The State Department of Revenue is going to crack down on people in violation who let their mandatory liability insurance lapse in 2020.

Jackson County Revenue Commissioner Jeff Arnold said if someone drives just one day without insurance, he or she would be in violation.

Arnold said the law has not changed, but the state is going to be much stricter in how it enforces the law in 2020. He is afraid a great deal of people will have to pay a $200 reinstatement fee next year. In previous years, people would be able to say their car was broken down or inoperable and be able to fill out an affidavit saying the car was inoperable.

Happening Jan. 1, if someone lets his or her insurance lapse, they will more than likely have to pay a $200 fee. There are only four exceptions.

You must either have been in the hospital, in jail, in the military or your car was impounded. People can still claim a one-time stored or inoperable exemption after a lapse in coverage by surrendering their registration and plate within 30 days of the mandatory liability insurance notice.

Arnold said the best thing people can do is make sure their insurance does not lapse. He said not to drop insurance on any vehicles.

Drivers of hybrid or electric cars will have to pay an extra for their car tag in 2020 because of the new gas tax. People who drive hybrid plug in cars will have to pay an extra $100 on their tag. People who drive fully electric cars like the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt or a Tesla will have to pay an extra $200 for their tag.

Arnold stressed that the county does not receive any of these new fees, and it all goes to the state.

The Jackson County Courthouse will be closed on Dec. 30, 31 and Jan. 1. Arnold said anyone who comes to pay taxes on Jan. 2 will be okay and that penalties will begin on Friday, Jan. 3.

For more information about these changes, call 256.574.9280 or visit the car tag office at the Jackson County Courthouse. People can visit besuretoinsureal.com for more information.

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