CHAPTER 359

MOTOR VEHICLES - RELATING TO FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 165 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, ENTITLED "MOTOR VEHICLES," AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE GIVING OF PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SECURITY BY OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF MOTOR VEHICLES AND TO MAKE UNIFORM THE LAW WITH REFERENCE THERETO, AND PRESCRIBING PENALTIES FOR ANY VIOLATIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. That Chapter 165 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by adding after 5539. Sec. 1. paragraph (ff), the following new paragraphs to be known as paragraphs (ii) to (oo) inclusive, as follows:

(ii) "Judgment":--Any judgment which shall have become final by expiration without appeal of the time within which an appeal might have been perfected, or by final affirmation on appeal, rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction of any State or of the United States, upon a cause of action arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of any motor vehicle, for damages, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to or death of any person, or for damages because of injury to or destruction of property, including the loss of use thereof, or upon a cause of action on an agreement of settlement for such damages.

(jj) "License":--Any license, temporary instruction permit or temporary license issued under the laws of this State pertaining to the licensing of persons to operate motor vehicles.

(kk) "Non-resident's Operating Privilege": The privilege conferred upon a non-resident by the laws of this State pertaining to the operation by him of a motor vehicle, or the use of a motor vehicle owned by him, in this State.

(11) "Proof of Financial Responsibility":--Proof of ability to respond in damages for liability, on account of accidents occurring subsequent to the effective date of said proof, arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle, in the amount of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident, and, subject to said limit for one person, in the amount of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and in the amount of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

(mm) "Registration":--Registration certificate or certificates and registration plates issued under the laws of this State pertaining to the registration of motor vehicles.

(nn) "State":--A State, territory, organized or unorganized, or district of the United States of America except that for the purposes of Article 7 of this Chapter the term "State" shall include any province of the Dominion of Canada.

(oo) "Operator":--Every person, other than a chauffeur who is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle upon a highway except that for the purpose of Article 7 of this Chapter the term "Operator" shall include a chauffeur.

Section 2. That Chapter 165 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by repealing and striking out all of the following Sections: 5705. Sec. 167., 5706. Sec. 168., as amended by Chapter 233 of Volume 41, Laws of the State of Delaware; 5707. Sec. 169.; 5708. Sec. 170.; 5709. Sec. 171.; 5710. Sec. 172., as amended by Chapter 233 of Volume 41, Laws of the State of Delaware; 5711. Sec. 173., as amended by Chapter 261 of Volume 43, Laws of the State of Delaware; and 5712. Sec. 174,, and inserting in lieu thereof the following new Sections to be styled as hereinafter stated, as follows:

5706. Sec. 168. SECURITY FOLLOWING ACCIDENT; EFFECT OF FAILURE TO REPORT ACCIDENTS: --The Commissioner shall suspend the license or any non-resident's operating privilege of any person who willfully fails, refuses or neglects to make report of a traffic accident as required by the laws of this State.

5707. Sec. 169. SECURITY REQUIRED FOLLOWING AN ACCIDENT; SUSPENSION; EXCEPTIONS:--The Commissioner shall, within sixty (60) days after the receipt of a report of a motor vehicle accident within this State which has resulted in bodily injury or death, or damage to the property of any one person in excess of One Hundred Dollars ($100), suspend the license of each operator and all registrations of each owner of a motor vehicle in any manner involved in such accident, and if such operator is a non-resident the privilege of operating a motor vehicle within this State, and if such owner is a non-resident the privilege of the use within this State of any motor vehicle owned by him, unless such operator or owner or both shall deposit security in a sum which shall be sufficient in the judgment of the Commissioner to satisfy any judgment or judgments for damages resulting from such accident as may be recovered against such operator or owner; provided notice of such suspension shall be sent by the Commissioner to such operator and owner not less than ten (10) days prior to the effective date of such suspension and shall state the amount required as security.

This Section shall not apply under the conditions stated in Section 170 or to any of the following:

(a) To such operator or owner if such owner had in effect at the time of such accident an automobile liability policy with respect to the motor vehicle involved in such accident;

(b) To such operator, if not the owner of such motor vehicle, if there was in effect at the time of such accident an automobile liability policy or bond with respect to his operation of motor vehicles not owned by him;

(c) To such operator or owner if the liability of such operator or owner for damages resulting from such accident is, in the judgment of the Commissioner, covered by any other form of liability insurance policy or bond; or

(d) To any person qualifying as a self-insurer under Section 174X.

No such policy or bond shall be effective under this Section unless issued by an insurance company or surety company authorized to do business in this State, except that if such motor vehicle was not registered in this State, or was a motor vehicle which was registered elsewhere than in this State at the effective date of the policy or bond, or the most recent renewal thereof, such policy or bond shall not be effective under this Section unless the insurance company or surety company if not authorized to do business in this State shall execute a power of attorney authorizing the Commissioner to accept service on its behalf of notice or process in any action upon such policy or bond arising out of such accident; provided, however, every such policy or bond is subject, if the accident has resulted in bodily injury or death, to a limit, exclusive of interest and costs, of not less than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to said limit for one person, to a limit of not less than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and, if the accident has resulted in injury to or destruction of property, to a limit of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

Upon receipt of notice of such accident, the insurance company or surety company which issued such policy or bond shall furnish for filing with the Commissioner a written notice that such policy or bond was in effect at the time of such accident.

5708. Sec. 170. EXCEPTIONS TO REQUIREMENT OF SECURITY:--The requirements as to security and suspension in Section 169 shall not apply:

(a) To the operator or the owner of a motor vehicle involved in an accident wherein no injury or damage was caused to the person or property of anyone other than such operator or owner.

(b) To the operator or the owner of a motor vehicle if at the time of the accident the vehicle was stopped, standing or parked and whether attended or unattended, except that the requirements of this Act shall apply in the event the Commissioner determines that any such stopping, standing or parking of the vehicle was illegal or that the vehicle was not equipped with lighted lamps or illuminating devices when and as required by the laws of this State and that any such violation contributed to the accident.

(c) To the owner of a motor vehicle if at the time of the accident the vehicle was being operated without his permission, express or implied, or was parked by a person who had been operating such motor vehicle without such permission.

(d) If, prior to the date that the Commissioner would otherwise suspend license and registration or non-resident's operating privilege under Section 169, there shall be filed with the Commissioner evidence satisfactory to him that the person who would otherwise have to file security has been released from liability or been finally adjudicated not to be liable or has executed a warrant for confession of judgment, payable when and in such installments as the parties have agreed to, or has executed a duly acknowledged written agreement providing for the payment of an agreed amount in installments, with respect to all claims for injuries or damages resulting from the accident.

5709. Sec. 171. DURATION OF SUSPENSION:--The license and registration of a resident's or non-resident's operating privilege suspended as provided in Section 169 shall remain so suspended and shall not be renewed nor shall any such license or registration be issued to such person until:

(a) Such person shall deposit or there shall be deposited on his behalf the security required under Section 169; or

(b) One year shall have elapsed following the date of such accident and evidence satisfactory to the Commissioner has been filed with him that during such period no action for damages arising out of such accident has been instituted; or

(c) Evidence satisfactory to the Commissioner has been filed with him of a release from liability, or a final adjudication of non-liability, or a warrant for confession of judgment, or a duly acknowledged written agreement, in accordance with subdivision (d) of Section 170; provided, however, in the event there shall be any default in the payment of any installment under any confession of judgment, then, upon notice of such default, the Commissioner shall forthwith suspend the license and registration or non-resident's operating privilege of such person defaulting which shall not be restored unless and until the entire amount provided for in said confession of judgment has been paid; and provided, further, that in the event there shall be any default in the payment of any installment under any duly acknowledged written agreement, then, upon notice of such default, the Commissioner shall forthwith suspend the license and registration or non-resident's operating privilege of such person defaulting which shall not be restored unless and until (1) such person deposits and thereafter maintains security as required under Section 169 in such amount as the Commissioner may then determine, or (2) one year shall have elapsed following the date when such security was required and during such period no action upon such agreement has been instituted in a Court in this State.

5710. Sec. 172. APPLICATION TO NON-RESIDENTS, UNLICENSED DRIVERS AND UNREGISTERED MOTOR VEHICLES:--In case the operator or the owner of a motor vehicle involved in an accident within this State has no license or registration, he shall not be allowed a license or registration until he has complied with the requirements of this Article to the same extent that would be necessary if, at the time of the accident, he had held a license and registration.

5711. Sec. 173. FORM AND AMOUNT OF SECURITY:--The security required under this Article shall be in such form and in such amount as the Commissioner may require but in no case in excess of the limits specified in Section 169 in reference to the acceptable limits of a policy or bond. The person depositing security shall specify in writing the person or persons on whose behalf the deposit is made and, at any time while such deposit is in the custody of the Commission or State Treasurer, the person depositing it may, in writing, amend the specification of the person or persons on whose behalf the deposit is made to include an additional person or persons; provided, however, that a single deposit of security shall be applicable only on behalf of persons required to furnish security because of the same accident.

The Commissioner may reduce the amount of security ordered in any case within six (6) months after the date of the accident if, in his judgment, the amount ordered is excessive. In case the security originally ordered has been deposited the excess deposited over the reduced amount ordered shall be returned to the depositor or his personal representative forthwith, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 174.

5712. Sec. 174. CUSTODY, DISPOSITION AND RETURN OF SECURITY:--Security deposited in compliance with the requirements of this Article shall be placed by the Commissioner in the custody of the State Treasurer and shall be applicable only to the payment of a judgment or judgments rendered against the person or persons on whose behalf the deposit was made, for damages arising out of the accident in question in an action at law, begun not later than one (1) year after the date of such accident, or within one (1) year after the date of deposit of any security under subdivision (c) of Section 171, and such deposit or any balance thereof shall be returned to the depositor or his personal representative when evidence satisfactory to the Commission has been filed with him that there has been a release from liability, or a final adjudication of non-liability, or a warrant for confession of judgment, or a duly acknowledged agreement, in accordance with subdivision (d) of Section 170, or whenever, after the expiration of one (1) year from the date of the accident, or within one (1) year after the date of deposit of any security under subdivision (c) of Section 171, the Commissioner shall be given reasonable evidence that there is no such action pending and no judgment rendered in such action left unpaid.

5712A. Sec. 174A. MA II ERS NOT TO BE EVIDENCE IN

CIVIL SUITS:--Neither the report required by Section 168, the action taken by the Commissioner pursuant to this Article, the findings, if any, of the Commissioner upon which action is based, nor the security filed as provided in this Article shall be referred to in any way, nor be any evidence of the negligence or due care of either party, at the trial of any action at law to recover damages.

5712B. Sec. 174B. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; COURT TO REPORT NONPAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS:--Whenever any person fails within sixty (60) days to satisfy any judgment, it shall be the duty of the Clerk of the Court, or of the Judge of a Court which has no Clerk, in which any such judgment is rendered within this State, to forward to the Commissioner immediately after the expiration of said sixty (60) days, a certified copy of such judgment.

If the defendant named in any certified copy of a judgment reported to the Commissioner is a non-resident, the Commissioner shall transmit a certified copy of the judgment to the official in charge of the issuance of licenses and registration certificates of the State of which the defendant is a resident.

5712C. Sec. 174C. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; SUSPENSION FOR NON-PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS; EXCEPTIONS:--(a) The Commissioner, upon receipt of a certified copy of a judgment, shall forthwith suspend the license and registration and any non-resident's operating privilege of any person against whom such judgment was rendered, except as hereinafter otherwise provided in this Section and in Section 174F.

(b) If the judgment creditor consents in writing, in such form as the Commissioner may prescribe, that the judgment debtor be allowed license and registration or non-resident's operating privilege, the same may be allowed by the Commissioner, in his discretion, for six (6) months from the date of such consent and thereafter until such consent is revoked in writing, notwithstanding default in the payment of such judgment, or of any Installments thereof prescribed in Section 174F., provided the judgment debtor furnished proof of financial responsibility.

(c) Any person whose license, registration or non-resident's operating privilege has been suspended or is about to be suspended or shall become subject to suspension under the provisions of this Article may be relieved from the effect of such judgment as hereinbefore prescribed in this Article by filing with the Commissioner an affidavit stating that at the time of the accident upon which such judgment has been rendered the affiant was insured, that the insurer is liable to pay such judgment, and the reason, if known, why such insurance company has not paid such judgment. Such person shall also file the original policy of insurance or a certified copy thereof, if available, and such other documents as the Commissioner may require to show that the loss, injury or damage for which such judgment was rendered, was covered by such policy of insurance. If the Commissioner is satisfied from such papers that such insurer was authorized to issue such policy of insurance at the time and place of issuing such policy and that such insurer is liable to pay such judgment, at least to the extent and for the amounts required in this Act, the Commissioner shall not suspend such license or registration or non-resident's operating privilege, or if already suspended shall reinstate them.

5712D. Sec. 174D. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; SUSPENSION TO CONTINUE UNTIL JUDGMENTS PAID AND PROOF GIVEN:--Such license, registration and non-resident's operating privilege shall remain so suspended and shall not be renewed, nor shall any such license or registration be thereafter issued in the name of such person, including any such person not previously licensed, unless and until every such judgment is satisfied in full or to the extent hereinafter provided and until the said person gives proof of financial responsibility subject to the exemptions stated in Sections 174C. and 174F. of this Act.

A discharge in bankruptcy following the rendering of any such judgment shall not relieve the judgment debtor from any of the requirements of this Article.

5712E. Sec. 174E. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; PAYMENTS SUFFICIENT TO SATISFY REQUIREMENTS:--Judgments herein referred to shall, for the purpose of this Act only, be deemed satisfied:

(a) When Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) has been credited upon any judgment or judgments rendered in excess of that amount because of bodily injury to or death of one person as the result of any one accident; or.

(b) When, subject to such limit of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) because of bodily injury to or death of one person, the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) has been credited upon any judgment or judgments rendered in excess of that amount because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons as the result of any one accident; or

(c) When One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) has been credited upon any judgment or judgments rendered in excess of that amount because of injury to or destruction of property of others as a result of any one accident;

Provided, however, payments made in settlement of any claims because of bodily injury, death or property damage arising from a motor vehicle accident shall be credited in reduction of the amounts provided for in this Section.

5712F. Sec. 174F. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; INSTALLMENT PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS; DEFAULT:--

(a) A judgment debtor upon due notice to the judgment creditor may apply to the Court in which such judgment was rendered for the privilege of paying such judgment in installments and the Court, in its discretion and without prejudice to any other legal remedies which the judgment creditor may have, may so order and fix the amounts and times of payment of the installments.

(b) The Commissioner shall not suspend a license, registration or a non-resident's operating privilege suspended following non-payment of a judgment, when the judgment debtor gives proof of financial responsibility and obtains such an order permitting the payment of such judgment in installments, and while the payment of any said installment is not in default.

(c) In the event the judgment debtor fails to pay any installment as specified by such order, then upon notice of such default, the Commissioner shall forthwith suspend the license, registration or non-resident's operating privilege of the judgment debtor until such judgment is satisfied, as provided in this Act.

5712G. Sec. 174G. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; PROOF REQUIRED UPON CERTAIN CONVICTIONS:--

(d) Whenever the Commissioner, under any law of this State, suspends or revokes the license of any person upon receiving record of a conviction or a forfeiture of bail, the Commissioner shall also suspend the registration for all motor vehicles registered in the name of such person, except that he shall not suspend such registration, unless otherwise required by law, if such person has previously given or shall immediately give and thereafter maintain proof of financial responsibility with respect to all motor vehicles registered by such person.

(e) Such license and registration shall remain suspended or revoked and shall not at any time thereafter be renewed nor shall any license be thereafter issued to such person, nor shall any motor vehicle be thereafter registered in the name of such person until permitted under the Motor Vehicle Laws of this State and not then unless and until he shall give and thereafter maintain proof of financial responsibility.

() If a person is not licensed, but by final order or judgment is convicted of or forfeits any bail or collateral deposited to secure an appearance for trial for any offense requiring the suspension or revocation of license, or for operating a motor vehicle upon the highways without being licensed to do so, or for operating an unregistered motor vehicle upon the highways, no license shall be thereafter issued to such person and no motor vehicle shall continue to be registered or thereafter be registered in the name of such person until he shall give and thereafter maintain proof of financial responsibility.

(a) Whenever the Commissioner suspends or revokes a nonresident's operating privilege by reason of a conviction or forfeiture of bail, such privilege shall remain so suspended or revoked unless such person shall have previously given or shall immediately give and thereafter maintain proof of financial responsibility.

GIVING PROOF:--Proof of financial responsibility when required under this Act may be given by filing:

1. A certificate of insurance as provided in Section 1741. or Section 174J.; or

2. A bond as provided in Section 174N.; or

3. A certificate of deposit of money or securities as provided in Section 1740.

5712. Sec. 1741. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE AS PROOF:--

(a) Proof of financial responsibility may be furnished by filing with the Commissioner the written certificate of any insurance carrier duly authorized to do business in this State certifying that there is in effect a motor vehicle liability policy for the benefit of the person required to furnish proof of financial responsibility. Such certificate shall give the effective date of such motor vehicle liability policy, which date shall be the same as the effective date of the certificate, and shall designate by explicit description or by appropriate reference all motor vehicles covered thereby, unless the policy is issued to a person who is not the owner of a motor vehicle.

(b) No motor vehicle shall be or continue to be registered in the name of any person required to file proof of financial responsibility unless such motor vehicle is so designated in such a certificate.

5712J. Sec. 174J. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; CERTIFICATE FURNISHED BY NON-RESIDENT AS PROOF:--

(a) The non-resident owner of a motor vehicle not registered in this State may give proof of financial responsibility by filing with the Commissioner a written certificate or certificate of an insurance carrier authorized to transact business in the State in which the motor vehicle or motor vehicles described in such certificate is registered, or if such non-resident does not own a motor vehicle, then in the State in which the insured resides, provided such certificate otherwise conforms to the provisions of this Act, and the Commissioner shall accept the same upon condition that said insurance carrier complies with the following provisions with respect to the policies so certified;

(1) Said insurance carrier shall execute a power of attorney authorizing the Commissioner to accept service on its behalf of notice or process in any action arising out of a motor vehicle accident in this State;

(2) Said insurance carrier shall agree in writing that such policies shall be deemed to conform with the laws of this State relating to the terms of motor vehicle liability policies issued herein.

(b) If any insurance carrier not authorized to transact business in this State, which has qualified to furnish proof of financial responsibility, defaults in any said undertakings or agreements, the Commissioner shall not thereafter accept as proof any certificate of said carrier whether theretofore filed or thereafter tendered as proof, so long as such default continues.

5712K. Sec. 174K. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; "MOTOR VEHICLE LIABILITY POLICY" DEFINED:--

(a) A "motor vehicle liability policy" as said term is used in this Act shall mean an owner's or an operator's policy of liability insurance, certified as provided in Section 1741. or Section 174J. as proof of financial responsibility, and issued, except as otherwise provided in Section 174J., by an insurance carrier duly authorized to transact business in this State, to or for the benefit of the person named therein as insured.

(b) Such owner's policy of liability insurance:

(1) Shall designate by explicit description or by appropriate reference all motor vehicles with respect to which coverage is thereby to be granted; and

(2) Shall insure the person named therein and any other person, as insured, using any such motor vehicle or motor vehicles with the express or implied permission of such named insured, against loss from the liability imposed by law for damages arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of such motor vehicle or motor vehicles within the United States of America or the Dominion of Canada, subject to limits exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each such motor vehicle, as follows: Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to said limit for one person, Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

(c) Such operator's policy of liability insurance shall insure the person named as insured therein against loss from the liability imposed upon him by law for damages arising out of the use by him of any motor vehicle not owned by him, within the same territorial limits and subject to the same limits of liability as are set forth above with respect to an owner's policy of liability insurance.

(d) Such motor vehicle liability policy shall state the name and address of the named insured, the coverage afforded by the policy, the premium charged therefor, the policy period and the limits of liability, and shall contain an agreement or be endorsed that insurance is provided thereunder in accordance with the coverage defined in this Act as respects bodily injury and death or property damage, or both, and is subject to all the provisions of this Act.

(e) Such motor vehicle liability policy need not insure any liability under any Workmen's Compensation Law nor any liability on account of bodily injury to or death of an employee of the insured while engaged in the employment, other than domestic, of the insured, or while engaged in the operation, maintenance or repair of any such motor vehicle nor any liability for damage to property owned by, rented to, in charge of or transported by the insured.

(f) Every motor vehicle liability policy shall be subject to the following provisions which need not be contained therein:

(1) The liability of the insurance carrier with respect to the insurance required by this Act shall become absolute whenever injury or damage covered by said motor vehicle liability policy occurs; said policy may not be cancelled or annulled as to such liability by any agreement between the insurance carrier and the insured after the occurrence of the injury or damage; no statement made by the insured or on his behalf and no violation of said policy shall defeat or void said policy.

(2) The satisfaction by the insured of a judgment for such injury or damage shall not be a condition precedent to the right or duty of the insurance carrier to make payment on account of such injury or damage.

(3) The insurance carrier shall have the right to settle any claim covered by the policy, and if such settlement is made in good faith, the amount thereof shall be deductible from the limits of liability specified in subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of this Section.

(4) The policy, the written application therefor, if any, and any rider or endorsement which does not conflict * with the provisions of the Act shall constitute the entire contract between the parties.

(g) Any policy which grants the coverage required for a motor vehicle liability policy may also grant any lawful coverage in excess of or in addition to the coverage specified for a motor vehicle liability policy and such excess or additional coverage shall not be subject to the provisions of this Act. With respect to a policy which grants such excess or additional coverage the term "motor vehicle liability policy" shall apply only to that part of the coverage which is required by this Section.

(h) Any motor vehicle liability policy may provide that the insured shall reimburse the insurance carrier for any payment the insurance carrier would not have been obligated to make under the terms of the policy except for the provisions of this Act.

(i) Any motor vehicle liability policy may provide for the prorating of the insurance thereunder with other valid and collectible insurance.

(j) The requirements for a motor vehicle liability policy may be fulfilled by the policies of one or more insurance carriers which policies together meet such requirements.

(k) Any binder issued pending the issuance of a motor vehicle liability policy shall be deemed to fulfill the requirements for such a policy.

5712L. Sec. 174L. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; NOTICE OF CANCELLATION OR TERMINATION OF CERTWIED POLICY: --Any insurance company may cancel any motor vehicle liability policy or bond, except such risks as may be assigned to it as provided in 5712EE. Sec. 174EE. for any reason it may deem proper; provided such insurance company shall refund to its insured the unearned portion of the premium paid by the insured.

Any insurance company may cancel any motor vehicle liability policy or bond issued to any person under the provisions of Section 5712EE. Sec. 174EE. of this Act by giving thirty (30) days' notice thereof to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, provided:

(1) The insured is not licensed to operate a motor vehicle under the Laws of this State; or

(2) The insured is affected with mental or physical infirmities or disabilities rendering it unsafe for him to operate a motor vehicle upon the highways; or

(3) The insured is in the opinion of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles an habitually reckless or negligent driver of a motor vehicle; or

(4) The insured is an habitual drunkard; or

(5) The insured is addicted to the use of narcotic drugs; or

(6) The insured is engaged in an unlawful or illegal occupation; or

(7) The insured has refused or failed to pay the premiums due on such motor vehicle policy or bond; or

(8) The insured has refused or failed to cooperate with the insurance company as stated in such insurance policy or bond.

Before any insurance company shall cancel such policy of insurance for any of the reasons above enumerated, the insurance company shall first notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles in writing of its intention to cancel the policy. Thereupon the said Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall forthwith send by registered mail a notice of such proposed cancellation to the insured. The insured may within ten (10) days after the receipt of such notice notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles in writing of his desire for a hearing on the facts. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall thereupon fix the time for said hearing, giving to the insurance company and to the insured ten (10) days' notice in writing of the time and place for holding the hearing. At said hearing the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, or someone designated by him, shall hear the testimony offered on behalf of the insurance company and on behalf of the insured and shall make such order as may be equitable and just.

5712M. Sec. 174M. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; ACT NOT TO AFFECT OTHER POLICIES:--

(a) This Act shall not be held to apply to or affect policies of automobile insurance against liability which may now or hereafter be required by any other law of this State, and such policies, if they contain an agreement or are endorsed to conform to the requirements of this Act, may be certified as proof of financial responsibility under this Act.

(b) This Act shall not be held to apply to or affect policies insuring solely the insured named in the policy against liability resulting from the maintenance or use by persons in the insured's employ or on his behalf of motor vehicles not owned by the insured.

5712N. Sec. 174N. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; BOND AS PROOF:--

(c) Proof of financial responsibility may be evidenced by the bond of a surety company duly authorized to transact business within this State, or a bond with at least two individual sureties each owning real estate within this State, and together having equities equal in value to at least twice the amount of such bond, which real estate shall be scheduled in the bond approved by a judge of a court of record, which said bond shall be conditioned for payment of the amounts specified in 5539. Sec. 1. (11). Such bond shall be filed with the Commissioner and shall not be cancellable except after ten (10) days' written notice to the Commissioner. Such bond shall constitute a lien in favor of the State upon the real estate so scheduled of any surety, which lien shall exist in favor of any holder of a final judgment against the person who has filed such bond, for damages, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to or death of any person, or for damages because of injury to or destruction of property, including the loss of use thereof, resulting from the ownership, maintenance, use or operation of a motor vehicle after such bond was filed, upon the filing of notice to that effect by the Commissioner in the office of the Prothonotary of any County in the State wherein any such real estate is located and such Prothonotary shall enter such lien in an appropriate docket kept by him for that purpose.

(d) If such a judgment, rendered against the principal on such bond shall not be satisfied within sixty (60) days after it has become final, the judgment creditor may, for his own use and benefit and at his sole expense, bring an action or actions in the name of the State against the company or persons executing such bond, including an action or proceeding to foreclose any lien that may exist upon the real estate of a person who has executed such bond in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 139 of the Revised Code of 1935 of the State of Delaware.

57120. Sec. 1740. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; MONEY OR SECURITIES AS PROOF:--

(e) Proof of financial responsibility may be evidenced by the certificate of the State Treasurer that the person named therein has deposited with him Eleven Thousand Dollars ($11,000.00) in cash, or securities such as may legally be purchased by savings banks or for trust funds of a market value of Eleven Thousand Dollars ($11,000.00). The State Treasurer shall not accept any such deposit and issue a certificate therefor and the Commissioner shall not accept such certificate unless accompanied by evidence that there are no unsatisfied judgments of any character against the depositor in the County where the depositor resides.

(f) Such deposit shall be held by the State Treasurer to satisfy, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, any execution on a judgment issued against such person making the deposit, for damages, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to or death of any person, or for damages because of injury to or destruction of property, including the loss of use thereof, resulting from the ownership, maintenance, use or operation of a motor vehicle after such deposit was made. Money or securities so deposited shall not be subject to attachment or execution unless such attachment or execution shall arise out of a suit for damages as aforesaid.

5712P. Sec. 174P. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; OWNER MAY GIVE PROOF FOR OTHERS:--Whenever any person required to give proof of financial responsibility hereunder is or later becomes an operator in the employ of any owner, or is or later becomes a member of the immediate family or household of the owner, the Commissioner shall accept proof given by such owner in lieu of proof by such other person to permit such other person to operate a motor vehicle for which the owner has given proof as herein provided. The Commissioner shall designate the restrictions imposed by this Section on the fact of such person's license.

5712Q. Sec. 174Q. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; SUBSTITUTION OF PROOF:--The Commissioner shall consent to the cancellation of any bond or certificate of insurance or the Commissioner shall direct and the State Treasurer shall return any money or securities to the person entitled thereto upon the substitution and acceptance of other adequate proof of financial responsibility pursuant to this Act.

5712R. Sec. 174R. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; OTHER PROOF MAY BE REQUIRED:--Whenever any proof of financial responsibility filed under the provisions of this Act no longer fulfills the purposes for which required, the Commissioner shall, for the purpose of this Act, require other proof as required by this Act and shall suspend the license and registration or the non-resident's operating privilege pending the filing of such other proof.

5712S. Sec. 174S. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE; DURATION OF PROOF; WHEN PROOF MAY BE CANCELLED OR RETURNED:--The Commissioner shall upon request consent to the immediate cancellation of any bond or certificate of insurance, or the Commissioner shall direct and the State Treasurer shall return to the person entitled thereto any money or securities deposited pursuant to this Act as proof of financial responsibility, or the Commissioner shall waive the requirement of filing proof, in any of the following events:

(g) At any time after three (3) years from the date such proof was required when, during the three (3) year period preceding the request, the Commissioner has not received record of a conviction or a forfeiture of bail which would require or permit the suspension or revocation of the license, registration or nonresident's operating privilege of the person by or for whom such proof was furnished; or

(h) In the event of the death of the person on whose behalf such proof was filed or the permanent incapacity of such person to operate a motor vehicle; or

(i) In the event the person who has given proof surrenders his license and registration to the Commissioner.

Provided, however, that the Commissioner shall not consent to the cancellation of any bond or the return of any money or securities in the event any action for damages upon a liability covered by such proof is then pending or any judgment upon any such liability is then unsatisfied, or in the event the person who has filed such bond or deposited such money or securities has, within one (1) year immediately preceding such request been involved as an operator or owner in any motor vehicle accident resulting in injury or damage to the person or property of others. An affidavit of the applicant as to the non-existence of such facts, or that he has been released from all of his liability, or has been finally adjudicated not to be liable, for such injury or damage, shall be sufficient evidence thereof in the absence of evidence to the contrary in the records of the Commissioner.

Whenever any person whose proof has been cancelled or returned under subdivision (c) of this Section applies for a license or registration within a period of three (3) years from the date proof was originally required, any such application shall be refused unless the applicant shall re-establish such proof for the remainder of such three (3) year period.

5712T. Sec. 174T. VIOLATION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT; PENALTIES; TRANSFER OF REGISTRATION TO DEFEAT PURPOSE OF ACT PROHIBITED:--This Act shall not prevent the owner of a motor vehicle, the registration of which has been suspended hereunder, from effecting a bona fide sale of such motor vehicle to another person whose rights or privileges are not suspended under this Act nor prevent the registration of such motor vehicle by such transferee. This Act shall not in any wise affect the rights of any conditional vendor, chattel mortgagee or lessor of a motor vehicle registered in the name of another as owner who becomes subject to the provisions of this Act.

5712U. Sec. 174U. VIOLATION OF PROVISIONS OF ACT; PENALTIES; SURRENDER OF LICENSE AND REGISTRATION:--Any person whose license or registration shall have been suspended as herein provided, or whose policy of insurance or bond, when required under this Act, shall have been cancelled or terminated, or who shall neglect to furnish other proof upon request of the Commissioner shall immediately return his license and registration to the Commissioner. If any person shall fail to return to the Commissioner the license or registration as provided herein, the Commissioner shall forthwith direct any peace officer to secure possession thereof and to return the same to the Commissioner.

5712V. Sec. 174V. OTHER VIOLATIONS OF PROVISIONS OF ACT; PENALTIES:--

(j) Any person whose license or registration or nonresident's operating privilege has been suspended or revoked under this Act and who, during such suspension or revocation, drives any motor vehicle upon any highway or knowingly permits any motor vehicle owned by such person to be operated by another upon any highway, except as permitted under this Act, shall be fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or imprisoned not exceeding six (6) months, or both.

(k) Any person willfully failing to return license or registration as required in Section 174U. shall be fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or imprisoned not to exceed thirty (30) days, or both.

(l) Any person who shall forego or, without authority, sign any notice provided for under Section 169 that a policy or bond is in effect, or any evidence of proof of financial responsibility, or who files or offers for filing any such notice or evidence of proof knowing or having reason to believe that it is forged or signed without authority, shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisoned not more than one (1) year, or both.

(m) Any person who shall violate any provision of this Act for which no penalty is otherwise provided shall be fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or imprisoned not more than ninety (90) days, or both.

5712W. Sec. 174W. GENERAL PROVISIONS; EXCEPTIONS:--This Act shall not apply with respect to any motor vehicle owned by the United States, this State or any political subdivision of this State or any municipality therein; nor, except for Sections 168. and 174P. of this Act, with respect to any motor vehicle which is subject to the requirements of Section SC. and Section 21 of Chapter 165 of the Revised Code of 1935 of the State of Delaware.

5712X. Sec. 174X. GENERAL PROVISIONS; SELF-INSURERS:--

(n) Any person in whose name more than fifteen (15) motor vehicles are registered may qualify as a self-insurer by obtaining a certificate of self-insurance issued by the Commissioner as provided in subsection (b) of this Section.

(o) The Commissioner may, in his discretion, upon the application of such a person, issue a certificate of self-insurance when he is satisfied that such person is possessed and will continue to be possessed of ability to pay judgments obtained against such person.

(p) Upon not less than five (5) days' notice and a hearing pursuant to such notice, the Commissioner may upon reasonable grounds cancel a certificate of self-insurance. Failure to pay any judgment within thirty (30) days after such judgments shall have become final shall constitute a reasonable ground for the cancellation of a certificate of self-insurance.

5712Y. Sec. 174Y. GENERAL PROVISIONS; REPEAL OF EXISTING LAWS:--This Act shall in no respect be considered as a repeal of the State Motor Vehicle Laws but shall be construed as supplemental thereto.

The existing Motor Vehicle Safety-Responsibility Act is hereby repealed except with respect to any accident, or judgment arising therefrom, or violation of the motor vehicle laws of this State, occurring prior to the effective date of this Act.

5712Z. Sec. 174Z. GENERAL PROVISIONS; PAST APPLICATION OF ACT:--This Act shall not apply with respect to any accident, or judgment arising therefrom, or violation of the motor vehicle laws of this State, occurring prior to the effective date of this Act.

5712AA. Sec. 174AA. GENERAL PROVISIONS; ACT NOT TO PREVENT OTHER PROCESS:--Nothing in this Act shall be construed as preventing the plaintiff in any action at law from relying for relief upon the other processes provided by law.

5712BB. Sec. 174BB. GENERAL PROVISIONS; UNIFORMITY OF INTERPRETATION:--This Act shall be so interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the laws of those States which enact it.

5712CC. Sec. 174CC. GENERAL PROVISIONS; REPORTING:--The Commissioner shall require all persons involved in accidents, coming under Section 169 of this Bill, to make reports of such accidents on forms furnished by the Department of Motor Vehicles within five (5) days from the date of such accidents. These forms, the standard form as used in other States, shall be filed and used in determining the amount of security to be deposited, as well as constituting a complete record of owners and operators accidents in this State.

5712DD. Sec. 174DD. GENERAL PROVISIONS; ADMINISTRATION:--The Commissioner shall set up a separate department, under his supervision, for the handling of the filings of the Standard Forms as used in other States, and for the estimating of the security required, and for the suspending, revoking and reinstating of licenses and registrations as required by this Act. The Commissioner shall hire a Director of Safety Responsibility in Delaware at a salary of Thirty-six Hundred Dollars ($3600.00) per year, another Thirty-six Hundred Dollars ($3600.00) to be allowed for a secretary and an assistant; it shall be the responsibility of said Director to see that the accident reports are made and that sufficient security is filed with his department to cover all damages to persons or property; he shall follow the standard practices used in other States and shall use the Standard Forms as used in other States; it shall be the duty of the State Police to help enforce this law.

5712EE. Sec. 174EE. GENERAL PROVISIONS; ASSIGNED RISKS:--Any applicant for registration who in good faith has applied to two (2) insurance companies for a policy of insurance or surety bond under the provisions of this Act, but who is unable to procure such insurance from said companies shall thereupon notify the Insurance Commissioner, in writing, and the Insurance Commissioner upon receipt of said notice shall thereupon assign said application to one of the insurance companies handling such insurance and doing business in this State and such insurance company shall promptly issue a policy at the rate then prevailing for such policies, adding an automatic surcharge of ten per centum (10%) over and above such rate then in force and effect, for similar policies of insurance. Surcharges of fifty per centum (50%) and twenty-five per centum (25%) shall be added to the then prevailing rate for such policies under the following circumstances:

A. Fifty per centum (50%) surcharge--if the certificate is required for a conviction of Driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated, or

2. Failing to stop and report when involved in an accident,

Or

3. Homicide or assault arising out of the operation of a motor vehicle.

B. Twenty-five per centum (25%) surcharge--if the certificate is required for a conviction of

1. Driving a motor vehicle at an excessive rate of speed where an injury to person or damage to property actually results therefrom, or

2. Driving a motor vehicle in a reckless manner where an injury to person or damage to property actually results therefrom.

All such assignments may carry an expense charge of five per centum (5%).

Motor Vehicles of such assignments and the rate at which such assignments are made. The registration shall then be issued.

5712FF. Sec. 174FF. GENERAL PROVISIONS; APPROPRIATION AND DISBURSEMENTS:--There is hereby appropriated for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this Act for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1951 and ending on June 30, 1952, the sum of Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00) and for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 1952 and ending June 30, 1953, the sum of Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00). This Act shall be known as a Supplementary Appropriation Act and the moneys hereby appropriated shall be paid out of the General Fund of the State Treasury not otherwise appropriated.

5712GG. Sec. 174GG. GENERAL PROVISIONS; OPERATORS OF EXEMPT VEHICLES:--It is hereby stipulated that the operators of vehicles exempt under this law shall be required to show financial responsibility as required under this law.

5712HH. Sec. 174HH. GENERAL PROVISIONS; CONSTITUTIONALITY:--If any part or parts of this Act shall be held unconstitutional, such unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity of the remaining parts of this Act. The legislature hereby declares that it would have passed the remaining parts of this Act if it had known that such part or parts thereof would be declared unconstitutional.

571211. Sec. 17411. GENERAL PROVISIONS; TITLE OF ACT:--This Act may be cited as the Motor Vehicle Safety-Responsibility Act.

5712JJ. Sec. 174JJ. GENERAL PROVISIONS; EFFECTIVE DATE OF ACT:--This Act shall take effect the first day of January, 1952.

Approved June 18, 1951.