Raleigh, NC (WiredPRNews.com) The North Carolina House of Representatives approved on Wednesday a bill that would make consular identification cards — which are issued by foreign governments to identify their citizens abroad — unacceptable forms of identification in the state. The move could affect access to auto insurance for foreign nationals in North Carolina.
More specifically, the current wording of the legislation says that “The matricula consular or other similar document issued by a consulate or embassy of another country shall not be acceptable for use in determining a person’s actual identity or residency.” The matricula consular is the form of identification issued to Mexican citizens living in other countries.
Consular cards currently provide access to a number of services in the state, including legal driving privileges. In addition, North Carolina auto insurance companies are allowed by law to accept the matricula consular as evidence that the holder is an eligible risk to sell insurance to.
But the bill circulating through state government would make it so that the cards are not acceptable evidence. An amendment was proposed to maintain the legal provision that allows the consular cards to be accepted when applying for coverage but was rejected.
Whether the bill ultimately will be signed into law in its current form is debatable. Similar pushes to restrict non-U.S. citizens’ access to driving privileges and car insurance were essentially gutted in recent months in New Mexico and Utah. In addition, the North Carolina bill was not passed with an overwhelming majority (66-50).
One of the main arguments against restricting the access to coverage is that the drivers whom the changes would make ineligible for coverage would remain on the road despite their lack of coverage, effectively driving the uninsured rate higher.
To learn more about this and other North Carolina insurance issues, readers can go to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/north-carolina/ where visitors will be able to find informative resource pages and a quote-comparison generator that can help consumers in any state find the best rates for coverage.