DMV Overlooks One-Day Insurance Lapse

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RENO, NV - With six cars to his name, Don Nagle might be the envy of many.

But when he got side ways with the DMV and insurance on all of those cars, it was anything but smooth driving.

“My mailman comes to the door and says I have to have you sign for some certified mail. And I looked at it and opened it up and it says as of April 7th your registration is invalid. And it’s going to cost you at least $250 to re-instate it. That's $250.00 per car,” says Nagle.

Nagle showed us the paper work from both insurance companies and it appeared to us everything was in place.

You'd think he'd be able to solve the problem by going on line or even making a phone call.

Not so fast.

“The V.P. of Nationwide called the DMV and said there is no reason this guy has coverage. You can't do that with the DMV. It has to be done by an insurance underwriter,” says Nagle.

Still the certified mail kept coming--one piece for each vehicle--sometimes four every three days.

Nagle was left with no where to turn.

He contacted us.

We got in touch with the DMV.

“It happens fairly regularly. Here is the issue: What people don't realize is the way insurance policies are written,” says Tom Jacobs from Nevada’s DMV.

Take a look at Nagle's coverage and you can see there was indeed a 24 hour lapse.

His former insurance company's coverage ended the morning of November 4th 12-01AM---his new insurance started November 5th at 12:01A-M exactly one day later.

Jacobs says there is no indication Nagle tried to skirt the law, rather it's a way insurance companies activate and de-activate policies.

In light of Nagle's case, and others, the D-M-V says the computer is now disregarding one day lapses in insurance.

That’s 24 hours only, 2 day lapses can be treated just as seriously as a 2 month lapse.

Jacobs says besides the lapse in dates, other common reasons for getting certified mail concerning your car insurance include:

Non matching VIN numbers or policy numbers.

Insurance policies in names other than who is registering the car.

Fines for not properly registering and insuring your car can run from $250 to $1,200 dollars.