HB203 (2011) Detail

Relative to mandatory motor vehicle liability insurance.


HB 203-FN – AS INTRODUCED

2011 SESSION

11-0179

03/09

HOUSE BILL 203-FN

AN ACT relative to mandatory motor vehicle liability insurance.

SPONSORS: Rep. Hoelzel, Rock 2; Rep. DeSimone, Rock 6; Rep. Ferrante, Rock 5; Rep. Gimas, Hills 12; Rep. Sad, Ches 2

COMMITTEE: Commerce and Consumer Affairs

ANALYSIS

This bill requires proof of a motor vehicle liability policy in order to register a motor vehicle and requires drivers to possess proof of a motor vehicle liability policy. This bill also increases the minimum liability limits for motor vehicle liability policies.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

11-0179

03/09

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT relative to mandatory motor vehicle liability insurance.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Definitions; Motor Vehicle Liability Policy. Amend RSA 259:61, I to read as follows:

I. Indemnity for or protection to the insured and any person responsible to him or her for the operation of the insured’s motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer who has obtained possession or control thereof with his or her express or implied consent, against loss by reason of the liability to pay damages to others for damage to property, except property of others in charge of the insured or his or her employees, or bodily injuries, including death at any time resulting therefrom, accidentally sustained during the term of said policy by any person other than the insured, or employees of the insured actually operating the motor vehicle or such other person responsible as aforesaid who are entitled to payments or benefits under the provisions of any workers’ compensation act arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance, control, or use within the limits of the United States of America or the Dominion of Canada of such motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer, to the amount or limit of at least [$25,000] $100,000 on account of injury to or death of any one person, and subject to such limit as respects injury or death of one person, of at least [$50,000] $300,000 on account of any one accident resulting in injury to or death of more than one person, and at least $25,000 for damage to property of others, as herein provided, or a binder pending the issue of such a policy or an endorsement to an existing policy, as defined in RSA 264:14, [18] 264:18, and [19] 264:19, and

2 Application for Registration; Proof of Insurance Required. Amend RSA 261:52 to read as follows:

261:52 Application for Registration.

I. Application for the registration of vehicles may be made by the owner thereof by mail or otherwise to the department, upon blanks prepared by the director. In addition to such other particulars as the director may require, the application shall contain the applicant’s birth date, unless the vehicle is registered in the name of a person other than a natural person, in which case the date assigned by the director shall be used as the date of birth. All applications shall contain the words: “This application is signed and any additional information is offered under penalty of unsworn falsification pursuant to RSA 641:3.” The proper fee shall be deposited before the application is granted.

II. The applicant shall submit with the application proof of a motor vehicle liability policy indicating that such policy is valid for the duration of the registration period or longer. No registration shall be issued, renewed, or transferred without adequate proof of a motor vehicle liability policy.

3 Amount of Proof of Financial Responsibility. Amend RSA 264:20 to read as follows:

264:20 Amount of Proof of Financial Responsibility. Proof of financial responsibility shall mean proof of ability to respond in damages for any liability thereafter incurred, as a result of accidents which occur in New Hampshire, arising out of the ownership, maintenance, control, or use of a motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer in the amount of [$25,000] $100,000 because of bodily injury or death to any one person; and subject to said limit respecting one person, in the amount of [$50,000] $300,000 because of bodily injury to or death to 2 or more persons in any one accident, and in the amount of $25,000 because of injury to and destruction of property in any one accident. Whenever required under this chapter such proof in such amounts shall be furnished for each motor vehicle, trailer or semi-trailer registered by such person.

4 New Section; Possession of Proof of Motor Vehicle Liability Policy Required. Amend RSA 265 by inserting after section 96 the following new section:

265:96-a Possession of Proof of Motor Vehicle Liability Policy Required. Every person driving a motor vehicle shall have proof of a valid motor vehicle liability policy covering the person upon his or her person or in the vehicle in some easily accessible place and shall display the same on demand of and manually surrender the same into the hands of the demanding officer for the inspection thereof. No person charged with a violation of this section shall be convicted if, within a period of 48 hours, he or she produces in the office of the arresting officer evidence that he or she held a valid motor vehicle liability policy which was in effect at the time of his or her arrest. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a violation and fined not less than $250 nor more than $500 for the first offense and not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for a second offense, and guilty of a misdemeanor for any third or subsequent offense within 5 years.

5 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2012.

LBAO

11-0179

01/14/11

HB 203-FN - FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT relative to mandatory motor vehicle liability insurance.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Judicial Branch, the Judicial Council, and the New Hampshire Association of Counties state this bill may increase state general fund and county expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. The Department of Safety states this bill will increase state highway fund expenditures by $ 257,119 in FY 2012, $78,634 in FY 2013, $82,728 in FY 2014, and $87,050 in FY 2015, increase state highway fund revenue by an indeterminable amount in FY 2012 and each year thereafter and increase local revenue by an indeterminable amount in FY 2013 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on local expenditures or county revenue.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Judicial Branch states this bill requires proof of a motor vehicle liability policy in order to register a motor vehicle, requires drivers to possess proof of a motor vehicle liability policy and increases the minimum liability limits for motor vehicle liability policies. The proposed legislation also dictates failure to comply with the proposed legislation will result in a violation carrying a fine of between $250 and $500 for the first offense and between $500 and $1000 for a second offense. A third offense within a five year period will be punishable as a misdemeanor. The Branch has no information to estimate how many new violation level offenses or misdemeanors will be brought as a result of the changes contained in the bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures. The Branch notes the costs associated with a violation level offense will be $42.27 in FY 2012 and $43.02 in FY 2013. The Branch also notes unspecified misdemeanors can be either class A or class B in accordance with RSA 625:9. The Branch states the costs associated with a class A misdemeanor will be $60.03 in FY 2012 and $60.88 in FY 2013 while the costs associated with a class B misdemeanor will be $43.58 in FY 2012 and $44.34 in FY 2013. These amounts do not take into consideration the costs of any appeals that may be filed. The Department states that given the prevalence of motor vehicles in the lives of NH citizens, the number of violation level and misdemeanor level offenses that will result from the proposed legislation is likely to have a fiscal impact on the Branch in excess of $10,000.

    The Judicial Council states this bill may result in an indeterminable increase in general fund expenditures. The Council notes the misdemeanor offense created as a result of the proposed legislation is an unspecified misdemeanor and as such, in accordance with RSA 625:9, the State would have to file a notice of intent to seek a class A misdemeanor. The Council states it is only with the third offense within five years in conjunction with the State filing notice to seek a class A misdemeanor that state expenditures would be increased. The Council clarifies there is no right to council for a class B misdemeanor. In the event that this would occur, if an individual is found to be indigent, the flat fee of $275 per misdemeanor is charged by a public defender or contract attorney. If an assigned counsel attorney is used the fee is $60 per hour with a cap of $1,400 for a misdemeanor charge. The Council also states additional costs could be incurred if an appeal is filed. The public defender, contract attorney and assigned counsel rates for Supreme Court appeals is $2,000 per case, with many assigned counsel attorneys seeking permission to exceed the fee cap. Requests to exceed the fee cap are seldom granted. Finally, expenditures would increase if services other than counsel are requested and approved by the court during the defense of a case or during an appeal.

    The New Hampshire Association of Counties states to the extent an individual is prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to incarceration, the counties may have increased expenditures. The Association is unable to determine the number of individuals who might be detained, prosecuted or incarcerated as a result of this bill. The average annual cost to incarcerate an individual in a county correctional facility is approximately $35,000.

    The Department of Safety states the proposed legislation’s requirement of valid liability insurance in order to register a vehicle would require the Department to retain proof of insurance in the Division of Motor Vehicle’s record retention system. The Department states highway fund expenditures would be increased by the costs associated with the programming changes necessary to retain proof of insurance in the Division’s record retention system. The Department also notes highway fund expenditures would increase by costs incurred to train municipal agents, update forms to include the new requirements, fund labor costs associated with maintaining document history and verification, and updating on-line software for both state and municipalities to only allow vehicles with valid insurance coverage to be registered.

    Although the Department is unable to estimate the increase in local expenditures, the Department states highway fund expenditures would be incurred as follows:

   

FY 2012

FY 2013

FY 2014

FY 2015

DMV Record Retention System Programming Changes (1200 hrs at $175 per hour):

210,000

-

-

-

Municipal Agent Training

7,000

-

-

-

Updating Forms

2,750

-

-

-

Additional Personnel for maintaining records and verification (2 Data Clerk II, LG 10), (note: FY 2012 represents 6 mos.):

       
 

Salaries

24,629

51,160

53,078

55,028

 

Benefits

12,750

27,474

29,650

32,022

Totals

257,129

78,634

82,728

87,050

    The Department states they are unable to estimate the proposed legislation’s impact on highway fund revenues as they are unable to estimate how much revenue would be collected from violations. The Department states to the extent highway fund revenues are increased as a result of the proposed legislation, local revenues will be increased by the proportionate share of local highway aid dictated by RSA 235:23.

    The Department of Justice states the criminal offense created by this bill could be prosecuted by a local prosecutor or county attorney’s office. If an appeal is filed, the Department would have increased expenditures. The Department anticipates that any increase in the appellate workload would be nominal and could be handled within the Department’s current budget.

Links

HB203 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB203 Revision: 18208 Date: Jan. 21, 2011, midnight

Docket