Archive for Thursday, January 20, 2005

New rule allows online tag renewals

January 20, 2005

A new Kansas auto insurance regulation will make it possible for all drivers to renew their licenses and tags online.

A new Kansas Department of Administration regulation that goes into effect this week requires companies that sell automobile insurance in the state of Kansas to register their clients' information with the state. Previously, it had been optional for insurers.

Drivers have had the option of renewing their tags online for the past two through the state's Web site, www.kswebtags.org, but the service was only available to drivers covered by participating insurers.

Matt Moser, a representative from the Division of Motor Vehicles office, said the state was making a voluntary rule mandatory to streamline the process of tag renewal.

Charlene Bailey, a representative from the Kansas Insurance Department, said the new regulation would make tag renewal more convenient for customers.

"Companies are going to want to comply with this regulation because it makes the process easier for everyone involved," Bailey said.

Renewing tags online costs an additional fee from $3 to $87, depending on the cost of tags and method of payment. Drivers are charged a $3 convenience fee for paying with an electronic "ECheck"; the higher costs are incurred by paying with a credit card.

Drivers also have the option of renewing their tags over the phone by ECheck or credit card, at the same service charge as online, within the next six months.

There is no additional fee for those who choose to renew their tags in person.

Since July, more than 75 percent of insurance companies have submitted this information to the state electronically every 30 days. But until recently, three major companies - Safeco, Progressive and USAA - did not. USAA provides insurance to many of the military personnel based at Fort Leavenworth.

Representatives from all three companies said that their companies would be in compliance with the regulation by the Jan. 21 deadline.

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