(a) If 20 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 five hundred dollars ($500), the director does not have on file evidence satisfactory that the person who would otherwise be required to file security under subsection (b) of this section has been released from liability, or has been finally adjudicated not to be liable, or has executed a duly acknowledged written agreement or conditional release providing for the payment of an agreed amount in installments with respect to all claims for injuries or damages resulting from the accident, which agreement or conditional release may include reasonable interest as set out in Section 32-7-7, the director shall determine the amount of security which shall be sufficient in his or her judgment to satisfy any judgment or judgments for damages resulting from the accident as may be recovered against each operator or owner.
(b) The director shall, within 60 days after the receipt of the 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 the accident, and if the operator is a nonresident the privilege of operating a motor vehicle within this state, and if the owner is a nonresident the privilege of the use within this state of any motor vehicle personally owned, unless the operator or owner or both shall deposit security in the sum so determined by the director. Notice of the suspension shall be sent by the director to the operator and owner, not less than 10 days prior to the effective date of the suspension, and shall state the amount required as security. Where erroneous information is given the director with respect to the matters set forth in subdivisions (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (c) of this section, he or she shall take appropriate action as provided within 60 days after receipt by the director of correct information with respect to these matters. Upon applying for reinstatement for suspension imposed under this section, no reinstatement fees shall be assessed if proper documentation is provided to the director that acceptable insurance was in effect at the time of the motor vehicle accident.
(c) This section shall not apply under the conditions stated in Section 32-7-7 nor in any one of the following if:
(1) The operator or owner if the owner had in effect at the time of the accident an automobile liability policy with respect to the motor vehicle involved in the accident.
(2) The operator, if not the owner of the motor vehicle, if there was in effect at the time of the accident an automobile liability policy or bond with respect to the operation of motor vehicles not owned by him or her.
(3) The operator or owner if the liability of the operator or owner for damages resulting from the accident is, in the judgment of the director, covered by any other form of liability insurance policy or bond.
(4) Any person qualifying as a self-insurer under Section 32-7-34, or to any person operating a motor vehicle for the self-insurer.
No 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 unless the 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. The 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 director to accept service on its behalf of notice or process in any action upon the policy or bond arising out of the accident provided, that every 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 twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of bodily injury to or death to one person in any one accident and subject to the limit for one person, to a limit of not less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) 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 twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
Last modified: May 3, 2021