130th Ohio General Assembly
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Am. Sub. H. B. No. 139  As Passed by the House
As Passed by the House

125th General Assembly
Regular Session
2003-2004
Am. Sub. H. B. No. 139


Representatives G. Smith, Gibbs, Barrett, Setzer, Sferra, Driehaus, Koziura, Faber, Cates, Clancy, Daniels, D. Evans, Fessler, Flowers, Gilb, Hughes, Martin, Niehaus, Olman, Raussen, Reidelbach, Schmidt, Schneider, Seitz, J. Stewart, Wolpert 



A BILL
To amend sections 4509.01, 4509.101, 4509.20, 4509.41, 4509.45, 4509.51, 4509.53, 4509.59, 4509.65, 4509.67, and 4509.80, to enact section 2323.57, and to repeal sections 4509.62 and 4509.63 of the Revised Code to specify that, under the Financial Responsibility Law, motor-vehicle liability policies remain subject to their terms and conditions, to amend minimum coverage requirements for the Financial Responsibility Law, and to limit damage awards to uninsured motorists and to amend the versions of sections 4509.101, 4509.45, and 4509.80 of the Revised Code that are scheduled to take effect January 1, 2004, to continue the provisions of this act on and after that effective date.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 4509.01, 4509.101, 4509.20, 4509.41, 4509.45, 4509.51, 4509.53, 4509.59, 4509.65, 4509.67, and 4509.80 be amended and section 2323.57 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 2323.57.  (A) As used in this section:
(1) "Proof of financial responsibility" has the same meaning as in section 4509.01 of the Revised Code.
(2) "Noneconomic loss" has the same meaning as in section 2323.56 of the Revised Code.
(B) In any civil action to recover damages for accidental bodily injury incurred during the operation of a motor vehicle, both of the following are applicable to the award of damages:
(1) There shall not be any limitation on the award of compensatory damages for economic losses sustained by the plaintiff;
(2) Except as provided in division (C) of this section, the plaintiff shall not be awarded damages for noneconomic losses if, at the time of the injury, the plaintiff was operating a motor vehicle owned by the plaintiff without proof of financial responsibility.
(C) This section does not apply to wrongful death actions brought pursuant to Chapter 2125. of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4509.01.  As used in sections 4509.01 to 4509.78 of the Revised Code:
(A) "Person" includes every natural person, firm, partnership, association, or corporation.
(B) "Driver" means every person who drives or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle.
(C) "License" includes any license, permit, or privilege to operate a motor vehicle issued under the laws of this state including:
(1) Any temporary instruction permit or examiner's driving permit;
(2) The privilege of any person to drive a motor vehicle whether or not such person holds a valid license;
(3) Any nonresident's operating privilege.
(D) "Owner" means a person who holds the legal title of a motor vehicle. If a motor vehicle is the subject of a lease with an immediate right of possession vested in the lessee, the lessee is the owner. A person listed as the owner on a certificate of title on which there is a notation of a security interest is the owner. A buyer or other transferee of a motor vehicle who receives the certificate of title from the seller or transferor listing the seller or transferor thereon as the owner with an assignment of title to the buyer or transferee nonetheless is the owner even though a subsequent certificate of title has not been issued listing the buyer or transferee as the owner.
(E) "Registration" means registration certificates and registration plates issued under the laws of this state pertaining to the registration of motor vehicles.
(F) "Nonresident" means every person who is not a resident of this state.
(G) "Nonresident's operating privilege" means the privilege conferred upon a nonresident by the laws of this state pertaining to the operation by such person of a motor vehicle, or the use of a motor vehicle owned by such person, in this state.
(H) "Vehicle" means every device by which any person or property may be transported upon a highway, except electric personal assistive mobility devices, devices moved by power collected from overhead electric trolley wires, or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks, and except devices other than bicycles moved by human power.
(I) "Motor vehicle" means every vehicle propelled by power other than muscular power or power collected from overhead electric trolley wires, except motorized bicycles, road rollers, traction engines, power shovels, power cranes and other equipment used in construction work and not designed for or employed in general highway transportation, hole-digging machinery, well-drilling machinery, ditch-digging machinery, farm machinery, threshing machinery, hay baling machinery, and agricultural tractors and machinery used in the production of horticultural, floricultural, agricultural, and vegetable products.
(J) "Accident" or "motor vehicle accident" means any accident involving a motor vehicle which results in bodily injury to or death of any person, or damage to the property of any person in excess of four hundred dollars.
(K) "Proof of financial responsibility" means proof of ability to respond in damages for liability, on account of accidents occurring subsequent to the effective date of such proof, arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle in the amount of twelve twenty-five thousand five hundred dollars because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident, in the amount of twenty-five fifty thousand dollars because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and in the amount of seven twenty-five thousand five hundred dollars because of injury to property of others in any one accident.
(L) "Motor-vehicle liability policy" means an "owner's policy" or an "operator's policy" of liability insurance, certified as provided in section 4509.46 or 4509.47 of the Revised Code as proof of financial responsibility, and issued, except as provided in section 4509.47 of the Revised Code, by an insurance carrier authorized to do business in this state, to or for the benefit of the person named therein as insured.
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) Suspension of the person's operating privileges and impoundment of the person's license until the person complies with division (A)(5) of this section. The suspension shall be for a period of not less than ninety days except that if, within five years of the violation, the person's operating privileges are again suspended and the person's license is impounded one or more times for a violation of division (A)(1) of this section, the suspension shall be for a period of not less than one year. Except as provided by section 4509.105 of the Revised Code, the suspension is not subject to revocation, suspension, or occupational or other limited operating privileges.
(b) In addition to the suspension of an owner's license under division (A)(2)(a) 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 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) 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 4507.54 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 a financial responsibility reinstatement fee of seventy-five dollars for the first violation of division (A)(1) of this section, two hundred fifty dollars for a second violation of that division, and five 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 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.
(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 4507.02 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)(b) 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) 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) 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 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 division (B)(1) of section 4507.02 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.
(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. 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 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) of this section and the impoundment of the person's certificate of registration and license plates required under division (A)(2)(b) 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)(b) 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 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. 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 division (B)(1) of section 4507.02 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, 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.
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 4509.104 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) 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. 4509.20.  (A) A policy or bond does not comply with divisions (A)(5), (A)(6), and (A)(7) of section 4509.19 of the Revised Code unless issued by an insurance company or surety company authorized to do business in this state, except as provided in division (B) of this section, or unless such policy or bond is subject, if the accident has resulted in bodily injury or death, to a limit, exclusive of interest and costs, of not less than twelve twenty-five thousand five hundred dollars because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident, and, subject to said limit for one person, to a limit of not less than twenty-five fifty thousand dollars because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in one accident, and, if the accident has resulted in injury to, or destruction of property, to a limit of not less than seven twenty-five thousand five hundred dollars because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
(B) A policy or bond does not comply with divisions (A) (5), (A) (6), and (A) (7) of section 4509.19 of the Revised Code with respect to any motor vehicle which was not registered in this state or was a motor vehicle which was registered elsewhere than in this state at the effective date of the policy or bond or the most recent renewal thereof, unless the insurance company or surety company issuing such policy or bond is authorized to do business in this state, or if said company is not authorized to do business in this state unless it executes a power of attorney authorizing the registrar of motor vehicles to accept service on its behalf of notice or process in any action upon such policy or bond arising out of such accident.
The registrar may rely upon the accuracy of the information in the required report of a motor vehicle accident as to the existence of insurance or a bond unless the registrar has reason to believe that the information is erroneous.
Sec. 4509.41.  (A) Judgments are satisfied for the purpose of sections 4509.01 to 4509.78, inclusive, of the Revised Code, in each of the following cases:
(1) When twelve twenty-five thousand five hundred dollars has been credited upon any judgments in excess of that amount because of bodily injury to or death of one person as a result of any one accident;
(2) When the sum of twenty-five fifty thousand dollars has been credited upon any judgments in excess of that amount because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons as the result of any one accident;
(3) When seven twenty-five thousand five hundred dollars has been credited upon any judgments rendered in excess of that amount because of injury to property of others as a result of any one accident.
(B) Payments made in settlements of any claims because of bodily injury, death, or property damage arising from such accident shall be credited in reduction of the amounts provided for in this section.
Sec. 4509.45.  Proof of financial responsibility when required under section 4507.022, 4509.101, 4509.32, 4509.33, 4509.34, 4509.38, 4509.40, 4509.42, or 4509.44 of the Revised Code may be given by filing any of the following:
(A) A financial responsibility identification card as provided in section 4509.104 of the Revised Code;
(B) A certificate of insurance as provided in section 4509.46 or 4509.47 of the Revised Code;
(C) A bond as provided in section 4509.59 of the Revised Code;
(D) A certificate of deposit of money or securities as provided in section 4509.62 of the Revised Code;
(E) A certificate of self-insurance, as provided in section 4509.72 of the Revised Code, supplemented by an agreement by the self-insurer that, with respect to accidents occurring while the certificate is in force, he the self-insurer will pay the same amounts that an insurer would have been obligated to pay under an owner's motor vehicle liability policy if it had issued such a policy to the self-insurer.
Such proof shall be filed and maintained for five years from the date of suspension of operating privileges by the registrar of motor vehicles.
Sec. 4509.51.  Every Subject to the terms and conditions of an owner's policy, every owner's policy of liability insurance:
(A) Shall designate by explicit description or by appropriate reference all motor vehicles with respect to which coverage is thereby granted;
(B) Shall insure the person named therein and any other person, as insured, using any such motor vehicles with the express or implied permission of the insured, against loss from the liability imposed by law for damages arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of such vehicles within the United States or the Dominion of Canada, subject to monetary limits exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each such motor vehicle, as follows:
(1) Twelve Twenty-five thousand five hundred dollars because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident;
(2) Twenty-five Fifty thousand dollars because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident;
(3) Seven Twenty-five thousand five hundred dollars because of injury to property of others in any one accident.
Sec. 4509.53.  Every motor-vehicle liability policy is subject to the following provisions which need not be contained therein:
(A) The Subject to the terms and conditions of the policy, the liability of the insurance carrier with respect to the insurance required by sections 4509.01 to 4509.78, inclusive, of the Revised Code, shall become absolute conclusive whenever injury or damage covered by the policy occurs; the policy shall not be canceled or annulled as to such liability by any agreement between the insurance carrier and the insured after the occurrence of the injury; no statement made by the insured or on his the insured's behalf and no violation of the policy shall defeat or void the policy.
(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 insurance carrier to make payment on account of such injury or damage.
(C) The insurance carrier may 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 division (B) of section 4509.51 of the Revised Code.
(D) The policy, the written application therefor, and any rider or indorsement which does not conflict with sections 4509.01 to 4509.78, inclusive, of the Revised Code, shall constitute the entire contract between the parties.
Sec. 4509.59.  Proof of financial responsibility may be evidenced by the bond of a surety company duly authorized to transact business within this state, or a bond with at least two individual sureties each owning real estate within this state, and together having equities equal in value to at least twice the amount of such the bond; the. Any such real estate shall be scheduled in the bond approved by a judge of a court of record and the. The bond shall be conditioned for payment of the amount specified in section 4509.62 of the Revised Code thirty thousand dollars. Such The bond shall be filed with the registrar of motor vehicles and shall not be cancelable except after ten days written notice to the registrar of motor vehicles.
Sec. 4509.65.  The registrar of motor vehicles shall consent to the cancellation of any bond or certificate of insurance or the registrar shall direct and the treasurer of state shall return any money or securities to the person entitled thereto upon the substitution and acceptance of other adequate proof of financial responsibility in accordance with sections 4509.01 to 4509.78, inclusive, of the Revised Code.
Sec. 4509.67.  (A) The registrar of motor vehicles shall, upon request, consent to the immediate cancellation of any bond or certificate of insurance, or shall direct and the treasurer of state shall return to the person entitled any money or securities deposited under sections 4509.01 to 4509.78 of the Revised Code, as proof of financial responsibility, or the registrar shall waive the requirement of filing proof, in any of the following events:
(1) At any time after three years from the date such proof was required when, during the three years preceding the request, the registrar has not received record of a conviction or bail forfeiture which that would require or permit the suspension or revocation of the license, registration, or nonresident's operating privilege of the person by or for whom such proof was furnished and the person's motor vehicle registration has not been suspended for a violation of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code;
(2) In the event of the death of the person on whose behalf such proof was filed or the permanent incapacity of such person to operate a motor vehicle;
(3) In the event the person who has given proof surrenders his the person's license and registration to the registrar.
(B) The registrar shall not consent to the cancellation of any bond or the return of any money or securities if any action for damages upon a liability covered by such proof is pending, or any judgment upon any such liability is unsatisfied, or in the event the person who has filed such bond or deposited such money or securities has within two years immediately preceding such request been involved as a driver or owner in any motor-vehicle motor vehicle accident resulting in injury to the person or property of others. An affidavit of the applicant as to the nonexistence of such facts, or that he the applicant has been released from all liability, or has been finally adjudicated not liable, for such injury may be accepted as evidence thereof in the absence of evidence to the contrary in the records of the registrar.
(C) Whenever any person whose proof has been canceled or returned under division (A)(3) of this section applies for a license or registration within a period of three years from the date proof was originally required, any such application shall be refused unless the applicant re-establishes proof of financial responsibility for the remainder of the three-year period.
Sec. 4509.80.  (A) Every owner registering a chauffeured limousine shall furnish and maintain proof of financial responsibility with respect to the limousine by filing with the registrar of motor vehicles any of the following:
(1) A certificate of insurance as provided in section 4509.46 or 4509.47 of the Revised Code;
(2) A policy of liability insurance, a declaration page of a policy of liability insurance, or liability bond, if the policy or bond provides coverage in accordance with division (B) of this section and otherwise complies with sections 4509.49 to 4509.61 of the Revised Code, and if the policy or bond provides that such policy or bond shall not be canceled or terminated prior to not less than ten days after a written notice of cancellation or termination is filed with the registrar;
(3) A bond or certification of the issuance of a bond if the bond provides coverage in the amount of three hundred thousand dollars and otherwise complies with section 4509.59 of the Revised Code;
(4) A certificate of deposit of money or securities if the certificate of deposit provides coverage in the amount of three hundred thousand dollars and otherwise complies with section 4509.62 of the Revised Code;
(5) A certificate of self-insurance as provided in section 4509.72 of the Revised Code.
(B) As used in this section and section 4509.81 of the Revised Code, "proof of financial responsibility" means proof of ability to respond in damages for liability, on account of accidents occurring subsequent to the effective date of such proof, arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a chauffeured limousine in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident, three hundred thousand dollars because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and fifty thousand dollars because of injury to property of others in any one accident.
(C) Upon the request of a law enforcement officer, the operator of any chauffeured limousine shall produce proof of compliance with this section. The law enforcement officer requesting such proof shall notify the registrar of any violation of this section. The notice to the registrar shall be on a form prescribed by the registrar and supplied by the registrar at the registrar's expense, and shall include the license plate number of the chauffeured limousine and any other information the registrar requires.
(D) The owner, or his the owner's designee, shall provide written notice to the registrar of cancellation or termination of the coverage required by this section not less than ten days prior to the effective date of cancellation, and, on or before the effective date of cancellation, shall voluntarily surrender the livery license plate sticker for the vehicle or vehicles for which the cancellation is effective. If the livery license plate sticker is timely and voluntarily surrendered, the registrar shall, upon the filing of proof of financial responsibility as required by this section, reinstate the livery registration of the vehicle and issue a current livery license plate sticker for the vehicle.
Section 2. That existing sections 4509.01, 4509.101, 4509.20, 4509.41, 4509.45, 4509.51, 4509.53, 4509.59, 4509.65, 4509.67, and 4509.80, and sections Sec. 4509.62.  and Sec. 4509.63.  of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
Section 3. Sections 4509.01, 4509.20, 4509.41, 4509.51, and 4509.53 of the Revised Code, as amended by this act, apply only with respect to new insurance policies or bonds, and renewals of insurance policies or bonds, that are issued on or after the effective date of this act.
Section 4. Upon the effective date of this act, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles shall send notice to each person who has deposited money or securities with the Treasurer of State in accordance with sections 4509.62 and 4509.63 of the Revised Code, as repealed by this act. The notice shall inform such persons that they must, within ninety days after receiving the notice, submit to the Registrar proof of financial responsibility in another manner approved by the Registrar. Upon receiving such proof, the Registrar shall direct the Treasurer of State to return the money or securities deposited by each such person. The Treasurer of State shall promptly comply with the Registrar's request.
Section 5. That the versions of sections 4509.101, 4509.45, and 4509.80 of the Revised Code that are scheduled to take effect January 1, 2004, be amended to read as follows:
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 E 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)(5) of section 4510.02 of the Revised Code and impoundment of the person's license. 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.
(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. No court may grant limited driving privileges during 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 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 a financial responsibility reinstatement fee of seventy-five dollars for the first violation of division (A)(1) of this section, two hundred fifty dollars for a second violation of that division, and five 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 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.
(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) 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 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.
(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. 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 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 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. 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, 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.
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) 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:
(1) The owner customarily maintains proof of financial responsibility.
(2) Proof of financial responsibility was not in effect for the vehicle on the date in question for one of the following reasons:
(a) The vehicle was inoperable.
(b) The vehicle is operated only seasonally, and the date in question was outside the season of operation.
(c) 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.
(d) 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.
(3) The owner or driver has not previously been granted relief under division (L) 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. 4509.45.  (A) Proof of financial responsibility when required under section 4509.101, 4509.33, 4509.34, 4509.38, 4509.40, 4509.42, 4509.44, or 4510.038 of the Revised Code may be given by filing any of the following:
(1) A financial responsibility identification card as provided in section 4509.104 of the Revised Code;
(2) A certificate of insurance as provided in section 4509.46 or 4509.47 of the Revised Code;
(3) A bond as provided in section 4509.59 of the Revised Code;
(4) A certificate of deposit of money or securities as provided in section 4509.62 of the Revised Code;
(5) A certificate of self-insurance, as provided in section 4509.72 of the Revised Code, 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 an owner's motor vehicle liability policy if it had issued such a policy to the self-insurer.
(B) Proof under division (A) of this section shall be filed and maintained for five years from the date of the registrar's imposition of a class A, B, or C suspension of operating privileges and shall be filed and maintained for three years from the date of the registrar's imposition of a class D, E, or F suspension of operating privileges.
Sec. 4509.80.  (A) Every owner registering a chauffeured limousine shall furnish and maintain proof of financial responsibility with respect to the limousine by filing with the registrar of motor vehicles any of the following:
(1) A certificate of insurance as provided in section 4509.46 or 4509.47 of the Revised Code;
(2) A policy of liability insurance, a declaration page of a policy of liability insurance, or liability bond, if the policy or bond provides coverage in accordance with division (B) of this section and otherwise complies with sections 4509.49 to 4509.61 of the Revised Code, and if the policy or bond provides that such policy or bond shall not be canceled or terminated prior to not less than ten days after a written notice of cancellation or termination is filed with the registrar;
(3) A bond or certification of the issuance of a bond if the bond provides coverage in the amount of three hundred thousand dollars and otherwise complies with section 4509.59 of the Revised Code;
(4) A certificate of deposit of money or securities if the certificate of deposit provides coverage in the amount of three hundred thousand dollars and otherwise complies with section 4509.62 of the Revised Code;
(5) A certificate of self-insurance as provided in section 4509.72 of the Revised Code.
(B) As used in this section and section 4509.81 of the Revised Code, "proof of financial responsibility" means proof of ability to respond in damages for liability, on account of accidents occurring subsequent to the effective date of such proof, arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a chauffeured limousine in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident, three hundred thousand dollars because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and fifty thousand dollars because of injury to property of others in any one accident.
(C) Upon the request of a law enforcement officer, the operator of any chauffeured limousine shall produce proof of compliance with this section. The law enforcement officer requesting such proof shall notify the registrar of any violation of this section. The notice to the registrar shall be on a form prescribed by the registrar and supplied by the registrar at the registrar's expense, and shall include the license plate number of the chauffeured limousine and any other information the registrar requires.
(D) The owner, or the owner's designee, shall provide written notice to the registrar of cancellation or termination of the coverage required by this section not less than ten days prior to the effective date of cancellation, and, on or before the effective date of cancellation, shall voluntarily surrender the livery license plate sticker for the vehicle or vehicles for which the cancellation is effective. If the livery license plate sticker is timely and voluntarily surrendered, the registrar shall, upon the filing of proof of financial responsibility as required by this section, reinstate the livery registration of the vehicle and issue a current livery license plate sticker for the vehicle.
(E) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
Section 6. That the existing versions of sections 4509.101, 4509.45, and 4509.80 of the Revised Code that are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2004, are hereby repealed.
Section 7. Sections 5 and 6 of this act shall take effect January 1, 2004.
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