2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 40 - MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC
CHAPTER 6 - UNIFORM RULES OF THE ROAD
ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 40-6-10 - Insurance requirements for operation of motor vehicles generally

O.C.G.A. 40-6-10 (2010)
40-6-10. Insurance requirements for operation of motor vehicles generally


(a)(1) The owner or operator of a motor vehicle for which minimum motor vehicle liability insurance coverage is required under Chapter 34 of Title 33 shall keep proof or evidence of required minimum insurance coverage in the vehicle at all times during the operation of the vehicle. The owner of a motor vehicle shall provide to any operator of such vehicle proof or evidence of required minimum insurance coverage for the purposes of compliance with this subsection.

(2) The following shall be acceptable proof of insurance on a temporary basis:

(A) If the policy providing such coverage was applied for within the last 30 days, a current written binder for such coverage for a period not exceeding 30 days from the date such binder was issued shall be considered satisfactory proof or evidence of required minimum insurance coverage;

(B) If the vehicle is operated under a rental agreement, a duly executed vehicle rental agreement shall be considered satisfactory proof or evidence of required minimum insurance coverage; and

(C) If the owner acquired ownership of the vehicle within the past 30 days, if the type of proof described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph is not applicable but the vehicle is currently effectively provided with required minimum insurance coverage under the terms of a policy providing required minimum insurance coverage for another motor vehicle, then a copy of the insurer's declaration of coverage under the policy providing such required minimum insurance coverage for such other vehicle shall be considered satisfactory proof or evidence of required minimum insurance coverage for the vehicle, but only if accompanied by proof or evidence that the owner acquired ownership of the vehicle within the past 30 days.

(2.1) If the vehicle is insured under a fleet policy as defined in Code Section 40-2-137 providing the required minimum insurance coverage or if the vehicle is engaged in interstate commerce and registered under the provisions of Article 3A of Chapter 2 of this title, the insurance information card issued by the insurer shall be considered satisfactory proof of required minimum insurance coverage for the vehicle.

(2.2) If the vehicle is insured under a certificate of self-insurance issued by the Commissioner of Insurance providing the required minimum insurance coverage under which the vehicle owner did not report the vehicle identification number to the Commissioner of Insurance, the insurance information card issued by the Commissioner of Insurance shall be considered satisfactory proof of required minimum insurance coverage for the vehicle, but only if accompanied by a copy of the certificate issued by the Commissioner of Insurance.

(3) The requirement under this Code section that proof or evidence of minimum liability insurance be maintained in a motor vehicle at all times during the operation of the vehicle shall not apply to the owner or operator of any vehicle for which the records or data base of the Department of Revenue indicates that required minimum insurance coverage is currently effective.

(4) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (7) of this subsection, any person who fails to comply with the requirements of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $200.00 nor more than $1,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than 12 months, or both.

(5) Every law enforcement officer in this state shall determine if the operator of a motor vehicle subject to the provisions of this Code section has the required minimum insurance coverage every time the law enforcement officer stops the vehicle or requests the presentation of the driver's license of the operator of the vehicle.

(6) If a law enforcement officer of this state determines that the owner or operator of a motor vehicle subject to the provisions of this Code section does not have proof or evidence of required minimum insurance coverage, the arresting officer shall issue a uniform traffic citation for operating a motor vehicle without proof of insurance. If the court or arresting officer determines that the operator is not the owner, then a uniform traffic citation may be issued to the owner for authorizing the operation of a motor vehicle without proof of insurance.

(7) If the person receiving a citation under this subsection shows to the court having jurisdiction of the case that required minimum insurance coverage was in effect at the time the citation was issued, the court may impose a fine not to exceed $25.00. The court shall not in this case forward a record of the disposition of the case to the department and the driver's license of such person shall not be suspended.

(8) (A) For purposes of this Code section a valid insurance card shall be sufficient proof of insurance only for any vehicle covered under a fleet policy as defined in Code Section 40-2-137. The insurance card for a fleet policy shall contain at least the name of the insurer, policy number, policy issue or effective date, policy expiration date, and the name of the insured and may, but shall not be required to, include the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle insured. If the operator of any vehicle covered under a fleet policy as defined in Code Section 40-2-137 presents a valid insurance card for a fleet policy to any law enforcement officer or agency, and the officer or agency does not recognize the insurance card as valid proof of insurance and impounds or tows such vehicle for lack of proof of insurance, the law enforcement agency or political subdivision shall be liable for and limited to the fees of the wrongful impoundment or towing of the vehicle, which in no way waives or diminishes any sovereign immunity of such governmental entity.

(B) For any vehicle covered under a policy of motor vehicle liability insurance that is not a fleet policy as defined in Code Section 40-2-137, the insurer shall issue a policy information card which shall contain at least the name of the insurer, policy number, policy issue or effective date, policy expiration date, name of the insured, and year, make, model, and vehicle identification number of each vehicle insured; the owner or operator of the motor vehicle shall keep such policy information card in the vehicle at all times during operation of the vehicle for purposes of Code Section 40-6-273.1, but any such policy information card shall not be sufficient proof of insurance for any purposes of this Code section except as otherwise provided in this Code section.

(b) An owner or any other person who knowingly operates or knowingly authorizes another to operate a motor vehicle without effective insurance on such vehicle or without an approved plan of self-insurance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $200.00 nor more than $1,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than 12 months, or both. An operator of a motor vehicle shall not be guilty of a violation of this Code section if such operator maintains a policy of motor vehicle insurance which extends coverage to any vehicle the operator may drive. An owner or operator of a motor vehicle shall not be issued a citation by a law enforcement officer for a violation of this Code section if the sole basis for issuance of such a citation is that the law enforcement officer is unable to obtain insurance coverage information from the records of the department.

(c) Any person who knowingly makes a false statement or certification under Code Section 40-5-71 or this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $200.00 nor more than $1,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than 12 months, or both.

(d) Except for vehicles insured under a fleet policy as defined in Code Section 40-2-137 or under a plan of self-insurance approved by the Commissioner of Insurance, insurance coverage information from records of the department shall be prima-facie evidence of the facts stated therein and shall be admissible as evidence in accordance with Code Section 24-3-17 for the purposes of this Code section.
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