130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 71  As Introduced
As Introduced

130th General Assembly
Regular Session
2013-2014
H. B. No. 71


Representative Roegner 

Cosponsors: Representatives Derickson, Duffey, Stebelton, Brenner, O'Brien, Lynch, Damschroder, Ruhl, Huffman, Maag, Anielski, Patmon, Terhar, Wachtmann, Young 



A BILL
To amend sections 4503.10, 4503.20, 4509.03, 4509.101, and 4510.04, to enact sections 4509.031 and 4509.032 of the Revised Code, and to repeal Section 3 of Am. Sub. S.B. 20 of the 120th General Assembly, as subsequently amended, to require the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to establish an electronic motor vehicle insurance verification system, to require an insurance company to notify the Registrar upon the cancellation or lapse of a motor vehicle liability insurance policy, to eliminate the financial responsibility random verification program of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and to make other changes in the procedures for verifying proof of financial responsibility regarding a motor vehicle.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 4503.10, 4503.20, 4509.03, 4509.101, and 4510.04 be amended and sections 4509.031 and 4509.032 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 4503.10.  (A) The owner of every snowmobile, off-highway motorcycle, and all-purpose vehicle required to be registered under section 4519.02 of the Revised Code shall file an application for registration under section 4519.03 of the Revised Code. The owner of a motor vehicle, other than a snowmobile, off-highway motorcycle, or all-purpose vehicle, that is not designed and constructed by the manufacturer for operation on a street or highway may not register it under this chapter except upon certification of inspection pursuant to section 4513.02 of the Revised Code by the sheriff, or the chief of police of the municipal corporation or township, with jurisdiction over the political subdivision in which the owner of the motor vehicle resides. Except as provided in section 4503.103 of the Revised Code, every owner of every other motor vehicle not previously described in this section and every person mentioned as owner in the last certificate of title of a motor vehicle that is operated or driven upon the public roads or highways shall cause to be filed each year, by mail or otherwise, in the office of the registrar of motor vehicles or a deputy registrar, a written or electronic application or a preprinted registration renewal notice issued under section 4503.102 of the Revised Code, the form of which shall be prescribed by the registrar, for registration for the following registration year, which shall begin on the first day of January of every calendar year and end on the thirty-first day of December in the same year. Applications for registration and registration renewal notices shall be filed at the times established by the registrar pursuant to section 4503.101 of the Revised Code. A motor vehicle owner also may elect to apply for or renew a motor vehicle registration by electronic means using electronic signature in accordance with rules adopted by the registrar. Except as provided in division (J) of this section, applications for registration shall be made on blanks furnished by the registrar for that purpose, containing the following information:
(1) A brief description of the motor vehicle to be registered, including the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number, and, in the case of commercial cars, the gross weight of the vehicle fully equipped computed in the manner prescribed in section 4503.08 of the Revised Code;
(2) The name and residence address of the owner, and the township and municipal corporation in which the owner resides;
(3) The district of registration, which shall be determined as follows:
(a) In case the motor vehicle to be registered is used for hire or principally in connection with any established business or branch business, conducted at a particular place, the district of registration is the municipal corporation in which that place is located or, if not located in any municipal corporation, the county and township in which that place is located.
(b) In case the vehicle is not so used, the district of registration is the municipal corporation or county in which the owner resides at the time of making the application.
(4) Whether the motor vehicle is a new or used motor vehicle;
(5) The date of purchase of the motor vehicle;
(6) Whether the fees required to be paid for the registration or transfer of the motor vehicle, during the preceding registration year and during the preceding period of the current registration year, have been paid. Each application for registration shall be signed by the owner, either manually or by electronic signature, or pursuant to obtaining a limited power of attorney authorized by the registrar for registration, or other document authorizing such signature. If the owner elects to apply for or renew the motor vehicle registration with the registrar by electronic means, the owner's manual signature is not required.
(7) The owner's social security number, driver's license number, or state identification number, or, where a motor vehicle to be registered is used for hire or principally in connection with any established business, the owner's federal taxpayer identification number. The bureau of motor vehicles shall retain in its records all social security numbers provided under this section, but the bureau shall not place social security numbers on motor vehicle certificates of registration.
(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, each time an applicant first registers a motor vehicle in the applicant's name, the applicant shall present for inspection a physical certificate of title or memorandum certificate showing title to the motor vehicle to be registered in the name of the applicant if a physical certificate of title or memorandum certificate has been issued by a clerk of a court of common pleas. If, under sections 4505.021, 4505.06, and 4505.08 of the Revised Code, a clerk instead has issued an electronic certificate of title for the applicant's motor vehicle, that certificate may be presented for inspection at the time of first registration in a manner prescribed by rules adopted by the registrar. An applicant is not required to present a certificate of title to an electronic motor vehicle dealer acting as a limited authority deputy registrar in accordance with rules adopted by the registrar. When a motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program is in effect under section 3704.14 of the Revised Code and rules adopted under it, each application for registration for a vehicle required to be inspected under that section and those rules shall be accompanied by an inspection certificate for the motor vehicle issued in accordance with that section. The application shall be refused if any of the following applies:
(1) The application is not in proper form.
(2) The application is prohibited from being accepted by division (D) of section 2935.27, division (A) of section 2937.221, division (A) of section 4503.13, division (B) of section 4510.22, or division (B)(1) of section 4521.10 of the Revised Code.
(3) A certificate of title or memorandum certificate of title is required but does not accompany the application or, in the case of an electronic certificate of title, is required but is not presented in a manner prescribed by the registrar's rules.
(4) All registration and transfer fees for the motor vehicle, for the preceding year or the preceding period of the current registration year, have not been paid.
(5) The owner or lessee does not have an inspection certificate for the motor vehicle as provided in section 3704.14 of the Revised Code, and rules adopted under it, if that section is applicable.
(6) The registrar or deputy registrar was unable to verify a current, valid motor-vehicle liability policy or other proof of financial responsibility under section 4503.20 of the Revised Code.
This section does not require the payment of license or registration taxes on a motor vehicle for any preceding year, or for any preceding period of a year, if the motor vehicle was not taxable for that preceding year or period under sections 4503.02, 4503.04, 4503.11, 4503.12, and 4503.16 or Chapter 4504. of the Revised Code. When a certificate of registration is issued upon the first registration of a motor vehicle by or on behalf of the owner, the official issuing the certificate shall indicate the issuance with a stamp on the certificate of title or memorandum certificate or, in the case of an electronic certificate of title, an electronic stamp or other notation as specified in rules adopted by the registrar, and with a stamp on the inspection certificate for the motor vehicle, if any. The official also shall indicate, by a stamp or by other means the registrar prescribes, on the registration certificate issued upon the first registration of a motor vehicle by or on behalf of the owner the odometer reading of the motor vehicle as shown in the odometer statement included in or attached to the certificate of title. Upon each subsequent registration of the motor vehicle by or on behalf of the same owner, the official also shall so indicate the odometer reading of the motor vehicle as shown on the immediately preceding certificate of registration.
The registrar shall include in the permanent registration record of any vehicle required to be inspected under section 3704.14 of the Revised Code the inspection certificate number from the inspection certificate that is presented at the time of registration of the vehicle as required under this division.
(C)(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (C)(1) of this section, for each registration renewal with an expiration date on or after October 1, 2003, and for each initial application for registration received on and after that date, the registrar and each deputy registrar shall collect an additional fee of eleven dollars for each application for registration and registration renewal received. For vehicles specified in divisions (A)(1) to (21) of section 4503.042 of the Revised Code, commencing with each registration renewal with an expiration date on or after October 1, 2009, and for each initial application received on or after that date, the registrar and deputy registrar shall collect an additional fee of thirty dollars for each application for registration and registration renewal received. The additional fee is for the purpose of defraying the department of public safety's costs associated with the administration and enforcement of the motor vehicle and traffic laws of Ohio. Each deputy registrar shall transmit the fees collected under division (C)(1) of this section in the time and manner provided in this section. The registrar shall deposit all moneys received under division (C)(1) of this section into the state highway safety fund established in section 4501.06 of the Revised Code.
(2) In addition, a charge of twenty-five cents shall be made for each reflectorized safety license plate issued, and a single charge of twenty-five cents shall be made for each county identification sticker or each set of county identification stickers issued, as the case may be, to cover the cost of producing the license plates and stickers, including material, manufacturing, and administrative costs. Those fees shall be in addition to the license tax. If the total cost of producing the plates is less than twenty-five cents per plate, or if the total cost of producing the stickers is less than twenty-five cents per sticker or per set issued, any excess moneys accruing from the fees shall be distributed in the same manner as provided by section 4501.04 of the Revised Code for the distribution of license tax moneys. If the total cost of producing the plates exceeds twenty-five cents per plate, or if the total cost of producing the stickers exceeds twenty-five cents per sticker or per set issued, the difference shall be paid from the license tax moneys collected pursuant to section 4503.02 of the Revised Code.
(D) Each deputy registrar shall be allowed a fee of three dollars and fifty cents for each application for registration and registration renewal notice the deputy registrar receives, which shall be for the purpose of compensating the deputy registrar for the deputy registrar's services, and such office and rental expenses, as may be necessary for the proper discharge of the deputy registrar's duties in the receiving of applications and renewal notices and the issuing of registrations.
(E) Upon the certification of the registrar, the county sheriff or local police officials shall recover license plates erroneously or fraudulently issued.
(F) Each deputy registrar, upon receipt of any application for registration or registration renewal notice, together with the license fee and any local motor vehicle license tax levied pursuant to Chapter 4504. of the Revised Code, shall transmit that fee and tax, if any, in the manner provided in this section, together with the original and duplicate copy of the application, to the registrar. The registrar, subject to the approval of the director of public safety, may deposit the funds collected by those deputies in a local bank or depository to the credit of the "state of Ohio, bureau of motor vehicles." Where a local bank or depository has been designated by the registrar, each deputy registrar shall deposit all moneys collected by the deputy registrar into that bank or depository not more than one business day after their collection and shall make reports to the registrar of the amounts so deposited, together with any other information, some of which may be prescribed by the treasurer of state, as the registrar may require and as prescribed by the registrar by rule. The registrar, within three days after receipt of notification of the deposit of funds by a deputy registrar in a local bank or depository, shall draw on that account in favor of the treasurer of state. The registrar, subject to the approval of the director and the treasurer of state, may make reasonable rules necessary for the prompt transmittal of fees and for safeguarding the interests of the state and of counties, townships, municipal corporations, and transportation improvement districts levying local motor vehicle license taxes. The registrar may pay service charges usually collected by banks and depositories for such service. If deputy registrars are located in communities where banking facilities are not available, they shall transmit the fees forthwith, by money order or otherwise, as the registrar, by rule approved by the director and the treasurer of state, may prescribe. The registrar may pay the usual and customary fees for such service.
(G) This section does not prevent any person from making an application for a motor vehicle license directly to the registrar by mail, by electronic means, or in person at any of the registrar's offices, upon payment of a service fee of three dollars and fifty cents for each application.
(H) No person shall make a false statement as to the district of registration in an application required by division (A) of this section. Violation of this division is falsification under section 2921.13 of the Revised Code and punishable as specified in that section.
(I)(1) Where applicable, the requirements of division (B) of this section relating to the presentation of an inspection certificate issued under section 3704.14 of the Revised Code and rules adopted under it for a motor vehicle, the refusal of a license for failure to present an inspection certificate, and the stamping of the inspection certificate by the official issuing the certificate of registration apply to the registration of and issuance of license plates for a motor vehicle under sections 4503.102, 4503.12, 4503.14, 4503.15, 4503.16, 4503.171, 4503.172, 4503.19, 4503.40, 4503.41, 4503.42, 4503.43, 4503.44, 4503.46, 4503.47, and 4503.51 of the Revised Code.
(2)(a) The registrar shall adopt rules ensuring that each owner registering a motor vehicle in a county where a motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program is in effect under section 3704.14 of the Revised Code and rules adopted under it receives information about the requirements established in that section and those rules and about the need in those counties to present an inspection certificate with an application for registration or preregistration.
(b) Upon request, the registrar shall provide the director of environmental protection, or any person that has been awarded a contract under section 3704.14 of the Revised Code, an on-line computer data link to registration information for all passenger cars, noncommercial motor vehicles, and commercial cars that are subject to that section. The registrar also shall provide to the director of environmental protection a magnetic data tape containing registration information regarding passenger cars, noncommercial motor vehicles, and commercial cars for which a multi-year registration is in effect under section 4503.103 of the Revised Code or rules adopted under it, including, without limitation, the date of issuance of the multi-year registration, the registration deadline established under rules adopted under section 4503.101 of the Revised Code that was applicable in the year in which the multi-year registration was issued, and the registration deadline for renewal of the multi-year registration.
(J) Subject to division (K) of this section, application for registration under the international registration plan, as set forth in sections 4503.60 to 4503.66 of the Revised Code, shall be made to the registrar on forms furnished by the registrar. In accordance with international registration plan guidelines and pursuant to rules adopted by the registrar, the forms shall include the following:
(1) A uniform mileage schedule;
(2) The gross vehicle weight of the vehicle or combined gross vehicle weight of the combination vehicle as declared by the registrant;
(3) Any other information the registrar requires by rule.
(K) The registrar shall determine the feasibility of implementing an electronic commercial fleet licensing and management program that will enable the owners of commercial tractors, commercial trailers, and commercial semitrailers to conduct electronic transactions by July 1, 2010, or sooner. If the registrar determines that implementing such a program is feasible, the registrar shall adopt new rules under this division or amend existing rules adopted under this division as necessary in order to respond to advances in technology.
If international registration plan guidelines and provisions allow member jurisdictions to permit applications for registrations under the international registration plan to be made via the internet, the rules the registrar adopts under this division shall permit such action.
Sec. 4503.20.  (A) As used in this section:
(1) "Dealer engaged in the business of leasing motor vehicles" means any person engaged in the business of regularly making available, offering to make available, or arranging for another person to use a motor vehicle pursuant to a bailment, lease, or other contractual arrangement.
(2) "Motor vehicle," has "motor-vehicle liability policy," and "proof of financial responsibility" have the meaning meanings set forth in section 4509.01 of the Revised Code.
(B) An application for the registration or registration renewal of a motor vehicle shall contain a statement, to be signed by the applicant either manually or by electronic signature, that does all of the following:
(1) States that the applicant maintains, or has maintained on the applicant's behalf, proof of financial responsibility at the time of application, and will not operate a motor vehicle in this state, unless the applicant maintains, with respect to that motor vehicle or the operation of such vehicle, proof of financial responsibility;
(2) Contains a brief summary of the purposes and operation of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code, the rights and duties of the applicant under that section, and the penalties for violation of that section;
(3) Notifies the applicant that the application will be refused if, on and after July 1, 2014, the registrar or deputy registrar is unable to verify a current, valid motor-vehicle liability policy or other proof of financial responsibility;
(4) Warns the applicant that the financial responsibility law does not prevent the possibility that the applicant may be involved in an accident with an owner or operator of a motor vehicle who is without proof of financial responsibility.
(C)(1) A person who purchases any motor vehicle from a licensed motor vehicle dealer who agrees to make application for registration of the motor vehicle on behalf of the purchaser shall sign statements that comply with divisions (B) and (F) of this section. The dealer shall submit the statements to the deputy registrar where the dealer has agreed to make application for registration on behalf of the person.
(2) In the case of a person who leases any motor vehicle from a dealer engaged in the business of leasing motor vehicles who agrees to make application for registration of the motor vehicle on behalf of the lessee, the person shall sign a statement that complies with division (B) of this section, and the dealer shall do either of the following:
(a) Submit the statement signed by the person to the deputy registrar where the dealer has agreed to make application for registration on behalf of the person;
(b) Sign and submit a statement to the deputy registrar that certifies that a statement has been signed and filed with the dealer or incorporated into the lease.
The dealer shall submit to the registrar or deputy registrar to whom the dealer submits the application for registration a statement signed by the person that complies with division (F) of this section.
(D) The registrar of motor vehicles shall prescribe the form of the statements required under divisions (B), (C), and (F) of this section, and the manner or manners in which the statements required under divisions (B) and (F) of this section shall be presented to the applicant. Any statement that is required under divisions (B), (C), and (F) of this section shall be designed to enable the applicant to retain a copy of it.
(E) Nothing within this section shall be construed to excuse a violation of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code. A motor vehicle dealer who makes application for the registration of a motor vehicle on behalf of the purchaser or lessee of the motor vehicle is not liable in damages in any civil action on account of the act of making such application for registration or the content of any such application for registration.
(F) In addition to the statements required by divisions (B) and (C) of this section, a person who makes application for registration or registration renewal of a motor vehicle shall be furnished with a form that lists in plain language all the possible penalties to which a person could be subject for a violation of the financial responsibility law, including driver's license suspensions; all fees, including nonvoluntary compliance and reinstatement fees; and vehicle immobilization or impoundment. The person shall read the form and either manually or by electronic signature sign the form, which shall be submitted along with the application for registration or registration renewal as provided in this section. The form shall be retained by the registrar or deputy registrar who issues the motor vehicle registration or the registrar's or deputy registrar's successor for a period of two years from the date of issuance of the registration.
(G)(1) On and after July 1, 2014, upon receipt of an application for registration or registration renewal, the registrar or deputy registrar shall access the electronic motor vehicle insurance verification system established under section 4509.03 of the Revised Code to verify compliance with the proof of financial responsibility requirements of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code. An applicant who maintains proof of financial responsibility that is not a motor-vehicle liability policy but that is otherwise acceptable under Chapter 4509. of the Revised Code shall provide the registrar or deputy registrar with documents or a copy of the documents authorized under division (G) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code. If the registrar or deputy registrar is unable to verify current, valid proof of financial responsibility with respect to the applicant, the registrar or deputy registrar shall refuse the application for registration or registration renewal.
(2) Upon the registration of a motor vehicle, the owner of the motor vehicle is deemed to have agreed to the production of proof of financial responsibility by the owner or the operator of the motor vehicle, upon the request of a peace officer or state highway patrol trooper made in accordance with division (E)(D)(2) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code.
(H) The registrar shall adopt rules governing the renewal of motor vehicle registrations by electronic means and the completion and submission of statements that comply with divisions (B) and (F) of this section. The registrar shall adopt the rules prescribed by this division in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4509.03.  (A) The registrar of motor vehicles shall administer and enforce sections 4509.01 to 4509.78 of the Revised Code. He The registrar may make rules necessary for such administration and shall provide for hearings upon request of persons aggrieved by his the registrar's orders or acts in accordance with sections 119.01 to 119.13 of the Revised Code except as otherwise provided under section 4509.101 or any other section of the Revised Code.
(B) The registrar, with the approval of the director of public safety, shall provide suitable forms for the purposes of sections 4509.01 to 4509.78 of of the Revised Code.
(C)(1) The registrar, with the approval of the director of public safety, shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to establish an electronic motor vehicle insurance verification system to verify compliance with the proof of financial responsibility requirements of this chapter when maintained through a motor-vehicle liability policy. The rules shall require the system to:
(a) Receive information from insurers under section 4509.031 of the Revised Code to verify current, valid motor-vehicle liability policy proof of financial responsibility and identify motor vehicles that are not covered by such a policy;
(b) Include appropriate provisions to secure the system's data against unauthorized access;
(c) Be accessible, without fee, to authorized personnel of the bureau of motor vehicles, deputy registrars, the courts, and peace officers;
(d) Be available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to verify the insurance status of motor vehicles operated in this state, subject to reasonable allowances for scheduled maintenance or temporary system failures;
(2) The system shall be installed and operational not later than July 1, 2014, following an appropriate testing period.
(3) Information in the system shall be available to the department of public safety for all purposes authorized by law.
(4) The registrar may contract with a private vendor to establish and maintain the system. The registrar may use any existing, secure network available to peace officers to exchange information for the purposes of division (D)(2) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code.
(5) Each insurer that delivers, issues for delivery, or renews in this state motor-vehicle liability policies that provide proof of financial responsibility under section 4509.101 of the Revised Code shall cooperate with the registrar in establishing and maintaining the system. In addition, each such insurer shall provide information necessary to verify current, valid proof of financial responsibility for any person to whom it issues or has issued a motor-vehicle liability policy in accordance with section 4509.031 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4509.031. (A) Each insurer that delivers, issues for delivery, or renews in this state motor-vehicle liability policies that provide proof of financial responsibility under section 4509.101 of the Revised Code shall furnish the bureau of motor vehicles with the following information:
(1) The names and addresses, as shown in its records, of both of the following:
(a) All persons to whom it issues such policies;
(b) All persons who cancel such policies of the insurer or allow such policies to lapse through failure to pay the premium due.
(2) For each person identified under division (A)(1) of this section, a brief description of each motor vehicle that is covered by the motor-vehicle liability policy, including the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number.
(B) Each insurer shall furnish the bureau with the information described in division (A) of this section not later than five business days after the date of issuance of the motor-vehicle liability policy or the date of cancellation or lapsing of the policy, as the case may be.
(C) The registrar of motor vehicles shall promptly enter the information described under division (A) of this section into the electronic motor vehicle insurance verification system created under section 4509.03 of the Revised Code. The registrar may require such information to be sent to the bureau via electronic means.
Sec. 4509.032.  (A) The bureau of motor vehicles shall monitor the electronic motor vehicle insurance verification system created under section 4509.03 of the Revised Code. If, through monitoring, the bureau determines that a person has not maintained the person's motor-vehicle liability policy that provides proof of financial responsibility, the registrar shall do the following:
(1) Notify the person that the electronic motor vehicle insurance verification system indicates the person does not have a current, valid motor-vehicle liability policy for proof of insurance and that the person must present the registrar with proof of financial responsibility in accordance with division (G) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code. Notification shall be in writing and shall be sent to the person at the person's last known address as shown on the records of the bureau of motor vehicles. The person, within twenty-one days after the date of the mailing of notification, shall do one of the following:
(a) Demonstrate that the person currently has a valid motor-vehicle liability policy or other proof of financial responsibility as required by this chapter;
(b) Surrender the certificate of registration, license plates, and license to the registrar in a manner set forth in division (A)(4) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code; or
(c) Submit a statement subject to section 2921.13 of the Revised Code that the person did not operate or permit the operation of the motor vehicle without maintaining proof of financial responsibility as required under this chapter, together with other information the person considers appropriate.
(2) If, within twenty-one days of the mailing of the notice under division (A)(1) of this section, the person does not take any action described in divisions (A)(1)(a) to (c) of this section, the registrar shall send a second notice to the person advising the person that the person is in violation of division (A) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code and that the registrar shall order the suspension of the person's driver's license in accordance with division (A)(2)(a), (b), or (c) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code and the impoundment of the person's certificate of registration and license plates in accordance with division (A)(2)(d) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code effective thirty days after the date of the mailing of the second notification.
(B) If, prior to the end of the thirty-day period described in division (A)(2) of this section, the person does not take any action described in divisions (A)(1)(a) to (c) of this section, the registrar shall order the suspension of the license of the person in accordance with division (A)(2)(a), (b), or (c) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code and the impoundment of the person's certificate of registration and license plates in accordance with division (A)(2)(d) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code.
(C) Any person adversely affected by the order of the registrar under this section, within ten days after the issuance of the order, may request an administrative hearing before the registrar, who shall provide the person with an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with division (D)(5)(c) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code.
(D) Except as provided in division (E) of this section, the registrar shall not restore a person's operating privileges or registration rights suspended under this section, or return any license, certificate of registration, or license plates impounded under this section, unless the person complies with division (A)(5) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code or unless those rights and privileges are otherwise restored pursuant to this section and section 4509.101 of the Revised Code.
(E) In accordance with division (L) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code, the registrar may terminate any suspension imposed under this section and not require the owner to comply with divisions (A)(5)(a), (b), and (c) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4509.101.  (A)(1) No person shall operate, or permit the operation of, a motor vehicle in this state, unless proof of financial responsibility is maintained continuously throughout the registration period with respect to that vehicle, or, in the case of a driver who is not the owner, with respect to that driver's operation of that vehicle.
(2) Whoever violates division (A)(1) of this section shall be subject to the following civil penalties:
(a) Subject to divisions (A)(2)(b) and (c) of this section, a class (F) suspension of the person's driver's license, commercial driver's license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license, or nonresident operating privilege for the period of time specified in division (B)(6) of section 4510.02 of the Revised Code and impoundment of the person's license.
(b) If, within five years of the violation, the person's operating privileges are again suspended and the person's license again is impounded for a violation of division (A)(1) of this section, a class C suspension of the person's driver's license, commercial driver's license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license, or nonresident operating privilege for the period of time specified in division (B)(3) of section 4510.02 of the Revised Code. The court may grant limited driving privileges to the person only if the person presents proof of financial responsibility and has complied with division (A)(5) of this section, and no court may grant limited driving privileges for the first fifteen days of the suspension.
(c) If, within five years of the violation, the person's operating privileges are suspended and the person's license is impounded two or more times for a violation of division (A)(1) of this section, a class B suspension of the person's driver's license, commercial driver's license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license, or nonresident operating privilege for the period of time specified in division (B)(2) of section 4510.02 of the Revised Code. The court may grant limited driving privileges to the person only if the person presents proof of financial responsibility and has complied with division (A)(5) of this section, except that no court may grant limited driving privileges for the first thirty days of the suspension.
(d) In addition to the suspension of an owner's license under division (A)(2)(a), (b), or (c) of this section, the suspension of the rights of the owner to register the motor vehicle and the impoundment of the owner's certificate of registration and license plates until the owner complies with division (A)(5) of this section.
(3) A person to whom this state has issued a certificate of registration for a motor vehicle or a license to operate a motor vehicle or who is determined to have operated any motor vehicle or permitted the operation in this state of a motor vehicle owned by the person shall be required to verify the existence of proof of financial responsibility covering the operation of the motor vehicle or the person's operation of the motor vehicle under any either of the following circumstances:
(a) The person or a motor vehicle owned by the person is involved in a traffic accident that requires the filing of an accident report under section 4509.06 of the Revised Code.
(b) The person receives a traffic ticket indicating that proof of the maintenance of financial responsibility was not produced upon the request of a peace officer or state highway patrol trooper made in accordance with division (D)(2) of this section.
(c) Whenever, in accordance with rules adopted by the registrar, the person is randomly selected by the registrar and requested to provide such verification.
(4) An order of the registrar that suspends and impounds a license or registration, or both, shall state the date on or before which the person is required to surrender the person's license or certificate of registration and license plates. The person is deemed to have surrendered the license or certificate of registration and license plates, in compliance with the order, if the person does either of the following:
(a) On or before the date specified in the order, personally delivers the license or certificate of registration and license plates, or causes the delivery of the items, to the registrar;
(b) Mails the license or certificate of registration and license plates to the registrar in an envelope or container bearing a postmark showing a date no later than the date specified in the order.
(5) Except as provided in division (A)(6) or (L) of this section, the registrar shall not restore any operating privileges or registration rights suspended under this section, return any license, certificate of registration, or license plates impounded under this section, or reissue license plates under section 4503.232 of the Revised Code, if the registrar destroyed the impounded license plates under that section, or reissue a license under section 4510.52 of the Revised Code, if the registrar destroyed the suspended license under that section, unless the rights are not subject to suspension or revocation under any other law and unless the person, in addition to complying with all other conditions required by law for reinstatement of the operating privileges or registration rights, complies with all of the following:
(a) Pays to the registrar or an eligible deputy registrar a financial responsibility reinstatement fee of one hundred dollars for the first violation of division (A)(1) of this section, three hundred dollars for a second violation of that division, and six hundred dollars for a third or subsequent violation of that division;
(b) If the person has not voluntarily surrendered the license, certificate, or license plates in compliance with the order, pays to the registrar or an eligible deputy registrar a financial responsibility nonvoluntary compliance fee in an amount, not to exceed fifty dollars, determined by the registrar;
(c) Files and continuously maintains proof of financial responsibility under sections 4509.44 to 4509.65 of the Revised Code;
(d) Pays a deputy registrar a service fee of ten dollars to compensate the deputy registrar for services performed under this section. The deputy registrar shall retain eight dollars of the service fee and shall transmit the reinstatement fee, any nonvoluntary compliance fee, and two dollars of the service fee to the registrar in the manner the registrar shall determine.
(6) If the registrar issues an order under division (A)(2) of this section resulting from the failure of a person to respond to a financial responsibility random verification request under division (A)(3)(c) of this section and the person successfully maintains an affirmative defense to a violation of section 4510.16 of the Revised Code or is determined by the registrar or a deputy registrar to have been in compliance with division (A)(1) of this section at the time of the initial financial responsibility random verification request, the registrar shall do both of the following:
(a) Terminate the order of suspension or impoundment;
(b) Restore the operating privileges and registration rights of the person without payment of the fees established in divisions (A)(5)(a) and (b) of this section and without a requirement to file proof of financial responsibility.
(B)(1) Every party required to file an accident report under section 4509.06 of the Revised Code also shall include with the report a document described in division (G)(1) of this section.
If the registrar determines, within forty-five days after the report is filed, that an operator or owner has violated division (A)(1) of this section, the registrar shall do all of the following:
(a) Order the impoundment, with respect to the motor vehicle involved, required under division (A)(2)(d) of this section, of the certificate of registration and license plates of any owner who has violated division (A)(1) of this section;
(b) Order the suspension required under division (A)(2)(a), (b), or (c) of this section of the license of any operator or owner who has violated division (A)(1) of this section;
(c) Record the name and address of the person whose certificate of registration and license plates have been impounded or are under an order of impoundment, or whose license has been suspended or is under an order of suspension; the serial number of the person's license; the serial numbers of the person's certificate of registration and license plates; and the person's social security account number, if assigned, or, where the motor vehicle is used for hire or principally in connection with any established business, the person's federal taxpayer identification number. The information shall be recorded in such a manner that it becomes a part of the person's permanent record, and assists the registrar in monitoring compliance with the orders of suspension or impoundment.
(d) Send written notification to every person to whom the order pertains, at the person's last known address as shown on the records of the bureau. The person, within ten days after the date of the mailing of the notification, shall surrender to the registrar, in a manner set forth in division (A)(4) of this section, any certificate of registration and registration plates under an order of impoundment, or any license under an order of suspension.
(2) The registrar shall issue any order under division (B)(1) of this section without a hearing. Any person adversely affected by the order, within ten days after the issuance of the order, may request an administrative hearing before the registrar, who shall provide the person with an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with this paragraph. A request for a hearing does not operate as a suspension of the order. The scope of the hearing shall be limited to whether the person in fact demonstrated to the registrar proof of financial responsibility in accordance with this section. The registrar shall determine the date, time, and place of any hearing, provided that the hearing shall be held, and an order issued or findings made, within thirty days after the registrar receives a request for a hearing. If requested by the person in writing, the registrar may designate as the place of hearing the county seat of the county in which the person resides or a place within fifty miles of the person's residence. The person shall pay the cost of the hearing before the registrar, if the registrar's order of suspension or impoundment is upheld.
(C) Any order of suspension or impoundment issued under this section or division (B) of section 4509.37 of the Revised Code may be terminated at any time if the registrar determines upon a showing of proof of financial responsibility that the operator or owner of the motor vehicle was in compliance with division (A)(1) of this section at the time of the traffic offense, motor vehicle inspection, or accident that resulted in the order against the person. A determination may be made without a hearing. This division does not apply unless the person shows good cause for the person's failure to present satisfactory proof of financial responsibility to the registrar prior to the issuance of the order.
(D)(1)(a) For the purpose of enforcing this section, every peace officer is deemed an agent of the registrar.
(a) Except as provided in division (D)(1)(b) of this section, any (b) Any peace officer who, in the performance of the peace officer's duties as authorized by law, becomes aware of a person whose license is under an order of suspension, or whose certificate of registration and license plates are under an order of impoundment, pursuant to this section, may confiscate the license, certificate of registration, and license plates, and return them to the registrar.
(b) Any peace officer who, in the performance of the peace officer's duties as authorized by law, becomes aware of a person whose license is under an order of suspension, or whose certificate of registration and license plates are under an order of impoundment resulting from failure to respond to a financial responsibility random verification, shall not, for that reason, arrest the owner or operator or seize the vehicle or license plates. Instead, the peace officer shall issue a citation for a violation of section 4510.16 of the Revised Code specifying the circumstances as failure to respond to a financial responsibility random verification.
(2) A peace officer shall request the owner or operator of a motor vehicle to produce proof of financial responsibility in a manner described in division (G) of this section at the time the peace officer acts to enforce the traffic laws of this state and during motor vehicle inspections conducted pursuant to section 4513.02 of the Revised Code. A peace officer may access an electronic motor vehicle insurance verification system available in accordance with section 4509.03 of the Revised Code to verify compliance with the proof of financial responsibility requirements of this section. For a motor-vehicle liability policy, the response received from the system supersedes any motor-vehicle liability policy proof of financial responsibility produced by a motor vehicle owner or operator. If the electronic verification system indicates that the person does not have a current, valid motor-vehicle liability policy and the person does not provide other valid proof of financial responsibility, the peace officer shall proceed in the same manner as if the person was unable to produce proof of financial responsibility.
(3) A peace officer shall indicate on every traffic ticket whether the person receiving the traffic ticket produced proof of the maintenance of financial responsibility in response to the officer's request under division (D)(2) of this section. The peace officer shall inform every person who receives a traffic ticket and who has failed to produce proof of the maintenance of financial responsibility that the person must submit proof to the traffic violations bureau with any payment of a fine and costs for the ticketed violation or, if the person is to appear in court for the violation, the person must submit proof to the court.
(4)(a) If a person who has failed to produce proof of the maintenance of financial responsibility appears in court for a ticketed violation, the court may permit the defendant to present evidence of proof of financial responsibility to the court at such time and in such manner as the court determines to be necessary or appropriate. In a manner prescribed by the registrar, the clerk of courts shall provide the registrar with the identity of any person who fails to submit proof of the maintenance of financial responsibility pursuant to division (D)(3) of this section.
(b) If a person who has failed to produce proof of the maintenance of financial responsibility also fails to submit that proof to the traffic violations bureau with payment of a fine and costs for the ticketed violation, the traffic violations bureau, in a manner prescribed by the registrar, shall notify the registrar of the identity of that person.
(5)(a) Upon receiving notice from a clerk of courts or traffic violations bureau pursuant to division (D)(4) of this section, the registrar shall order the suspension of the license of the person required under division (A)(2)(a), (b), or (c) of this section and the impoundment of the person's certificate of registration and license plates required under division (A)(2)(d) of this section, effective thirty days after the date of the mailing of notification. The registrar also shall notify the person that the person must present the registrar with proof of financial responsibility in accordance with this section, surrender to the registrar the person's certificate of registration, license plates, and license, or submit a statement subject to section 2921.13 of the Revised Code that the person did not operate or permit the operation of the motor vehicle at the time of the offense. Notification shall be in writing and shall be sent to the person at the person's last known address as shown on the records of the bureau of motor vehicles. The person, within fifteen days after the date of the mailing of notification, shall present proof of financial responsibility, surrender the certificate of registration, license plates, and license to the registrar in a manner set forth in division (A)(4) of this section, or submit the statement required under this section together with other information the person considers appropriate.
If the registrar does not receive proof or the person does not surrender the certificate of registration, license plates, and license, in accordance with this division, the registrar shall permit the order for the suspension of the license of the person and the impoundment of the person's certificate of registration and license plates to take effect.
(b) In the case of a person who presents, within the fifteen-day period, documents to show proof of financial responsibility, the registrar shall terminate the order of suspension and the impoundment of the registration and license plates required under division (A)(2)(d) of this section and shall send written notification to the person, at the person's last known address as shown on the records of the bureau.
(c) Any person adversely affected by the order of the registrar under division (D)(5)(a) or (b) of this section, within ten days after the issuance of the order, may request an administrative hearing before the registrar, who shall provide the person with an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with this paragraph. A request for a hearing does not operate as a suspension of the order. The scope of the hearing shall be limited to whether, at the time of the hearing, the person presents proof of financial responsibility covering the vehicle and whether the person is eligible for an exemption in accordance with this section or any rule adopted under it. The registrar shall determine the date, time, and place of any hearing; provided, that the hearing shall be held, and an order issued or findings made, within thirty days after the registrar receives a request for a hearing. If requested by the person in writing, the registrar may designate as the place of hearing the county seat of the county in which the person resides or a place within fifty miles of the person's residence. Such person shall pay the cost of the hearing before the registrar, if the registrar's order of suspension or impoundment under division (D)(5)(a) or (b) of this section is upheld.
(6) A peace officer may charge an owner or operator of a motor vehicle with a violation of section 4510.16 of the Revised Code when the owner or operator fails to show proof of the maintenance of financial responsibility pursuant to a peace officer's request under division (D)(2) of this section, if a check of the owner or operator's driving record indicates that the owner or operator, at the time of the operation of the motor vehicle, is required to file and maintain proof of financial responsibility under section 4509.45 of the Revised Code for a previous violation of this chapter.
(7) Any forms used by law enforcement agencies in administering this section shall be prescribed, supplied, and paid for by the registrar.
(8) No peace officer, law enforcement agency employing a peace officer, or political subdivision or governmental agency that employs a peace officer shall be liable in a civil action for damages or loss to persons arising out of the performance of any duty required or authorized by this section.
(9) As used in this division and divisions (E) and (G) of this section, "peace officer" has the meaning set forth in section 2935.01 of the Revised Code.
(E) All fees, except court costs, fees paid to a deputy registrar, and those portions of the financial responsibility reinstatement fees as otherwise specified in this division, collected under this section shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the financial responsibility compliance fund. The financial responsibility compliance fund shall be used exclusively to cover costs incurred by the bureau in the administration of this section and sections 4503.20, 4507.212, and 4509.81 of the Revised Code, and by any law enforcement agency employing any peace officer who returns any license, certificate of registration, and license plates to the registrar pursuant to division (C) of this section, except that the director of budget and management may transfer excess money from the financial responsibility compliance fund to the state bureau of motor vehicles fund if the registrar determines that the amount of money in the financial responsibility compliance fund exceeds the amount required to cover such costs incurred by the bureau or a law enforcement agency and requests the director to make the transfer.
Of each financial responsibility reinstatement fee the registrar collects pursuant to division (A)(5)(a) of this section or receives from a deputy registrar under division (A)(5)(d) of this section, the registrar shall deposit twenty-five dollars of each one-hundred-dollar reinstatement fee, fifty dollars of each three-hundred-dollar reinstatement fee, and one hundred dollars of each six-hundred-dollar reinstatement fee into the state treasury to the credit of the indigent defense support fund created by section 120.08 of the Revised Code.
All investment earnings of the financial responsibility compliance fund shall be credited to the fund.
(F) Chapter 119. of the Revised Code applies to this section only to the extent that any provision in that chapter is not clearly inconsistent with this section.
(G)(1) The registrar, court, traffic violations bureau, or peace officer may require proof of financial responsibility to be demonstrated by use of a standard form prescribed by the registrar. If the use of a standard form is not required, a person may demonstrate proof of financial responsibility under this section by presenting to the traffic violations bureau, court, registrar, or peace officer any of the following documents or a copy of the documents:
(a) A financial responsibility identification card as provided in section 4509.103 of the Revised Code;
(b) A certificate of proof of financial responsibility on a form provided and approved by the registrar for the filing of an accident report required to be filed under section 4509.06 of the Revised Code;
(c) A policy of liability insurance, a declaration page of a policy of liability insurance, or liability bond, if the policy or bond complies with section 4509.20 or sections 4509.49 to 4509.61 of the Revised Code;
(d) A bond or certification of the issuance of a bond as provided in section 4509.59 of the Revised Code;
(e) A certificate of deposit of money or securities as provided in section 4509.62 of the Revised Code;
(f) A certificate of self-insurance as provided in section 4509.72 of the Revised Code.
(2) If a person fails to demonstrate proof of financial responsibility in a manner described in division (G)(1) of this section, the person may demonstrate proof of financial responsibility under this section by any other method that the court or the bureau, by reason of circumstances in a particular case, may consider appropriate.
(3) A motor carrier certificated by the interstate commerce commission or by the public utilities commission may demonstrate proof of financial responsibility by providing a statement designating the motor carrier's operating authority and averring that the insurance coverage required by the certificating authority is in full force and effect.
(4)(a) A finding by the registrar or court that a person is covered by proof of financial responsibility in the form of an insurance policy or surety bond is not binding upon the named insurer or surety or any of its officers, employees, agents, or representatives and has no legal effect except for the purpose of administering this section.
(b) The preparation and delivery of a financial responsibility identification card or any other document authorized to be used as proof of financial responsibility under this division does not do any of the following:
(i) Create any liability or estoppel against an insurer or surety, or any of its officers, employees, agents, or representatives;
(ii) Constitute an admission of the existence of, or of any liability or coverage under, any policy or bond;
(iii) Waive any defenses or counterclaims available to an insurer, surety, agent, employee, or representative in an action commenced by an insured or third-party claimant upon a cause of action alleged to have arisen under an insurance policy or surety bond or by reason of the preparation and delivery of a document for use as proof of financial responsibility.
(c) Whenever it is determined by a final judgment in a judicial proceeding that an insurer or surety, which has been named on a document accepted by a court or the registrar as proof of financial responsibility covering the operation of a motor vehicle at the time of an accident or offense, is not liable to pay a judgment for injuries or damages resulting from such operation, the registrar, notwithstanding any previous contrary finding, shall forthwith suspend the operating privileges and registration rights of the person against whom the judgment was rendered as provided in division (A)(2) of this section.
(H) In order for any document described in division (G)(1)(b) of this section to be used for the demonstration of proof of financial responsibility under this section, the document shall state the name of the insured or obligor, the name of the insurer or surety company, and the effective and expiration dates of the financial responsibility, and designate by explicit description or by appropriate reference all motor vehicles covered which may include a reference to fleet insurance coverage.
(I) For purposes of this section, "owner" does not include a licensed motor vehicle leasing dealer as defined in section 4517.01 of the Revised Code, but does include a motor vehicle renting dealer as defined in section 4549.65 of the Revised Code. Nothing in this section or in section 4509.51 of the Revised Code shall be construed to prohibit a motor vehicle renting dealer from entering into a contractual agreement with a person whereby the person renting the motor vehicle agrees to be solely responsible for maintaining proof of financial responsibility, in accordance with this section, with respect to the operation, maintenance, or use of the motor vehicle during the period of the motor vehicle's rental.
(J) The purpose of this section is to require the maintenance of proof of financial responsibility with respect to the operation of motor vehicles on the highways of this state, so as to minimize those situations in which persons are not compensated for injuries and damages sustained in motor vehicle accidents. The general assembly finds that this section contains reasonable civil penalties and procedures for achieving this purpose.
(K) Nothing in this section shall be construed to be subject to section 4509.78 of the Revised Code.
(L)(1) The registrar may terminate any suspension imposed under this section and not require the owner to comply with divisions (A)(5)(a), (b), and (c) of this section if the registrar with or without a hearing determines that the owner of the vehicle has established by clear and convincing evidence that all of the following apply:
(a) The owner customarily maintains proof of financial responsibility.
(b) Proof of financial responsibility was not in effect for the vehicle on the date in question for one of the following reasons:
(i) The vehicle was inoperable.
(ii) The vehicle is operated only seasonally, and the date in question was outside the season of operation.
(iii) A person other than the vehicle owner or driver was at fault for the lapse of proof of financial responsibility through no fault of the owner or driver.
(iv) The lapse of proof of financial responsibility was caused by excusable neglect under circumstances that are not likely to recur and do not suggest a purpose to evade the requirements of this chapter.
(2) The registrar may grant an owner or driver relief for a reason specified in division (L)(1)(b)(i) or (ii) of this section whenever the owner or driver is randomly selected to verify the existence of proof of financial responsibility for such a vehicle. However, the registrar may grant an owner or driver relief for a reason specified in division (L)(1)(b)(iii) or (iv) of this section only if the owner or driver has not previously been granted relief under division (L)(1)(b)(iii) or (iv) of this section.
(M) The registrar shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code that are necessary to administer and enforce this section. The rules shall include procedures for the surrender of license plates upon failure to maintain proof of financial responsibility and provisions relating to reinstatement of registration rights, acceptable forms of proof of financial responsibility, and verification of the existence of financial responsibility during the period of registration.
Sec. 4510.04.  It is an affirmative defense to any prosecution brought under section 4510.11, 4510.14, 4510.16, or 4510.21 of the Revised Code or under any substantially equivalent municipal ordinance that the alleged offender drove under suspension, without a valid permit or driver's or commercial driver's license, or in violation of a restriction because of a substantial emergency, and because no other person was reasonably available to drive in response to the emergency.
It is an affirmative defense to any prosecution brought under section 4510.16 of the Revised Code that the order of suspension resulted from the failure of the alleged offender to respond to a financial responsibility random verification request under division (A)(3)(c) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code and that, at the time of the initial financial responsibility random verification request, the alleged offender was in compliance with division (A)(1) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code as shown by proof of financial responsibility that was in effect at the time of that request.
Section 2.  That existing sections 4503.10, 4503.20, 4509.03, 4509.101, and 4510.04 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
Section 3.  That Section 3 of Am. Sub. S.B. 20 of the 120th General Assembly, as amended by Am. Sub. H.B. 215 of the 122nd General Assembly and Am. Sub. H.B. 163 of the 123rd General Assembly, is hereby repealed.
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