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344.19(3) (3)Upon receipt of such certification from another state to the effect that the operating privilege or registration of a resident of this state has been suspended or revoked in such other state under a law providing for its suspension or revocation for failure to deposit security for payment of judgments arising out of a motor vehicle accident, under circumstances which would require the secretary to suspend a nonresident's operating privilege or registration had the accident occurred in this state, the secretary shall suspend the operating privilege of such resident if he or she was the operator and all of his or her registrations if he or she was the owner of a motor vehicle involved in such accident. The department may accept a certification which is in the form of a combined notice of required security and suspension order, but shall not suspend a resident's operating privilege or registration on the basis of such order until at least 30 days have elapsed since the time for depositing security in the other state expired. A suspension or revocation of operating privilege under this section shall continue until such resident furnishes evidence of his or her compliance with the law of the other state relating to the deposit of security, pays the fees required under s. 343.21 (1) (j) and (n) and complies with the applicable provisions of s. 343.38. A suspension or revocation of registration under this section shall continue until such resident furnishes evidence of his or her compliance with the law of the other state relating to the deposit of security, pays the fee required under s. 341.36 (1m) and satisfies the requirements of sub. (3m).
344.19(3g) (3g)The secretary shall refuse registration of any vehicle owned by a person whose registration has been suspended or revoked under sub. (3).
344.19(3m) (3m)
344.19(3m)(a)(a) Unless 3 years have elapsed since compliance of the resident with the law of the other state relating to the deposit of security, the resident whose operating privilege or registration was suspended or revoked under sub. (3) shall file with the department and maintain in effect proof of financial responsibility in the amount, form and manner specified in this chapter.
344.19(3m)(b) (b) This subsection applies as a condition precedent to reinstatement of an operating privilege or registration suspended or revoked under sub. (3).
344.19 History History: 1977 c. 29 ss. 1464, 1654 (7) (a), (c); 1991 a. 269, 316; 1997 a. 84; 2007 a. 20.
344.20 344.20 Custody, disposition and return of security.
344.20(1)(1)Security shall be deposited with the secretary in compliance with this chapter.
344.20(2) (2)The secretary shall apply the security only to the payment of judgments and assignments and only as provided in this subsection:
344.20(2)(a) (a) The security may be applied to the payment of judgments for damages arising out of the accident in question rendered against either operator or owner for the damages resulting from such accident in an action at law. Any party to such action in favor of whom a judgment was rendered may move to have the court order the secretary to transmit to the court for application to the payment of the judgment the money or securities available for such purpose, and the court may so order. The secretary shall transmit to the clerk of the court the money or securities in the amount authorized by par. (c) or in the amount specified in the court order if less than the amount so authorized. Securities transmitted shall be valued at the same amount as when received by the department. Any excess shall be returned by the court to the secretary to be held by the secretary subject to the provisions of this chapter.
344.20(2)(b) (b) Subject to the restrictions imposed by par. (c), the security may be applied to the payment of a duly acknowledged assignment by the person who made the deposit, provided the assignment is accompanied by releases signed by all parties in interest and releasing the assignor from all liability to such parties on account of damages arising out of the accident in question.
344.20(2)(c) (c) No amount in excess of the portion designated by the secretary as having been deposited on account of damages suffered by the assignee or judgment creditor or person representing either of them shall be paid out on behalf of such person unless the depositor has been released from liability by all other parties in interest. In the latter event, the deposit may be applied to the payment of the judgment or assignment in question without regard to the designations.
344.20(3) (3)
344.20(3)(a)(a) The deposit of security or any balance thereof shall be returned to the depositor or the personal representative under the conditions provided in par. (b) or (c).
344.20(3)(b) (b) The deposit or any balance thereof shall be returned when evidence satisfactory to the secretary has been filed that one of the contingencies specified in s. 344.18 (1) (b), (c) or (d) or (3) (b) has occurred.
344.20(3)(c) (c) If the provisions of s. 344.18 (1) (b), (c) or (d) or (3) (b) are not applicable, the deposit or any balance thereof shall be returned when one year has elapsed from the date the deposit was made and during that 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.
344.20(4) (4)Security deposited under this section shall be paid into the transportation fund and invested in accordance with s. 25.17 (1) (v).
344.21 344.21 Matters not to be evidence in civil suits. Neither the report required following an accident, the action taken by the department pursuant to this chapter, the findings, if any, upon which such action is based nor the security filed as provided in this chapter shall be referred to in any way or be any evidence of the negligence or due care of either party at the trial of any action at law to recover damages, but this shall not be construed to exclude a notice of insurance filed pursuant to s. 344.14 or 344.15 (4), or both, from being admissible in evidence where it would otherwise be material and admissible under the rules of evidence.
344.21 History History: 1977 c. 29 s. 1654 (7) (e); 1985 a. 29.
344.22 344.22 Short title. Sections 344.12 to 344.22 and the general provisions applicable thereto may be cited as the safety responsibility law.
subch. III of ch. 344 SUBCHAPTER III
PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
FOR THE FUTURE
344.24 344.24 Applicability of sections relating to proof of financial responsibility for the future. Sections 344.29 to 344.41 are applicable in all cases in which a person is required to deposit proof of financial responsibility for the future, including those cases in which a person is required to deposit proof of financial responsibility for the future under ss. 344.25 to 344.27, those cases in which the deposit of proof of financial responsibility for the future is a condition precedent to reinstatement of an operating privilege or registration suspended or revoked under s. 344.14, 344.18 (3) or 344.19 (3) and those cases in which the deposit of proof of financial responsibility for the future is a condition precedent to issuance of an operator's license under s. 343.38 (4) or reinstatement of an operating privilege revoked under ch. 343.
344.24 History History: 1989 a. 72; 1991 a. 269; 1997 a. 84.
344.25 344.25 Suspension for nonpayment of judgment; exceptions. Upon the receipt, under s. 344.05, of a certified copy of a judgment for damages of $500 or more arising out of a motor vehicle accident, the secretary shall immediately suspend the operating privilege and all registrations of the person against whom such judgment was rendered, subject to the following exceptions:
344.25(1) (1)If the judgment arose out of an accident caused by the ownership or operation, with permission, of a vehicle owned by or leased to the United States, this state or any county or municipality of this state or a vehicle subject to the requirements of s. 121.53, 194.41 or 194.42, the secretary shall not suspend such operating privilege or registration.
344.25(2) (2)If the judgment creditor consents in writing in such form as the secretary may prescribe that the judgment debtor be allowed to retain or reinstate the operating privilege and registrations, the same may be allowed by the secretary for 6 months from the date of such consent and thereafter until such consent is revoked in writing, notwithstanding default in the payment of such judgment or of any installments thereof as prescribed in s. 344.27, provided the judgment debtor furnishes proof of financial responsibility for the future and maintains such proof at all times when such license and registrations are in effect during a period of 3 years following the date on which the agreement is filed with the secretary.
344.25(3) (3)The secretary shall not suspend such operating privilege or registrations if the judgment debtor obtains a court order for installment payments and furnishes proof of financial responsibility as provided in s. 344.27.
344.25(5) (5)When the secretary receives certification of the entry of a damage judgment in accordance with s. 344.05 against a resident of this state which has been entered by an Indian tribal court in this state or by a court in another jurisdiction, the secretary shall give notice to the person of the receipt of the certification of judgment. If satisfaction of such judgment is not made and copy of such satisfaction filed with the secretary within 30 days from the date such notice was given, the secretary shall suspend the operating privilege and registrations of such judgment debtor.
344.25(6) (6)Notwithstanding sub. (5), subs. (2) and (3) apply to a damage judgment in accordance with s. 344.05 against a resident of this state which has been entered by an Indian tribal court in this state.
344.25(7) (7)At the time of the motor vehicle accident giving rise to the judgment, the person was complying with s. 344.62 (1) or s. 344.63 (1) applies.
344.26 344.26 Suspension after judgment for money damages.
344.26(1)(1)
344.26(1)(a) (a) Subject to the exceptions stated in ss. 344.25 (2) and 344.27 (2), any operating privilege or registration suspended or revoked under s. 344.25 shall remain suspended or revoked for 5 years from the date of entry of judgment or until the judgment is stayed, satisfied, or discharged, whichever is earlier, and, unless 3 years have elapsed since the date on which the judgment was stayed, satisfied, or discharged or 8 years have elapsed since the date of entry of judgment, whichever is earlier, or unless the person is a nonresident, until the person whose operating privilege and registration was suspended or revoked furnishes and maintains in effect proof of financial responsibility for the future.
344.26(1)(b) (b) If suspension of any operating privilege or registration under s. 344.25 was terminated before 5 years from the date of entry of judgment because an exception under s. 344.25 (2) or 344.27 (2) applied and the judgment debtor's operating privilege or registration is subsequently suspended under s. 344.25 (2) or 344.27 (3), the operating privilege or registration shall remain suspended for all of the following periods:
344.26(1)(b)1. 1. Five years from the date of suspension under s. 344.25 (2) or 344.27 (3) or until the judgment is stayed, satisfied, or discharged, whichever is earlier. A suspension period that commences on the date of suspension under s. 344.25 (2) or 344.27 (3) under this subdivision shall be reduced by the amount of time that the judgment debtor's operating privilege or registration was suspended under s. 344.25 before one of the exceptions under s. 344.25 (2) or 344.27 (2) was satisfied.
344.26(1)(b)2. 2. Three years from the date on which the period under subd. 1. expires. The suspension under this subdivision does not apply to a person who is a nonresident or who furnishes and maintains in effect proof of financial responsibility for the future.
344.26(3) (3)Judgments in excess of the amounts specified in s. 344.01 (2) (d) shall, for the purpose of this section only, be deemed satisfied when payments in the amounts so specified have been credited thereon. 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 respective amounts so specified.
344.27 344.27 Installment payment of judgments; suspension upon default.
344.27(1)(1)A judgment debtor upon due notice to the judgment creditor may apply to the court in which such judgment was rendered for the privilege of paying such judgment in installments and the court, in its discretion and without prejudice to any other legal remedies which the judgment creditor may have, may so order and fix the amounts and times of payment of the installments.
344.27(2) (2)The secretary shall not suspend the operating privilege or registration and shall restore any operating privilege or registration suspended following nonpayment of a judgment when the judgment debtor obtains such order permitting the payment of the judgment in installments and, unless 3 years have elapsed since the date on which the order permitting the payment of the judgment in installments is filed with the secretary or unless the judgment debtor is a nonresident, furnishes and maintains proof of financial responsibility for the future.
344.27(3) (3)If the judgment debtor fails to pay any installment as specified by such order, the secretary, upon notice of such default, shall immediately suspend the operating privilege and registrations of the judgment debtor until such judgment is satisfied or until the applicable time limit is reached as provided in s. 344.26.
344.29 344.29 Proof of financial responsibility for the future required. Proof of financial responsibility for the future shall be furnished by any person required to give such proof under ss. 344.25 to 344.27, those cases in which the deposit of proof of financial responsibility for the future is a condition precedent to reinstatement of an operating privilege or registration suspended or revoked under s. 344.14, 344.18 (3) or 344.19 (3) and in those cases in which the deposit of proof of financial responsibility for the future is a condition precedent to issuance of an operator's license under s. 343.38 (4) or reinstatement of an operating privilege revoked under ch. 343.
344.29 History History: 1973 c. 90; 1989 a. 72; 1991 a. 269; 1997 a. 84.
344.30 344.30 Methods of giving proof of financial responsibility. Whenever a person is required under ch. 343 or this chapter to give proof of financial responsibility for the future, such proof may be given by filing:
344.30(1) (1)Certification of insurance as provided in s. 344.31; or
344.30(2) (2)A bond as provided in s. 344.36; or
344.30(3) (3)A certificate of deposit of money or securities as provided in s. 344.37; or
344.30(4) (4)A certificate of self-insurance as provided in s. 344.16, supplemented by an agreement by the self-insurer that, with respect to accidents occurring while the certificate is in force, the self-insurer will pay the same amounts that an insurer would have been obligated to pay under a motor vehicle liability policy if it had issued such a policy to such self-insurer.
344.31 344.31 Certification of insurance as proof. Proof of financial responsibility for the future may be furnished by filing with the secretary the written certification of any insurer duly authorized to do business in this state that there is in effect a motor vehicle liability policy for the benefit of the person required to furnish proof of financial responsibility or by transmitting such certification to the secretary by another means approved by the secretary. Such certification shall give the effective date of such motor vehicle liability policy, which date shall be the same as the effective date of the certification and shall certify coverage for any motor vehicle operated by the named insured if the certification is required to be furnished by a vehicle operator or coverage for any motor vehicle owned by the named insured if the certification is required to be furnished by a vehicle owner.
344.31 Annotation No policy issued pursuant to the ch. 344 financial responsibility statutes may exclude coverage for persons related by blood or marriage to the operator as mandated by s. 632.32 (6) (b) 1. Bindrim v. Colonial Ins. Co. 190 Wis. 2d 525, 527 N.W.2d 321 (1995).
344.31 Annotation This section does not mandate insurance on the person (an operator's policy) and on all the vehicles such person may own (an owner's policy). It is incumbent upon the person seeking insurance to inform the insurance company of whether he or she wants an operator's policy, an owner's policy, or both. It is not the insurer's duty, absent instruction from the insured, to issue both types of policies. McKillip v. Bauman, 2005 WI App 165, 285 Wis. 2d 646, 702 N.W.2d 79, 04-2489.
344.33 344.33“ Motor vehicle liability policy" defined.
344.33(1)(1)Certification. In this chapter, “motor vehicle liability policy" means a motor vehicle policy of liability insurance, certified as provided in s. 344.31 as proof of financial responsibility for the future, and issued by an insurer authorized to do an automobile liability business in this state to or for the benefit of the person named in the policy as the insured.
344.33(2) (2)Motor vehicle liability policy. A motor vehicle policy of liability insurance shall insure the person named therein using any motor vehicle with the express or implied permission of the owner, or shall insure any motor vehicle owned by the named insured and any person using such motor vehicle with the express or implied permission of the named insured, against loss from the liability imposed by law for damages arising out of the maintenance or use of the motor vehicle within the United States of America or the Dominion of Canada, subject to the following limits with respect to each such motor vehicle:
344.33(2)(a) (a) Twenty-five thousand dollars because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident.
344.33(2)(b) (b) Subject to the limit under par. (a) for one person, $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons in any one accident.
344.33(2)(c) (c) Ten thousand dollars because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
344.33(3) (3)Required statements in policy. Such motor vehicle liability policy shall state the name and address of the named insured, the coverage afforded by the policy, the premium charged therefor, the policy period and the limits of liability, and shall contain an agreement or be endorsed that insurance is provided thereunder in accordance with the coverage defined in this chapter with respect to bodily injury and death or property damage, or both, and is subject to all the provisions of this chapter.
344.33(4) (4)Certain types of coverage excluded. Such motor vehicle liability policy shall not insure any liability under any worker's compensation law as provided in ch. 102 nor any liability on account of bodily injury to or death of any employee of the insured while engaged in the employment, other than domestic, of the insured, or while engaged in the operation, maintenance or repair of any such motor vehicle or any liability for damage to property owned by, rented to, in charge of or transported by the insured.
344.33(5) (5)Provisions incorporated in policy by law. Every motor vehicle liability policy shall be subject to the following provisions which need not be contained therein:
344.33(5)(a) (a) The policy may not be canceled or annulled as to such liability by any agreement between the insurer and the insured after the occurrence of any injury or damage covered by such motor vehicle liability policy.
344.33(5)(b) (b) The satisfaction by the insured of a judgment for such injury or damage shall not be a condition precedent to the right or duty of the insurer to make payment on account of such injury or damage.
344.33(5)(c) (c) The insurer shall have the right to settle any claim covered by the policy, and if such settlement is made in good faith, the amount thereof shall be deductible from the limits of liability specified in sub. (2).
344.33(5)(d) (d) The policy, the written application therefor, if any, and any rider or endorsement which does not conflict with the provisions of this chapter constitutes the entire contract between the parties.
344.33(6) (6)Excess or additional coverage. Any policy which grants the coverage required for a motor vehicle liability policy may also grant any lawful coverage in excess of or in addition to the coverage specified for a motor vehicle liability policy and such excess or additional coverage is not subject to the provisions of this chapter. With respect to a policy which grants such excess or additional coverage the term “motor vehicle liability policy" applies only to that part of the coverage which is required by this section.
344.33(7) (7)Reimbursement provision permitted. Any motor vehicle liability policy may provide that the insured shall reimburse the insurer for any payment the insurer would not have been obligated to make under the terms of the policy except for the provisions of this section.
344.33(8) (8)Proration of insurance permitted. Any motor vehicle liability policy may provide for the prorating of the insurance thereunder with other valid and collectible insurance.
344.33(9) (9)Multiple policies. The requirements for a motor vehicle liability policy may be fulfilled by the policies of one or more insurers which policies together meet such requirements.
344.33(10) (10)Binders. Any binder issued pending the issuance of a motor vehicle liability policy shall be deemed to fulfill the requirements for such a policy.
344.33 Annotation Although the record owner's son loaned the car to another against the father's express wishes, the record owner's permission under sub. (2) was presumed as a matter of law when the son's custody and control was such that son was the car's real owner. Permissive use is to be viewed the same under sub. (2) or under the omnibus coverage of s. 204.30 (3), 1975 stats. [now s. 632.32 (3)]. Gross v. Joecks, 72 Wis. 2d 583, 241 N.W.2d 727 (1976).
344.33 Annotation Financial responsibility statutes mandate insurance on the person, not on the vehicles that the person may own. Cardinal v. Leader National Insurance Co. 166 Wis. 2d 375, 480 N.W.2d 1 (1992).
344.33 Annotation The requirements of this section do not apply to all automobile insurance policies issued in this state, only those that provide proof of financial responsibility under s. 344.31 or 344.32. Beerbohm v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. 2000 WI App 105, 235 Wis. 2d 182, 612 N.W.2d 338, 99-1784.
344.33 Annotation An insurer's excess coverage was illusory in the context of its nonowned vehicle provision. This section requires policy limits of at least $25,000. The insurer's policy limited coverage to $25,000, but excess only. Because the policy's limit was equal to the statutory minimum, and stacking is prevented, the policy would never provide excess coverage. Janssen v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, 2003 WI App 183, 266 Wis. 2d 430, 668 N.W.2d 820, 02-2928.
344.33 Annotation Sub. (2) applies only to liability policies, not uninsured motorist coverage. Crandall v. Society Insurance, 2004 WI App 34, 269 Wis. 2d 765, 676 N.W.2d 174, 03-1453.
344.33 Annotation The 10-day notice requirement in s. 344.34 results in a period of time in which the insurer owes coverage to the public despite the fact that its policy with its insured was not contractually in force. However, sub. (7) allows an insurer to recover from its insured any claims it paid that it would not have been obligated to pay but for the Financial Responsibility law. When the insured's policy lapsed 3 days before an accident, but the insurer did not send a notice of cancellation to the state under s. 344.34 until after the accident, the insurer had a responsibility to cover 3rd-party losses and was entitled to seek reimbursement from the insured under sub. (7). Acuity v. Albert, 2012 WI App 87, 343 Wis. 2d 594, 819 N.W.2d 340, 12-0382.
344.33 Annotation The meaning of sub. (9) is plain: the minimum coverage requirements of the financial responsibility law can be satisfied only by one or more certified policies. In this case, there was only one certified policy. That policy was required to fulfill the financial responsibility law's requirements. Among other requirements, the policy must “insure the person named therein using any motor vehicle," which meant that the policy's exclusion for injury or damages “resulting from the ... use of a motorized vehicle with less than four wheels" could not apply. Hechimovich v. Acuity, 2014 WI App 14, 352 Wis. 2d 513, 842 N.W.2d 493, 13-1011.
344.34 344.34 Notice of cancellation or termination of certified policy. When an insurer has certified a motor vehicle liability policy under s. 344.31 or a bond under s. 344.36, the insurance so certified shall not be canceled or terminated until at least 10 days after a notice of cancellation or termination of the insurance so certified has been filed in the office of the secretary. No insurance so certified may be canceled or terminated by the insurer prior to the expiration of 90 days from the effective date of the certification on the grounds of failure to pay a premium when due. Such a certified policy or bond subsequently procured shall, on the effective date of its certification, terminate the insurance previously certified. Any certification or recertification filed by the same insurer following cancellation shall be accompanied by a fee of $3 payable by the insurer.
344.34 Annotation The failure of an insurer to comply with the notice requirement under this section precludes the insurer from asserting that a previously certified policy had lapsed. Lang v. Kurtz, 100 Wis. 2d 40, 301 N.W.2d 262 (Ct. App. 1980).
344.34 Annotation The 10-day notice of cancellation requirement only applied to liability coverage of a policy acquired to satisfy proof of financial responsibility. Uninsured motorist coverage cancellation took effect immediately. Nutter v. Milwaukee Insurance Co. 167 Wis. 2d 449, 481 N.W.2d 701 (Ct. App. 1992).
344.34 Annotation The 10-day notice requirement in this section results in a period of time in which the insurer owes coverage to the public despite the fact that its policy with its insured was not contractually in force. However, s. 344.33 (7) allows an insurer to recover from its insured any claims it paid that it would not have been obligated to pay but for the Financial Responsibility law. When the insured's policy lapsed 3 days before an accident, but the insurer did not send a notice of cancellation to the state under this section until after the accident, the insurer had a responsibility to cover 3rd-party losses and was entitled to seek reimbursement from the insured under s. 344.33 (7). Acuity v. Albert, 2012 WI App 87, 343 Wis. 2d 594, 819 N.W.2d 340, 12-0382.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 5 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on April 21, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after June 1, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 6-1-19)