Rep(s). By Representative Hubbard


HB134

Enrolled, An Act, Under existing law, as a condition of registration and licensing a motor vehicle, proof of a motor vehicle liability insurance policy is required.This bill would replace the existing provisions of requiring liability insurance prior to registration and licensing of motor vehicles; would provide penalties for violations; and would provide for the administration and enforcement.

To add a new Chapter 7A to Title 32, Code of Alabama 1975, to require proof of motor vehicle liability insurance prior to the registration and licensing of motor vehicles; to provide for the administration and enforcement of the act; to provide penalties for violations; to amend Section 40-12-392, Code of Alabama 1975, to provide further for liability insurance of motor vehicle dealers, rebuilders, and wholesalers; and to repeal Section 32-7-6.1, Code of Alabama 1975.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:

Section 1. The following new Chapter 7A is hereby added to Title 32 of the Code of Alabama 1975, consisting of Sections 32-7A-1 through 32-7A-22.

32-7A-1. This chapter may be cited as the Mandatory Liability Insurance Act.

32-7A-2. For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section, except in those instances where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1) CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE. A document issued by an insurer or its authorized representative showing that a specific vehicle is insured for liability.

(2) DEALER. Any person dealing in, buying, selling, exchanging, advertising, or negotiating the sale of motor vehicles and licensed under the provisions of Section 40-12-391, Code of Alabama 1975.

(3) DECLARATIONS PAGE. That part of an insurance policy showing all of the pertinent information, name of insured, insuring company, the vehicle make, the year model, the vehicle identification number (VIN), the policy number, the amount of coverage or coverages and the effective and expiration dates of the policy.

(4) DEPARTMENT. The Department of Revenue.

(5) DEPOSIT OF CASH. Funds deposited with and held by the State Treasurer as security for payment by the depositor, or by any person responsible for the depositor's motor vehicle with his or her express or implied consent, of all judgments rendered against the depositor or other authorized operator of the depositor's motor vehicle arising from injury, death, or damage sustained through use, operation, maintenance, or control of the motor vehicle within the State of Alabama.

(6) DIRECTOR. The Director of Public Safety of the State of Alabama.

(7) DISPLAY. The temporary manual surrender of the evidence of insurance into the hands of the law enforcement officer making the request for the officer's inspection thereof as provided in Section 32-7A-6, Code of Alabama 1975.

(8) INSURANCE BINDER. A document issued by an insurer or its authorized representative showing that a specific vehicle is insured for liability.

(9) LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY. An owner's or an operator's policy of liability insurance, issued by an insurance carrier duly authorized to transact business in this state, to or for the benefit of the person or vehicle identified in the policy as insured.

(10) MOTOR VEHICLE. Every vehicle that is designed and manufactured to be operated on the streets and highways of Alabama, but not operated upon rails.

(11) MOTOR VEHICLE LIABILITY BOND. A bond of a surety company duly authorized to transact business in this state, which is conditioned for payments in amounts and under the same circumstances as would be required in a motor vehicle liability insurance policy.

(12) OPERATOR. Every person who is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle.

(13) OWNER. Any of the following persons:

a. A person or persons holding the legal title to a motor vehicle unless subsection b. or c. is applicable.

b. The mortgagor or conditional vendee of a vehicle that is the subject of a chattel mortgage or an agreement for the conditional sale thereof or other like agreement with the right of purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement and with the immediate right of possession vested in the mortgagor or conditional vendee.

b. The mortgagor, debtor, conditional vendee, or lessee of a vehicle that is the subject a chattel mortgage, lien, agreement for the conditional sale thereof, lease or other like agreement with the right of purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement and with the immediate right of possession vested in the mortgagor, debtor, conditional vendee, or lessee, in which event the mortgagor, debtor, conditional vendee, or lessee shall be deemed the owner for purposes of this chapter.

c. The lessee of a vehicle owned by the United States of America or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.

(14) PERSON. Every natural person, firm, partnership, association, estate, trust, corporation, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, or other entity.

(15) REGISTRATION. Certificate or certificates and license plates issued under the laws of this state pertaining to the registration of motor vehicles.

(16) SIGNATURE. A unique mark, process, or verification in a manner prescribed by the department, as provided in Section 40-30-1, Code of Alabama 1975.

(17) STATE. Any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, any province or territory of the Dominion of Canada or a state of the Republic of Mexico.

(18) SUSPENSION. The temporary withdrawal by formal action of the department of a vehicle's registration for a period specified by this chapter. The terms "liability insurance policy," "deposit of cash," and a motor vehicle liability bond" are used interchangeably throughout this chapter.

32-7A-3. (a) The department shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter and shall make such reasonable rules and regulations concerning any matter administered in this chapter and shall provide for hearings upon the request of persons aggrieved by orders or acts of the department under the provisions of this chapter.

(b) The department may prescribe and provide suitable forms, notices, and all other notices and forms necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

(c) The department may:

(1) Make necessary investigations to procure information required to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

(2) Suspend the motor vehicle registrations pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(d) At any time within 30 calendar days after the rendition of any suspension, or decision under the provisions of this chapter, any person may appeal to the administrative law judge pursuant to Section 40-2A-8, Code of Alabama 1975. After exhausting his or her appeal rights provided under Section 40-2A-8, Code of Alabama 1975, and, upon providing evidence of payment of the reinstatement fee provided in this chapter, the person may appeal to the circuit court. The appeals to the administrative law judge or circuit court shall be as provided in Section 40-2A-9, Code of Alabama 1975.

32-7A-4. (a) No person shall operate, register or maintain registration of, and no owner shall permit another person to operate, register or maintain registration of, a motor vehicle designed to be used on a public highway unless the motor vehicle is covered by a liability insurance policy, motor vehicle liability bond, or deposit of cash.

(b)(1) The insurance policy shall be issued in amounts no less than the minimum amounts set for bodily injury or death and for destruction of property under Section 32-7-6(c), Code of Alabama 1975.

(2) The motor vehicle liability bond shall be in the amount of not less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). The bond shall be conditioned on the payment of the amount of any judgment rendered against the principal in the bond or any person responsible for the operation of the principal's motor vehicle with his or her express or implied consent, arising from injury, death, or damage sustained through the use, operation, maintenance, or control of the motor vehicle within the State of Alabama.

(3) The deposit of cash with the State Treasurer shall be a sum of not less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

(c) Only an insurer authorized to do business in this state shall issue a policy pursuant to this section for any vehicle subject to registration under Chapter 12 of Title 40, Code of Alabama 1975. Nothing herein shall deprive an insurer of any policy defense available at common law.

32-7A-5. This chapter shall not apply to any of the following vehicles or operators:

(1) Trailers as defined in Section 40-12-240, Code of Alabama 1975, including, but not limited to, semitrailers, travel trailers, boat trailers, pole trailers, and utility trailers.

(2) Motor vehicles owned and operated by the United States or any agency thereof, the State of Alabama, or any political or governmental subdivision thereof.

(3) Any motor vehicle which is subject to the supervision and regulation of the Alabama Public Service Commission and for which the owner and/or operator has filed with the commission a bond or insurance policy, the liability under which is not less than that required of the operator of a motor vehicle under the terms of this chapter.

(4) Motor vehicles covered by a certificate of self-insurance issued by the director under the provisions of Section 32-7-34, Code of Alabama 1975.

(5) Other motor vehicles complying with laws which require the vehicles to be insured in amounts meeting or exceeding the minimum amounts required under Section 32-7-6(c), Code of Alabama 1975.

(6) Implements of husbandry as defined in Section 32-8-2(5), Code of Alabama 1975.

(7) Any vehicle moved solely by animal power.

(8) Special mobile equipment, as defined in Section 32-8-2(20), Code of Alabama 1975.

(9) Inoperable or stored motor vehicles that are not operated, as defined by rules and regulations of the department.

(10) Motor vehicles owned by a licensed motor vehicle dealer and held for sale that are covered by a blanket liability insurance policy.

(11) Vehicles properly registered in another jurisdiction and not legally required to be registered pursuant to Chapter 12 of Title 40, Code of Alabama 1975.

(12) Vehicles owned by a bank, a subsidiary or affiliate of a bank, or finance company acquired as an incident to their regular business that are covered by a blanket liability insurance policy.

32-7A-6. (a) Every operator of a motor vehicle subject to the provisions of Section 32-7A-4 shall carry within the vehicle evidence of insurance. The evidence shall be legible and sufficient to demonstrate that the motor vehicle currently is covered by a liability insurance policy as required under Section 32-7A-4 and may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) An insurance card, or temporary insurance card, provided by the insurer under this section.

(2) The combination of proof of purchase of the motor vehicle within the previous 60 calendar days and a current and valid insurance card issued for the motor vehicle replaced by such purchase.

(3) The current declarations page of a liability insurance policy.

(4) A liability insurance binder, or legible copy thereof, certificate of liability insurance, or legible copy thereof, or receipt for payment to an insurer or its authorized representative for a liability insurance premium, or legible copy thereof; provided such document contains all information required in this chapter.

(5) A current motor vehicle rental agreement for the vehicle, which specifies insurance coverage by the rental company or the operator in the minimum amounts, provided in Section 32-7-6(c), Code of Alabama 1975.

(b) The insurer issuing the liability insurance policy shall provide an insurance card for each motor vehicle insured that shall contain the following information:

(1) The vehicle year model.

(2) The vehicle make.

(3) The vehicle identification number (VIN).

(4) The name of the insured(s).

(5) The name of the insurance company.

(6) The policy number.

(7) The effective date and expiration date, which shall cover a period of time not to exceed 12 months.

(c) Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the insurance card is issued for a fleet policy, the card may state "FLEET" in lieu of vehicle years, makes, and VIN's; and further provided that if the insurance card is issued for a nonowner policy, the card may state "NONOWNER POLICY" in lieu of the vehicle year, make and VIN.

(d) The minimum size of the insurance card shall be 3" by 2 1/8", with a minimum 20 pound paper stock required or the equivalent. All required information shall be displayed on the front of the card. The insurance card may include other information at the discretion of the insurer. Insurance companies may allow authorized representatives to issue temporary insurance cards to satisfy the requirements of this chapter. Temporary insurance cards are not required to have the policy number but shall contain all other required information.

(e) No insurer shall issue a card, similar in appearance, form and content to the insurance card required under this section, in connection with an insurance policy that does not provide the liability insurance coverage required under Section 32-7-4, Code of Alabama 1975.

(f) Insurance binders, certificates of liability insurance, and premium receipts, in order to qualify as proof of insurance, must meet the following requirements (except where noted):

(1) Insurance company name.

(2) Policy number - not required on a binder or premium receipt.

(3) Effective date.

(4) Expiration date.

(5) Name of insured(s).

(6) Vehicle year model - not required if issued for a fleet policy or for a nonowner policy.

(7) Vehicle make - not required if issued for a fleet policy or for a nonowner policy.

(8) Vehicle identification number - not required if issued for a fleet policy or for a nonowner policy.

(9) Date of premium payment - required only on a premium receipt.

(10) Signature of authorized representative.

(g) The combination proof of purchase of a motor vehicle, as provided in subsection (a) above, shall consist of a legible copy of the legal bill of sale if the motor vehicle is not subject to the provisions of the Alabama Uniform Certificate of Title and Antitheft Act, or the owner's copy of the application for certificate of title for a 1975 and subsequent year model vehicle, or an official copy of a current and valid Alabama temporary registration receipt as authorized under Section 32-6-210 to Section 32-6-219, inclusive, Code of Alabama 1975, assigned to the vehicle being operated.

(h) The evidence of insurance shall be displayed upon request made by any law enforcement officer wearing a uniform or displaying a badge or other sign of authority. Any person who fails or refuses to comply with such request is in violation of Section 32-7A-16. Any person who displays evidence of insurance, knowing there is no valid liability insurance in effect on the motor vehicle as required under Section 32-7A-4 or knowing the evidence of insurance is illegally altered, counterfeit or otherwise invalid, is in violation of Section 32-7A-16.

32-7A-7. (a) The department may select random samples shall select a 10 percent random sampling of registrations of motor vehicles subject to Section 32-7A-4, or owners thereof, for the purpose of verifying whether or not the motor vehicles are insured.

(b) In addition to such general random samples of motor vehicle registrations, the department may select for verification other random samples including, but not limited to, registrations of motor vehicles owned by persons:

(1) Whose motor vehicle registrations during the preceding four years have been suspended pursuant to Section 32-7A-9 or 32-7A-11.

(2) Who during the preceding four years have been convicted of violating Section 32-7A-16 while operating vehicles owned by other persons.

(3) Whose driving privileges have been suspended or revoked during the preceding four years.

(4) Who during the preceding four years have received a disposition of supervision by the courts of this state for a violation of the provisions of this chapter.

(c) The director shall provide to the department, in a manner designated by the department, the name of an owner or operator of any motor vehicle involved in an accident without liability insurance who is determined not to be subject to the suspension by the director pursuant to the provisions of Section 32-7-6. The director shall also provide to the department, in a manner designated by the department, the name of an owner or operator of any motor vehicle that has been found in violation of Section 32-7A-16.

The department may then verify whether or not at the time of the accident such motor vehicle was covered by a liability insurance policy in accordance with Section 32-7A-4.

(d) The department may send to owners of randomly selected motor vehicles or to randomly selected motor vehicle owners, requests for information about their motor vehicles and liability insurance coverage. The request shall require the owner to state:

(1) Whether or not the motor vehicle was insured on the verification date stated in the department's request, and the reason no insurance existed for the vehicle if not insured.

(2) The name, address, and telephone number of the insurance company that insures the motor vehicle.

(3) The effective date of the policy and the expiration date of the policy.

(4) The owner's signature.

(5) The policy number

(e) Within 30 calendar days after the department mails a request, the owner to whom it is sent shall furnish the requested information to the department with the owner's signed and dated affirmation that such information is true and correct. Proof of insurance in effect on the verification date, as prescribed by the department, may be considered by the department to be a satisfactory response to the request for information.

(f) Any owner whose response indicates that his or her vehicle was not covered by a liability insurance policy in accordance with Section 32-7A-4 shall be deemed to have registered or maintained registration of a motor vehicle in violation of that section. Any owner who fails to respond to such a request shall be deemed to have registered or maintained registration of a motor vehicle in violation of Section 32-7A-4.

(g) If the owner responds to the request for information by asserting that his or her vehicle was covered by a liability insurance policy on the verification date stated in the department's request, the department may conduct a verification of the response by furnishing necessary information to the insurer named in the response. The insurer shall within 30 calendar days inform the department if on the verification date stated the motor vehicle was not insured by the insurer in accordance with Section 32-7A-4.

(h) No random sample selected under this section shall be categorized on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, economic status, or geography.

32-7A-8. If the department determines that an owner has registered or maintained the registration of a motor vehicle without a liability insurance policy in accordance with Section 32-7A-4, the department shall notify the owner that such owner's vehicle registration shall be suspended 45 calendar days after the date of the mailing of the notice unless the owner within 30 calendar days furnishes proof of insurance in effect on the verification date, as prescribed by the department. The notice shall be in writing and shall be mailed by first class U.S. Postal Service or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner's last known address.

32-7A-9. (a) The department shall suspend the vehicle registration of any motor vehicle determined to be in violation of Section 32-7A-4, including any motor vehicle operated in violation of Section 32-7A-16 by an operator other than the owner of the vehicle. Neither the fact that, subsequent to the date of verification or violation, the owner acquired the required liability insurance policy nor the fact that the owner terminated ownership of the motor vehicle shall have any bearing upon the required suspension.

(b) The registration of any motor vehicle registered in this state shall be suspended upon the department receiving notice of the conviction of the operator of the motor vehicle in another state of an offense which, if committed in this state, would constitute a violation of Section 32-7A-4. Until it is terminated, any suspension under this chapter shall remain in force even if the registration is renewed or a new registration is acquired for the motor vehicle contrary to Section 32-7A-10.

(c) In the case of a first violation, the department shall terminate the suspension upon payment by the owner of a reinstatement fee of one hundred dollars ($100) in certified funds and submission of proof of insurance as prescribed by the department. Upon a first violation, the owner's name and identifying information shall be provided to the director by the department, for the purpose of requiring the owner to purchase and maintain insurance pursuant to Section 32-7-13 or Section 32-7-31, or both, 32-7-20 Code of Alabama 1975, for a period of one year.

(d) In the case of a second or subsequent violation by a person having ownership interest in a motor vehicle or vehicles within the preceding four years, or a violation of Section 32-7A-16(3), the department shall terminate the suspension four months after its effective date upon payment by the owner of a reinstatement fee of two hundred dollars ($200) in certified funds and submission of proof of insurance as prescribed by the department. In the case of a second or subsequent violation, the owner's name and identifying information shall be provided to the director by the department, for the purpose of the director requiring the owner to purchase and maintain insurance pursuant to Section 32-7-13 or Section 32-7-31, or both, 32-7-20 Code of Alabama 1975, for a period of three years.

Upon conviction of a second offense the violator shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

(e) All fees collected under this section shall be retained by the department for use in the administration of this chapter. Refunds of reinstatement fees shall be granted in cases of duplicate payment, or as approved by the department. Anyone who is denied a refund of the reinstatement fee may appeal the denial to the administrative law judge pursuant to Section 40-2A-8, Code of Alabama 1975.

32-7A-10. (a) The No later than the tenth day (10th) of each month, the department shall provide a current list of owners whose license plates have been suspended pursuant to Section 32-7A-9 to officials authorized to issue motor vehicle license plates or authorized, or both, to perform other duties in connection with the issuance of motor vehicle license plates.

The department may provide the list electronically to those officials indicating a preference for electronic transmission of information.

(b) All officials authorized by law to register motor vehicles, issue motor vehicle license plates and to perform other duties in connection with the issuance of motor vehicle license plates shall refuse to register or reregister a motor vehicle or refuse to transfer the license plates if the registration is suspended pursuant to Section 32-7A-9.

(c) Beginning with the effective date of this act, all officials authorized by law to issue motor vehicle license plates shall obtain, when issuing or transferring motor vehicle registrations, the Alabama driver's license number of the owner, of the vehicle, or, if the owner does not have a driver's license number, the identification card number as provided under Section 32-6-4, Code of Alabama 1975, or for a company or other entity, the federal employer identification number, for inclusion with the motor vehicle registration records in the state and county databases. Provided, the county shall not include these numbers on the motor vehicle registration receipts. This information shall be used by the department in the administration of the provisions of this chapter.

(d) Officials authorized to issue motor vehicle license plates shall require an affirmation on a form designed and provided by the department that the owners are in compliance with the liability insurance requirements of this chapter on each registration and on each transfer of registration.

Affirmation language may be contained on the renewal notice card along with a signature line for the owner to indicate compliance when renewing registration by mail.

The affirmations required by this subsection shall be forwarded by the official authorized to issue motor vehicle license plates in each county to the department no later than the tenth (10th) day of each month. The affirmations shall be retained by the department.

If the county allows renewal by mail or electronic means, it shall allow the owner to indicate compliance with this chapter by including affirmation language as developed by the department on the renewal notice along with a signature line on mail renewals and an alternative method to indicate acceptance of the affirmation on electronic renewals.

32-7A-11. (a) If the department or the director determines that the proof of insurance submitted by a motor vehicle owner under Sections 32-7A-7, 32-7A-8, or 32-7A-9 is false, the department shall suspend the owner's vehicle registration. The department shall terminate the suspension six months after its effective date upon payment by the owner of a reinstatement fee of two hundred dollars ($200) in certified funds, and submission of proof of insurance as prescribed by the department.

(b) Upon a violation of this section, the owner's name and identifying information shall be provided to the director by the department, for the purpose of the director requiring the owner to purchase and maintain liability insurance pursuant to Section 32-7-13 or Section 32-7-31, Code of Alabama 1975, or both, for a period of three years.

(c) All funds collected under this section shall be retained by the department for use in the administration of this chapter.

32-7A-12. No verification procedure established under this chapter shall include individual inspections of vehicles on the public streets or highways solely for the purpose of verifying the existence of an insurance policy. No law enforcement officer shall stop a vehicle solely for the purpose of verifying the existence of a valid insurance policy.

32-7A-13. No state or local governmental unit and no government official or employee acting in the course of his or her official duties in the administration or enforcement of Section 32-7A-4 and related provisions of this chapter shall be liable for any damages, brought directly or indirectly by the injured party or a third party, except for damages resulting from willful and wanton misconduct or gross negligence on the part of the governmental unit, official or employee.

32-7A-14. A person who, whether present or absent, aids, abets, induces, procures or causes the commission of an act which, if done directly by him, would be a felony or a misdemeanor under a provision of this chapter, is guilty of the same felony or misdemeanor.

32-7A-15. A person is guilty of a Class C felony who, with fraudulent intent:

(1) Alters, forges or counterfeits an insurance card to make it appear valid.

(2) Makes, sells or otherwise makes available an invalid or counterfeit insurance card, or other evidence of insurance.

32-7A-16. A person is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor who:

(1) Operates a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is covered by a liability insurance policy in accordance with this chapter.

(2) Fails or refuses to comply with a request by a law enforcement officer for display of evidence of insurance as required under this chapter.

(3) Operates a vehicle the registration of which is suspended pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(4) Displays evidence of insurance knowing there is no valid liability insurance in effect on the motor vehicle as required by this chapter.

(5) With notice, registers, or attempts to register a vehicle.

32-7A-17. Whenever a court convicts a person of a violation of Section 32-7A-15 or Section 32-7A-16, or enters an order placing on supervision the person charged with violation, the clerk of the court within 10 days shall forward a report of the conviction or order of supervision to the department in a form prescribed by the department. The department shall keep records of such reports. However, reports of orders of supervision shall not be released to any outside source, except the affected person and law enforcement agencies, and shall be used only to inform the department and the courts that such person previously has been assigned court supervision.

32-7A-18. The following penalties are applicable to violations of this chapter.

(1) FELONIES. A person convicted of a felony for the violation of a provision of this chapter is guilty of a Class C felony and is subject to punishment by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by imprisonment for not less than one year and one day or not more than 10 years, or both the fine and imprisonment.

(2) MISDEMEANORS. A person convicted of a misdemeanor for the violation of a provision of this chapter is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and is subject to punishment by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) for the first conviction. Upon each subsequent conviction, the fine shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) or suspension of the person's driver's license for a period not to exceed six months, or both fine and suspension.

32-7A-19. No person shall display evidence of insurance to a law enforcement officer, court, or officer of the court, knowing there is no valid liability insurance in effect on the motor vehicle as required under Section 32-7A-4 or knowing the evidence of insurance is altered, counterfeit, or otherwise invalid as evidence of insurance required under Section 32-7A-4. If the law enforcement officer issues a citation to a motor vehicle operator for displaying invalid evidence of insurance, the officer shall confiscate the evidence for presentation in court.

32-7A-20. No person charged with violating the requirements of this chapter to maintain or display, or both, evidence of insurance shall be convicted if such person produces in court satisfactory evidence that at the time of the citation the motor vehicle was covered by a liability insurance policy in accordance with Section 32-7A-4. The chief judge of each circuit may designate an officer of the court to review the documentation demonstrating that at the time of citation the motor vehicle was covered by a liability insurance policy in accordance with Section 32-7A-4.

32-7A-21. Information regarding the motor vehicle registration suspension or reinstatement status of any person is confidential and shall be released only to the person who is the subject of a suspension or possible suspension, or to law enforcement agencies, courts, and other governmental entities, including officials responsible for the issuance of license plates, as necessary in the administration of the provisions of this chapter.

32-7A-22. All violations of Section 32-7-6.1 as provided in Act 99-430 committed prior to January 1, 2001, shall remain subject to the penalties provided in the act regardless of the subsequent repeal of the act.

Section 2. Section 40-12-392, Code of Alabama 1975, is amended as follows:

"40-12-392

"(a) The application for a license shall be in such form and shall be subject to such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the commissioner. An application shall be verified by the oath or affirmation of the applicant. If the applicant is a sole proprietorship, the application shall contain the name and residence of the applicant. If the applicant is a partnership, the application shall contain the names and residences of each partner. If the applicant is a corporation, the application shall contain the names and residences of the officers and directors. If the applicant is a new motor vehicle dealer, or used motor vehicle dealer in this state, the application shall contain the state sales tax number assigned to the applicant. The application shall enumerate the number of new and used vehicles sold during the previous calendar year; describe the exact location of the place of business, and shall state: That the location is a permanent one; that the location affords sufficient space upon and within which to adequately display one or more motor vehicles offered for sale and that an appropriate sign designates the location as being the place of business of a motor vehicle dealer; that it is a suitable place from which the applicant can in good faith carry on such business and keep and maintain books and records necessary to conduct business, which shall be available at all reasonable hours for inspection by the commissioner. The application shall state that the applicant is either (i) franchised by a manufacturer of motor vehicles, and, if so, the name of the manufacturer and line make that the applicant is authorized to represent, or (ii) a used motor vehicle dealer, reconditioner, rebuilder, or wholesaler. Upon making application, the person applying shall pay an application fee of ten dollars ($10) to the commissioner in addition to other fees required by law. The commissioner may cause an investigation to be made and upon being satisfied that the facts set forth in the application are true, shall issue a license certificate to the applicant, which shall entitle the licensee to operate as a motor vehicle dealer, reconditioner, rebuilder, or wholesaler for one year from the first day of October of each year. If the commissioner, upon investigation, determines that a license should not be issued, the commissioner may deny the license and the applicant may appeal the denial to the Administrative Law Division of the department as allowed in Chapter 2A of this title.

"(b) A motor vehicle reconditioner, motor vehicle rebuilder, or a motor vehicle wholesaler shall not be required to maintain a sign designating the location, and may maintain books, records, and files of his or her business at his or her home; provided, that books, records, and files shall be accessible and available for inspection by the commissioner, inspectors, or employees during normal business hours on usual business days. The location may be adjacent to his or her residence.

"(c) If a motor vehicle reconditioner, a motor vehicle rebuilder, or a motor vehicle wholesaler shall also be a motor vehicle dealer within the meaning of this article, he or she shall qualify with the commissioner both as a motor vehicle dealer and motor vehicle reconditioner, or motor vehicle rebuilder or motor vehicle wholesaler, and shall file his or her application and pay the fee for each business, and shall comply with the requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of this section as to the business location for each business licensed by the commissioner.

"(d) A motor vehicle reconditioner, motor vehicle rebuilder, or motor vehicle wholesaler may not sell any motor vehicles or component parts to anyone other than a licensed motor vehicle dealer, motor vehicle wholesaler, or other motor vehicle reconditioner or motor vehicle rebuilder, or as salvage.

"(e) Motor vehicle dealers, motor vehicle reconditioners, motor vehicle rebuilders, and motor vehicle wholesalers shall be required to maintain blanket motor vehicle liability insurance coverage on vehicles operated on the public streets and highways of this state, including vehicles in dealership inventory. Evidence of liability insurance for business and inventory vehicles shall be filed with the application for license, and the application for license shall be denied if proof of liability insurance satisfactory to the commissioner is not provided."

Section 3. This act is supplemental to other laws relative to motor vehicles and financial responsibility, and insofar as possible shall be construed in pari materia with such laws. Nevertheless, Section 32-7-6.1, Code of Alabama 1975, and all other laws or parts of laws in conflict or inconsistent with this act are hereby repealed.

Section 4. The provisions of this act are severable. If any part of the act is declared invalid or unconstitutional, such declaration shall not affect the part that remains.

Section 5. This act shall become effective January 1, 2001, upon its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.


Motor Vehicles
Insurance
Liability Insurance
Crimes and Offenses
Licenses and Licensing
Code Amended
Code Repealed