2006 Regular Session
To: Insurance; Transportation
By: Representative Lott, Staples
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-15-4, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE INSURANCE COMPANIES THAT PROVIDE MOTOR VEHICLE LIABILITY INSURANCE ON VEHICLES REGISTERED IN THE STATE TO PROVIDE THE STATE TAX COMMISSION WITH DESCRIPTIONS OF THE COVERED VEHICLES AND TO NOTIFY THE STATE TAX COMMISSION WHEN A MOTOR VEHICLE LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY LAPSES; TO REQUIRE THE STATE TAX COMMISSION TO COMPARE MOTOR VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS TO DETERMINE THOSE VEHICLES WITH LIABILITY COVERAGE AND THOSE WITHOUT LIABILITY COVERAGE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. 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 at a roadblock where all passing motorists are checked as a method to enforce traffic laws or 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 unless the stop is part of such roadblock.
(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 Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) 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. The funds from such fines shall be deposited in the State General Fund in the State Treasury. However, if such fines are levied in a municipal court, twenty-five percent (25%) of the funds from such fines shall be deposited in the general fund of the municipality. If such fines are levied in any of the courts of the county, twenty-five percent (25%) of the funds from such fines shall be deposited in the general fund of the county.
(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 case shall be dismissed as to the defendant with prejudice and all court costs shall be waived against the defendant.
(6) (a) All insurance companies providing motor vehicle liability insurance coverage on any vehicles registered in the State of Mississippi shall provide the State Tax Commission Motor Vehicle Division with the description of the motor vehicles being covered. The description of the motor vehicle shall include, but shall not be limited to, the vehicle identification number (VIN). If any liability insurance policy is allowed to lapse on any vehicle, the insurance company shall notify the State Tax Commission Motor Vehicle Division that the vehicle is no longer covered by liability insurance.
(b) The State Tax Commission shall compare electronically all motor vehicle identification numbers of vehicles covered with liability insurance with current registrations of vehicles. If any motor vehicle has a current registration and no insurance company has provided the State Tax Commission Motor Vehicle Division with information that the motor vehicle is covered with liability insurance, it shall be prima facia evidence that the owner of the vehicle is in violation of this section. The State Tax Commission shall block electronically the renewal of the registration of the vehicle without liability coverage until the owner of the vehicle proves the vehicle is covered by liability insurance.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.