What are the Laws Governing Financial Responsibility at the DMV

What are the Financial Responsibility Laws?

The California Legislature has adopted a series of laws that govern the issue of Financial Responsibility and have empowered the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with the responsibility of enforcing those laws. California’s compulsory insurance laws are outlined in sections 16000 through 16078 of the California Vehicle Code.

Section 16000:

  • Mandates that the driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident while operating a motor vehicle on any street or highway, or is involved in a “reportable off-highway” accident, shall provide proof of financial responsibility in a manner approved by law.
  • Waives the reporting requirement if the motor vehicle involved was owned, leased or under the direction of a federal, state or local agency.
  • Creates a statute of limitations of one-year when none of the parties involved in an accident reported the incident to the Department.

Section 16000.1:

  • Identifies a “reportable off-highway” accident as including all of the following:
  • Occurs off of a street or highway
  • Involves a vehicle that is subject to registration
  • Results in damages of any one person in excess of $750, or any bodily injury or death.
  • Determines that a “reportable off-highway” accident does not include incidents that occur off of a street or highway where any damage sustained is that of the driver or owner of the motor vehicle and no person was injured or killed.

Section 16000.7:

This section defines an “uninsured motor vehicle” as any motor vehicle involved in a reportable accident when it was not covered by a form of Financial Responsibility.

 Section 16000.8:

This section absolves a driver or owner of a motor vehicle from the failure to maintain Financial Responsibility because of the fraudulent act of an insurance broker or agent. For the DMV to waive any suspension action in this instance the driver or owner must:

  • Provide documentation or proof that the insurance broker or agent has committed an act of fraud, or has had criminal charges filed, for acts involving the fraud in the issuance of automobile insurance policies.
  • The driver furnishes proof that financial responsibility is currently in effect.
  • This section identifies the legislative intent that those persons who are the victims of insurance fraud not be penalized for violating the Financial Responsibility Laws when the violation was due to the fraudulent acts of another person.

Section 16001:

            In some instances, a vehicle may be a driverless vehicle. This often occurs when a parked vehicle suddenly jumps out of gear and rolls down a hill causing damage, injury or death. If the involved vehicle is a driverless runaway vehicle and, if it had previously been parked with the express or implied consent of the owner, then the registered owner is construed to have been the driver for the purposes of Financial Responsibility.

Section 16002:

  • If a driver is operating a motor vehicle that is owned, operated or leased by the person’s employer and he or she is involved in a reportable traffic collision, the driver must report the traffic collision to the employer within 5 days. Once the employer has been notified of such traffic collision, the employer must make notification to the DMV within 10 days.
  • If a driver is operating a motor vehicle that is owned or operated by a publicly owned or operated transit system which is used to provide regularly scheduled transportation to the general public, and if that driver is involved in a reportable traffic collision, he or she must report the collision to the transit agency within 10 days. The transit company shall maintain records of any reports made by their drivers and shall then notify the DMV of any reportable traffic collision within 10 days of learning of the traffic collision.

Section 160003:

If the driver is incapable of reporting a traffic collision, the registered owner of any motor vehicle involved in a reportable traffic collision must report the collision immediately upon learning of the event.

Section 16004:

  • This section of the Vehicle Code makes it mandatory for the DMV to suspend the driving privilege of any person who fails, refuses or neglects to report a reportable traffic collision to the DMV.
  • This section mandates that the driver license suspension remain in effect until a proper report of traffic collision is filed or that the involved driver has proven Financial Responsibility in accordance with Section 16021.
  • This section prohibits the DMV from suspending a person’s driving privilege simply because a Civil Court has filed a “judgement” against the driver, provided proof of Financial Responsibility was in effect at the time of the collision.

Section 16005:

  • This section mandates that any properly filed “Report of Accident” or other supplemental reports filed by an involved driver shall not prejudice that person and that all such reports are for the confidential use of the DMV. Upon request, however, the DMV may release:
  • The names and addresses of those persons involved in a traffic collision.
  • The registration numbers and descriptions of vehicles involved in a traffic collision.
  • The date, time and location of the accident.
  • Any suspension action ordered by the DMV.
  • The names and addresses of insurance companies.
  • This section identifies those persons to whom the DMV may release the information described in subdivision (a):
  • The driver or drivers involved, or the employer, parent or legal guardian thereof.
  • The authorized representative of any driver involved in an accident.
  • Any person who is injured in the accident.
  • The owners of vehicles or property that was damaged in the accident.
  • Any law enforcement agency.
  • Any court of competent jurisdiction.


Section 16020:

  • This section mandates that all drivers and owners of motor vehicles must at all times be able to prove Financial Responsibility for their vehicles and that proof of Financial Responsibility be carried in the car at all times.
  • This section identifies the four means by which a driver or owner may prove Financial Responsibility:
  • A “Proof of Insurance” certificate or card issued by an Insurance Company licensed to do business in the State of California.
  • If the owner is self-insured he must carry a “Certificate of Self-Insurance” or the “Assignment of Deposit Letter.” Both of these items are forms issued by the DMV.
  • An insurance covering “Note” or “Binder” which is in compliance with Insurance Code sections 382 or 382.5.
  • Proof that the involved vehicle is owned, leased, or under the direction of the United States Government or a Public Entity.
  • This section makes it lawful for a peace officer to accept Proof of Financial Responsibility electronically.
  • Evidence of Financial Responsibility may also include:
  • The name of the insurance company and the number of the insurance policy or surety bond that was in effect at the time of the accident, if that information is contained within the registration records of the DMV.
  • The identifying motor carrier or property permit issued by the California Department of Highway Patrol and displayed on the motor vehicle in the manner prescribed by the CHP.
  • The identifying number issued to the household goods carrier, passenger stage carrier, or transportation charter party carrier by the Public Utilities Commission and displayed on the motor vehicle in the manner prescribed by the Commission.
  • Evidence of Financial Responsibility does not include an identification number if the carrier is currently suspended by the issuing agency for lapse of insurance coverage or other form of Financial Responsibility.

Section 16020.1:

  • On and after January 1, 2016, Section 4000.37 does not apply to vehicle owners with a residence address County of Los Angeles at the time of registration renewal.
  • On and after January 1, 2016, subdivisions (a) and (b ) of Section 16028 do not apply to a person who drives a motor vehicle upon a highway in the County of Los Angeles.

Section 16020.2:

  • On and after January 1, 2016, Section 4000.37 does not apply to vehicle owners with a residence address in the City and County of San Francisco at the time of registration renewal.
  • On and after January 1, 2016, subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 16028 do not apply to a person who drives a motor vehicle upon a highway in the City and County of San Francisco.

Section 16020.3:

            Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any employer that owns a vanpool vehicle, as described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 17149 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, shall maintain evidence of Financial Responsibility with respect to that vehicle in the same form and amount as described in Section 53912 of the Public Utilities Code.

Section 16021:

            Financial Responsibility of the driver or owner is established if the driver or owner of the vehicle involved in a traffic collision described in section 16000 is:

  • Self-Insured
  • Is covered or insured by a form of auto insurance or bond that complies with this division of the Vehicle Code.
  • The government of the United States of America, The State of California, any municipality or subdivision thereof, or the lawful agent thereof.
  • A depositor in compliance with Section 16054.2(a).
  • An obligee covered by a policy issued by a charitable risk pool in compliance with Section 16054.2(a).
  • In compliance with the requirements authorized by the DMV by any other manner which effectuates the purpose of this chapter.

Section 16025:

  • This section mandates that any driver involved in traffic collision, exchange with any other driver or property owner involved in the accident, all of the following information:
  • The driver’s name and current address, driver license number, vehicle identification number, and current address of the registered owner.
  • Evidence of Financial Responsibility, as specified in Section 16020. If the Proof of Financial Responsibility is coverage by way of auto insurance, the person shall provide the name and address of the insurance company as well as the policy number.
  • Any person who fails to provide the information listed herein is guilty of an “infraction” which is punishable by a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250).

Section 16027:

  • Whenever Proof of Financial Responsibility has been established pursuant to Section 16054.2(a) and a period of four years has elapsed following the effective date of suspension, the cash deposit, or any balance thereof remaining, shall be refunded to the person entitled thereto, if the Director is satisfied that there is no outstanding or pending claims against the deposit.
  • If the deposit, or any balance thereof, is refundable under this section but remains unclaimed by the depositor or any other person entitled thereto for a period of six years from the effective date of suspension, the unclaimed deposit shall be transferred to the Motor Vehicle account in the State Transportation Fund.

Section 16028:

  • This section makes it mandatory for a driver or owner of a motor vehicle to provide Proof of Financial Responsibility at the demand of a Law Enforcement Officer. The Law Enforcement Officer may accept evidence of Financial Responsibility as displayed on a mobile electronic device. A Law Enforcement Officer is not permitted stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of determining if a vehicle is being operated in violation of this section.
  • If a Peace Officer issues a Notice to Appear for an alleged violation of this section, the cited driver shall furnish written evidence of Financial Responsibility or may provide electronic verification of Financial Responsibility using a mobile electronic device upon a request by the Peace Officer issuing the citation. The Peace Officer shall write down the information regarding the verification of Financial Responsibility unless an emergency prohibits him from doing so. If the person fails to provide the information upon the demand of the Peace Officer, the officer may additionally cite the driver for a violation of subdivision (a) of this section.
  • If a Peace Officer, or regularly employed and salaried employee of a City of County who has been trained as a traffic collision investigator is summoned to the scene of an accident described in section 16000 the driver of the motor vehicle that is in any manner involved in the accident shall furnish written evidence of Financial Responsibility or may provide electronic verification of Financial Responsibility using a mobile electronic device upon the request of a Peace Officer or Traffic Accident Investigator. If the driver fails to demonstrate evidence of Financial Responsibility, the Peace Officer may issue, or the Traffic Collision Investigator may cause to issue, a notice to appear for a violation of this subsection.
  • (1) If, a driver is issued a notice to appear while driving a motor vehicle owned or leased by an employer, and the vehicle is being driven with the permission of the employer, this section shall apply to the employer and not the driver. In that case, the notice to appear shall be issued to the employer rather than the driver, and the driver may sign the notice on behalf of the employer.

(2) The driver shall notify the employer of the notice to appear not later than 5 days after the event.

(e) A person who was issued a notice to appear for a violation of Section 16028(a) may personally appear before the clerk of the court, as designated in the notice to  appear, and provide written evidence of Financial Responsibility in a form consistent with section 16020, demonstrating that the driver was in compliance with that section at the time the notice to appear was issued. In lieu of a personal appearance, the person may submit by mail to the court clerk evidence of having Financial Responsibility at the time the notice to appear was issued. Upon receipt by clerk that written evidence of Financial Responsibility in an acceptable form, further proceedings on the notice to appear shall be dismissed.

(f) For the purposes of this section, “mobile electronic device” means a portable computing and communication device that has a display screen with touch input or a miniature keyboard.

(g) For the purposes of this section, when a person provides evidence of Financial Responsibility using a mobile electronic device to a peace officer, the peace officer shall only view the evidence of Financial Responsibility and is prohibited from viewing any other content on the mobile electronic device.

(h) If a person presents a mobile electronic device pursuant to this section, that person assumes all liability for any damage to the mobile electronic device.

Section 16029:

This section of the Vehicle Code identifies a violation of Section 16028(a) as being punishable as an infraction. The penalties for violation are:

  • Upon a first conviction, by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) and not more than two hundred dollars ($200), plus penalty assessments.
  • Upon a subsequent conviction, occurring within three years of the prior conviction, by a fine of not less than two hundred dollars ($200) and not more than five hundred dollars ($500), plus penalty assessments.
  • (1) At the discretion of the court, for good cause, and in addition to the penalties specified in subdivisions (a) and (b), the court may order the impoundment of the vehicle for which the owner could not produce evidence of Financial Responsibility in violation of Section 16028(a).

(2) A vehicle impounded pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be released to the legal owner of the vehicle or the legal owner’s agent if all of the following conditions are met:

(A) The legal owner is a motor vehicle dealer, bank, credit union, Acceptance Corporation, or other licensed financial institution legally operating in the state.

(B) The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent pays all towing and storage fees                       related to the seizure of the vehicle.

(C) The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent presents foreclosure documents                       or an affidavit of repossession for the vehicle.

(3) (A) A legal owner or the legal owner’s agent that obtains release of the vehicle pursuant to paragraph (2) shall not release the vehicle to the registered owner of the vehicle or any of the agents of the registered owner, unless the registered owner is a rental car agency, except upon presentation of evidence of Financial Responsibility, as defined in Section 16020, for the vehicle. The legal owner of the legal owner’s agent shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that the evidence of Financial Responsibility that is presented is valid.

(B) Prior to relinquishing the vehicle, the legal owner may require the registered owner to pay all towing and storage charges related to the impoundment and any administrative charges authorized under Section 22850.5 that were incurred by the legal owner in connection with obtaining the custody of the vehicle.

(4) A vehicle impounded under paragraph (1) shall be released to a rental car agency if the agency is either the legal owner or the registered owner of the vehicle and the agency pays all towing and storage fees related to the seizure of the vehicle.

(5)   A vehicle impounded under paragraph (1) shall be released to the registered owner only upon presentation of evidence of Financial Responsibility, as defined in Section 16020, for that vehicle, and the evidence that all towing and storage fees related to the seizure of the vehicle are paid. This paragraph does not apply to a person, entity, or agency who is entitled to release of a vehicle under paragraph (2) or (4) and is either:

(A) The registered and legal owner and is described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2).

(B)   The registered owner or legal owner and is described in paragraph (4).

  • It is the Legislative intent of this section that fines collected pursuant to this section be used to reduce the number of uninsured drivers and not be used to generate revenue for general purposes.
  • (1) Except as provided in this subdivision, the court shall impose a fine that is greater than the minimum fine specified in subdivision (a) or (b), and may reduce the fine to the minimum specified fine authorized by those provisions, unless the defendant has presented the court with evidence of Financial Responsibility, as defined in Section 16020, for the vehicle. In no event may the court impose a fine that is less than the minimum specified in subdivision (a) or (b), or impose a fine that exceeds the maximum specified fine authorized under those subdivisions. In addition to the fine authorized under subdivision (a) or (b), the court may issue an order directing the defendant to maintain coverage satisfying the Financial Responsibility laws for at least one year from the date of the order.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the imposition of the fine required under subdivision (a) or (b) is mandatory upon conviction of a violation of Section 16028(a) and may not be waived, suspended or reduced below the minimum fines, unless the court in its discretion reduces or waives the fine based on the defendant’s ability to pay. The court may direct that the fine and penalty assessments be paid within a limited time or in installments on specified dates. The Legislature hereby declares that it is in the interest of justice that the minimum fines set forth in subdivision (a) and (b) for these offenses be enforced by the court, as provided in this subdivision.

Section 16030:

  • Except as provided in subdivision (c), any person who knowingly provides false evidence of Financial Responsibility (1) when requested by a peace officer pursuant to Section (16028(a) or (2) to the clerk of the court as permitted in Section 16028(e), including an expired or canceled insurance policy, bond, certificate of self-insurance, or assignment of deposit letter, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 30 days, or by both that fine and imprisonment. Upon receipt of the court’s abstract of conviction, the department shall suspend the driving privilege, effective upon the date of conviction for a period of one year. The court shall impose an interim suspension of the person’s driving privileges pursuant to Section 13550, and shall notify the driver of the suspension pursuant to Section 13106, and all driver’s licenses in the possession of the driver shall be surrendered to the court pursuant to Section 13550. Any driver license surrendered to the court pursuant to this section shall be transmitted by the court, together with the required report of conviction, to the department within 10 days of the conviction. The suspension may not be terminated until one year has elapsed from the date of suspension and until the person files proof of Financial Responsibility, as provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 16430) except that the suspension shall be reinstated if the person fails to maintain proof of Financial Responsibility for three years.
  • However, in lieu of suspending a person’s driving privilege pursuant to subdivision (a), the court shall restrict the person’s driving privilege to driving that is required in the person’s course of employment, if driving of a motor vehicle is necessary in order to perform the duties of the person’s primary employment. The restriction shall remain in effect for the period of suspension otherwise required by subdivision (a). The court shall provide for endorsement of the restriction on the person’s driver’s license, and violation of the restriction constitutes a violation of Section 14603 and grounds for suspension or revocation of the license under Section 13360.
  • This section does not apply to a driver who is driving a motor vehicle owned or leased by the employer of the driver and driven in the course of the driver’s employment with the permission of the employer.

Section 16033:

No public entity or employee, agent, or any person or organization authorized under Section 4610 to endorse receipt or validate registration cards or potential registration cards, is liable for any loss, detriment, or injury resulting, directly or indirectly from any of the following:

  • Failure to request evidence of Financial Responsibility.
  • Failure to notify a vehicle owner that an insurance policy has been terminated.
  • The discretionary failure to cancel, suspend, or revoke a vehicle registration when an insurance policy has been terminated.
  • Inaccurately reporting that evidence under Section 16028 or as a result of a driver producing false or inaccurate Financial Responsibility information.

Section 16050:

In order to establish evidence of Financial Responsibility, every driver or employer involved in an accident and required to report the accident under Section 16000 shall establish to the satisfaction of the department that the provisions of this article are applicable to his or her responsibilities arising out of the accident.

Section 16050.5:

The owner of a vehicle, who has a liability insurance policy with respect to the vehicle, shall, upon request, furnish insurance information to a person who, while operating the vehicle with owner’s permission, is involved in a reportable accident with the insured vehicle, or to the department whenever the department is required to establish whether the permitted driver meets the Financial Responsibility requirements of Section 16020.

Section 16051″:

  • Evidence may be established by filing a report indicating that the motor vehicle involved in the accident was owned, rented, or leased by or under the direction of the United States, this state, or any political subdivision of this state or municipality thereof.
  • Evidence may be established by filing a report indicating that the motor vehicle involved in the accident was owned and operated by a peace officer, member of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, or firefighter in the performance of his or her duty, and at the request of or under the direction of the United States, this state, or any political subdivision or municipality of this state.

Section 16052:

Evidence may be established if the owner of the motor vehicle involved in the accident was a self-insurer. Any person in whose name more than 25 motor vehicles are registered may qualify as a self-insurer by obtaining a certificate of self-insurance issued by the department as provided in this article.

Section 16053:

  • The department may in its discretion, upon application, issue a certificate of self-insurance when it is satisfied that the applicant in whose name more than 25 motor vehicles are registered is possessed and will continue to be possessed of the ability to pay judgements obtained against him or her in amounts at least equal to the amounts provided in Section 16056. The certificate may be issued authorizing the applicant to act as a self-insurer for either property damage or bodily injury or both. Any person duly qualified under the laws or ordinances of any city or county to act as self-insurer and then acting as such, may upon filing with the department satisfactory evidence thereof, along with the application as may be required by the department, be entitled to receive a certificate of self-insurance.
  • Upon not less than 5 days’ notice and a hearing pursuant to the notice, the department upon reasonable grounds cancels a certificate of self-insurance. Failure to pay any judgement within 30 days after the judgement has become final and has not been stayed or satisfied shall constitute reasonable ground for cancellation of a certificate of self-insurance.

Section 16054:

  • Evidence may be established by filing with the department satisfactory documentation:
  • That the owner had an automobile liability policy, a motor vehicle liability policy, or bond in effect at the time of the accident with respect to the driver or the motor vehicle involved in the accident, unless it is established that at the time of the accident, the motor vehicle was being operated without the owner’s permission, express or implied, or was parked by a driver who had been operating the vehicle without permission.
  • That the driver of the motor vehicle involved in the accident, if he or she was not the owner of the motor vehicle, had in effect at the time of the accident an automobile liability policy or bond with respect to his or her operation of the motor vehicle not owned by him.
  • That the liability as may arise from the driver’s operation of the motor vehicle involved in the accident is, in the judgment of the department, covered by some form of liability insurance or bond.
  • That the owner or driver, if he or she is involved in an accident while operating a vehicle of less than four wheels, had in effect at the time of the accident with respect to the driver or vehicle a liability policy or bond that meets the requirement of Section 16056.
  • Any automobile liability policy or bond referred to in this section shall comply with the requirements of Section 16056 and Sections 11580, 11580.011,11580.1 and 11580.2 of the Insurance Code, but need not contain provisions other than those required by those sections, and shall not be governed by Chapter 3, (commencing with Section 16430).

Section 16054.2:

            Evidence may also be established by any of the following:

  • By depositing with the department cash in the amount specified in Section 16056.
  • By providing documentation of a liability policy covering the operation of the vehicle that (A) is issued to a charitable risk pool operating under Section 5005.1 of the Corporations Code, if the registered owner of the vehicle is a nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of Section 501 of the United States Internal Revenue Code and (B) the policy is subject, if the accident has resulted in bodily injury or death to a limit, exclusive of interest and costs, of not less than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to that limit for one person, to a limit of not less than thirty-thousand dollars ($30,000) 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 five thousand dollars ($5,000) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
  • By any other manner authorized by the department which effectuates the purposes of this chapter.

Section 16055:

Evidence of insurance or bond shall be submitted by the insurer or surety in conformance with the requirements of Section 16057. In the event of notice to the department by the company that issued one of the above states policies or bonds that coverage was not in effect, then the policy or bond shall not operate to establish evidence as provided for by Section 16054.

Section 16056:

  • No policy or bond shall be effective under Section 16054 unless issued by an insurance company or surety company admitted to do so in the state by the Insurance Commissioner, except as provided in subdivision (b) of this section, nor unless the policy or bond is subject, if the accident resulted in bodily injury or death, to a limit exclusive of interest and costs, of not less than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to that limit for one person, to a limit not less than thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) because of bodily injury to or death of two 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 five thousand dollars ($5,000) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
  • No policy or bond shall be effective under Section 16054 with respect to any vehicle which was not registered in this state or was a vehicle which was registered elsewhere than in this state at the effective date of the policy or bond or the most recent renewal thereof, unless the insurance company or surety company issuing the policy or bond is admitted to do business in this state, or if the company is not admitted to do business in this state, unless it executes a power of attorney authorizing the department to accept service on its behalf of notice or process in any action upon the policy or bond arising out of an accident mentioned in subdivision (a).
  • Any nonresident driver whose driving privilege has been suspended or revoked based upon an action that requires proof of Financial Responsibility may, in lieu of providing a certificate of insurance from a company admitted to do business in California, provide a written certificate of proof of Financial Responsibility that is satisfactory to the department, covers the operation of a vehicle in this state, meets the liability requirements of this section, and if from a company that is admitted to do business in that person’s state of residence.

Section 16056.1:

 Notwithstanding the coverage limits specified in Section 16056, an automobile insurance policy described in Section 11629.71 of the Insurance Code shall be effective under Section 16054 when issued by an insurance company admitted to do business in this state by the Insurance Commissioner and the policy is subject, if the accident has resulted in bodily injury or death, to a limit, exclusive of interest and costs, of not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to that limit for one person, to a limit of not less than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and if the accident has resulted in the injury to, or the destruction of property, to a limit of not less than three thousand dollars ($3,000) because of injury to or the destruction of property of others in any one accident.

Section 16057:

 Upon receipt of notice of any accident from the department, the insurance company or surety company named in the notice shall notify the department within such time and in such manner as the department may require whenever the policy or bond was not in effect at the time of the accident.

Section 16058:

  •  On or before July 1, 2005, each insurer that issues private passenger automobile insurance policies and coverages, or private passenger automobile policies and coverages issued by an automobile assigned risk plan, as those policies, coverages, and plans are described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 4000.37 shall advise the department of the electronic method to be used for reporting liability insurance information under subdivisions (b), (c) and (d). The department shall establish an electronic conversion schedule.
  • On or before January 1, 2006, each insurer shall report all existing motor vehicle liability insurance policies or coverages described in subdivision (a) issued for vehicles registered in this state or to policyholders with a California address, to the department in a manner that preserves exiting reporting relationships and that allows for smaller insurers and those with unusual circumstances to be accommodated, consistent with the intent of this section. Consistent with the intent of this section, a small insurer or those with unusual circumstances may be accommodated by, among other methods, an extension of the mandatory electronic deadline set forth in this section to no later than July 1, 2008.
  • On and after January 1, 2006, each insurer shall electronically report to the department all issued motor vehicle liability policies or coverages, as described in subdivision (a), within 30 days of the effective date of coverage.

 

  • On and after January 1, 2006, an insurer shall electronically report to the department the termination of a reported policy or any change of information previously reported under subdivision (a) or (c), as specified by the department, within 45 days of the date of termination or change. This report shall include the effective date of the termination, amendment or cancellation and any other information that does not exceed that required under subdivision (c).
  • (1) Those persons with alternative forms of Financial Responsibility pursuant to subdivision (a), (c), (d), or (e) of Section 16021 shall provide satisfactory evidence of that Responsibility as determined by the department.

(2) In addition, the department shall establish an alternative procedure for establishment of satisfactory evidence of Financial Responsibility to permit the timely renewal of vehicle registration when the electronic data has not been updated due to circumstances beyond the vehicle owner’s immediate control. Those circumstances may include, but are not limited to, a vehicle identification error in either the department’s or the insurer’s records or insurance purchased too recently to have been electronically transmitted to the department. Whenever this alternative procedure is used, the department shall, subsequent to the issuance of the registration certificate and indicia, contact the insurer to obtain electronic data pursuant to subdivision (c).

  • The department shall adopt regulations for reporting insurance information, including, but not limited to, establishing acceptable timeframes and approved methods for reporting information.

Section 16058.1:

The department shall develop a method by which law enforcement officers and court personnel, on and after July 1, 2006, may electronically verify that an insurance policy or bond for a motor vehicle has been issued.

Section 16070:

  • Whenever a driver involved in an accident described in Section 16000 fails to provide evidence of Financial Responsibility, as required by Section 16020, at the time of the accident, the department shall, pursuant to subdivision (b) suspend the privilege of the driver or owner to drive a motor vehicle, including the privilege of a nonresident in this state.
  • Whenever the department receives an accident report pursuant to this article that alleges that any of the drivers involved in the accident was not in compliance with Section 16020 at the time of the accident, the department shall immediately mail to the driver a notice of intent to suspend the driving privilege of that driver. The department shall suspend the driving privilege 30 days after mailing the notice, unless the driver has, prior to that date, established evidence of Financial Responsibility at the time of the accident, as specified in Section 16021, with the department. The suspension notice shall notify the driver of the action taken and the right to hearing under Section 16075.

Section 16071:

The department shall suspend the driving privilege of any person upon receiving notice from another state that the person’s driving privilege in that state has been suspended for failure to meet the Financial Responsibility provisions of the law in that state if the suspension was taken on grounds that would have resulted in a suspension in this state.

Section 16072:

  • The suspension of the driving privilege of a person as provided in Section 16070 shall not be terminated until one year has elapsed from the date of actual commencement of suspension and until the person files proof of Financial Responsibility as provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 16430), except that the suspension shall be reinstated if the person fails to maintain proof of Financial Responsibility for three years. However, in lieu of suspending a person’s driving privilege pursuant to this section, the department upon application, if the person files and thereafter maintains proof of Financial Responsibility as provided in this section and pays a penalty fee to the department of two hundred fifty dollars ($250), may restrict the person’s driving privilege to any of the following situations:
  • Necessary travel to and from the person’s place of employment.
  • Driving that is required in the person’s course of employment, when driving a motor vehicle is necessary in order to perform the duties of the person’s primary employment.
  • Necessary travel to transport a minor dependent in that person’s immediate family to and from an institute of primary or secondary instruction, if the chief administrative officer or principal of the educational institute certifies in writing to the department that the minor dependent is enrolled in the educational institution and no form of public transportation or school bus is available between the applicant’s place of residence and educational institution. The restriction shall remain in effect for the period of suspension required by this section, so long as proof of Financial Responsibility is maintained.
  • If a suspension has been imposed under Section 16070 and one year has elapsed from the date the suspension actually commenced, that suspension shall be terminated if the driving privilege is suspended under Section 16370 or 16381 as the result of a judgment arising out of the accident for which proof of Financial Responsibility was required to be established. The department may reimpose the suspension of the driving privilege of a person under Section 16070 if the suspension under Section 16370 or 16381 is later set aside for a reason other than that the person has satisfied the judgment in full or to the extent provided in Chapter 2 (commencing with section 16250) and has given proof of ability to respond in damages as provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with section 16430).
  • Notwithstanding Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 42200) of Division 18, all revenues derived from the penalty fees provided in subdivision (a) shall, after deduction from the department of costs incurred by the department in administering this section, be deposited to the Financial Responsibility Penalty Account in the General Fund. The balance in this fund on each July 1, which is not subject to appropriation as provided in Section 12980 of the Insurance Code, shall revert to the General Fund.
  • (1) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a commercial driver’s license holder.

(2) A commercial driver’s license holder whose driving privilege is otherwise suspended under this chapter is not entitled to a restricted license, unless that person surrenders his or her commercial driver’s license and is issued a noncommercial class “C” or “M” driver license.

Section 16073:

  • The privilege of a person employed for the purpose of driving a motor vehicle for compensation whose occupation requires the use of a motor vehicle in the course of her or her employment to drive a motor vehicle not registered in his or her name and in the course of the person’s employment may not be suspended under this chapter even though his or her privilege to drive is otherwise suspended under this chapter.
  • Subdivision (a) does not apply to commercial driver’s license holder. A commercial driver’s license holder whose driving privilege is otherwise suspended under this chapter may not operate a commercial vehicle.
  • This section shall become operative on September 20, 2005.

Section 16074:

Whenever the department has taken any action or has failed to take any action under this chapter by reason of having received erroneous information, or by reason of having received no information, it shall take appropriate action to carry out the purposes and effect of this chapter upon receiving correct information.

Section 16075:

  • The suspension provisions of this article shall not apply to a driver or owner until 30 days after the department sends to the driver or owner notice of its intent to suspend his or her driving privilege, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 16070, and advises the driver or owner of his or her right to a hearing as hereinafter provided.
  • If the driver of owner receiving notice of intent to suspend wishes to have a hearing, the request for a hearing shall be made in writing to the department within 10 days of the receipt of the notice. Failure to respond to a notice of intent within 10 days of receipt of the notice is a waiver of the person’s right to a hearing.
  • If the driver or owner makes a timely request for hearing, the department shall hold the hearing before the effective date of the suspension to determine the applicability of this chapter to the driver or owner, including a determination of whether:
  • The accident has resulted in property damage in excess of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750), or bodily injury, or death.
  • The driver or owner has established Financial Responsibility, as provided in Article 3 (commencing with Section 16050), was in effect at the time of the accident.
  • A request for hearing does not stay the suspension of the person’s driving privilege. However, if the department does not conduct a hearing and make a determination pursuant thereto within the time limit provided in subdivision (b) of Section 16070, the department shall stay the effective date of the order of suspension pending a determination.
  • The hearing provided for by this section shall be held in the county of residence of the person requesting the hearing. The hearing shall be conducted pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 14100) of Chapter 3 of Division 6.
  • The department shall render its decision within 15 days after the conclusion of the hearing.

Section 16076:

  • The department shall notify every person whose driving privilege is suspended, pursuant to Section 16070, of that person’s right to apply for a restricted driving privilege authorized under Section 16072.
  • For purposes of subdivision (a), the department shall prepare and publish a printed summary. The printed summary may contain, but is not limited to, the following wording: “If your driving privilege is suspended due to involvement in an accident while you were uninsured, you may apply for a restricted license at any office of the Department of Motor Vehicles, accompanied by proof of Financial Responsibility, payment of a penalty fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250), and, unless already paid, payment of a reissuance fee. The Mello-McAlister Restricted Employment Driving Privilege Act allows you to apply for a driver’s license limiting you to driving to and from work, and during the course of your primary employment, during the one-year mandatory term of suspension. The restricted license will not be issued if any other suspension or revocation has been taken against your driving privilege.”
  • The section shall be known and may be cited as the Mello-McAlster Employment Driving Privilege Act.

Section 16077:

  • The department, upon application and payment of a fifty dollar ($50) fee and a penalty fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250), may issue a restricted license to an applicant with serious health problems, or to an applicant with an immediate family member with serious health problems, when the applicant’s privilege to drive is otherwise suspended under this chapter. The restricted license may be issued to enable the applicant to drive a motor vehicle for the purpose of receiving medical or mental health treatments of a prolonged and repetitive nature for the applicant or the member of the applicant’s immediate family with serious health problems, if the applicant files and maintains proof of Financial Responsibility on file with the department pursuant to Section 16021 and there is no other suitable means of transportation available.
  • The application shall set forth the nature of the health problem, the nature of the treatments, the duration and location of the treatments, and the schedule for visits. The applicant shall submit documentation signed by the treating physician and surgeon or licensed psychotherapist, as defined in subdivision (a), (b), (c), and (e) of Section 1010 of the Evidence Code, as necessary to assist the department in its decision to grant or deny the restricted license. Upon reviewing the application, the department may determine that an investigation as to the person’s fitness to operate a motor vehicle is warranted. If the department makes this determination, the department may conduct an investigation in a manner provided for in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 13800) of Division 6.
  • In reviewing the application, the department shall give the due consideration to the circumstances set forth in the application and shall be guided by principles of fairness and humanity.
  • Notwithstanding Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 42200) of Division 18, all revenues derived from the penalty fees provided in subdivision (a) shall, after deduction by the department of the costs incurred by the department in administering this section, be deposited in the Financial Responsibility Penalty Account in the General Fund.
  • (1) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a commercial driver license holder.
  • A commercial driver license holder whose driving privilege is otherwise suspended under this chapter is not entitled to a restricted license unless that person surrenders his or her commercial driver license and is issued a noncommercial Class C or M driver license.

Section 16078: Any person who has paid the penalty prescribed in subdivision (a) of Section 16072, whether or not the person has received the license restriction authorized by that section, may also apply for and receive a restricted license under Section 16077 without paying the fees prescribed in Section 16077. Any person who has paid the fees prescribed in subdivision (a) of Section 16077, whether or not the person has received the restricted license authorized by that section, may also apply for and receive the license restriction prescribed in Section 16072.

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More about Financial Responsibility Hearings at the California DMV

By | 2017-05-07T05:03:55+00:00 January 27th, 2016|Financial Responsibility|0 Comments

About the Author:

Rob Collier
Mr. Collier served with distinction as a Law Enforcement Specialist with the United States Air Force and received an honorable discharge. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Security Police Academy and the United States Army Police Investigators School. While stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, Mr. Collier was one of the first Security Police Specialists to provide “close‐in” security for Space Shuttle Missions when that program was new. Mr. Collier is a Distinguished Graduate of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Academy (Class 228) and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Weapons and Tactics School (SWAT). He received specialized training in basic accident investigation and determining speed from skids at the San Bernardino Sheriff Academy. For nearly 15 years, Mr. Collier was the Operations Officer for one of the most prominent specialty DUI law firms in the country. Reporting directly to that firm’s owner, Mr. Collier directed the day to day operations of DUI attorneys, investigators, expert witnesses and support staff. He developed the firm’s “white glove” policy of client care that is now the hallmark of our company. He has been involved in the preparation, investigation, and presentation of literally thousands of DMV administrative hearings throughout Southern California. Receiving hands on training from defense attorneys, retired DMV hearing officers, and some of the best scientific experts in the field, Mr. Collier possesses a unique level of experience; making him a true expert in the field of Administrative Advocacy. Mr. Collier is our Chief Advocate and available to represent clients in all categories of DMV hearings in California. If your case is assigned to one of our other professional advocates, Mr. Collier will personally review and supervise each case. He is accessible to each and every one of our clients.