TITLE 21

Motor Vehicles

Registration, Title and Licenses

CHAPTER 29. MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY—RESPONSIBILITY

Subchapter III. Proof of Future Responsibility


(a) Whenever any person fails to satisfy any judgment within 60 days of its issuance, the court that issued the judgment shall, upon motion of the holder of the judgment, forward a certified copy of such judgment to the Secretary of Transportation.

(b) If the defendant named in any certified copy of a judgment reported to the Secretary of Transportation is a nonresident, the Secretary of Transportation shall transmit a certified copy of the judgment to the official in charge of the issuance of licenses of the state of which the defendant is a resident.

(c) For purposes of this subchapter "judgment" shall mean any civil judgment for money damages arising out of an event or transaction involving motor vehicle accident.

Code 1935, § 5712B; 48 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 2; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 2941; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 12A; 60 Del. Laws, c. 433, § 5; 66 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, § 70; 76 Del. Laws, c. 265, §§ 1, 2.;

(a) The Secretary of Transportation, upon receipt of a certified copy of a judgment, shall forthwith suspend the license and any nonresident's operating privilege of any person against whom such judgment was rendered, except as otherwise provided in this section and in § 2945 of this title.

(b) The Secretary of Transportation may allow license or nonresident operating privileges to a judgment debtor, providing there is no default in the payment of such judgment or that installments thereof prescribed in § 2945 of this title are not in default, and providing the judgment debtor has furnished proof of financial responsibility.

(c) Any person whose license or nonresident's operating privilege has been suspended or is about to be suspended or becomes subject to suspension under this chapter may be relieved from the effect of such judgment as prescribed in this chapter, by filing with the Secretary of Transportation 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 Secretary of Transportation 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 Secretary of Transportation 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 chapter, the Secretary of Transportation shall not suspend such license or nonresident's operating privilege, or, if already suspended, shall reinstate them.

(d) In the event that a person has had that person's license suspended for nonpayment of a judgment under this section, the Department after the lapse of 10 years from the entry of the judgment may issue a new license provided that such person shall have produced proof of liability insurance coverage or other evidence of financial responsibility, in an amount and of such character as shall be satisfactory to the Secretary of Transportation.

Code 1935, § 5712C; 48 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 2; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 2942; 55 Del. Laws, c. 406; 57 Del. Laws, c. 89; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 12A; 60 Del. Laws, c. 433, §§ 6-8; 66 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, §§ 71-74.;

The license and nonresident's operating privilege suspended pursuant to § 2942 of this title shall remain suspended and shall not be renewed nor shall any such license 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 provided in this subchapter, and until such person gives proof of financial responsibility subject to the exemptions stated in §§ 2942 and 2945 of this title.

Code 1935, § 5712D; 48 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 2; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 2943; 60 Del. Laws, c. 433, § 9; 66 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1.;

The judgments referred to in this subchapter shall, for the purposes of this chapter only, be deemed satisfied:

(1) When $15,000 has been credited upon any judgment or judgments rendered in excess of that amount because of bodily injury to or death of 1 person as the result of any 1 accident; or

(2) When, subject to such limit of $15,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 1 person, the sum of $30,000 has been credited upon any judgment or judgments rendered in excess of that amount because of bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons as the result of any 1 accident; or

(3) When $10,000 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 1 accident.

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.

Code 1935, § 5712E; 48 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 2; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 2944; 50 Del. Laws, c. 456, § 3; 61 Del. Laws, c. 292, § 6; 64 Del. Laws, c. 198, §§ 4-6.;

(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, at 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 Secretary of Transportation shall not suspend a license or a nonresident's operating privilege for nonpayment of a judgment when the judgment debtor gives proof of financial responsibility and obtains 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, the Secretary of Transportation, upon notice of such default, shall forthwith suspend the license or nonresident's operating privilege of the judgment debtor until such judgment is satisfied as provided in this subchapter.

Code 1935, § 5712F; 48 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 2; 21 Del. C. 1953,§ 2945; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 12A; 66 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, §§ 75, 76.;

Proof of financial responsibility when required under this chapter, may be given by filing a:

(1) Certificate of insurance as provided in § 2948 or § 2949 of this title; or

(2) Bond as provided in § 2950 of this title; or

(3) Certificate of deposit of money or securities as provided in § 2951 of this title; or

(4) Statement from an insurance carrier certifying that there is in effect a motor vehicle liability policy covering the operator or vehicle as required by this chapter.

Code 1935, § 5712H; 48 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 2; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 2947; 62 Del. Laws, c. 77, § 2.;

(a) Proof of financial responsibility may be furnished by filing with the Secretary 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 certificate.

Code 1935, § 5712I; 48 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 2; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 2948.;

(a) The nonresident owner of a motor vehicle not registered in this State may give proof of financial responsibility by filing with the Secretary 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 nonresident does not own a motor vehicle, then in the state in which the insured resides, provided such certificate otherwise conforms to this chapter, and the Secretary shall accept the same upon condition that said insurance carrier complies with the following provisions with respect to the policies so certified:

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

(2) Such 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, and which has qualified to furnish proof of financial responsibility, defaults in any said undertakings or agreements, the Secretary 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.

Code 1935, § 5712J; 48 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 2; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 2949; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 12A.;

(a) Proof of financial responsibility may be evidenced by the bond of a surety company authorized to transact business within this State or a bond with at least 2 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. The real estate shall be scheduled in the bond approved by a judge of a court of record, and the bond shall be conditioned for payment of the amounts specified in the definition of "proof of financial responsibility" contained in § 101 of this title. Such bond shall be filed with the Secretary of Transportation and shall not be cancellable except after 10 days' written notice to the Secretary of Transportation. 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 Secretary of Transportation in the office of the prothonotary of any county in the State wherein any such real estate is located. The prothonotary shall enter such lien in an appropriate docket kept by the prothonotary for that purpose.

(b) If such judgment rendered against the principal on such bond is not satisfied within 60 days after it has become final, the judgment creditor may, for the judgment creditor's own use and benefit and at the judgment creditor's 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 Chapter 75 of Title 10.

Code 1935, § 5712N; 48 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 2; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 2950; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 12A; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, § 77.;

(a) Proof of financial responsibility may be evidenced by the certificate of the State Treasurer that the person named therein has deposited with the State Treasurer $40,000 in cash or securities such as may legally be purchased by savings banks or for trust funds of a market value of $40,000. The State Treasurer shall not accept any such deposit nor issue a certificate therefor and the Secretary of Transportation 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.

(b) Such deposit shall be held by the State Treasurer to satisfy, in accordance with this chapter, 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.

Code 1935, § 5712O; 48 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 2; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 2951; 50 Del. Laws, c. 456, § 4; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 12A; 64 Del. Laws, c. 198, § 7; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, § 78.;

The Secretary of Transportation shall consent to the cancellation of any bond or certificate of insurance or the Secretary of Transportation shall direct the return of, 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 chapter.

Code 1935, § 5712Q; 48 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 2; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 2953; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 12A; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, § 79.;

Whenever any proof of financial responsibility filed under this chapter no longer fulfills the purposes for which it is required, the Secretary of Transportation shall, for the purpose of this chapter, require other proof as required by this chapter and shall suspend the license or the nonresident's operating privilege pending the filing of such other proof.

Code 1935, § 5712R; 48 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 2; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 2954; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 12A; 66 Del. Laws, c. 274, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, § 80.;