of payment plans goes on up to 60 months for debts of $5,000 or more.
Through the installment agreement, payments would have to be made electronically through a bank draft, credit or debit card or reloadable prepaid credit or debit cards.
The FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women also field consumer complaints at 1-877-670-6397 or fill out an online complaint form.