Like every state, motor vehicle laws in Louisiana make it obligatory for every driver to have a certain level of insurance coverage on their vehicle. Many drivers though may fall into a situation where they are either unable to pay their insurance or just experience a laps in coverage which often goes unnoticed by the vehicle owner.
It usually isn’t missed by the OMV, though. The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles has implemented a solution for vehicle owners who are fined for insurance issues but may not be able to pay in full.
Regardless of the reason for failure to be properly insured, the consequences vehicle owners face includes but are not limited to revoked licenses, suspension of registration, and even seizing of bank accounts and federal tax refunds. The insurance flags and associated fines are as follows:
- No insurance for 30 days or less – $125.00
- No insurance for 31 to 90 days – $275.00
- No insurance for 91 days or more – $525.00
State lawmakers drafted the bill that offered installment payment plans to provide relief to the thousands of Louisiana drivers who, combined, owe millions of dollars in the unpaid fines from lapsed insurance coverage. This installment agreement offers the eligible drivers the ability to pay off the debts owed to the OMV over time while allowing them to regain their driving privileges.
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Louisiana DMV Payment Plans
While it is possible to pay an insurance fine in full by phone, by mail, or in person, setting up an installment plan can only be done at certain OMV offices. Those includes offices in Alexandria, Lake Charles, Leesville, Baton Rouge, Bossier City, Harvey, Lafayette, Livingston, Monroe, New Orleans – Veterans Hwy, Shreveport, Slidell, and Thibodaux. For more information on locations of reinstatement offices, click here.
Eligibility for Installment Plans
There are certain eligibility requirements for individuals looking to participate in an OMV installment agreement. Some of the requirements are:
- You must have a valid, Louisiana issued driver’s license: Class A, B, C, D or E
- You must have a valid debit or credit card to sign up with automatic draft
- You have met other requirements including proving that you have valid insurance
- You cannot be currently entered into an installment agreement for a previous infraction
- You must be able to make the first installment payment at the time you sign the agreement
After you have entered this installment agreement, you must pay the fixed and monthly equal payments. For example, if you owe a fine of $250, it must be paid within 6 months. Higher fine amounts have different, pre-determined payment schedules ranging from 12 to 60 months. Debts of $5000 or more are eligible for the 60 month installment plan. However, your circumstance may affect the number of installment plans as well as your monthly installment payment. Whichever plan you are entered in and agree to, monthly processing fees will be charged on either the credit or bank card payment method. Payment processing fees are as follows:
- Drafts from credit, debit, or prepaid cards – a 2.5% fee of the total monthly payment plus a $3.00 transaction fee will be assessed.
- Bank account drafts – a $1.00 fee plus and additional $3.00 transaction fee will be applied to each payment.
Avoiding Insurance Flags and Fines
In order to avoid being assessed a fine for an insurance violation, here are some important things to remember in different situations. If you are purposely canceling your insurance perhaps because you are selling the vehicle, it was totaled in a crash, or your just do not plan to use it for an extended period, make sure to either surrender the plate or complete a Statement of Non-Use form if you want to keep the plate.