Our reader was involved in an accident with a driver they think might be uninsured. Someone mentioned the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to them. Here we explain what it is and why it’s so important.
What is the Motor Insurance Database?
This is a central record of every insured motor vehicle in the UK. Whenever you buy motor insurance, it is a legal requirement for the company providing your motor cover to enter your details onto the MID.
The police and Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) can see almost instantly whether drivers have insured their cars because of the MID. This also enables them to use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to perform insurance status checks on cars.
Can you check if your car is on the MID?
Yes you can. It’s a free service. All you must do is go to the AskMID page on the Motor Insurance Bureau’s (MIB) website.
You can also check the data that the MIB holds on you. You need to fill out a ‘your insurance history’ form on the website and you should be able to access all your insurance details over the past seven years.
Is the MIB different to the MID?
They are essentially the same thing. The MID is administered by the MIB. The MIB was set up to reduce the number of uninsured cars on the road. This was becoming a real problem in the UK.
Who pays for the MIB?
We all do. A portion of our insurance premiums goes to the MIB. This ensures if an uninsured driver kills or injures anyone, that person receives compensation. Equally, if an uninsured driver causes a crash with you, and you only have third party insurance, the MIB will foot the bill.
Why was it set up?
People driving without insurance was becoming a big problem in the UK. The MID enables police and the DVLA to enforce insurance on our roads more effectively. The result has seen the number of uninsured drivers dropping by 50% over the past decade.
The MIB also runs something called Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE). This is the MIB and DVLA working together to compare MIB and DVLA records to see which vehicles have tax but no insurance. The registered keeper of any uninsured vehicle then receives a warning letter.
Can you find other people’s details?
Yes. You can conduct a one-off search of the MID if you’ve had an accident. This might be useful if you’ve had a bump and the other car has driven off without giving you their insurance details.
It’s very easy to do. You go to the relevant one-off AskMID page, pay £10 and enter the details of the car you’re looking for. You’ll then receive the policy number, insurer’s name and claims contact details.
You can also claim against drivers who don’t exist on the MID. You do this via an untraced driver form on the website.
Don’t fall for a scam
The MIB will only call you if you’ve called them or you haven’t insured your car and the police or DVLA spot it. Any other calls purporting to be from it are likely to be scams.
I’ve been writing about cars and motoring for more than 25 years. My career started on a long-departed classic car weekly magazine called AutoClassic. I’ve since pitched up at Autosport, Auto Express, the News of the World, Sunday Times and most recently the Daily Telegraph. When I’m not writing about cars and motoring, I’m probably doing some kind of sport or working in my garden.