2004 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Burton
AN ACT TO CREATE A NEW CODE SECTION TO BE CODIFIED AS SECTION 63-15-8, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE PROOF OF MOTOR VEHICLE LIABILITY INSURANCE BEFORE RECEIVING MOTOR VEHICLE LICENSE TAGS; TO AMEND SECTION 63-15-4, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT A PORTION OF THE FINES LEVIED IN MUNICIPAL COURT ON PERSONS WHO DO NOT HAVE MOTOR VEHICLE LIABILITY INSURANCE SHALL BE DEPOSITED IN THE GENERAL FUND OF THE MUNICIPALITY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 63-15-8, Mississippi Code of 1972:
63-15-8. (1) Every owner of a motor vehicle in this state shall furnish proof of motor vehicle liability insurance as required by this chapter before such owner may receive a license tag for a motor vehicle or renew a license tag. However, any owner of a motor vehicle exempted from the proof of insurance requirement pursuant to Section 63-15-4(1) shall be exempted from the provisions of this section. Proof of motor vehicle liability insurance as required by this chapter shall be made by presenting to the tax collector in person or by mail the insurance card, or a copy thereof, issued by the insurer for the motor vehicle.
(2) Any person who presents or causes to be presented to the tax collector or to any court of this state false evidence of motor vehicle liability insurance as required by this chapter, upon conviction, shall be guilty of perjury and shall be fined Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) and shall be subject to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one (1) year or both such fine and imprisonment. This fine and imprisonment shall be waived if the offender chooses to purchase, and provides proof of such purchase by the court date, motor vehicle liability insurance for a minimum of six (6) months' coverage in at least the minimum amounts required under paragraph (j) of Section 63-15-3. Any person convicted of filing false proof of motor vehicle liability insurance as required by this chapter shall surrender to the department his driver's license, license plates and registration of the motor vehicle for which false proof was presented and the procedure for the suspension of licenses provided in Section 63-15-11 relating to accidents shall be followed. Such driver's license, license plates and registration shall be reinstated upon payment of any fines and reinstatement fees, serving of a sentence if applicable, and upon presentation of proof of purchase of minimum motor vehicle liability insurance in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. The district attorney of the jurisdiction where any false evidence is presented shall prosecute any violation of this section. Any person convicted under this section shall be assessed with all costs of prosecution and all court costs.
SECTION 2. Section 63-15-4, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-15-4. (1) The following vehicles are exempted from the requirements of this section:
(a) Vehicles exempted by Section 63-15-5;
(b) Vehicles for which a bond or a certificate of deposit of money or securities in at least the minimum amounts required for proof of financial responsibility is on file with the department;
(c) Vehicles that are self-insured under Section 63-15-53; and
(d) Implements of husbandry.
(2) (a) Every motor vehicle operated in this state shall have an insurance card maintained in the vehicle as proof of liability insurance that is in compliance with the liability limits required by Section 63-15-3(j). The insured parties shall be responsible for maintaining the insurance card in each vehicle.
(b) An insurance company issuing a policy of motor vehicle liability insurance as required by this section shall furnish to the insured an insurance card for each vehicle at the time the insurance policy becomes effective.
(3) Upon stopping a motor vehicle for any other statutory violation, a law enforcement officer, who is authorized to issue traffic citations, shall verify that the insurance card required by this section is in the motor vehicle. However, no driver shall be stopped or detained solely for the purpose of verifying that an insurance card is in the motor vehicle.
(4) Failure of the owner or the operator of a motor vehicle to have the insurance card in the motor vehicle is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) and suspension of driving privilege for a period of one (1) year or until the owner of the motor vehicle shows proof of liability insurance that is in compliance with the liability limits required by Section 63-15-3(j). Fraudulent use of an insurance card shall be punishable in accordance with Section 97-7-10. * * *
(5) If, at the hearing date or the date of payment of the fine, the motor vehicle owner shows proof of motor vehicle liability insurance in the amounts required by Section 63-15-3(j), the fine shall be reduced to One Hundred Dollars ($100.00). If the owner shows proof that such insurance was in effect at the time of citation, the fine of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) and court costs shall be waived.
(6) If the fines imposed under subsections (4) and (5) are levied in a municipal court, fifteen percent (15%) of the funds or One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), whichever is greater, from such fines shall be deposited in the general fund of the municipality. Any remaining funds from such fines shall be deposited in the State General Fund in the State Treasury.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.