Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration recently introduced something called “Customer Connect” with more options to carry out online transactions.
It’s part of an effort at streamlining a number of processes for drivers in the state. And in the age of the coronavirus, it can reduce the number of in-person trips needed at local MVA branches.
Users can, for instance, provide some basic insurance information online. But if you get a notification that you must provide proof of insurance using an FR-19 form, insurance agents say don’t delay, and contact your insurance agent.
Jerry Nicklow of Huff Insurance in Pasadena, Maryland, said the forms can be confusing to customers who sometimes get the notice after getting a new insurance policy.
He explained the notices will sometimes go out randomly.
“Maryland uses that to verify insurance coverage on vehicles on the road. They require you to have a minimum level of insurance in order to have tags on your vehicle,” he said.
Nicklow said since the coronavirus pandemic began, he has been getting more calls related to FR-19s, from roughly five a month to 10 per month.
“There’s definitely an increase, but it’s not overwhelming,” he said.
Jeffrey Dittman of Farmers Insurance in Frederick said he has received calls from drivers who were getting the notifications with a very tight turnaround.
According to Dittman, “Customers in good standing with their insurance have gotten letters saying they had two days to verify their insurance.”
That’s not typical, and he said in any case, “Contact your insurance agent and get it resolved as quickly as possible.”
Nicklow said it’s important to have three pieces of information: “The case number on the notice, the verification date and either your title number or your verification number.”
Once you do that, Nicklow said, it’s normally a matter of a few clicks to resolve the issue.