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House Bill No. 5963

Public Act No. 17-114

AN ACT INCREASING THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF INSURANCE COVERAGE REQUIRED TO ISSUE A MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATOR'S LICENSE OR CERTIFICATE OF MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 14-112 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2018, and applicable to automobile liability insurance policies delivered, issued for delivery, renewed, amended or endorsed in this state on or after January 1, 2018):

(a) To entitle any person to receive or retain a motor vehicle operator's license or a certificate of registration of any motor vehicle when, in the opinion of the commissioner, such person has a record on file with the commissioner which is sufficient, in the opinion of the commissioner, to require evidence of financial responsibility for the reasonable protection of other persons, the commissioner shall require from such person proof of financial responsibility to satisfy any claim for damages by reason of personal injury to, or the death of, any one person, of [twenty] twenty-five thousand dollars, or by reason of personal injury to, or the death of, more than one person on account of any accident, of at least [forty] fifty thousand dollars, and for damage to property of at least [ten] twenty-five thousand dollars. When the commissioner requires proof of financial responsibility from an operator or owner of any motor vehicle, he may require proof in the amounts herein specified for each vehicle operated or owned by such person. If any person fails to furnish such proof, the commissioner shall, until such proof is furnished, suspend or revoke the license of such person to operate a motor vehicle or refuse to return any license which has been suspended or revoked in accordance with the provisions of section 14-111 or suspend or revoke the registration of any such motor vehicle or vehicles or refuse thereafter to register any motor vehicle owned by such person or refuse to register any motor vehicle transferred by [him] such person if it does not appear to the commissioner's satisfaction that such transfer is a bona fide sale, or, if such person is not a resident of this state, withdraw from such person the privilege of operating any motor vehicle in this state and the privilege of operation within this state of any motor vehicle owned by [him] such person. Prior to such suspension, revocation or withdrawal, notice thereof shall be given by the commissioner by a notice forwarded by bulk certified mail to the address of such person as shown by the records of the commissioner. No appeal taken from the judgment of any court shall act as a stay to any action of the commissioner authorized by the provisions of this section.

(b) Such proof of financial responsibility shall be furnished as is satisfactory to the commissioner and may be evidence of the insuring of the named insured or resident relative of the named insured against loss on account of [his] legal liability of the named insured or resident relative of the named insured for injury to or the death of persons and damage to property in the respective amounts provided by this section in the form of a certificate signed by any person authorized in writing by an officer of any company authorized to issue such insurance in this state or any agent of such company licensed under the provisions of section 38a-769, showing that a policy of insurance in such amounts, noncancellable except after ten days' written notice to the commissioner, has been issued to the person furnishing such proof and no insurance company or insurance agent shall refuse to make such filing of evidence of insurance during the time such insurance company has a valid policy in force covering the named insured or resident relative of the named insured and such company may charge a fee not to exceed ten dollars for such filing; or such proof may be the bond of a surety company or a bond with individual surety owning real estate, which bond shall be conditioned for the payment of such amounts and shall not be cancellable except after ten days' written notice to the commissioner. Such bond shall constitute a lien in favor of the state upon the real estate of any surety, which lien shall exist in favor of any holder of a judgment on account of damage caused by the operation of such person's motor vehicle, upon the filing of notice to that effect by the commissioner in the town clerk's office in the town where such real estate is located. Such proof of financial responsibility may also be evidence presented to the commissioner of a deposit by such person with the State Treasurer of a sum of money or collateral, the amount of which money or collateral shall be determined by and shall be satisfactory to the commissioner. The State Treasurer shall accept any such deposit and issue a receipt therefor, and, if such deposit is a sum of money, the state shall pay interest thereon if so directed by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management at a rate not greater than the amount received by the state. The Treasurer may deposit any money so received in any incorporated savings bank located in this state. Whenever any agent of an insurance company certifies to evidence of the insuring of any person, from whom proof of financial responsibility has been required, by the company for which such agent is authorized to solicit, negotiate or effect contracts of insurance, such company shall notify the commissioner of the cancellation or termination of the policy referred to in such certificate at least ten days before the effective date of such cancellation or termination, provided such notice shall not be required if such policy is renewed by such company, and provided a policy subsequently procured and referred to in a certificate filed with the commissioner shall, on the effective date of such policy, terminate the policy referred to in any certificate previously filed with respect to any motor vehicles designated in both certificates or, in case of an operator's policy, with respect to any operator designated in both certificates. Additional evidence of financial responsibility shall, upon request by the commissioner, be furnished to the commissioner. [at any time upon his request therefor.]

(c) Such bond, money or collateral shall be held by the commissioner or Treasurer, as the case may be, to satisfy any execution issued against such person in any cause arising out of damage caused by the operation of any motor vehicle owned or operated by such person. Money or collateral so deposited shall not be subject to attachment or execution unless such attachment or execution arises out of an action for damages, including personal injury or death, as a result of the operation of any motor vehicle. Any person who furnishes proof of financial responsibility by a deposit of money or collateral shall, upon the service of any writ or summons arising out of any action for damages including personal injury or death caused by the operation of any motor vehicle, give written notice of such service to the commissioner, who shall require that additional evidence of financial responsibility be furnished to satisfy any judgment in any other action. If a judgment rendered against the principal on a surety or real estate bond is not satisfied within thirty days after its rendition, the judgment creditor may, for [his] the judgment creditor's own use and benefit and at [his] the judgment creditor's sole expense, bring an action in the name of the state against the company or person executing such bond. A reasonable sum, not exceeding ten dollars, shall be charged for such investigation of the title of any surety's real estate or of collateral so deposited and of the value of the same and for the filing fee to be paid to the town clerk.

(d) Repealed by P.A. 73-549, S. 2, 4.

(e) The commissioner shall furnish any person who may have been injured in person or property by any motor vehicle, upon written request, with such information as has been furnished to [him] the commissioner as evidence of the financial responsibility of any operator or owner of any motor vehicle.

(f) Any operator or any registrant whose operator's license or certificate of registration has been suspended as herein provided or whose policy of liability insurance or surety bond has been cancelled or who fails to furnish additional evidence of financial responsibility upon request of the commissioner, shall immediately return to the commissioner such operator's certificate of registration and the number plate or plates issued thereunder. Failure to return such certificate and such number plate or plates shall be an infraction.

(g) The commissioner may cancel such bond or return such evidence of financial responsibility or the Treasurer may, with the consent of the commissioner, return such money or collateral to the person furnishing the same, provided one year shall have elapsed from the date of the suspension of such license during which period such person has not, in the opinion of the commissioner, violated any provision of the motor vehicle laws referred to in subsection (a) of this section. The commissioner may direct the return of any money or collateral to the person who furnished the same upon the acceptance and substitution of other evidence of financial responsibility or at any time after one year from the expiration of any registration or license issued to such person.

(h) Any person who forges or, without authority, signs any evidence of financial responsibility required by the commissioner in the administration of this section shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor.

(i) Any person from whom proof of financial responsibility has been required may, at the end of twelve months, apply to the commissioner for removal of such requirements in a manner as determined by the commissioner. The commissioner or [his] the commissioner's authorized representative may make such further investigation as may be deemed necessary and, upon being satisfied that such applicant is entitled to such elimination of financial requirements, may eliminate the same.

(j) To entitle any person to receive or retain a motor vehicle operator's license or a certificate of registration of any motor vehicle when, in the opinion of the commissioner, such person has violated any of the provisions of the following-named sections and subsections: Section 14-44, section 14-80h or 14-80i, sections 14-110, 14-147, 14-217, 14-219, sections 14-228, 14-275 to 14-281, inclusive, or subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 53a-123 or any similar provision of the laws of any other state or any territory, or who has been convicted of, or has forfeited any bond taken for appearance for, or has received a suspended judgment or sentence for, a violation of any of said provisions, or a violation of any of the provisions of sections 14-230 to 14-247, inclusive, and 38a-371, within a twelve-month period following a violation of any of said sections, the commissioner may require from such person proof of financial responsibility to satisfy any claim for damages by reason of personal injury to, or the death of, any one person, of [twenty] twenty-five thousand dollars, or by reason of personal injury to, or the death of, more than one person on account of any accident, of at least [forty] fifty thousand dollars, and for damage to property of at least [ten] twenty-five thousand dollars. When the commissioner requires proof of financial responsibility from an operator or owner of any motor vehicle, he may require proof in the amounts herein specified for each vehicle operated or owned by such person. If any person fails to furnish such proof, the commissioner shall, until such proof is furnished, suspend or revoke the license of such person to operate a motor vehicle or refuse to return any license which has been suspended or revoked in accordance with the provisions of section 14-111 or suspend or revoke the registration of any such motor vehicle or vehicles or refuse thereafter to register any motor vehicle owned by such person or refuse to register any motor vehicle transferred by [him] such person if it does not appear to the commissioner's satisfaction that such transfer is a bona fide sale, or, if such person is not a resident of this state, withdraw from such person the privilege of operating any motor vehicle in this state and the privilege of operation within this state of any motor vehicle owned by [him] such person. Prior to such suspension, revocation or withdrawal, notice thereof shall be given by the commissioner by a notice forwarded by bulk certified mail to the address of such person as shown by the records of the commissioner. No appeal taken from the judgment of any court shall act as a stay to any action of the commissioner authorized by the provisions of this section.

Approved July 6, 2017