Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the secretary shall not suspend the registration of a vehicle when ordered not to do so by the court wherein the judgment for damages was had or, in a case not involving a judgment, when ordered not to do so by a court under petition of the registrant in accordance with sub. (2)
Upon receiving information, other than of a judgment for damages in a court of this state, that would be cause for suspension of registration or impoundment of the vehicle, the secretary shall notify the registrant of the intention to suspend such registration or impound the vehicle. The registrant may thereupon petition any court of record in the registrant's county for an order enjoining the secretary's contemplated action, whereupon the judge of such court shall grant an order restraining the secretary in the matter until the petition is finally determined by the court. If such petition and order are served upon the secretary within 10 days after the date of the secretary's notice or in any event before the secretary has suspended the registration or impounded the vehicle, the secretary shall await the final determination of the court. The secretary shall be given notice of the hearing. Upon a showing that it would result in undue hardship upon the petitioner to have any such registration suspended or the vehicle impounded, the court shall issue an order restraining the secretary from suspending the registration or impounding the vehicle.
This section does not authorize a court to stay suspension or revocation of an operator's license.
Courts to report nonpayment of certain judgments. 344.05(1)(1)
If a judgment of $500 or more for damages arising out of a motor vehicle accident is not satisfied within 30 days after its having become final by expiration without appeal of the time within which an appeal might have been taken or by final affirmation on appeal, the clerk of the court in which the judgment was rendered, or the judge if the court has no clerk, shall immediately forward to the secretary a certified copy of the judgment upon request of the judgment creditor or the attorney of record for the judgment creditor.
If the defendant named in any certified copy of a judgment reported to the secretary is a nonresident, the secretary shall transmit a certified copy of the judgment to the official in charge of the issuance of licenses and registration certificates of the state of which the defendant is a resident.
History: 1977 c. 29
s. 1654 (7) (c)
; 1981 c. 20
; Sup. Ct. Order, 146 Wis. 2d xiii (1988); 1997 a. 84
Responsibility law not to prevent other process.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as preventing the plaintiff in any action at law from relying for relief upon the other processes provided by law.
Suspension for failure to report accident. 344.08(1)(1)
The secretary may suspend the operating privilege or registration of any person who fails to report an accident as required by s. 346.70
or to give correctly the information requested by the secretary in connection with such report unless, in the judgment of the secretary, there was excusable cause for such failure or unless the accident did not result in injury or damage to the person or property of anyone other than the person so required to report.
Any operating privilege suspended or revoked under this section, or suspended or revoked under any other section for failure to report an accident, shall be reinstated in accordance with s. 344.09
at the end of one year following the effective date of the suspension or revocation order if, during such one-year period, no notice of action has been filed with the department in the manner specified in s. 344.18 (1) (d)
Reinstatement of operating privilege and registration. 344.09(1)(1)
Whenever the secretary is satisfied that the reason for suspending or revoking an operating privilege under this chapter has been removed, including satisfaction of any of the requirements of s. 344.18
, the secretary shall order reinstatement of the operating privilege. The department shall give notice of the reinstatement to the person whose operating privilege was suspended or revoked in the manner it deems appropriate. The order reinstating a suspended operating privilege has the same effect as an automatic reinstatement under s. 343.39
Whenever an operating privilege suspended or revoked under this chapter is reinstated, any registration that was suspended or revoked along with the operating privilege is reinstated and the department shall return any surrendered and unexpired registration plate in its possession.
Nothing in this section exempts a person from the applicable reinstatement fees under s. 341.36
or from complying with applicable provisions of s. 343.38
SECURITY FOR PAST ACCIDENTS
Applicability of provisions relating to deposit of security for past accidents.
Subject to the exceptions contained in s. 344.14
, the provisions of this chapter requiring deposit of security and requiring suspension for failure to deposit security apply to the operator and owner of every motor vehicle which is in any manner involved in an accident in this state which has resulted in bodily injury to or death of any person or damage to property of any other person of $1,000 or more.
Wisconsin's safety responsibility law. FitzGerald. WBB Feb. 1984.
Secretary to determine amount of security required following accident and to give notice thereof. 344.13(1)(1)
The secretary after receipt of a report of an accident of the type specified in s. 344.12
shall determine, with respect to such accident, the amount of security which is sufficient in the secretary's judgment to satisfy any judgment for damages resulting from such accident which may be recovered against either operator or owner of the vehicles involved in such accident. Such determination shall be based upon the total property damage suffered by other persons whose property was involved in the accident, not including the vehicle a person was operating when such operation was with the owner's permission, and on the extent of personal injuries, including deaths, involving other parties to the accident. The determination as to the amount of security required shall not be made with respect to operators or owners who are exempt from the requirements of security and suspension under s. 344.14 (2)
The secretary shall determine the amount of security required to be deposited by each person on the basis of the accident reports or other information submitted. In addition to the accident reports required by law, the secretary may request from any of the persons, including passengers and pedestrians, involved in such accident such further information, sworn statements or other evidence relating to property damage, personal injury or death in motor vehicle accidents as deemed necessary to aid in determining the amount to be deposited as security under s. 344.14
. Failure of a person to comply with such request is grounds for suspending such person's operating privilege but no suspension shall be made on such grounds until one follow-up request has been made and at least 20 days have elapsed since the mailing of the first request.
The secretary within 90 days after receipt of a report of an accident of the type specified in s. 344.12
and upon determining the amount of security to be required of any person involved in such accident or to be required of the owner of any vehicle involved in such accident, shall give at least 10 days' written notice to every such person of the amount of security required to be deposited by the person. The notice also shall state that an order of suspension will be made as provided in s. 344.14
, unless within such time security is deposited as required by the notice. The order of suspension may be made a part of the notice, with a provision that it will take effect on the date specified in this subsection unless security is deposited prior to that date.
The 90-day time limit under sub. (3) is directory, not mandatory. Warner v. DOT, 102 Wis. 2d 232
, 306 N.W.2d 266
(Ct. App. 1981).
Suspension for failure to deposit security; impoundment of vehicle; exceptions. 344.14(1)(1)
If a person who was given notice under s. 344.13 (3)
fails to deposit security in the amount and by the time specified in the notice, the secretary shall immediately suspend the person's operating privilege if the person was the operator of a motor vehicle involved in the accident and all the person's registrations if the person was the owner of a motor vehicle involved in the accident unless the person furnishes proof satisfactory to the secretary that the person comes within one of the exceptions set forth in sub. (2)
. If the owner and operator are separate persons, only one of them need deposit security or the 2 persons may cooperate in depositing security. Upon request of the owner or operator in question, the secretary may postpone the effective date of a suspension under this section not to exceed 20 days.
The secretary shall refuse registration of any vehicle owned by a person whose registration has been suspended or revoked under sub. (1)
In addition to the suspensions under sub. (1)
, the secretary may order the impoundment of any motor vehicle which is:
Registered in the name of the owner of the motor vehicle involved in the accident.
Registered in the name of the operator of the motor vehicle involved in the accident.
To the owner of a motor vehicle involved in an accident if the owner had in effect at the time of the accident a policy or bond with respect to such motor vehicle, which policy or bond complies with the requirements of s. 344.15
To the operator who is not the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident if either the owner had in effect a policy or bond applying to the operator's operation of the motor vehicle at the time of the accident or there was in effect at the time of the accident a policy or bond with respect to the operator's operation of motor vehicles not owned by the operator, which policy or bond meets the requirements of s. 344.15
To the operator or owner whose liability for damages resulting from the accident is, in the judgment of the secretary, covered by any other form of liability insurance policy or bond meeting the requirements of s. 344.15
To any person qualifying as a self-insurer under s. 344.16
or to any person operating a vehicle for such self-insurer.
To the operator or owner of a vehicle involved in an accident wherein no injury was caused to the person of anyone other than such operator or owner and wherein damage to property of any one person other than such operator or owner did not equal or exceed $1,000.
To the operator or owner of a vehicle legally parked at the time of the accident, provided that the operators of the other vehicles involved admit that such vehicle was legally parked or other proof establishing such fact to the secretary's satisfaction is filed.
To the owner of a vehicle if, at the time of the accident, the vehicle was being operated without the owner's permission, express or implied, or was parked by a person who had been operating such vehicle without such permission.
To any person who would otherwise have to deposit security if, prior to the date the secretary would otherwise suspend the person's operating privilege and registrations under sub. (1)
or order the impoundment of the motor vehicle under sub. (1m)
, there is filed with the secretary evidence satisfactory to the secretary that the person has been released from liability or has been finally adjudicated not to be liable or has executed a duly acknowledged written agreement providing for the payment of an agreed amount in installments with respect to all claims for injuries or damage resulting from the accident. The secretary may accept a release from liability executed by a parent as natural guardian or by a guardian ad litem on behalf of a minor child with respect to property damage or personal injuries sustained by the minor.
To the owner of a vehicle insured as required by s. 121.53
or to the operator of such vehicle if operating with the owner's permission at the time of the accident.
To the owner of a vehicle involved in an accident if at the time of the accident such vehicle was owned by or leased to the United States, this state or any county or municipality of this state, or to the operator of such vehicle if operating such vehicle with permission.
To the operator or the owner of a vehicle involved in an accident when it appears to the satisfaction of the secretary that there does not exist a reasonable possibility of a judgment in the amount claimed or in a lesser amount being rendered against such operator as a result of the accident.
To the operator or owner involved in an accident if, at the time of the accident, the operator was complying with s. 344.62 (1)
or s. 344.63 (1)
A motor vehicle may not be impounded under sub. (1m)
if the vehicle is registered, or is required to be registered, in the name of the lessee of the vehicle.
Before the impoundment of a motor vehicle under sub. (1m)
, the department shall conduct a reasonable search for the owner of the motor vehicle and any holder of a security interest, mortgage or other interest and notify the person so identified of the action.
Any person notified under par. (a)
before the vehicle is impounded shall be given not less than 10 days to furnish sufficient proof to the secretary that one of the exceptions in sub. (2)
Requirements as to policy or bond. 344.15(1)(1)
No policy or bond is effective under s. 344.14
unless issued by an insurer authorized to do an automobile liability or surety business in this state, except as provided in sub. (2)
, or unless the policy or bond is subject, if the accident has resulted in bodily injury or death, to a limit of not less than $25,000 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 $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 2 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 $10,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
A policy or bond with respect to a vehicle which was not registered in this state or was registered elsewhere at the time of the effective date of the policy or bond or the most recent renewal thereof may be effective under s. 344.14
even though not issued by an insurer authorized to do an automobile liability or surety business in this state if the policy or bond either meets the liability limits specified in sub. (1)
or meets the liability limits of the equivalent law of the state in which issued and such limits are, in the judgment of the secretary, adequate to cover any damage or injury involved in the accident in question.
Where service of process is made on the secretary, the secretary shall forthwith mail by registered mail a copy of the process papers to the insurer at the address given. In all cases of such service, there shall be served 2 authenticated copies for the secretary and such additional number of authenticated copies as there are defendants so served in the action. One of the secretary's copies shall be retained for the secretary's record of service and the other copy shall be returned with proper certificate of service attached for filing in court as proof of service of the copies by having mailed them by registered mail to the defendants named therein. The service fee shall be $4 for each defendant so served.
After receipt of the report of an accident of the type specified in s. 344.12
, the secretary may forward to the insurer named therein, that portion of the report or other notice which pertains to an automobile liability policy or bond. The secretary shall assume that an automobile liability policy or bond as described in this section was in effect and applied to both the owner and operator with respect to the accident unless the insurer notifies the secretary otherwise within 30 days from the mailing to the insurer of that portion of the report or other notice pertaining to the automobile liability policy or bond. Upon receipt of notice from the insurer that an automobile liability policy or bond was in effect as to the owner only, the operator only or was not in effect as to either of them, the secretary shall within the remainder of the 90-day period specified in s. 344.13 (3)
require the owner or operator or both, whichever is applicable, to deposit security pursuant to this chapter. As respects permission to operate the vehicle, the insurer may correct the report or other notice only if it files with the secretary within the 30-day period specified in this subsection an affidavit signed by the owner stating that the operator did not have the owner's permission to operate the vehicle. Where the insurer's failure to notify the secretary within 30 days of a correction in that portion of the report or other notice pertaining to an automobile liability policy or bond is caused by fraud, the insurer shall notify the secretary of the correction within 30 days of the time the fraud is discovered.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to impose any obligation not otherwise assumed by the insurer in its automobile liability policy or bond except that if no correction is made in the report or other notice within 30 days after it is mailed to the insurer, the insurer, except in case of fraud, whenever such fraud may occur, is estopped from using as a defense to its liability the insured's failure to give permission to the operator or a violation of the purposes of use specified in the automobile liability policy or bond or the use of the vehicle beyond agreed geographical limits.
The failure to make a correction within the 30-day period under sub. (5) only estops an insurer from asserting one of the defenses listed in that subsection. Holmgren v. Strebig, 54 Wis. 2d 590
, 196 N.W.2d 655
The 30-day notice requirement in subs. (4) and (5) is mandatory. Substantial compliance was inapplicable. Midwest Mutual Insurance Co. v. Nicolazzi, 138 Wis. 2d 192
, 405 N.W.2d 732
(Ct. App. 1987).
When the insured is also the operator, subs. (4) and (5) do not operate to estop an insurer from raising a “permission" defense. Nelson v. Zeimetz, 150 Wis. 2d 785
, 442 N.W.2d 530
(Ct. App. 1989).
Coverage of automobile liability insurance is not mandatory in Wisconsin, and a liability policy issued in Oregon with limits of $10,000 per person is not in conflict with this statute. Schanche v. Estate of Alvarez, 368 F. Supp. 543
Requirements as to self-insurers. 344.16(1)(1)
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 secretary as provided in sub. (2)
The secretary may, upon the application of such a person, issue a certificate of self-insurance when satisfied that such person is possessed and will continue to be possessed of ability to pay judgments obtained against such person.
Upon not less than 5 days' notice and a hearing pursuant to such notice, the secretary may upon reasonable grounds cancel a certificate of self-insurance. Failure to pay any judgment within 30 days after such judgment has become final constitutes a reasonable ground for cancellation of a certificate of self-insurance.
The uninsured motorist coverage requirements of s. 632.32 are inapplicable to self-insured entities under s. 344.16. Classified Insurance Co. v. Budget Rent-A-Car Inc. 186 Wis. 2d 476
, 521 N.W.2d 478
(Ct. App. 1994).
No statute requires a self-insured entity under s. 344.16 to provide uninsured motorist coverage as part of the optional insurance it offers to its customers. Prophet v. Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company, Inc. 2000 WI App 171
, 238 Wis. 2d 150
, 617 N.W.2d 225
A car-rental company issued a certificate of self-insurance under this section and subject to liability limits under ss. 344.01 (2) (d) and 344.51 was not a self-insurer for purposes of an underinsured motorist clause that excluded coverage for a vehicle owned or operated by a “self-insurer." Bethke v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company, 2013 WI 16
, 345 Wis. 2d 533
, 825 N.W.2d 482
Requirements as to form and amount of security. 344.17(1)(1)
The security required under s. 344.14
shall be in such form and in such amount as the secretary may require but in no case in excess of the limits specified in s. 344.15 (1)
with reference to the acceptable limits of a policy or bond. The person depositing security shall specify in writing the person or persons on whose behalf the deposit is made and, at any time while such deposit is in the custody of the secretary, the person depositing it may, in writing, amend the specification of the persons on whose behalf the deposit is made to include an additional person or persons, subject to the limitation that a single deposit of security shall be applicable only on behalf of persons required to furnish security because of the same accident.
The secretary may reduce the amount of security ordered in any case if, in the secretary's judgment, from evidence submitted, the amount ordered is excessive or has become excessive by filed release on part of the liability or by adjudication reducing the extent of the liability. In case the security originally ordered had been deposited at the time the reduced amount is ordered, the excess over the reduced amount shall be returned to the depositor or the personal representative forthwith, notwithstanding s. 344.20
History: 1973 c. 189
; Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 776 (1975); 1975 c. 218
; 1977 c. 29
s. 1654 (7) (c)
; 1977 c. 43
Duration of suspension for failure to deposit security. 344.18(1)(1)
Any registration suspended or revoked under s. 344.14
shall remain suspended or revoked and shall not be renewed or reinstated until the person pays the fee required under s. 341.36 (1m)
, meets one of the requirements under pars. (a)
and satisfies the requirements of sub. (1m)
. Any operating privilege suspended or revoked under s. 344.14
shall remain suspended or revoked and shall not be reinstated until the person pays the fees required under s. 343.21 (1) (j)
, complies with the applicable provisions of s. 343.38
and meets any of the following requirements:
The person whose operating privilege or registration was suspended or revoked deposits the security required under s. 344.14
There is filed with the secretary evidence satisfactory to the secretary that the person whose operating privilege or registration was suspended or revoked has been released from liability or has been finally adjudicated not to be liable. The secretary may accept a release executed by a parent on behalf of a minor child only as provided under s. 344.14 (2) (h)
There is filed with the secretary evidence satisfactory to the secretary that the person whose operating privilege or registration was suspended or revoked has executed a duly acknowledged written agreement in accordance with s. 344.14 (2) (h)
and subject to sub. (3)
One year has elapsed since the effective date of the suspension or revocation order and, during such period, no notice has been filed with the secretary by any claimant that an action was commenced by a party in interest. If the action was commenced in a court of record, the notice required by this paragraph shall include a certified copy of the summons and complaint or counterclaim or cross-complaint and proof of service filed therein. In all cases of service under s. 345.09
, an additional notice and service must be made under this chapter to avail oneself of the provisions of this chapter.
Unless 3 years have elapsed since the date that a requirement under sub. (1) (a)
, or (d)
has been met or unless the person is a nonresident, the person whose operating privilege or registration was suspended or revoked under s. 344.14
shall file with the department and maintain in effect proof of financial responsibility in the amount, form, and manner specified in this chapter.
This subsection applies as a condition precedent to reinstatement of an operating privilege or registration suspended or revoked under s. 344.14
If a person defaults in the payment of any installment under a duly acknowledged written agreement, the secretary, upon notice of such default given in no event later than 30 days after the time for final installment, shall immediately suspend the registrations and operating privilege of the defaulting person. A suspension or revocation of registration under this subsection shall remain in effect until the person pays the fee required under s. 341.36 (1m)
, meets the requirement under par. (a)
and satisfies the requirements of sub. (3m)
. A suspension or revocation of an operating privilege under this subsection shall remain in effect until the person pays the fees required in s. 343.21 (1) (j)
, complies with the applicable provisions of s. 343.38
and meets any of the following requirements:
One year has elapsed since the effective date of the suspension or revocation order and, during such period, no notice has been filed with the secretary by any claimant that an action was commenced by a party in interest. The notice required by this paragraph shall comply with sub. (1) (d)