System helps nab uninsured drivers
- By Brian Robinson
- Apr 25, 2001
Until recently, if police or state motor vehicle departments wanted to check
vehicle insurance information, it wasn't always easy to get up-to-date information.
But a new system in Oregon — in which information is updated automatically
and is available around the clock — shows one way around the problem.
In Oregon's Automobile Liability Insurance Reporting (ALIR) system, vehicle
policy information is transmitted electronically to the Oregon DMV and is
used to update the DMV insurance database.
The trick has been to get some 400 insurance companies to standardize the
format of the data they send to the DMV. With the new system, the companies
send data in X12 format — an electronic data interchange standard — directly
or via value-added networks. The data is automatically downloaded each evening
then translated and checked for errors before being matched with the vehicle
The ALIR database contains just less than 2 million records and indicates
that 33 percent of all registered vehicles in the state may be operating
Oregon expects that ALIR will help it cut down substantially on the number
of uninsured vehicles as the quality of the insurance data improves.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore.
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.