You may know your vehicle is insured. But do the growing number of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras around the UK’s road network? Almost 80,000 drivers had their vehicles seized last year after being spotted by ANPR cameras mounted on police vehicles, at service stations and on motorway gantries. Half of them ended up in a crusher ‚ the vehicles, thankfully, not the drivers!
The cameras instantly check your plates against the national Motor Insurance Database (MID) which lists all legally insured motor vehicles in the UK. The database receives a quarter of a million updates every day from motor insurers, who are legally obliged to keep the database fully up to date. All it takes is one mistyped digit and you could find yourself being pulled over by the police – and unless you have the necessary documentation to hand – waving goodbye to your vehicle.
The good news is that the Motor Insurers’ Bureau which runs the MID has just introduced an online checking facility at www.askmid.com that enables you to type in the registration number(s) of your vehicle(s) and check at the click of a mouse whether the MIB has you on record. If not, you would be well advised to contact your insurer straightaway to get the problem fixed. Otherwise you could soon be having a rather awkward conversation with some gentlemen in uniform.