2016 Tennessee Code
Title 55 - Motor and Other Vehicles
Chapter 12 - Financial Responsibility
Part 1 - Tennessee Financial Responsibility Law of 1977
§ 55-12-104. Report of accident required -- Suspension of registration or operating privileges for failure to report -- Restoration -- Access to information.
(a) The operator of a motor vehicle that is in any manner involved in an accident within this state in which any person is killed or injured, or in which damage to the property of any one (1) person, including the operator, in excess of four hundred dollars ($400) is sustained, shall report the matter in writing to the commissioner within twenty (20) days after the occurrence of the accident. If the operator fails or is physically incapable of making the report, the owner of the motor vehicle involved in the accident shall, upon learning of the accident, report the matter in writing to the commissioner. The operator or the owner shall make other and additional reports relating to the accident as the commissioner shall require.
(b) The form of the accident report required under this section shall contain information sufficient to enable the commissioner to determine whether the requirements for the deposit of security under this part are inapplicable by reason of the existence of insurance or other exceptions specified in this part. The commissioner may rely upon the accuracy of the information, unless and until there is reason to believe that the information is erroneous.
(c) If a report of the accident is not received by the commissioner of safety within twenty (20) days, as required by subsection (a), the commissioner may issue a notice of suspension of the operator's license and, immediately upon request by the commissioner of safety, the commissioner of revenue shall issue a notice of suspension of the registration of the motor vehicle involved. Notices of the suspension of the operator's license and the motor vehicle's registration shall be sent by United States mail not less than twenty (20) days prior to the effective date of suspension. Each notice shall state that the vehicle's operator or owner, or both, are entitled to an administrative hearing held by the commissioner of safety, or the commissioner's delegate, pursuant to a request under § 55-12-103(a). The commissioner of safety shall suspend the license or nonresident operating privileges, and shall request that the commissioner of revenue suspend the motor vehicle registration of any person involved in an accident as a motor vehicle operator or owner in this state who willfully fails, refuses or neglects to make or have filed an accident report on that person's behalf. A person whose motor vehicle operating privileges have been so suspended may obtain restoration of driving privileges by filing a report of the accident and paying a restoration fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) to the commissioner of safety. If the registration of the motor vehicle involved in the accident has been suspended, upon receipt of that payment, the commissioner of safety shall request that the commissioner of revenue reinstate the motor vehicle owner's registration and, upon payment to the commissioner of revenue of the appropriate motor vehicle registration fees provided by § 55-4-111, § 55-4-112 or § 55-4-113, the registration shall be reinstated immediately.
(d) The requirements of this section in regard to the filing of the accident report shall not apply to:
(1) Vehicles owned by the United States, this state, or any political subdivision of this state or any municipality therein; or the operator of any vehicle so owned, when the vehicle is involved in an accident;
(2) The owner or operator of any vehicle where there is no physical contact with another vehicle or object or person; or
(3) The owner of a vehicle that at the time of the accident was parked, unless the vehicle was parked at a place where parking at the time of the accident was prohibited under any applicable law or ordinance.
(e) At any time after five (5) years from the date of suspension, the department of safety may, in its own discretion, or upon request of the person required to file an accident report, withdraw the suspension of the driver's operating privileges and the commissioner of revenue, upon request by the commissioner of safety and upon payment to the commissioner of revenue of the appropriate motor vehicle registration fees provided by § 55-4-111, § 55- 4-112 or § 55-4-113, shall immediately reinstate the motor vehicle owner's registration; provided, that the records of the department of safety establish that the person, during the preceding five (5) years, has not been convicted of any offense authorizing or requiring suspension, revocation, prohibition, or cancellation of a license or registration upon order of the department or a court arising from a conviction for a violation of the law.
(f) (1) Parties involved in an accident that is reported to the department as required in subsection (a) shall be permitted to obtain a copy of any document on file with the department that contains proof of financial responsibility that has been filed by other involved parties in the same accident.
(2) Requests for these documents shall be made in writing by the individual seeking the information on a form supplied by the department. Only one (1) document may be received for each form received, and each request shall be accompanied by a fee of five dollars ($5.00), payable to the department.
(3) In no event shall the information supplied by the department include policy limits.
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