(a) The department shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter and shall make such reasonable rules and regulations concerning any matter administered in this chapter and shall provide for hearings upon the request of persons aggrieved by orders or acts of the department under the provisions of this chapter.
(b) The department may prescribe and provide suitable notices and forms necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(c) The department:
(1) May make necessary investigations to procure information required to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(2) Shall suspend the motor vehicle registrations pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
(3) Shall require insurance companies doing business in this state to regularly report the vehicle identification numbers covered by their mandatory liability insurance policies in a manner specified by the department.
(4) May operate a pilot program to study the extent of the uninsured motorist problem in this state, to make operational changes that it sees necessary in order to reduce the number of uninsured motorists, and to manage the registration selection, suspension, and reinstatement processes in the most productive manner possible. Funding for the pilot program, including performance-based or fixed fees, or both, shall be derived from registration reinstatement fees.
(5) May enter into a personal services contract with a consulting firm having personnel with extensive operational and management experience in the development, deployment, and operation of insurance verification programs. This firm shall assist in operating a pilot program by analyzing and using available data to share nationally-recognized best practices for operating insurance verification programs, to study existing and planned practices and implement recommendations for improvement, and to have responsibility for reducing uninsured motorist rates in this state.
(d) At any time within 30 calendar days after the rendition of any suspension, or decision under the provisions of this chapter, any person may appeal to the administrative law judge pursuant to Section 40-2A-8. After exhausting his or her appeal rights provided under Section 40-2A-8, and, upon providing evidence of payment of the reinstatement fee provided in this chapter, the person may appeal to the circuit court. The appeals to the administrative law judge or circuit court shall be as provided in Section 40-2A-9.