Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
8/18/2019

Article 13. Suspension of Licenses for Unsatisfied Judgments and After Certain Accidents.

§ 46.2-417. Suspension for failure to satisfy motor vehicle accident judgment; exceptions; insurance in liquidated company; insurer obligated to pay judgment.

A. Upon the application of any judgment creditor, the Commissioner shall suspend the driver's license and all of the registration certificates and license plates of any person who has failed for 30 days to satisfy any judgment (i) in an amount and on a cause of action as hereinafter stated in this subsection or (ii) in an amount and on a cause of action pursuant to § 15.2-1716 or 15.2-1716.1, immediately upon receiving an authenticated judgment order or abstract thereof in an action for damages in a motor vehicle accident or pursuant to § 15.2-1716 or 15.2-1716.1, if the order or abstract is received by the Commissioner within 10 years of the date of judgment or if the judgment has been revived. However, if judgment is marked satisfied on the court records on or before the Commissioner's issuance of suspension, the order of suspension shall be invalid.

B. The Commissioner shall not, however, suspend the license of an owner or driver if the insurance carried by him was in a company which was authorized to transact business in this Commonwealth and which subsequent to an accident involving the owner or driver and prior to settlement of the claim therefor went into liquidation, so that the owner or driver is thereby unable to satisfy the judgment arising out of the accident.

C. The Commissioner shall not suspend the driver's license or driving privilege or any registration certificate, license plates, or decals under clause (i) of subsection A or § 46.2-418, if the Commissioner finds that an insurer authorized to do business in the Commonwealth was obligated to pay the judgment upon which suspension is based, or that a policy of the insurer covers the person subject to the suspension, if the insurer's obligation or the limits of the policy are in an amount sufficient to meet the minimum amounts required by § 46.2-472, even though the insurer has not paid the judgment for any reason. A finding by the Commissioner that an insurer is obligated to pay a judgment, or that a policy of an insurer covers the person, shall not be binding upon the insurer and shall have no legal effect whatever except for the purpose of administering this article. Whenever in any judicial proceeding it is determined by any final judgment, decree, or order that an insurer is not obligated to pay the judgment, the Commissioner, notwithstanding any contrary finding made by him, forthwith shall suspend the driver's license or driving privilege, or any registration card, license plates or decals of any person against whom the judgment was rendered, as provided in subsection A.

D. Any suspensions timely requested by any judgment creditor under subsection A and issued by the Commissioner shall not extend (i) beyond 10 years from the date of judgment for any civil judgment obtained in a general district court, unless the judgment creditor notifies the Commissioner that an extension has been granted as provided in subdivision B 4 of § 16.1-69.55 or (ii) beyond 20 years from the date of judgment for any civil judgment obtained in a circuit court, unless the judgment creditor notifies the Commissioner that an extension has been granted as provided in § 8.01-251. The expiration of such suspension shall not relieve the judgment debtor of complying with the requirements of proof of financial responsibility pursuant to subsection B of § 46.2-411 and the reinstatement fees pursuant to subsections C and F of § 46.2-411 after the judgment debtor becomes eligible for restoration of his driving privileges.

Code 1950, § 46-430; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-442; 1973, c. 394; 1974, cc. 49, 360; 1984, c. 780; 1988, c. 860; 1989, c. 727; 1992, c. 109; 2004, c. 998; 2013, c. 598.

§ 46.2-418. Nonpayment of judgments of Virginia and other states.

The Commissioner shall take action as required in § 46.2-417 on receiving proper evidence that the person has failed for a period of thirty days to satisfy any judgment, in amount and on a cause of action as stated in §§ 46.2-364 and 46.2-417, rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, any other state of the United States, the United States, Canada or its provinces.

Code 1950, § 46-430; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-443; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-419. When judgment satisfied.

A. Every judgment for damages in any motor vehicle accident referred to in this chapter shall, for the purpose of this chapter, be satisfied:

1. When paid in full or when $25,000 has been credited upon any judgment or judgments rendered in excess of that amount because of bodily injury to or death of one person as the result of any one accident;

2. When, subject to the limit of $25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person, the judgment has been paid in full or when the sum of $50,000 has been credited upon any judgment or judgments rendered in excess of that amount because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons as the result of any one accident;

3. When the judgment has been paid in full or when $20,000 has been credited upon any judgment or judgments rendered in excess of that amount because of injury to or destruction of property of others as a result of any one accident; or

4. When the judgment has been discharged in bankruptcy.

B. Payments made in settlement of any claims because of bodily injury, death or property damage arising from a motor vehicle accident shall be credited in reduction of the amount provided in this section.

Code 1950, § 46-431; 1954, c. 378; 1958, cc. 501, 541, § 46.1-444; 1968, c. 685; 1970, c. 272; 1972, cc. 47, 433; 1975, c. 382; 1978, c. 550; 1989, cc. 621, 727.

§ 46.2-420. Order for payment of judgment in installments.

A judgment debtor, on five days' notice to the judgment creditor, may apply to the court in which the judgment was obtained for the privilege of paying it in installments. The court, without prejudice to other legal remedies which the judgment creditor may have, may so order, fixing the amounts and times of payment of the installments.

Code 1950, § 46-432; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-445; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-421. Effect of order for such payment and proof of financial responsibility.

The Commissioner shall not suspend a license or registration of a motor vehicle and shall restore any license or registration suspended following nonpayment of a judgment, if the judgment debtor obtains an order from the court in which the judgment was rendered permitting payment of the judgment in installments and if the judgment debtor gives proof of his financial responsibility in the future as provided in this chapter.

Code 1950, § 46-433; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-446; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-422. Suspension on failure to pay installments.

If the judgment debtor fails to pay any installment as permitted by the order of the court, then on notice of default, the Commissioner shall forthwith suspend the driver's license, registration cards, and license plates of the judgment debtor until the judgment is satisfied as provided in this chapter. The judgment debtor may apply, after due notice to the judgment creditor, to the court which allowed installment payment of the judgment, within thirty days after the default, for resumption of the privilege of paying the judgment in installments, if past-due installments are first paid.

Code 1950, § 46-434; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-447; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-423. Creditor's consent to license notwithstanding default in payment.

If the judgment creditor consents in writing, in whatever form the Commissioner prescribes, that the judgment debtor be allowed a driver's license and motor vehicle registration, the Commissioner may allow the same, notwithstanding default in the payment of the judgment or any installment thereof, for six months from the date of consent and thereafter until it is revoked in writing, if the judgment debtor furnishes proof of his financial responsibility in the future as provided in this chapter.

Code 1950, § 46-435; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-448; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-424. Duty of insurance carrier after notice of accident; report of omissions by insurers to State Corporation Commission; investigation and assessment for omissions.

On receipt of the certificate of insurance, the insurance carrier or surety company named in the certificate of insurance shall determine whether the policy or bond was applicable to liability, if any, as to the named insured. Thereupon and not later than thirty days following receipt of the certificate of insurance, the insurance company or surety company shall cause to be filed with the Commissioner a written notice if the policy or bond was not applicable to liability, if any, as to the named insured resulting from the accident. The Commissioner shall prescribe the manner in which the written notice shall be made.

When the insurance company or surety company notifies the Commissioner that the policy or bond named in the certificate of insurance was not applicable to liability resulting from the accident, the Department shall determine, under § 46.2-708, whether suspension of the driver's license, registration cards, and license plates issued to the owner of the motor vehicle involved in the accident is required.

If the records of the Department reasonably indicate that any insurance carrier or surety company does not cause to be filed the notice herein required, the Commissioner shall report every such omission to the State Corporation Commission.

The State Corporation Commission shall investigate every such report of omission. If the Commission finds that any insurance carrier or surety company licensed to transact business in the Commonwealth, has failed, without good reason, to cause to be filed the notice required hereunder, the State Corporation Commission may assess the carrier or company fifty dollars for each omission.

Code 1950, § 46-438; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-451; 1972, c. 442; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-425. Driver or owner having no license issued by Department.

In case a driver or owner has no driver's license issued by the Department or no motor vehicle registered in his name in the Commonwealth, he shall not be allowed a driver's license or motor vehicle registration until he has complied with this chapter to the same extent as would be necessary if he had held a driver's license or a motor vehicle registration at the time of the accident in which he was involved or at the time of the commission of the offense resulting in a conviction as is mentioned in §§ 46.2-389 and 46.2-391.

Code 1950, § 46-439; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-452; 1984, c. 780; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-426. Custody and application of cash or securities deposited; limitation of actions; assignment.

Cash or securities furnished in compliance with the requirements of this chapter shall be placed by the Commissioner in the custody of the State Treasurer and shall be applicable only to the payment of any judgment against the depositor for damages arising out of the accident in question in an action at law in a court in the Commonwealth begun not later than one year after the date of the accident. The cash or securities may be assigned by the depositor for the benefit of the person or persons damaged or injured in the accident as the result of which the cash or securities were filed or deposited without the damaged or injured person being required to institute legal proceedings. The Commissioner shall accept the assignment if, in his opinion, the rights of any other person or persons shall not be prejudiced thereby.

Code 1950, § 46-441; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-454; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-427. (Effective October 1, 2019) When suspensions to remain effective; relief from furnishing proof of financial responsibility; prohibition against registration in name of another person.

The suspension required by the provisions of § 46.2-417 shall continue except as otherwise provided by §§ 46.2-421 and 46.2-423 until the person satisfies the judgment or judgments as prescribed in § 46.2-419 and gives proof of his financial responsibility in the future. However, the judgment debtor whose driving privileges, registration certificates, and license plates have been so suspended may petition the court that entered the judgment for reinstatement of his driving privileges, registration certificates, and license plates and the court may order reinstatement if the judgment has not been satisfied, provided the judgment debtor proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the judgment debtor (i) is unable, after examination of the records of the Department and the court reflecting that suspension and the exercise of due diligence, to locate the person to whom payment is due or, if the person to whom payment is due is dead, the judgment debtor is unable to identify either who are his heirs and assignees, or where they are located, and (ii) has paid into the court an amount equal to the judgment, court costs, and all interest that has accrued up to the date payment was made to the court. Any payment made to the court under this section shall be held for one year and, if unclaimed by the judgment creditor during that period, shall be transmitted by the court to the State Treasurer or his designee to be disposed of pursuant to the Virginia Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act (§ 55.1-2500 et seq.).

Upon receipt of such an order, the Commissioner shall reinstate the driving privileges, registration certificates, and license plates of the judgment debtor, provided the judgment debtor has given proof of his financial responsibility in the future and satisfied all other reinstatement requirements as provided in this chapter.

The motor vehicle involved in the accident on which the suspension under § 46.2-417 is based shall not be registered in the name of any other person when the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe that the registration of the vehicle will have the effect of defeating the purpose of the chapter and no other motor vehicle shall be registered, and no driver's license or learner's permit shall be issued in the name of the person suspended, except as prescribed in § 46.2-437 until the suspension is terminated.

This section shall not relieve any person from giving or maintaining proof of his financial responsibility when he is required so to do for some reason rather than having been involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Code 1950, §§ 46-446, 46-447, 46-477.1; 1950, p. 639; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-459; 1972, c. 638; 1984, c. 780; 1989, c. 727; 2003, c. 316; 2013, c. 598.

§ 46.2-427. (Effective until October 1, 2019) When suspensions to remain effective; relief from furnishing proof of financial responsibility; prohibition against registration in name of another person.

The suspension required by the provisions of § 46.2-417 shall continue except as otherwise provided by §§ 46.2-421 and 46.2-423 until the person satisfies the judgment or judgments as prescribed in § 46.2-419 and gives proof of his financial responsibility in the future. However, the judgment debtor whose driving privileges, registration certificates, and license plates have been so suspended may petition the court that entered the judgment for reinstatement of his driving privileges, registration certificates, and license plates and the court may order reinstatement if the judgment has not been satisfied, provided the judgment debtor proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the judgment debtor (i) is unable, after examination of the records of the Department and the court reflecting that suspension and the exercise of due diligence, to locate the person to whom payment is due or, if the person to whom payment is due is dead, the judgment debtor is unable to identify either who are his heirs and assignees, or where they are located, and (ii) has paid into the court an amount equal to the judgment, court costs, and all interest that has accrued up to the date payment was made to the court. Any payment made to the court under this section shall be held for one year and, if unclaimed by the judgment creditor during that period, shall be transmitted by the court to the State Treasurer or his designee to be disposed of pursuant to Chapter 11.1 (§ 55-210.1 et seq.) of Title 55.

Upon receipt of such an order, the Commissioner shall reinstate the driving privileges, registration certificates, and license plates of the judgment debtor, provided the judgment debtor has given proof of his financial responsibility in the future and satisfied all other reinstatement requirements as provided in this chapter.

The motor vehicle involved in the accident on which the suspension under § 46.2-417 is based shall not be registered in the name of any other person when the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe that the registration of the vehicle will have the effect of defeating the purpose of the chapter and no other motor vehicle shall be registered, and no driver's license or learner's permit shall be issued in the name of the person suspended, except as prescribed in § 46.2-437 until the suspension is terminated.

This section shall not relieve any person from giving or maintaining proof of his financial responsibility when he is required so to do for some reason rather than having been involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Code 1950, §§ 46-446, 46-447, 46-477.1; 1950, p. 639; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-459; 1972, c. 638; 1984, c. 780; 1989, c. 727; 2003, c. 316; 2013, c. 598.

§ 46.2-428. Commonwealth responsible for deposits.

The Commonwealth shall be responsible for the safekeeping of all bonds, cash, and securities deposited with the State Treasurer under the provisions of this chapter, and if the deposit or any part of the deposit is lost, destroyed, or misappropriated the Commonwealth shall make good the loss to any person entitled thereto.

Code 1950, § 46-448; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-460; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-429. Release of deposits only upon consent of Commissioner.

Bonds, cash, or securities deposited with the State Treasurer pursuant to this chapter shall only be released by the State Treasurer upon consent of the Commissioner given in conformity with this chapter.

Code 1950, § 46-449; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-461; 1989, c. 727.

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