California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced he filed for new rules with the Office of Administrative Law to add the gender-neutral term "spouse" to the application form for the state's Low Cost Auto Insurance Program.
The change will improve capturing information of same-sex couples. Previously, the form included only the categories of "husband," "wife," or "domestic partner."
"This change to the Low Cost Auto form will ensure that the application process is inclusive for all Californians," Jones said in a media statement. "And I have also asked department staff to carefully review all the forms we approve to make certain the forms treat equally same-sex couples who were married in 2008, or those who may marry in the future."
Currently same-sex marriages performed after 5 p.m. on June 16, 2008 through Nov. 4, 2008 are recognized in California. For other periods of time, California's domestic partnership law applies.
The California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program provides affordable auto insurance to low-income good drivers. Although California law requires that all drivers be insured, many low-income drivers can't afford today's car insurance rates.