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Term: Bingo Card Program

25 Sep 2015

DEFINITION of ‘Bingo Card Program’
A motor vehicle registration method that required the operator of a motor vehicle to carry a card that was stamped by each state that the vehicle was operated in. Bingo card programs showed which states the driver had the proper insurance and licensure in. The card that the driver carried was marked by a stamping device (bingo stamp) similar to the ones used in the game of bingo.

BREAKING DOWN ‘Bingo Card Program’
Bingo card programs allowed states to monitor which drivers were allowed to operate a motor vehicle at a time when digital records were not yet in use. Having an up-to-date card mattered to interstate drivers the most, as drivers that never left their state didn’t have to worry about having the proper stamps issued by other states. Interstate drivers had to make sure that they had proof of insurance and any applicable liability policies that they needed to operate the motor vehicle, and commercial carriers could not operate more vehicles than it had stamp cards for without running the risk of being found out during a traffic stop.

During the period of time in which the bingo card programs were active, states could require motorists to register their vehicle each year, collecting a fee in the process. Drivers who wanted to get a new bingo card applied to the National Association of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (NARUC), which was an interstate organization that oversaw the bingo card program.

Over time the program was replaced by other registration methods, such as the single state registration system (SSRS) and later the unified carrier registration system (UCRS). The UCRS was created by the Unified Carrier Registration Act of 2005. Congress became involved in this process because it is responsible for regulating interstate commerce, and the bingo card program was found to impede commerce. States that participated in the bingo card program saw a revenue stream disappear when the program ended.

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