Maryland's Car Insurance Fine Forgiveness Program Will End July 31
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The program, which is a partnership between the Uninsured Division of Maryland Auto Insurance and the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration, gives eligible residents the chance to pay 20% of their outstanding uninsured car fines, and have the rest of the 80% forgiven, according to Maryland Matters.
The remaining 20% of car fines could be paid in one lump sum or in installments.
There were 23,000 Maryland drivers enrolled in the program, which represented more than $37 million in forgiven uninsured car debts. Enrollment ended on Dec. 31, 2019.
Car insurance payment relief for Maryland residents
Additional relief was provided during the pandemic when eligible participants were allowed to pause payment plans in March 2020.
During that time, participants were not placed in a default status if they missed any payments. The governor has since lifted the moratorium, allowing the FineFix program to resume.
What happens to Maryland FineFix participants?
With the program ending July 31, all remaining account balances for eligible participants must be paid by that date.
Eligible FineFix participants who don’t complete their payment plan by July 31 will default on the program—and the 80% of uninsured car fines that were forgiven at the beginning of the program will be reinstated.
Also, if a participant had any related vehicle registration flags with the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration that were removed as part of the program, those will be reinstated.
Future Maryland tax refunds may be intercepted by Maryland’s Central Collection Unit to resolve the debt.
Avoiding reinstatement of car insurance fines
If you’re currently a participant in the program and still have an outstanding payment plan, there are a few guidelines to meet in order to avoid having your fines reinstated.
The first is to complete your payment by July 31.
Another guideline is to register and insure any vehicle you own or purchase.
If the non-discounted fines were less than $3,000, insurance must remain in force for at least six months. If the original amount owed was more than $3,000, insurance must remain in force for at least one year instead. A lack of insurance or a lapse may result in reinstated fines.
While car insurance may be purchased from any company, all FineFix participants are automatically eligible for coverage with Maryland Auto Insurance.
Other steps to take to avoid car insurance fines
If you were eligible for FineFix but did not enroll before January 1, 2020, contact the Central Collection Unit to discuss what you can do to resolve any outstanding uninsured car fines.
Even though the 80% fine reduction is no longer available, the Central Collection Unit does provide payment plans to help those who need help with paying off debts.
FineFix participants can also visit FineFix.Maryland.gov for account information and to process any outstanding payments.
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