2015 Wyoming Code
TITLE 31 - MOTOR VEHICLES
CHAPTER 4 - GENERAL OFFENSES AND PENALTIES
SECTION 31-4-103. - Failure to maintain liability coverage; penalties; exceptions.
31-4-103. Failure to maintain liability coverage; penalties; exceptions.
(a) No owner of a motor vehicle currently required to be registered or which is required to be registered within a period of time, shall operate or permit the operation of his motor vehicle without having in full force and effect a motor vehicle liability policy in amounts provided by W.S. 31-9-405(b) or a bond in amounts provided by W.S. 31-9-102(a)(xi). Violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) nor more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both. On a second or subsequent violation of this subsection, the person may be fined not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) nor more than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500.00), imprisoned for not more than six (6) months, or both. In addition to the fine or imprisonment imposed for a second or subsequent violation of this subsection, the judge shall require the defendant to deliver the registration and license plates of the vehicle involved to the county treasurer for the county where the citation was issued, and the registration and license plates shall be held by the county treasurer until such time as the judge determines that the defendant has met all obligations imposed by law. Excusable neglect or mistake by another is a defense for any violation of this subsection. If evidence of excusable neglect or mistake by another is presented and the defendant is convicted, the court may consider this evidence in imposing a penalty under this subsection. The judge may suspend part or all of the sentence under this subsection and place the defendant on probation subject to conditions imposed by the judge which shall include a condition that the defendant shall deliver the registration and license plates of the vehicle involved to the county treasurer for the county where the citation was issued. This subsection does not apply to a vehicle owned by a nonresident and registered in a state requiring insurance if a vehicle insurance policy meeting requirements of the laws and regulations of that state is in effect or unless it otherwise complies with the laws of that state concerning compulsory financial responsibility. The department shall report any violation of this subsection to the motor vehicle administrator in the state wherein the vehicle is registered. A vehicle owned by a nonresident and registered in a state not requiring insurance is exempt from this subsection.
(b) Any police officer as defined by W.S. 31-5-102(a)(xxxiii), issuing a citation for any moving violation under W.S. 31-5-101 through 31-5-1402 or inspecting any vehicle, shall require the operator of any motor vehicle required to be registered to produce evidence of whether the operator or owner of the motor vehicle has in full force and effect a motor vehicle liability policy in amounts provided by W.S. 31-9-405(b) or a bond in amounts provided by W.S. 31-9-102(a)(xi). If the operator cannot show proof of financial responsibility, the driver shall have seven (7) days to produce such proof. Any operator or owner of a motor vehicle required to be registered who is not able to demonstrate evidence of compliance with subsection (a) of this section may be charged with violating that subsection. Additionally, the judge may order any driver failing to produce proof of financial responsibility to pay restitution in accordance with W.S. 7-9-101 through 7-9-115. The displaying or exhibiting of a validly issued insurance identification card as provided by W.S. 31-8-201 by an operator or owner of the motor vehicle constitutes compliance with this section. No operator or owner of a motor vehicle charged with violating this section shall be convicted if he produces in court one (1) of the following which was valid at the time of arrest or at the time the citation was issued:
(i) A liability insurance policy previously issued to him;
(ii) Evidence of a bond on file with the department in amounts provided by W.S. 31-9-102(a)(xi).
(c) Upon receipt of a notice of a conviction under subsection (a) of this section, the department shall require the person convicted to file and maintain, for a three (3) year period, proof of financial responsibility as required by W.S. 31-9-401 through 31-9-414. Failure to provide proof of financial responsibility within thirty (30) days after notification shall result in the suspension of the person's driver's license and nonresident operating privileges. The suspension shall remain in effect until the required proof of financial responsibility is received by the department.
(d) This section does not apply to:
(i) Self-insurers pursuant to W.S. 31-9-414;
(ii) A vehicle owned by the United States government, any state or political subdivision thereof which is self-insured;
(iii) A vehicle meeting the requirements of W.S. 31-9-408 and 31-9-409;
(iv) A commercial vehicle registered or proportionally registered in this and any other jurisdiction provided the vehicle is covered by a vehicle insurance policy complying with the laws of any other jurisdiction in which it is registered.
(e) The department shall adopt by rule and regulation an on-line verification system for motor vehicle insurance or bond as required by this section, subject to the following:
(i) The verification system shall be accessible through the Internet, World Wide Web or a similar proprietary or common carrier electronic system by authorized personnel of the department, the courts, law enforcement personnel, any other entities authorized by the department, and insurers authorized by the insurance department to issue the insurance required by this section;
(ii) The verification system shall be available twenty-four (24) hours a day to verify the insurance status of any vehicle registered in Wyoming through the vehicle's identification number, policy number, registered owner's name or other identifying characteristic or marker as prescribed by the department in its rules and regulations;
(iii) The verification system shall be installed and operational no later than July 1, 2008, following an appropriate testing period;
(iv) The department may contract with a private vendor to assist in establishing and maintaining the verification system, which may include a database of information reported to the department by insurers or may provide for direct inquiry of insurers' records by authorized personnel;
(v) The verification system shall include appropriate provisions, consistent with industry standards, to secure its data against unauthorized access and to maintain a record of all information requests;
(vi) Information contained in the verification system shall only be available for inspection under W.S. 16-4-201 through 16-4-205 as provided in W.S. 16-4-203(d)(x);
(vii) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section and W.S. 31-8-203(a), any police officer as defined by W.S. 31-5-102(a)(xxxiii), during a traffic stop or accident investigation, may access information relating to a motor vehicle or an operator subject to the traffic stop, or to a motor vehicle or operator involved in an accident, from the on-line verification system to establish compliance with this section and to verify the current validity of the policy described on any insurance identification card issued pursuant to W.S. 31-8-201 and produced by the operator of a motor vehicle during the traffic stop or accident investigation.
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