What's New in Oregon
We try to stay in touch with the latest insurance related developments happening in Oregon. What happens in Salem can affect all of us from the price of gasoline to how much it will cost to drive on our freeways. Insurance related laws and orders are considered and passed constantly that will affect how much you or your insurance company will pay and the limit you will receive after an accident. The companies are constantly inventing ways to adjust how they charge based on the analysis of data they collect on you, your car and all drivers. We just want you to be informed so you can make the right decision.

1. Driving without Insurance. A police officer could have your car towed, leaving you stranded if you drive uninsured. If you are a female or parent with small children, the cop may wait with you until other insured transportation arrives to take you home. You might get lucky, and he orders you to drive directly home, without being impounded. The officer will request that you bring to the court proof that you purchased insurance. Often, the cop will promise you the dismissal of your uninsured driving ticket. The decision to dismiss the ticket lies within the power of the judge, not the police officer.

If you are an adult male traveling alone or with other adults, you may be left standing on the street corner finding your way home. A tow truck will take your car away.

2. Uninsured Accident. At fault in an accident or not, if you crashed your car without insurance, it might get towed away, even if drivable. Not only will you receive a citation for driving uninsured, but the Oregon DMV will suspend your license for a year. You will be required to carry SR22 type insurance for three years. You may apply for a Hardship Permit during that three-year suspension. If the car you were driving belongs to someone else, the owner may receive a letter in the mail from the DMV requiring them to carry SR22 for three years. I’ve even seen a police officer show up at the residence of the uninsured car’s owner and issue a citation for permitting the use of an uninsured vehicle and suspend their license as well. This extended action all depends on the severity of the crash, the mood of the officer, and the rules and laws of the jurisdiction.

3. Driving while Suspended. If a cop catches you driving with your license suspended, the officer may order the vehicle to be impounded and towed. Sometimes they will wait until someone with a driver’s license shows up at the scene and can prove the car has insurance. If the suspended driver has other outstanding warrants or unpaid fines, the police officer might not be inclined to wait and order the vehicle towed.

Of course, if used in some criminal activity, your vehicle will be impounded and held as evidence in the police impound lot until the crime has been adjudicated.