CHAPTER 177

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 212

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 21, TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE REQUIREMENT OF INSURANCE FOR ALL MOTOR VEHICLES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend §2118, Chapter 21, Title 21, of the Delaware Code by striking sub-sections (k)(1)(m)(n) and (p) in their entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"(k) A motor vehicle registration shall not be issued or renewed for any vehicle not covered by a vehicle insurance policy meeting the requirements of this Title. An insurer shall immediately send to the Division of Motor Vehicles notices of those terminations and lapses for Assigned Insurance Plan policy holders which are final and occur within the first two (2) years after such policy was issued. These notices will be forwarded to the Division of Motor Vehicles within 30 days following the final termination or lapse on a form approved by the Division of Motor Vehicles."

(1) A motor vehicle owner shall, upon request of the Division of Motor Vehicles, offer proof of Insurance in full force and effect as a condition of registration or continued registration of a motor vehicle. The Division of Motor Vehicles, upon proof from its records or other sufficient evidence that the required insurance has not been provided or maintained or has terminated or otherwise lapsed at any time, shall immediately suspend the registration of the uninsured vehicle. The registration shall remain suspended until:

(1) The required insurance is obtained or replaced and the vehicle owner submits evidence of insurance on a form prescribed by the Division of Motor Vehicles and certified by the insurer or its agent; and

(2) An uninsured motorist penalty fee is paid to the Division of Motor Vehicles.

(m) (1) Within 5 days of the notice of suspension from the Division of Motor Vehicles, the owner will surrender to the Division of Motor Vehicles, the vehicle's certificate of registration and the registration plate. If the owner fails to comply within the aforementioned 5 days, the Division of Motor Vehicles shall suspend the owner's driver's license.

(2) The Division of Motor Vehicles will promulgate rules and/or regulations to cover those circumstances In which there Is an allegation of lost or stolen tags.

(3) Each insurer shall report to the Division of Motor Vehicles, within 30 days on a form prescribed by the Division of Motor Vehicles, the name of any person or persons involved In an accident or filing a claim who is alleged to have been operating a Delaware registered motor vehicle without the insurance required under this Chapter. At a minimum, the insurer shall provide the name, address and description of the vehicle alleged to be uninsured. Each insurer shall take reasonable care when reporting potential violations of this section, but in no case shall an insurer, provider or any of its employees or agents incur any liabilities for erroneous reports of a violation.

(4) In addition to any other penalty provided for in the Delaware Motor Vehicle Law, if the required insurance for a vehicle terminates or otherwise lapses during its registration year, the Division of Motor Vehicles shall assess the owner of the vehicle with a penalty of $100.00 for each vehicle without the required insurance for a period of up to thirty (30) days. When a penalty fee is assessed, beginning on the thirty-first (31) day of the penalty period, the penalty fee shall increase by a rate of $5.00 for each subsequent day until the insurance is replaced, tags are surrendered to the Division of Motor Vehicles, or the registration expires, whichever occurs first. The Division of Motor Vehicles shall also charge a registration reinstatement fee of $50.00. When the Division of Motor Vehicles assesses a vehicle owner with a penalty under this sub-section, the Division shall not reinstate a registration suspended under this section until the penalty is paid, and the owner has also paid a registration reinstatement fee of $50.00.

(n) "Insurance Identification Card" shall mean a card issued by or on behalf of an Insurance company or bonding company duly authorized to transact business in this State which states in such form as the Insurance Commissioner may prescribe or approve that such company has issued a vehicle insurance policy meeting the requirements of this Title. The Insurance Commissioner shall require all insurance companies transacting business within this State to provide with each vehicle insurance policy insurance identification Card describing the vehicle covered. The insurance identification card shall be valid for a period not to exceed 6 months. If an owner shall have filed a financial security deposit, or shall have qualified as a self-insurer, the term "Insurance Identification Card" shall mean a card issued by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner which evidences that such deposit has been filed or that such owner has so qualified.

(p) (1) The Division of Motor Vehicles shall annually select for verification on a random sample basis not less than 107. of vehicle registrations subject to the insurance required by this section. This verification will be made through the insurers as reflected in the Division's records.

(2) Any vehicle owner identified by the Division as a possible uninsured, shall submit proof of insurance within thirty (30) days of the Division's request for such proof, to the Division of Motor Vehicles on a form prescribed by the Division and certified by an treasurer or agent.

(3) The failure of a vehicle owner to submit the required proof under this section within a thirty (30) day period shall be prima facie evidence that the vehicle is uninsured and the owner shall be subject to the penalties as prescribed in sub-sections (1) and (m) of this Section.

Section 2. Amend §2118, Chapter 21 of Title 21 of the Delaware Code by adding new sub-sections to read as follows:

"(s) (1) The Division of Motor Vehicles shall periodically select for verification of the required insurance all vehicles owned, individually or jointly, by a person who has been previously convicted of violating the provisions of this sub-title.

(2) The Division of Motor Vehicles may determine the accuracy of information relating to the proof of required insurance satisfying the provisions of this section.

(t) (1) The Division of Motor Vehicles may require evidence that any motor vehicle registered in a person's name, individually or jointly, is covered by the insurance required by this Chapter, at a conference, hearing, or interview:

(i) As a result of point accumulation on the owner's motor vehicle driving record pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Division of Motor Vehicles; or;

(ii) to show cause why the person's license should not be suspended or revoked pursuant to the laws of this State or the rules and regulations of the Division of Motor Vehicles.

(2) The Division of Motor Vehicles may require evidence that any vehicle registered in a person's name, individually or jointly, is covered by the insurance required by this Chapter, at the time of reinstatement of driving privileges.

(3) The evidence of insurance shall be on a form prescribed by the Division of Motor Vehicles and certified by an insurer or its agent.

(4) Failure to submit the required proof under this Section shall be prima facie evidence that any vehicle registered in that person's name, either individually or jointly, is uninsured and the owner shall be subject to the penalties as prescribed in sub-sections (1) and (m) of this Section.

(u) (1) If a person has been issued an equipment inspection notice pursuant to Title 21, Section 2144, the person shall send within thirty (30) days to the Division of Motor Vehicles the evidence of insurance or security required by this Chapter on a form prescribed by the Division and certified by an insurer or agent.

(2) A failure to submit the evidence required by sub-section (1) shall result in the suspension of the registration of the vehicle cited and the assessment of the uninsured motorist penalty fee under this section.

(v) The Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles may adopt such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with this title, as are necessary to enforce this section.

Section 3. This Act shall be effective on July 1, 1990.

Approved February 12, 1990.