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Out-of-State Drivers Flock to N.C. to Obtain Cheaper Tags, Insurance

Posted March 12, 2007

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— People come from other states to take advantage of North Carolina’s deals on car insurance. Now, state officials are trying to stop fraud that costs every driver in the state.

Most license tags found in downtown Raleigh are North Carolina-issued. However, state insurance investigators are growing increasingly frustrated because more and more Tar Heel state tags are showing up illegally in northern states.

“Now, that's a problem because they don't actually live here,” said Chrissy Pearson with the state Department of Insurance. “They're paying much cheaper rates then they should be paying, and they go back up to New Jersey and have an accident and we're all ending up paying for it.”

Pearson said motorists flock to North Carolina from the most expensive car insurance states like New Jersey and New York. They give agents fake local addresses, get their insurance and tags and head back to their real homes up north.

“It could adversely affect all of us,” said Ray Evans, general manager of the North Carolina Rate Bureau. “If the differential is high enough, people will drive a long distance, I'm sure, to get any kind of goods more cheaply.”

Another concern is illegal immigrants. Investigators said they suspect van loads are coming into the state.

“They bring them down to an agent's office and they all buy insurance on the same day,” Pearson said. “Those are cases where we believe insurance agents themselves may be implicated.”

With insurance in hand, illegal immigrants could use other fraudulent documents to get drivers licenses.

Whether it's in residency or rates, regulators want lawmakers to close the loopholes.

“(We want this done) so that we can actually prosecute them and give them some hard time and some stiff penalties for this type of fraud,” Pearson said.


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  • narck9 Mar 13, 2007

    All I can say is that I would love to be a politician. Some real issues would start taking place. NC would be rid of crime as we know it.

  • kota2947 Mar 13, 2007

    I know for a FACT,A FACT,If u r seen more than a couple days in NY STATE,w/NC plates You get stopped,your car yanked,your license pulled(if its an illegal plate)NY knows Billy BOB can buy a license in NC from a family member(no test,nothing)OOH YEAH,They have law inforcement there...Im a retired,oh never mind

  • patriot4liberty Mar 13, 2007

    WOOO HOOO MORE RACE BAITING! how lovely. Can the news find NOTHING else to report on?

  • dweezil98 Mar 13, 2007

    Welcome to yet another side-effect of our coddled society. Criminals get to sue the real victims and win, the innocent have to go through severe scrutiny while the criminals find another way around (airport security, stealing music, movies, etc.) and the rest of us pay for it.

    It's just like the traffic problems around here. It's so easy to get out of a speeding ticket in NC that I wonder why cops even stop people to write them.

    Make it more harsh for offenders. Make the coddling stop. Speeding? $500 fine first offence. $5000 for the second. 50 days in jail plus a $10K for the third. When it HURTS to commit a crime, people tend to straighten up.

    In this case, make some basic changes to the rules:
    1: MUST show proof of residence (3 mo of utility bills)
    2: Use "canary" cards to check for fake addresses. Basically a postcard to remind people to renew. Any that come back as "non existent address" flags that person requiring they renew in person, only to be arrested for fraud.

  • Bob3425 Mar 13, 2007

    Wizard, I'd go one further the policies should be void automatically if it was obtain falsely, policy should state that the holder be a permanent tax paying residance of NC.

  • Joy4u2 Mar 13, 2007

    We do take care of them believe you me. I worked all my life I worked constrution for 25 yrs I'm 57 yrs old a woman and now on disabilty cannot affort my meds., right now ss. is helping me until July when I can get humana . but we as tax payers are helping them. just like they cheat on insurance we pay the tole on that too.

  • jamandbread Mar 13, 2007

    OOPs typo....sell insurance.

  • jamandbread Mar 13, 2007

    The penalties are not stiff enough. Is there reciprocity? If so, a policeman in NJ should check the driver's license and match it with the tag...Even they have a NJ driver's license and a North Carolina tag...then give them a Ty Lawson slamdunk time in a cell and hefty fine from both states. But NC police should do the same...If you stay here for 30 days, you should have a NC tag and NC driver's license with appropriate insurance..and vice versus when you move to another state. Hang the insurance agent and let the insurance commissioner revoke the company's privilege to see insurance in NC...Hold everyone accountable.

  • another opinion Mar 13, 2007

    If they are illegals and are caught send them to a country their not from. Eventually word will get around.

  • Wizard Mar 12, 2007

    I could be entirely wrong but it seems the problem as been identified and so the offenders should be known. Charge 'em,tax 'em or penalize 'em. Case closed!!! Seems to me all you need is to employ a clause that states you must be a leagl N.C. resident to obtain NC Tags and insurance. Then the insurance investigators just need to "investigate" suspect applicants. How hard is that?