SEC. 63-15-11. Requirement by department of deposit of security for damages resulting from accident generally; suspension of licenses and registrations upon failure to provide security.
(1) If twenty (20) days after the receipt of a report of a motor vehicle accident in this state which has resulted in bodily injury or death, or damage to the property of any one (1) person in excess of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00), the department does not have on file evidence satisfactory to it that the person who would otherwise be required to file security under subsection (2) of this section has been finally adjudicated not to be liable, 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, the department shall determine the amount of security which shall be sufficient in its judgment to satisfy any judgment or judgments for damages resulting from such accident as may be recovered against each operator or owner.
(2) The department shall, within sixty (60) days after the receipt of such report of a motor vehicle accident, 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 nonresident the privilege of operating a motor vehicle within this state, and if such owner is a nonresident 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 the sum so determined by the department and shall also furnish proof of financial responsibility. Notice of such suspension shall be sent by the department 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. Where erroneous information is given the department with respect to the matters set forth in subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (4) of this section, it shall take appropriate action as hereinbefore provided, within sixty (60) days after receipt by it of correct information with respect to said matters.
(3) Any person so notified of suspension may, within ten (10) days after receipt of such notification, make a written request to the department for a hearing, and such request shall operate as a stay of any suspension pending the outcome of such hearing. For the purposes of this section, the scope of such hearing shall cover the issues of whether there is a reasonable probability of a judgment being rendered against such person in a lawsuit arising out of the accident and whether such person is exempt from the requirement of depositing security under subsection (4) of this section. At such hearing the department may also consider the amount of security required to be deposited, if any. The hearing shall be in accordance with rules and regulations which shall be adopted by the department and furnished to the operator or owner with the notice of suspension. For the purposes of this section, a "hearing" may consist of a determination of such issues by the department based solely on written reports submitted by the operator or owner and by investigatory officers, provided that the owner or operator, in his request to the department for a hearing, has expressly consented to such type hearing and that the department has consented thereto.
Any person whose suspension has been sustained shall have the right to appeal as provided in section 63-15-7. However, such suspension shall not be stayed by the department or any court while such appeal is pending.
(4) Subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall not apply: (1) to such operator or owner if such owner had in effect at the time of such accident a liability policy with respect to the motor vehicle involved in such accident; (2) to such operator, if not the owner of such motor vehicle, if there was in effect at the time of such accident a liability policy with respect to his operation of motor vehicles not owned by him; (3) 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 department, covered by any other form of liability insurance policy or bond of a surety company authorized to do business in this state; (4) to any person qualifying as a self-insurer under section 63-15-53, or to any person operating a motor vehicle for such self-insurer; (5) to the operator or the owner of a motor vehicle legally parked at the time of the accident; (6) to the owner of a motor vehicle if at the time of the accident the vehicle was stolen; or (7) to any person for whom the department has found in the hearing provided for in subsection (3) of this section, that there is not a reasonable probability of a judgment being rendered against such person in a lawsuit arising out of the accident.
No such policy shall be effective under this section unless issued by an insurance company or surety company authorized to write motor vehicle liability insurance 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 the most recent renewal thereof, such policy 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 department to accept service on its behalf of notice or process in any action upon such policy arising out of such accident. However, every such policy shall be subject, if the accident has resulted in bodily injury or death, to a limit, exclusive of interest and cost, of not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) because of bodily injury to or death of one (1) person in any one (1) accident and, subject to said limit for one (1) person, to a limit of not less than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000.00) because of bodily injury to or death of two (2) or more persons in any one (1) accident, and if the accident has resulted in injury to or destruction of property, to a limit of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one (1) accident.
SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 8285-05; Laws, 1952, ch. 359, Sec. 5; 1960, ch. 411, Sec. 1; 1970, ch. 487, Sec. 1; 1972, ch. 349, Sec. 2; 1980, ch. 488, Sec. 1, eff from and after July 1, 1980.