Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
9/23/2020

Article 15. Proof of Financial Responsibility.

§ 46.2-435. Proof of financial responsibility to be furnished for each vehicle.

Proof of financial responsibility in the amounts required by this chapter shall be furnished for each motor vehicle registered by the person required to furnish such proof.

Code 1950, § 46-455; 1954, c. 378; 1958, cc. 501, 541, § 46.1-467; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-436. Methods of proving financial responsibility.

Proof of financial responsibility when required under this chapter may be given by proof that:

1. A policy or policies of motor vehicle liability insurance have been obtained and are in full force;

2. A bond has been duly executed;

3. A deposit has been made of money or securities; or

4. A self-insurance certificate has been filed, all as provided in this chapter.

Code 1950, § 46-456; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-468; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-437. Proof of financial responsibility by owner in lieu of driver.

When the Commissioner finds that any person required to give proof of financial responsibility under this title is or later becomes a driver, however designated, or a member of the immediate family or household, in the employ or home of an owner of a motor vehicle, the Commissioner shall accept proof of financial responsibility given by the owner in lieu of proof of financial responsibility by such person to permit him to operate a motor vehicle for which the owner has given proof of financial responsibility as provided in this chapter. The Commissioner shall designate the restrictions imposed by this section on the face of the person's driver's license.

Code 1950, § 46-457; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-469; 1972, c. 638; 1984, c. 780; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-438. Proof by owner of vehicles operated under permit or certificate of State Corporation Commission or Department of Motor Vehicles.

If the owner of a motor vehicle is one whose vehicles are operated under a permit or a certificate of convenience and necessity issued by the State Corporation Commission or the Department, proof by the owner on behalf of another as provided by this chapter may be made if there is filed with the Commissioner satisfactory evidence that the owner has complied with the law with respect to his liability for damage caused by the operation of his vehicles by providing the required insurance or other security or has qualified as a self-insurer as described in § 46.2-368.

Code 1950, § 46-458; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-470; 1989, c. 727; 1997, c. 283.

§ 46.2-439. Certificate of insurance carrier.

Proof of financial responsibility, when requested, shall be made by filing with the Commissioner the written certificate of any insurance carrier authorized to do business in the Commonwealth, certifying that there is in effect a motor vehicle liability policy for the benefit of the person required to furnish proof of financial responsibility. This certificate shall give its effective date and the effective date of the policy.

Code 1950, § 46-459; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-471; 1972, c. 380; 1976, c. 143; 1988, c. 860; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-440. Certificate for nonresident may be by carrier not qualified in Commonwealth.

A nonresident owner of a vehicle not registered in Virginia may give proof of financial responsibility by filing with the Commissioner a written certificate or certificates of an insurance carrier not authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth but authorized to transact business in any other state, any territory or possession of the United States and under its exclusive control, Canada or its provinces, or the territorial subdivisions of such states or countries, in which any motor vehicle described in the certificate and all replacement vehicles of similar classification are registered or, if the nonresident does not own a motor vehicle, then in the like jurisdiction in which the insured resides and otherwise conforming to the provisions of this chapter. The Commissioner shall accept the same if the insurance carrier, in addition to having complied with all other provisions of this chapter as requisite, shall:

1. Execute a power of attorney authorizing the Commissioner to accept service on its behalf of notice or process in any action arising out of a motor vehicle accident in the Commonwealth;

2. Duly adopt a resolution, which shall be binding upon it, declaring that its policies are to be deemed to be modified to comply with the law of the Commonwealth and the terms of this chapter relating to the terms of motor vehicle liability policies issued herein;

3. Agree to accept as final and binding the judgment of any court of competent jurisdiction in the Commonwealth from which judgment no appeal is or can be taken, duly rendered in any action arising out of a motor vehicle accident;

4. Deposit with the State Treasurer cash or securities as are mentioned in § 46.2-453 or the surety bond of a company authorized to do business in Virginia equal in value to $60,000 for each insurance policy filed as proof of financial responsibility.

Code 1950, § 46-460; 1954, c. 378; 1958, cc. 501, 541, § 46.1-472; 1968, c. 685; 1972, c. 433; 1975, c. 382; 1976, c. 143; 1978, c. 220; 1989, cc. 621, 727; 1993, c. 164; 1995, c. 121.

§ 46.2-441. Nonresident may file proof of future financial responsibility of insurance company or other state-authorized entity providing insurance.

Notwithstanding the requirement of §§ 46.2-439 and 46.2-440, a nonresident required to file proof of future financial responsibility under this chapter may file proof of future financial responsibility of an insurance company or other state-authorized entity providing insurance and authorized or licensed to do business in the nonresident's state of residence as long as such proof of future financial responsibility is in the amounts equal to those required by § 46.2-472.

Code 1950, § 46-461; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-473; 1989, c. 727; 1995, c. 121.

§ 46.2-442. Default of foreign insurance carrier.

If any insurance carrier not authorized to do business in the Commonwealth which is qualified to furnish proof of financial responsibility defaults in any of its undertakings or agreements, the Commissioner shall not thereafter accept any certificate of that carrier so long as the default continues and shall revoke licenses previously granted on the basis of its policies unless the default is immediately repaired.

Code 1950, § 46-462; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-474; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-443. Chapter not applicable to certain policies of insurance.

This chapter does not apply to:

1. Policies of automobile insurance against liability which may now or hereafter be required by any other law of the Commonwealth and such policies if endorsed to the requirements of this chapter shall be accepted as proof of financial responsibility when required under this chapter; or

2. Policies insuring solely the insured named in the policy against liability resulting from the maintenance, use, or operation by persons in the insured's employ or in his behalf of motor vehicles not owned by the insured.

Code 1950, § 46-463; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-475; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-444. Surety requirements of bond.

The bond mentioned in subdivision 2 of § 46.2-436 shall be duly executed by the person giving proof and by a surety company duly authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth or by the person giving proof and by one or more individual sureties owning real estate within the Commonwealth and having an equity therein in at least the amount of the bond and the real estate shall be scheduled in the bond. But the Commissioner may not accept any real estate bond unless it is first approved by the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the real estate is located.

Code 1950, § 46-465; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-476; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-445. How bond to be conditioned.

The Commissioner shall not accept any bond unless it is conditioned for payments in amounts and under the same circumstances as would be required in a motor vehicle liability policy furnished by the person giving proof.

Code 1950, § 46-466; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-477; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-446. Notice to Commissioner prerequisite to cancellation of bond; cancellation not to affect rights arising prior thereto.

No bond shall be cancelled unless twenty days' prior written notice of cancellation is given the Commissioner, but cancellation of the bond shall not prevent recovery thereon with respect to any right or cause of action arising prior to the date of cancellation.

Code 1950, § 46-467; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-478; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-447. Bond to constitute lien on real estate of surety.

A bond with individual sureties shall constitute a lien in favor of the Commonwealth on the real estate of any individual surety. The lien shall exist in favor of any holder of any final judgment against the principal on account of damage to property or injury to or death of any person or persons resulting from the ownership, maintenance, use, or operation of his, or any other, motor vehicle, upon the recording of the bond in the office of the clerk of the court where deeds are admitted to record of the city or county where the real estate is located.

Code 1950, § 46-468; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-479; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-448. Notice of cancellation; record; fees.

Notice of cancellation is to be signed by the Commissioner or by someone designated by him and the seal of the Department placed thereon. Notwithstanding any other provision of law the clerk shall record the notice in the books kept for the recording of deeds and shall index the same in the indices thereto for grantors and grantees, under the respective names of the individual sureties in the column for grantors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia in the column for grantees, for which he shall receive two dollars and fifty cents to be paid by the principal in full payment of all services in connection with the recordation and release of the bond. The clerk shall place on the notice a statement showing the time of recording and the book and page of recording and return the notice to the Commissioner.

Code 1950, § 46-469; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-480; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-449. Cancellation of bond with individual sureties; certificates of cancellation.

When a bond with individual sureties filed with the Commissioner is no longer required under this chapter, the Commissioner shall, on request, cancel it as to liability for damage to property or injury to or death of any person or persons thereafter caused and when a bond has been cancelled by the Commissioner or otherwise he shall, on request, furnish a certificate of the cancellation signed by him or by someone designated by him and bearing the seal of the Department. The certificate, notwithstanding any other provision of law, may be recorded in the office of the clerk of the court in which the bond was admitted to record.

Code 1950, § 46-470; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-481; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-450. Order discharging lien of bond.

On satisfactory proof that the bond filed with the Commissioner as provided for in this chapter has been cancelled and that there are no claims or judgments against the principal in the bond on account of damage to property or injury to or death of any person or persons resulting from the ownership, maintenance, use, or operation of a motor vehicle of the principal caused while the bond was in effect, the court in which the bond was admitted to record may enter an order discharging the lien of the bond on the real estate of the sureties thereon, upon their petition and at their proper cost.

Code 1950, § 46-471; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-482; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-451. Action or suit on bond.

If a final judgment rendered against the principal on the bond filed with the Commissioner as provided in this chapter is not satisfied within fifteen days after its rendition, the judgment creditor may, for his own use and benefit and at his sole expense, bring an action on the bond in the name of the Commonwealth against the company or persons executing the bond.

Code 1950, § 46-472; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-483; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-452. Parties to suit on bond with individual sureties.

When the sureties on the bond filed with the Commissioner as provided in this chapter are individuals the judgment creditor may proceed against any or all parties to the bond at law for a judgment or in equity for a decree and foreclosure of the lien on the real estate of the sureties. The proceeding whether at law or in equity may be against one, all, or any intermediate number of the parties to the bond and when less than all are joined other or others may be impleaded in the same proceeding and after final judgment or decree other proceedings may be instituted until full satisfaction is obtained.

Code 1950, § 46-473; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-484; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-453. Proof of financial responsibility by delivering cash or securities.

A person may give proof of financial responsibility by delivering to the Commissioner cash or securities equal to the sum of the liability coverage required for bodily injury or death of two or more persons in any one accident and injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident as prescribed by § 46.2-472. Securities so deposited shall be such as public bodies may invest in according to § 2.2-4500.

Code 1950, § 46-474; 1954, c. 378; 1958, cc. 501, 541, § 46.1-485; 1968, c. 685; 1978, c. 220; 1980, c. 484; 1986, c. 16; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-454. Moneys or securities to be deposited with State Treasurer subject to execution.

All moneys or securities delivered to the Commissioner pursuant to this chapter shall be placed by him in the custody of the State Treasurer and shall be subject to execution to satisfy any judgment within the limits on amounts required by this chapter for motor vehicle liability insurance policies. The State Treasurer shall certify the value of such moneys or securities to the Commissioner as soon as practicable after their delivery to him.

Code 1950, § 46-475; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-486; 1986, c. 16; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-455. Assessment for expense of holding deposits.

For the purpose of defraying the expense of the safekeeping and handling of the cash or securities deposited with him under the provisions of this title, in December of each year the State Treasurer shall levy against each person having cash or securities deposited with him an assessment of not more than one-tenth of one percent of the cash or of the par value of the securities deposited to his account, and shall collect the assessment in January of each year. These funds shall be deposited to the general fund of the state treasury. If any assessment is not paid by January 31 of each year, the State Treasurer shall so notify the Commissioner in writing, attaching thereto a dated copy of the original assessment.

1986, c. 16, § 46.1-486.1; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-456. Additional security if fund impaired by any legal process, or otherwise.

Whenever the moneys or securities are subjected to attachment, garnishment, execution, or other legal process or are otherwise depleted or threatened with depletion or impairment in amount or value the depositor must immediately furnish additional moneys or securities, free from lien, claim, or threat of impairment, in sufficient amount or value fully to comply with the requirements of this chapter.

The Treasurer shall notify the Commissioner promptly of any depletion, impairment, or decrease or of any legal threat of depletion, impairment, or decrease in the value of the securities or in the moneys on deposit with him under the provisions of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 46-476; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-487; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-457. Substitution of new proof; cancellation or return of old.

The Commissioner may cancel any bond or return any certificate of insurance and on the substitution and acceptance by him of other adequate proof of financial responsibility pursuant to this chapter, and on his direction to such effect the State Treasurer shall return any money or securities on deposit with him to the person entitled to it.

Code 1950, § 46-477; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-488; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-458. Interpleader to determine rights in deposits; other proceedings.

The Commissioner and the State Treasurer, or either, may proceed in equity by bill of interpleader for the determination of any dispute as to ownership of or rights in any deposit held by the State Treasurer pursuant to this chapter and may have recourse to any other appropriate proceeding for determination of any question that arises as to their rights or liabilities or as to the rights or liabilities of the Commonwealth under this chapter.

Code 1950, § 46-478; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-489; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-459. When other proof of financial responsibility required; suspension of license pending furnishing of proof required.

Whenever any proof of financial responsibility filed by any person under this chapter no longer fulfills the purpose for which required, the Commissioner shall require other proof of financial responsibility as required by this chapter and shall suspend the person's driver's license, registration cards and license plates pending the furnishing of proof as required.

Nonpayment of the assessment provided for in § 46.2-455 shall also be reason for suspension of the driver's license, registration cards and license plates of a person offering cash or securities as proof of financial responsibility under this chapter. The suspension shall be promptly initiated by the Commissioner on receipt of written notice of nonpayment of the assessment from the State Treasurer and shall take effect ten days from the date of a written notice sent by the Commissioner to the person by first-class mail, the notice to notify the person of the forthcoming suspension if payment is not received within the ten-day period.

Code 1950, § 46-479; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-490; 1984, c. 780; 1986, c. 16; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-460. When Commissioner to consent to cancellation of bond or policy, or return of money or securities.

The Commissioner, on request and subject to the provisions of § 46.2-461, shall consent to the cancellation of any bond or insurance policy or to the return to the person entitled thereto of any money or securities deposited pursuant to this chapter as proof of financial responsibility or he shall not require proof of financial responsibility in the event:

1. Of the death of the person on whose behalf the proof was filed;

2. Of his permanent incapacity to operate a motor vehicle; or

3. That the person who has given proof of financial responsibility surrenders his driver's license, and all of his registration cards, and license plates to the Commissioner.

Code 1950, § 46-480; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-491; 1984, c. 780; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-461. When Commissioner not to release proof of financial responsibility; affidavit of nonexistence of facts.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 46.2-460 the Commissioner shall not release the proof in the event:

1. Any action for damages upon a liability included in this chapter is then pending;

2. Any judgment on any liability is then outstanding and unsatisfied; or

3. The Commissioner has received notice that the person involved has within the period of twelve months immediately preceding been involved as a driver in any motor vehicle accident.

B. An affidavit of the applicant of the nonexistence of these facts shall be sufficient evidence thereof in the absence of evidence in the records of the Department tending to indicate the contrary.

Code 1950, § 46-481; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-492; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-462. New license or registration to person to whom proof surrendered.

Whenever any person to whom proof has been surrendered as provided in § 46.2-460 applies for a driver's license or the registration of a motor vehicle, the application shall be refused unless the applicant reestablishes proof as required by this chapter.

Code 1950, § 46-482; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-493; 1984, c. 780; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-463. Penalty for forging evidence of financial responsibility.

Any person who forges or without authority signs any evidence of ability to respond in damages or knowingly attempts to employ or use any evidence of ability to respond in damages, as required by the Commissioner in the administration of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 46-485; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-496; 1989, c. 727.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

The Virginia General Assembly is offering access to the Code of Virginia on the Internet as a service to the public. We are unable to assist users of this service with legal questions nor respond to requests for legal advice or the application of the law to specific facts. Therefore, to understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.

The Code of Virginia online database excludes material copyrighted by the publisher, Michie, a division of Matthew Bender. Copyrighted material includes annotations and revisors' notes, which may be found in the print version of the Code of Virginia. Annotated print copies of the Code of Virginia are available in most Virginia public library systems, from LexisNexis (1-800-446-3410), and from West, a Thomson-Reuters business (1-800-344-5008).