CHAPTER 267*
UNIFORM AIRCRAFT FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT

      *See Sec. 15-71b for applicable definitions.

Table of Contents

Sec. 15-102. Definitions.
Sec. 15-103. Hearings; appeals.
Sec. 15-104. Report of accident.
Sec. 15-105. Security and suspension requirements. Exceptions. Waiver. Modification.
Sec. 15-106. Policy or bond requirements.
Sec. 15-107. Requirements for restoration or renewal of operating privileges.
Sec. 15-108. Self-insurance.
Sec. 15-109. Reciprocity for enforcement.
Sec. 15-110. Form and amount of security.
Sec. 15-111. Custody and release of security.
Sec. 15-112. Records and proceedings inadmissible as evidence.
Secs. 15-113 and 15-114. Transfer of registration under suspension. Surrender of registration certificate during suspension.
Sec. 15-115. Failure to report; false statement.
Sec. 15-116. Exception of aircraft of government or public air carrier.
Sec. 15-117. Effective date.
Sec. 15-118. Other remedies available.
Sec. 15-119. Discharge in bankruptcy.
Sec. 15-120. Uniformity of interpretation.
Secs. 15-120a to 15-120f.

      Sec. 15-102. Definitions. Terms used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, shall have the meanings assigned to them by section 15-34, and as follows:

      (a) "Judgment" means any judgment which has 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 claim for damages suffered by a claimant arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of any aircraft, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to or death of any person or injury to or destruction of property, including the loss of use thereof, or upon an agreement of settlement for such damages.

      (b) "Nonresident's operating privilege" means the privilege conferred upon a nonresident by the law of this state pertaining to the operation by him of an aircraft, or the use of an aircraft owned by him, in this state.

      (c) "Operator" means any person who is exercising actual physical control of an aircraft.

      (d) "Owner" means any of the following persons who may be legally responsible for the operation of an aircraft: (1) A person who holds the legal title to an aircraft; (2) a lessee of an aircraft; (3) a conditional vendee, a trustee under a trust receipt and a mortgagor or other person holding an aircraft subject to a security interest.

      (e) "Passenger" means any person in, on or boarding an aircraft for the purpose of riding therein, or alighting therefrom following a flight or attempted flight therein.

      (f) Repealed by June, 1972, P.A. 1, S. 8.

      (g) "Resident's operating privilege" means the privilege conferred upon a resident by the law of this state pertaining to the operation by him of an aircraft, or the use of an aircraft owned by him, in this state.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 194; 1972, P.A. 207, S. 11; June, 1972, P.A. 1, S. 8.)

      History: 1969 act replaced department of aeronautics with commissioner of transportation in Subsec. (f); 1972 acts repealed Subsec. (f) which had defined "registration".

      Cited. 194 C. 129.

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      Sec. 15-103. Hearings; appeals. The Commissioner of Transportation shall provide for hearings upon request of any person who may be affected by his orders or acts under the provisions of this chapter and may provide for a stay thereof until a hearing is had. Any person aggrieved by any order or act of the commissioner hereunder may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 2; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 195; 1971, P.A. 870, S. 105; P.A. 76-436, S. 354, 681; P.A. 77-603, S. 11, 125.)

      History: 1969 act replaced department of aeronautics with commissioner of transportation; 1971 act replaced superior court with court of common pleas, effective September 1, 1971, except that courts with cases pending retain jurisdiction unless pending matters deemed transferable; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-603 replaced previous provisions re appeal procedure with requirement that appeals be made in accordance with Sec. 4-183.

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      Sec. 15-104. Report of accident. (a) The operator of any aircraft involved in an accident within this state in which any person is killed or injured or damage in excess of one thousand dollars is sustained to the property of any person, other than property owned by the owner or operator or in his care, custody or control or carried in or on the aircraft, shall immediately but not later than fourteen calendar days after the accident report the matter in writing to the Commissioner of Transportation. If the operator is physically incapable of making the report, the owner of the aircraft involved in the accident shall immediately but not later than fourteen calendar days after learning of the accident make the report. If neither the operator nor the owner is physically capable of making the report, then each passenger shall, within ten days after learning of the incapacity of the operator or owner, make the report. If the owner or operator dies as a result of the accident, the legal representative of the operator or owner shall make the report within ten days after his qualification. The state police shall notify the commissioner thereof in writing immediately but not later than fourteen calendar days after learning of the accident.

      (b) The report, the form of which shall be prescribed by the commissioner, shall include information to enable the commissioner to determine whether the requirements for the deposit of security under section 15-105 are inapplicable by reason of the existence of insurance or other exceptions specified in this chapter. The commissioner may rely upon the accuracy of the information until he has reason to believe that the information is erroneous.

      (c) The operator and the owner shall furnish such additional information as the commissioner may require.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 3; February, 1965, P.A. 468, S. 2; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 196; P.A. 77-614, S. 486, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 85-110, S. 2.)

      History: 1965 act raised reportable amount in Subsec. (a) from $100 to $300; 1969 act replaced "department", referring to aeronautics department, with "commissioner of transportation" or "commissioner"; P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 made state police department a division within the department of public safety, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 85-110 amended Subsec. (a) by increasing the amount of damage necessary to require the operator of an aircraft involved in an accident in this state to report the matter to the commissioner of transportation from $300 to $1,000, and by increasing the period during which such report is required to be submitted from 48 hours after the accident to 14 calendar days after the accident.

      See Sec. 15-71a re reporting of accidents involving aircraft.

      See Sec. 15-115 re penalty for failure to make report or for false statement or misrepresentation in report.


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      Sec. 15-105. Security and suspension requirements. Exceptions. Waiver. Modification. (a) As promptly as practicable but not later than thirty days after receipt of an accident report as required in section 15-104, the commissioner shall determine by an order entered of record (1) the amount of security within the limits specified in section 15-106, which he deems sufficient to satisfy any judgment for damages resulting from the accident which may be recovered against each owner or operator, and (2) the name and address of each claimant.

      (b) As promptly as practicable but not later than thirty days after the entry of the order required by subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner, unless there is deposited for the benefit of the owner or operator or both, as the case may be, security in the sum so determined by the commissioner, upon ten days' notification shall suspend: (1) The operating privilege of the owner and of all aircraft owned by him; (2) the operating privilege of the operator.

      (c) The requirements as to security and suspension do not apply: (1) To the operator or the owner of the aircraft if the commissioner determines upon satisfactory evidence that he is not charged with responsibility for the accident by the claimants, or to the operator of an aircraft involved in an accident in which no injury was caused to the person of anyone other than the operator, and no damage in excess of three hundred dollars was caused to property not owned, rented, occupied or used by such operator nor in his care, custody or control nor carried in or on the aircraft; (2) to the operator or owner of an aircraft if at the time of the accident the aircraft was stationary, without passengers thereon or boarding the aircraft or alighting therefrom and the aircraft was parked in an area legally used for aircraft parking with no engine running nor in the process of being started; (3) to the owner of an aircraft if at the time of the accident the aircraft was being operated, or was parked, without his permission, express or implied; (4) to the owner if there is in effect at the time of the accident an aircraft liability policy or bond with respect to the aircraft involved in the accident; (5) to the operator, if not the owner of the aircraft, if there is in effect at the time of the accident an aircraft liability policy or bond with respect to his operation of the aircraft involved in the accident; (6) to the operator or owner if his liability for damages resulting from such accident is covered by any other form of liability insurance policy or bond in effect at the time of the accident; (7) to any person qualifying as a self-insurer under section 15-108, or to any person operating an aircraft for the self-insurer for whose acts the self-insurer is legally responsible; nor (8) after there is filed with the commissioner satisfactory evidence that the person otherwise required to deposit security has (i) been released from liability; or (ii) been adjudicated not to be liable by judgment, or (iii) executed a written agreement with all claimants providing for payment of an agreed amount with respect to all claims for injuries or damages resulting from the accident.

      (d) The requirements as to suspension may be waived by the commissioner, in his discretion, if there is filed with the commissioner by all claimants consent in writing that the person hereunder chargeable be allowed continuing operating privilege. If such waiver is granted by the commissioner, it shall continue for six months from the date of the consent and thereafter unless the consent is revoked in writing.

      (e) The commissioner may take the actions authorized hereby or may modify or rescind the same at any time necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter upon ten days' notification of the persons affected thereby.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 4; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 197; 1972, P.A. 207, S. 6.)

      History: 1969 act replaced "department", referring to aeronautics department, with "commissioner", referring to commissioner of transportation; 1972 act removed provisions distinguishing between resident and nonresident owners in Subdivs. (2) and (3) of Subsec. (b), deleted Subdiv. (1) and renumbered (2) and (3) accordingly.

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      Sec. 15-106. Policy or bond requirements. (a) A policy or bond is not effective under section 15-105 unless: (1) Issued by an insurer or surety company authorized to do business in this state; or (2) issued by an insurer or surety company not authorized to do business in this state but found by the Insurance Commissioner to afford adequate protection and which has filed or shall file with the Insurance Commissioner a power of attorney authorizing the Insurance Commissioner to accept service on its behalf of notice or process in any action upon the policy or bond arising out of such accident; (3) if the accident results in bodily injury to or death of a person not a passenger, the policy or bond provides coverage of not less than ten thousand dollars because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any accident and twenty thousand dollars because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident; (4) if the accident involves an aircraft being operated for hire and the accident results in bodily injury to or death of a passenger, the policy or bond provides coverage of not less than twenty thousand dollars because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and not less than twenty thousand dollars multiplied by the number of passenger seats in the aircraft because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident; (5) if the accident involves an aircraft not being operated for hire and the accident results in bodily injury to or death of a passenger, the policy or bond provides coverage of not less than ten thousand dollars because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and not less than ten thousand dollars multiplied by the number of passenger seats in the aircraft because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident; (6) if the accident results in damage to or destruction of property the policy or bond provides coverage of not less than ten thousand dollars because of damage to or destruction of property in any one accident with the exception of the following property which is exempted from the security required under this chapter: Property owned, rented, occupied or used by, or in the care, custody or control of, the owner or operator or carried in or on the aircraft.

      (b) The policy or bond need not cover: (1) Any liability on account of bodily injury to or death of any employee of the owner or operator while the employee is engaged in the duties of his employment; or (2) any obligation for which the owner or operator or his insurer may be held liable under any workers' compensation law.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 5; 1961, P.A. 26; P.A. 77-614, S. 163, 610; P.A. 79-376, S. 18; P.A. 80-482, S. 38, 348.)

      History: 1961 act substituted "insurance commissioner" for department in Subsec. (a) (2); P.A. 77-614 placed insurance commissioner within the department of business regulation and made insurance department a division of that department, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-376 replaced "workmen's compensation" with "workers' compensation"; P.A. 80-482 deleted reference to abolished department of business regulation, restoring division of insurance as an independent department with commissioner as its head.

      See Sec. 15-87 re service of process against nonresident owners and operators.

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      Sec. 15-107. Requirements for restoration or renewal of operating privileges. Operating privileges suspended as provided in section 15-105 shall not be restored or renewed until: (a) Security is deposited as required under section 15-105; or (b) two years have elapsed following the date of such suspension and satisfactory evidence is filed with the commissioner that during such period no action for damages arising out of the accident has been instituted; or (c) satisfactory evidence is filed with the commissioner of a release from liability, or a judgment of nonliability as to all persons damaged or injured in the accident, or a written agreement executed with all claimants providing for payment of an agreed amount with respect to all claims for injuries and damages resulting from the accident. If there is a default in payment under such written agreement, then upon ten days' notification of the owner or operator, the commissioner shall suspend the operating privilege of such person defaulting and the same shall not be restored unless and until (1) such person deposits and thereafter maintains security as required under section 15-105 in such amount as the commissioner may then determine, within the limits provided in section 15-106, or (2) two years have elapsed following the time when such security was required upon default and during such period no action upon the agreement has been instituted in a court of this state; or (d) satisfactory evidence is filed with the commissioner that any judgment against such person for damages resulting from the accident has been satisfied in full or that there has been paid thereon an amount equal to the applicable limits set forth in section 15-106; or (e) written consent thereto has been filed with the commissioner by all claimants and the same is approved by the commissioner in his discretion.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 6; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 198; 1971, P.A. 146, S. 3; 1972, P.A. 207, S. 7.)

      History: 1969 act replaced "department", referring to aeronautics department, with "commissioner", referring to commissioner of transportation; 1971 act required that two years, rather than one year, elapse before restoration of registration or operating privilege from time of suspension or of security requirement; 1972 act deleted references to registrations and nonresidents.

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      Sec. 15-108. Self-insurance. (a) Any person may at any time apply to the commissioner for a certificate of self-insurance, whether or not there has occurred an accident as a result of which he might be affected by some other provision of this chapter.

      (b) The commissioner may issue a certificate of self-insurance when satisfied that the applicant is possessed and will continue to be possessed of ability to pay judgments against him within the limits provided in this chapter.

      (c) Upon not less than ten days' notification of a self-insurer the commissioner may for reasonable cause cancel a certificate of self-insurance and shall cancel such certificate upon failure of a self-insurer to pay any judgment within thirty days.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 7; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 199.)

      History: 1969 act replaced "department", referring to aeronautics department, with "commissioner", referring to commissioner of transportation.

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      Sec. 15-109. Reciprocity for enforcement. (a) When a nonresident's operating privilege is suspended pursuant to section 15-105 or 15-107, the commissioner shall transmit a certified copy of the record of such action to the official or department regulating the operation of aircraft in the state in which the nonresident resides, if the law of the other state provides for action in relation thereto, similar to that provided for in subsection (b) of this section.

      (b) Upon receipt of a certification that the operating privilege of a resident of this state has been suspended or revoked in any other state pursuant to a law providing for its suspension or revocation for failure to deposit security for the payment of judgments arising out of an aircraft accident, under circumstances which would require the commissioner to suspend a nonresident's operating privilege had the accident occurred in this state, the commissioner upon ten days' notification to the resident shall suspend the right of such resident to operate any aircraft in this state if he was the operator of an aircraft involved in the accident or if he was the owner of an aircraft involved in the accident and was legally responsible for its operation and shall suspend the right of such owner to permit the operation of such aircraft in this state. The suspension shall continue until the resident furnishes evidence of his compliance with the security requirements of the law of the other state.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 8; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 200; 1972, P.A. 207, S. 8.)

      History: 1969 act replaced "department", referring to aeronautics department, with "commissioner", referring to commissioner of transportation; 1972 act deleted Subsec. (a) re involvement in accident in this state of person having no registration or nonresident as grounds for refusal of registration or operating privilege, relettered remaining Subsecs. accordingly, replaced "registration" with reference to right to operate in Subsec. (b), formerly (c), and allowed suspension of right to permit operation as well as of right to operate.

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      Sec. 15-110. Form and amount of security. (a) The security required under this chapter shall be cash or securities permissible under state law as security for deposit of state funds and in such amount as the commissioner may require but in no case in excess of the limits specified in section 15-106 in reference to the limits of a policy or bond. If at the time of the accident there is in effect a liability policy or a bond meeting the requisites of this chapter other than amount of coverage set forth in section 15-106, the commissioner may consider such policy or bond in fixing the amount of security. 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 State Treasurer, the person depositing it may, upon approval of the commissioner, amend in writing the specification of the person or persons on whose behalf the deposit is made to include an additional person or persons; provided a single deposit of security shall be applicable only on behalf of persons required to furnish security because of the same accident. Interest and other income upon securities deposited as herein provided shall be paid or inure to the benefit of the person making the deposit.

      (b) Upon ten days' notification of the parties concerned, the commissioner may reduce or, within the limits specified in sections 15-106, increase the amount of security ordered in any case if in his discretion the amount ordered is excessive or insufficient. In case the security originally ordered has been deposited, the excess shall be returned to the depositor notwithstanding the provisions of section 15-111. Substitution of security shall be permitted.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 9; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 201.)

      History: 1969 act replaced "department", i.e. aeronautics department, with "commissioner", i.e. commissioner of transportation.

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      Sec. 15-111. Custody and release of security. Security deposited in compliance with the requirements of this chapter shall be delivered to the commissioner and shall be placed by him in the custody of the State Treasurer and shall be released only: (a) Upon a certificate of the commissioner in the payment of a judgment rendered against the person or persons on whose behalf the deposit was made, for damages arising out of the accident in a civil action begun not later than two years after the date of the accident or within two years after the date of deposit of any security under subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of section 15-107, or in the payment of a settlement, agreed to by the depositor and all the claimants, of a claim or claims arising out of the accident; (b) upon a certificate of the commissioner issued after ten days' notification of all claimants upon evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that all claims arising from such accident have been satisfied by either (1) a release from liability, or (2) a judgment of nonliability, or (3) a written agreement in accordance with subdivision (8) of subsection (c) of section 15-105, or whenever after the expiration of two years from the time of the accident or from the date of deposit of any security under subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of section 15-107, the commissioner is given satisfactory evidence that there is no such action pending and that no judgment rendered in any such action is unpaid; (c) upon the certificate of the commissioner that other security, complying with subsection (a) of section 15-110 and satisfactory in form, character and amount, has been deposited with it in lieu of the original security deposited hereunder.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 10; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 202; 1971, P.A. 146, S. 4.)

      History: 1969 act replaced "department", i.e. aeronautics department, with "commissioner", i.e. commissioner of transportation; 1971 act allowed release of security after two years, rather than one year, from date of accident or deposit of security.

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      Sec. 15-112. Records and proceedings inadmissible as evidence. The records of and proceedings before the commissioner and the State Treasurer shall be inadmissible in evidence and shall not be referred to at the trial of any civil action or criminal proceeding. Subject to the foregoing provisions, the commissioner shall, upon written request, make available to persons whose legal rights may be affected thereby, information and material developed in the course of his administration of this chapter.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 11; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 203.)

      History: 1969 act replaced "department", i.e. aeronautics department with "commissioner", i.e. commissioner of transportation.

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      Secs. 15-113 and 15-114. Transfer of registration under suspension. Surrender of registration certificate during suspension. Sections 15-113 and 15-114 are repealed.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 12, 13; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 204, 205; 1972, P.A. 108, S. 2; 207, S. 11; June, 1972, P.A. 1, S. 8.)

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      Sec. 15-115. Failure to report; false statement. (a) Any owner or operator who knowingly refuses or fails to make any report of an accident as required in section 15-104 shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars, and if any person is killed or injured in such accident, the commissioner shall, in addition, suspend the operating privilege of the person failing to make such report, until such report is filed and for such further period not to exceed thirty days as the commissioner may fix.

      (b) Any owner or operator who knowingly makes a false statement or representation of a material fact in a report to or written instrument filed with the commissioner shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than ninety days or both.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 14; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 206; 1972, P.A. 207, S. 9.)

      History: 1969 act replaced "department", i.e. aeronautics department, with "commissioner", i.e. commissioner of transportation; 1972 act deleted references to registrations and nonresidents in Subsec. (a) and deleted Subsec. (c) re penalty for failure to return registrations.

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      Sec. 15-116. Exception of aircraft of government or public air carrier. This chapter shall not apply to: (a) Any aircraft owned and operated by or leased to and subject to the sole control of the United States or any civil or military agency of the United States, or the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any possession of the United States; (b) any aircraft owned and operated by or leased to and subject to the sole control of this or any other state or agency thereof or any political subdivision or municipality of this or any other state; (c) any aircraft owned and operated by or leased to and subject to the sole control of any foreign country or any civil or military agency thereof or any political subdivision or municipality thereof; (d) any aircraft owned or being operated by a public air carrier engaged principally in regularly scheduled interstate or foreign air transportation for hire under either a federal certificate of public convenience and necessity or under a letter of registration or exemption order issued by the Civil Aeronautics Board or its successor.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 15.)

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      Sec. 15-117. Effective date. Section 15-117 is repealed, effective October 1, 2002.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 16; S.A. 02-12, S. 1.)

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      Sec. 15-118. Other remedies available. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as precluding any party in any action or proceeding from employing other processes provided by law. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as precluding the utilization by the department of the injunctive or other processes of the courts in aid of the enforcement of this chapter.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 17.)

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      Sec. 15-119. Discharge in bankruptcy. A discharge in bankruptcy shall not relieve any person from the requirements of this chapter.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 18.)

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      Sec. 15-120. Uniformity of interpretation. This chapter shall be so interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the laws of those states which enact it.

      (1959, P.A. 488, S. 19.)

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      Secs. 15-120a to 15-120f. Reserved for future use.

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