Article 9A.

Motor Vehicle Safety and Financial Responsibility Act of 1953.

20-279.1.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases, when used in this Article, shall, for the purposes of this Article, have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section, except in those instances where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1)        Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 1330, s. 39.

(2)        Repealed by Session Laws 1991, c. 726, s. 20.

(3)        "Judgment": Any judgment which shall have become final by expiration without appeal of the time within which an appeal might have been perfected, or by final affirmation on appeal, rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction of any state or of the United States, upon a cause of action arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of any motor vehicle, for damages, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to or death of any person, or for damages because of injury to or destruction of property, including the loss of use thereof, or upon a cause of action on an agreement of settlement for such damages.

(4)        to (6) Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 1330, s. 39.

(7)        "Nonresident's operating privilege": The privilege conferred upon a nonresident by the laws of this State pertaining to the operation by him of a motor vehicle in this State.

(8)        to (10) Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 1330, s. 39.

(11)      "Proof of financial responsibility": Proof of ability to respond in damages for liability, on account of accidents occurring subsequent to the effective date of said proof, arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle, in the amount of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident, and, subject to said limit for one person, in the amount of sixty thousand dollars ($60,000) because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and in the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident. Nothing contained herein shall prevent an insurer and an insured from entering into a contract, not affecting third parties, providing for a deductible as to property damage at a rate approved by the Commissioner of Insurance.

(12)      Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 1330, s. 39. (1953, c. 1300, s. 1; 1955, c. 1152, s. 3; c. 1355; 1967, c. 277, s. 1; 1971, c. 1205, s. 1; 1973, c. 745, s. 1; c. 1330, s. 39; 1979, c. 832, s. 1; 1991, c. 469, s. 1; c. 726, s. 20; 1999-228, s. 1.)

 

20-279.2.  Commissioner to administer Article; appeal to court.

(a)        The Commissioner shall administer and enforce the provisions of this Article and may make rules and regulations necessary for its administration and shall provide for hearings upon request of persons aggrieved by orders or acts of the Commissioner under the provisions of this Article.

(b)        Any person aggrieved by an order or act of the Commissioner requiring a suspension or revocation of his license under the provisions of this Article, or requiring the posting of security as provided in this Article, or requiring the furnishing of proof of financial responsibility, may file a petition in the superior court of the county in which the petitioner resides for a review, and the commencement of such a proceeding shall suspend the order or act of the Commissioner pending the final determination of the review. A copy of such petition shall be served upon the Commissioner, and the Commissioner shall have 20 days after such service in which to file answer. The appeal shall be heard in said county by the judge holding court in said county or by the resident judge. At the hearing upon the petition the judge shall sit without the intervention of a jury and shall receive such evidence as shall be deemed by the judge to be relevant and proper. Except as otherwise provided in this section, upon the filing of the petition herein provided for, the procedure shall be the same as in civil actions.

The matter shall be heard de novo and the judge shall enter his order affirming the act or order of the Commissioner, or modifying same, including the amount of bond or security to be given by the petitioner. If the court is of the opinion that the petitioner was probably not guilty of negligence or that the negligence of the other  party was probably the sole proximate cause of the collision, the judge shall reverse the act or order of the Commissioner. Either party may appeal from such order to the Supreme Court in the same manner as in other appeals from the superior court and the appeal shall have the effect of further staying the act or order of the Commissioner requiring a suspension or revocation of the petitioner's license.

No act, or order given or rendered in any proceeding hereunder shall be admitted or used in any other civil or criminal action. (1953, c. 1300, s. 2.)

 

20-279.3.  Commissioner to furnish operating record.

The Commissioner shall upon request furnish any person a certified abstract of the operating record of any person required to comply with the provisions of this Article, which abstract shall also  fully designate the motor vehicle, if any, registered in the name of such person, and if there shall be no record of any conviction of such person of violating any law relating to the operation of a motor vehicle or of any injury or damage caused by such person, the Commissioner shall so certify. (1953, c. 1300, s. 3.)

 

20-279.4:  Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c.  191, s. 4.

 

20-279.5.  Security required unless evidence of insurance; when security determined; suspension; exceptions.

(a)        When the Division receives a report of a reportable accident under G.S. 20-166.1, the Commissioner must determine whether the owner or driver of a vehicle involved in the accident must file security under this Article and, if so, the amount of security the owner or driver must file. The Commissioner must make this determination at the end of 20 days after receiving the report.

(b)        The Commissioner shall, within 60 days after the receipt of such report of a motor vehicle accident, suspend the license of each operator and each owner of a motor vehicle in any manner involved in such accident, and if such operator or owner is a nonresident the privilege of operating a motor vehicle within this State, unless such operator or owner, or both, shall deposit security in the sum so determined by the Commissioner; provided, notice of such suspension shall be sent by the Commissioner to such operator and owner not less than 10 days prior to the effective date of such suspension and shall state the amount required as security; provided further, the provisions of this Article requiring the deposit of security and the suspension of license for failure to deposit security shall not apply to an operator or owner who would otherwise be required to deposit security in an amount not in excess of one hundred dollars ($100.00). Where erroneous information is given the Commissioner with respect to the matters set forth in subdivisions (1), (2) or (3) of subsection (c) of this section or with respect to the ownership or operation of the vehicle, the extent of damage and injuries, or any other matters which would have affected the Commissioner's action had the information been previously submitted, he shall take appropriate action as hereinbefore provided, within 60 days after receipt by him of correct information with respect to said matters. The Commissioner, upon request and in his discretion, may postpone the effective date of the suspension provided in this section by 15 days if, in his opinion, such extension would aid in accomplishing settlements of claims by persons involved in accidents.

(c)        This section shall not apply under the conditions stated in G.S. 20-279.6 nor:

(1)        To such operator or owner if such owner had in effect at the time of such accident an automobile liability policy with respect to the motor vehicle involved in such accident;

(2)        To such operator, if not the owner of such motor vehicle, if there was in effect at the time of such accident a motor vehicle liability policy or bond with respect to his operation of motor vehicles not owned by him;

(3)        To such operator or owner if the liability of such operator or owner for damages resulting from such accident is, in the judgment of the Commissioner, covered by any other form of liability insurance policy or bond or sinking fund or group assumption of liability;

(4)        To any person qualifying as a self-insurer, nor to any operator for a self-insurer if, in the opinion of the Commissioner from the information furnished him, the operator at the time of the accident was probably operating the vehicle in the course of the operator's employment as an employee or officer of the self-insurer; nor

(5)        To any employee of the United States government while operating a vehicle in its service and while acting within the scope of his employment, such operations being fully protected by the Federal Tort Claims Act of 1946, which affords ample security to all persons sustaining personal injuries or property damage through the negligence of such federal employee.

No such policy or bond shall be effective under this section unless issued by an insurance company or surety company authorized to do business in this State, except that if such motor vehicle was not registered in this State, or was a motor vehicle which was registered elsewhere than in this State at the effective date of the policy or bond, or the most recent renewal thereof, or if such operator not an owner was a nonresident of this State, such policy or bond shall not be effective under this section unless the insurance company or surety company if not authorized to do business in this State shall execute a power of attorney authorizing the Commissioner to accept service on its behalf of notice or process in any action upon such policy, or bond arising out of such accident, and unless said insurance company or surety company, if not authorized to do business in this State, is authorized to do business in the state or other jurisdiction where the motor vehicle is registered or, if such policy or bond is filed on behalf of an operator not an owner who was a nonresident of this State, unless said insurance company or surety company, if not authorized to do business in this State, is authorized to do business in the state or other jurisdiction of residence of such operator; provided, however, every such policy or bond is subject, if the accident has resulted in bodily injury or death, to a limit, exclusive of interest and cost, of not less than thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to said limit for one person, to a limit of not less than sixty thousand dollars ($60,000) because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and, if the accident has resulted in injury to or destruction of property, to a limit of not less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident. (1953, c. 1300, s. 5; 1955, cc. 138, 854; c. 855, s. 1; c. 1152, ss. 4-8; c. 1355; 1967, c. 277, s. 2; 1971, c. 763, s. 3; 1973, c. 745, s. 2; 1979, c. 832, s. 2; 1983, c. 691, s. 2; 1991, c. 469, s. 2; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 837, s. 10; 1995, c. 191, s. 5; 1999-228, s. 2.)

 

20-279.6.  Further exceptions to requirement of security.

The requirements as to security and suspension in G.S. 20-279.5 shall not apply:

(1)        To the operator or the owner of a motor vehicle involved in an accident wherein no injury or damage was caused to the person or property of anyone other than such operator or owner;

(2)        To the operator or the owner of a motor vehicle legally parked at the time of the accident;

(3)        To the owner of a motor vehicle if at the time of the accident the vehicle was being operated without his permission, express or implied, or was parked by a person who had been operating such motor vehicle without such permission;

(4)        If, prior to the date that the Commissioner would otherwise  suspend the license or the nonresident's operating privilege  under G.S. 20-279.5, there shall be filed with the Commissioner evidence satisfactory to him that the person who would otherwise have to file security has been released from liability or been finally adjudicated not to be liable or has executed a duly acknowledged written agreement providing for the payment of an agreed amount, in installments or otherwise, with respect to all claims for injuries or damages resulting from the accident;

(5)        If, prior to the date that the Commissioner would otherwise  suspend the license or the nonresident's operating privilege  under G.S. 20-279.5, there shall be filed with the Commissioner evidence satisfactory to him that the person who would otherwise be required to file security has in any manner settled the claims of the other persons involved in the accident and if the Commissioner determines that, considering the circumstances of the accident and the settlement, the purposes of this Article and of protection of operators and owners of other motor vehicles are best accomplished by not requiring the posting of security or the  suspension of the license. For the purpose of administering this subdivision, the Commissioner may consider a settlement made by an insurance company as the equivalent of a settlement made directly by the insured; nor

(6)        If, prior to the date that the Commissioner would otherwise  suspend the license or the nonresident's operating privilege  under G.S. 20-279.5, there shall be filed with the Commissioner evidence satisfactory to him that another person involved in the accident has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of a crime involving the operation of  a motor vehicle at the time of the accident, and if the Commissioner in his discretion determines, after considering  the circumstances of the accident or the nature and the circumstances of the crime, that the purpose of this Article  and of protection of operators and owners of other motor vehicles are best accomplished by not requiring the posting of security or the suspension of the license. (1953, c. 1300, s. 6; 1955, c. 1152, ss. 9, 10.)

 

20-279.6A.  Minors.

In determining whether or not any of the exceptions set forth in G.S. 20-279.6 have been satisfied, in the case of accidents involving minors, the Commissioner may accept, for the purpose of this Article only, as valid releases on account of claims for injuries to minors or damage to the property of minors releases which have been executed by the parent of the minor having custody of the minor or by the guardian of the minor if there be one. In the case of an emancipated minor, the Commissioner may accept a release signed by or a settlement agreed upon by the minor without the approval of the parents of the minor. If in the opinion of the Commissioner the circumstances of the accident, the nature and extent of the injuries or damage, or any other circumstances make it advisable for the best protection of the interest of the minor, the Commissioner may decline to accept such releases or settlements and may require the approval of the superior court. (1955, c. 1152, s. 11.)

 

20-279.7.  Duration of suspension.

The license and nonresident's operating privilege suspended as provided in G.S. 20-279.5 shall remain so suspended and shall not be renewed nor shall any such license be issued to such person until:

(1)        Such person shall deposit or there shall be deposited on his behalf the security required under G.S. 20-279.5;

(2)        One year shall have elapsed following the date of such suspension and evidence satisfactory to the Commissioner has  been filed with him that during such period no action for damages arising out of the accident has been instituted; or

(3)        Evidence satisfactory to the Commissioner has been filed with him of a release from liability, or a final adjudication of nonliability, or a duly acknowledged written agreement, in accordance with subdivision (4) of G.S. 20-279.6 or a settlement accepted by the Commissioner as provided in subdivision (5) of G.S. 20-279.6, or a conviction accepted by the Commissioner as provided in subdivision (6) of G.S. 20-279.6; provided, if there is a default in the payment of any installment or sum under a duly acknowledged written agreement, the Commissioner shall, upon notice of the default, immediately suspend the license or nonresident's operating privilege of the defaulting person and may not restore it until:

a.         That person deposits and thereafter maintains security as required under G.S. 20-279.5 in an amount determined by the Commissioner; or

b.         That person files evidence satisfactory to the Commissioner of a new duly acknowledged written agreement or a settlement. (1953, c. 1300, s. 7; 1955, c. 1152, s. 12; 1983, c. 610, s. 1.)

 

20-279.7A.  Forms to carry statement concerning perjury.

A person who makes a false affidavit or falsely sworn or affirmed statement concerning information required to be submitted under this Article commits a Class I felony. The Division shall include a statement of this offense on a form that it provides under this Article and that must be completed under oath. (1983, c. 610, s. 3; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 761, s. 26.)

 

20-279.8.  Application to nonresidents, unlicensed drivers, unregistered motor vehicles and accidents in other states.

(a)        In case the operator or the owner of a motor vehicle involved in an accident within this State has no license, or is a nonresident, he shall not be allowed a license until he has complied with the requirements of this Article to the same extent that it would be necessary if, at the time of the accident, he had held a license.

(b)        When a nonresident's operating privilege is suspended pursuant to G.S. 20-279.5 or 20-279.7, the Commissioner shall transmit a certified copy of the record of such action to the official in charge  of the issuance of licenses in the state in which such nonresident resides, if the law of such other state provides for action in relation thereto similar to that provided for in subsection (c) of this section.

(c)        Upon receipt of such certification that the operating privilege of a resident of this State has been suspended or revoked in any such other state pursuant to a law providing for its suspension or revocation for failure to deposit security for the payment of judgments arising out of a motor vehicle accident, under circumstances which would require the Commissioner to suspend a nonresident's operating privilege had the accident occurred in this State the Commissioner shall suspend the license of such resident. Such suspension shall continue until such resident furnishes evidence of his compliance with the law of such other state relating to the deposit of such security. (1953, c. 1300, s. 8.)

 

20-279.9.  Form and amount of security.

The security required under this Article shall be in such form and in such amount as the Commissioner may require but in no case in excess of the limits specified in G.S. 20-279.5 in reference to the acceptable limits of a policy or bond. The person depositing security  shall specify in writing the person or persons on whose behalf the deposit is made and, at any time while such deposit is in the custody  of the Commissioner or State Treasurer, the person depositing it may, in writing, amend the specification of the person or persons on whose behalf the deposit is made to include an additional person or persons; provided, however, that a single deposit of security shall be applicable only on behalf of persons required to furnish security because of the same accident.

The Commissioner may reduce the amount of security ordered in any case if, in his judgment, the amount ordered is excessive. In case the security originally ordered has been deposited the excess deposited over the reduced amount ordered shall be returned to the depositor or his personal representative forthwith, notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 20-279.10. (1953, c. 1300, s. 9.)

 

20-279.10.  Custody, disposition and return of security; escheat.

(a)        Security deposited in compliance with the requirements of this Article shall be placed by the Commissioner in the custody of the State Treasurer and shall be applicable only to the payment of a judgment or judgments rendered against the person or persons on whose behalf the deposit was made, for damages arising out of the accident in question in an action at law, begun not later than one year after the date of such accident, or within one year after the date of deposit of any security under subdivision (3) of G.S. 20-279.7, or to the payment in settlement, agreed to by the depositor, of a claim or claims arising out of such accident. Such deposit or any balance thereof shall be returned to the depositor or his personal representative when evidence satisfactory to the Commissioner has been filed with him that there has been a release from liability, or a final adjudication of nonliability, or a duly acknowledged agreement, in accordance with subdivision (4) of G.S. 20-279.6, or a settlement accepted by the Commissioner as provided in subdivision (5) of G.S. 20-279.6, or a conviction accepted by the Commissioner as provided in subdivision (6) of G.S. 20-279.6, or whenever, after the expiration of one year from the date of the accident, or from the date of deposit of any security under subdivision (3) of G.S. 20-279.7, whichever is later, the Commissioner shall be given reasonable evidence that there is no such action pending and no judgment rendered in such action left unpaid.

(b)        One year from the deposit of any security under the terms of this Article, the Commissioner shall notify the depositor thereof by registered mail addressed to his last known address that the depositor is entitled to a refund of the security upon giving reasonable evidence that no action at law for damages arising out of the accident in question is pending or that no judgment rendered in any such action remains unpaid. If, at the end of three years from the date of deposit, no claim therefor has been received, the Division shall notify the depositor thereof by registered mail and shall cause a notice to be posted at the courthouse door of the county in which is located the last known address of the depositor for a period of 60 days. Such notice shall contain the name of the depositor, his last known address, the date, amount and nature of the deposit, and shall state the conditions under which the deposit will be refunded. If, at  the end of two years from the date of posting of such notice, no claim for the deposit has been received, the Commissioner shall certify such fact together with the facts of notice to the State Treasurer. These deposits shall be turned over to the Escheat Fund of the Department of State Treasurer. (1953, c. 1300, s. 10; 1955, c. 1152, s. 13; 1967, c. 1227; 1975, c. 716, s. 5; 1981, c. 531, s. 16.)

 

20-279.11.  Matters not to be evidence in civil suits.

Neither the information on financial responsibility contained in an accident report, the action taken by the Commissioner pursuant to this Article, the findings, if any, of the Commissioner upon which the action is based, or the security filed as provided in this Article shall be referred to in any way, nor be any evidence of the negligence or due care of either party, at the trial of any action at law to recover damages. (1953, c. 1300, s. 11; 1995, c. 191, s. 6.)

 

20-279.12.  Courts to report nonpayment of judgments.

Whenever any person fails within 60 days to satisfy any judgment, upon the written request of the judgment creditor or his attorney it shall be the duty of the clerk of the court, or of the judge of a court which has no clerk, in which any such judgment is rendered within this State, to forward to the Commissioner immediately after the expiration of said 60 days, a certified copy of such judgment.

If the defendant named in any certified copy of a judgment reported to the Commissioner is a nonresident, the Commissioner shall transmit a certified copy of the judgment to the official in charge of the issuance of licenses and registration certificates of the state of which the defendant is a resident. (1953, c. 1300, s. 12.)

 

20-279.13.  Suspension for nonpayment of judgment; exceptions.

(a)        The Commissioner, upon the receipt of a certified copy of a judgment, which has remained unsatisfied for a period of 60 days, shall forthwith suspend the license and any nonresident's operating privilege of any person against whom such judgment was rendered, except as hereinafter otherwise provided in this section and in G.S. 20-279.16.

(b)        The Commissioner shall not, however, revoke or suspend the license of an owner or driver if the insurance carried by him was in a company which was authorized to transact business in this State and which subsequent to an accident involving the owner or operator and prior to settlement of the claim therefor went into liquidation, so that the owner or driver is thereby unable to satisfy the judgment arising out of the accident.

(c)        If the judgment creditor consents in writing, in such form as  the Commissioner may prescribe, that the judgment debtor be allowed license or nonresident's operating privilege, the same may be allowed by the Commissioner, in his discretion, for six months from the date of such consent and thereafter until such consent is revoked in writing notwithstanding default in the payment of such judgment, or of any installments thereof prescribed in G.S. 20-279.16. (1953, c. 1300, s. 13; 1965, c. 926, s. 1; 1969, c. 186, s. 4; 1979, c. 667, s. 37.)

 

20-279.14.  Suspension to continue until judgments satisfied.

Such license and nonresident's operating privilege shall remain so suspended and shall not be renewed, nor shall any such license be thereafter issued in the name of such person, including any such person not previously licensed, unless and until every such judgment:

(1)        Is stayed, or

(2)        Is satisfied in full, or

(3)        Is subject to the exemptions stated in G.S. 20-279.13 or G.S. 20-279.16, or

(4)        Is barred from enforcement by the statute of limitations pursuant to G.S. 1-47,

(5)        Is discharged in bankruptcy. (1953, c. 1300, s. 14; 1969, c. 186, s. 5; 1975, c. 301.)

 

20-279.15.  Payment sufficient to satisfy requirements.

In addition to other methods of satisfaction provided by law, judgments herein referred to shall, for the purpose of this Article, be deemed satisfied:

(1)        When thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) has been credited upon any judgment or judgments rendered in excess of that amount because of bodily injury to or death of one person as the result of any one accident; or

(2)        When, subject to such limit of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) because of bodily injury to or death of one person, the sum of sixty thousand dollars ($60,000) has been credited upon any judgment or judgments rendered in excess of that amount because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons as the result of any one accident; or

(3)        When twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) has been credited upon any judgment or judgments rendered in excess of that amount because of injury to or destruction of property of others as a result of any one accident;

Provided, however, payments made in settlement of any claims because of bodily injury, death or property damage arising from a motor vehicle accident shall be credited in reduction of the amounts provided for in this section. (1953, c. 1300, s. 15; 1963, c. 1238; 1967, c. 277, s. 3; 1973, c. 745, s. 3; c. 889; 1979, c. 832, ss. 3-5; 1991, c. 469, s. 3; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 837, s. 10; 1999-228, s. 3.)

 

20-279.16.  Installment payment of judgments; default.

(a)        A judgment debtor upon due notice to the judgment creditor may apply to the court in which such judgment was rendered for the privilege of paying such judgment in installments and the court, in its discretion and without prejudice to any other legal remedies which the judgment creditor may have, may so order and fix the amounts and times of payment of the installments.

(b)        The Commissioner shall not suspend a license or a nonresident's operating privilege, and shall restore any license or nonresident's operating privilege suspended following nonpayment of a judgment, when the judgment debtor obtains such an order permitting the payment of such judgment in installments, and while the payment of any said installment is not in default.

(c)        In the event the judgment debtor fails to pay any installment  as specified by such order, then upon notice of such default, the Commissioner shall forthwith suspend the license or nonresident's operating privilege of the judgment debtor until such judgment is satisfied, as provided in this Article. (1953, c. 1300, s. 16; 1969, c. 186, s. 6.)

 

20-279.17.  Repealed by Session Laws 1967, c. 866.

 

20-279.18.  Alternate methods of giving proof.

Proof of financial responsibility when required under this Article with respect to a motor vehicle or with respect to a person who is not the owner of a motor vehicle may be given by filing:

(1)        A certificate of insurance as provided in G.S. 20-279.19 or 20-279.20; or

(2)        A bond as provided in G.S. 20-279.24; or

(3)        A certificate of deposit of money or securities as provided  in G.S. 20-279.25; or

(4)        A certificate of self-insurance, as provided in G.S. 20-279.33, supplemented by an agreement by the self-insurer that, with respect to accidents occurring while the certificate is in force, he will pay the same judgments and in the same amounts that an insurer would have been obligated to pay under an owner's motor vehicle liability policy if it had issued such a policy to said self-insurer. (1953, c. 1300, s. 18.)

 

20-279.19.  Certificate of insurance as proof.

Proof of financial responsibility may be furnished by filing with the Commissioner the written certificate of any insurance carrier duly authorized to do business in this State certifying that there is in effect a motor vehicle liability policy for the benefit of the person required to furnish proof of financial responsibility. Such certificate shall give the effective date of such motor vehicle liability policy, which date shall be the same as the effective date of the certificate, and shall designate by explicit description or by appropriate reference all motor vehicles covered thereby, unless the policy is issued to a person who is not the owner of a motor vehicle. The Commissioner may require that certificates filed pursuant to this section be on a form approved by the Commissioner. (1953, c. 1300, s. 19; 1955, c. 1152, s. 16.)

 

20-279.20.  Certificate furnished by nonresident as proof.

(a)        The nonresident owner of a motor vehicle not registered in this State may give proof of financial responsibility by filing with the Commissioner a written certificate or certificates of an insurance carrier authorized to transact business in the state in which the motor vehicle or motor vehicles described in such certificate is registered, or if such nonresident does not own a motor vehicle, then in the state in which the insured resides, provided such certificate otherwise conforms to the provisions of this Article, and the Commissioner shall accept the same upon condition that said insurance carrier complies with the following provisions with respect to the policies so certified:

(1)        Said insurance carrier shall execute a power of attorney authorizing the Commissioner to accept service on its behalf of notice or process in any action arising out of a motor vehicle accident in this State; and

(2)        Said insurance carrier shall agree in writing that such policies shall be deemed to conform with the laws of this State relating to the terms of motor vehicle liability policies issued herein.

(b)        If any insurance carrier not authorized to transact business in this State, which has qualified to furnish proof of financial responsibility, defaults in any said undertakings or agreements, the Commissioner shall not thereafter accept as proof any certificate of said carrier whether theretofore filed or thereafter tendered as proof, so long as such default continues.

(c)        The Commissioner may require that certificates and powers filed pursuant to this section be on forms approved by the Commissioner. (1953, c. 1300, s. 20; 1955, c. 1152, s. 17.)

 

20-279.21.  "Motor vehicle liability policy" defined.

(a)        A "motor vehicle liability policy" as said term is used in this Article shall mean an owner's or an operator's policy of liability insurance, certified as provided in G.S. 20-279.19 or 20-279.20 as proof of financial responsibility, and issued, except as otherwise provided in G.S. 20-279.20, by an insurance carrier duly authorized to transact business in this State, to or for the benefit of the person named therein as insured.

(b)        Such owner's policy of liability insurance:

(1)        Shall designate by explicit description or by appropriate reference all motor vehicles with respect to which coverage is thereby to be granted;

(2)        Shall insure the person named therein and any other person, as insured, using any such motor vehicle or motor vehicles with the express or implied permission of such named insured, or any other persons in lawful possession, against loss from the liability imposed by law for damages arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of such motor vehicle or motor vehicles within the United States of America or the Dominion of Canada subject to limits exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each such motor vehicle, as follows: thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to said limit for one person, sixty thousand dollars ($60,000) because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident; and

(3)        No policy of bodily injury liability insurance, covering liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of any motor vehicle, shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this State with respect to any motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in this State unless coverage is provided therein or supplemental thereto, under provisions filed with and approved by the Commissioner of Insurance, for the protection of persons insured thereunder who are legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles and hit-and-run motor vehicles because of bodily injury, sickness or disease, including death, resulting therefrom. The limits of such uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage shall be equal to the highest limits of bodily injury liability coverage for any one vehicle insured under the policy; provided, however, that (i) the limits shall not exceed one million dollars ($1,000,000) per person and one million dollars ($1,000,000) per accident regardless of whether the highest limits of bodily injury liability coverage for any one vehicle insured under the policy exceed those limits and (ii) a named insured may purchase greater or lesser limits, except that the limits shall not be less than the bodily injury liability limits required pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, and in no event shall an insurer be required by this subdivision to sell uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage at limits that exceed one million dollars ($1,000,000) per person and one million dollars ($1,000,000) per accident. When the policy is issued and renewed, the insurer shall notify the named insured as provided in subsection (m) of this section. The provisions shall include coverage for the protection of persons insured under the policy who are legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles because of injury to or destruction of the property of such insured. The limits of such uninsured motorist property damage coverage shall be equal to the highest limits of property damage liability coverage for any one vehicle insured under the policy; provided, however, that (i) the limits shall not exceed one million dollars ($1,000,000) per accident regardless of whether the highest limits of property damage liability coverage for any one vehicle insured under the policy exceed those limits and (ii) a named insured may purchase lesser limits, except that the limits shall not be less than the property damage liability limits required pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection. When the policy is issued and renewed, the insurer shall notify the named insured as provided in subsection (m) of this section. For uninsured motorist property damage coverage, the limits purchased by the named insured shall be subject, for each insured, to an exclusion of the first one hundred dollars ($100.00) of such damages. The provision shall further provide that a written statement by the liability insurer, whose name appears on the certification of financial responsibility made by the owner of any vehicle involved in an accident with the insured, that the other motor vehicle was not covered by insurance at the time of the accident with the insured shall operate as a prima facie presumption that the operator of the other motor vehicle was uninsured at the time of the accident with the insured for the purposes of recovery under this provision of the insured's liability insurance policy.

If a person who is legally entitled to recover damages from the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle is an insured under the uninsured motorist coverage of a policy that insures more than one motor vehicle, that person shall not be permitted to combine the uninsured motorist limit applicable to any one motor vehicle with the uninsured motorist limit applicable to any other motor vehicle to determine the total amount of uninsured motorist coverage available to that person. If a person who is legally entitled to recover damages from the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle is an insured under the uninsured motorist coverage of more than one policy, that person may combine the highest applicable uninsured motorist limit available under each policy to determine the total amount of uninsured motorist coverage available to that person. The previous sentence shall apply only to insurance on nonfleet private passenger motor vehicles as described in G.S. 58-40-10(1) and (2).

In addition to the above requirements relating to uninsured motorist insurance, every policy of bodily injury liability insurance covering liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of any motor vehicle, which policy is delivered or issued for delivery in this State, shall be subject to the following provisions which need not be contained therein.

a.         A provision that the insurer shall be bound by a final judgment taken by the insured against an uninsured motorist if the insurer has been served with copy of summons, complaint or other process in the action against the uninsured motorist by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or in any manner provided by law; provided however, that the determination of whether a motorist is uninsured may be decided only by an action against the insurer alone. The insurer, upon being served as herein provided, shall be a party to the action between the insured and the uninsured motorist though not named in the caption of the pleadings and may defend the suit in the name of the uninsured motorist or in its own name. The insurer, upon being served with copy of summons, complaint or other pleading, shall have the time allowed by statute in which to answer, demur or otherwise plead (whether the pleading is verified or not) to the summons, complaint or other process served upon it. The consent of the insurer shall not be required for the initiation of suit by the insured against the uninsured motorist: Provided, however, no action shall be initiated by the insured until 60 days following the posting of notice to the insurer at the address shown on the policy or after personal delivery of the notice to the insurer or its agent setting forth the belief of the insured that the prospective defendant or defendants are uninsured motorists. No default judgment shall be entered when the insurer has timely filed an answer or other pleading as required by law. The failure to post notice to the insurer 60 days in advance of the initiation of suit shall not be grounds for dismissal of the action, but shall automatically extend the time for the filing of an answer or other pleadings to 60 days after the time of service of the summons, complaint, or other process on the insurer.

b.         Where the insured, under the uninsured motorist coverage, claims that he has sustained bodily injury as the result of collision between motor vehicles and asserts that the identity of the operator or owner of a vehicle (other than a vehicle in which the insured is a passenger) cannot be ascertained, the insured may institute an action directly against the insurer: Provided, in that event, the insured, or someone in his behalf, shall report the accident within 24 hours or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, to a police officer, peace officer, other judicial officer, or to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The insured shall also within a reasonable time give notice to the insurer of his injury, the extent thereof, and shall set forth in the notice the time, date and place of the injury. Thereafter, on forms to be mailed by the insurer within 15 days following receipt of the notice of the accident to the insurer, the insured shall furnish to insurer any further reasonable information concerning the accident and the injury that the insurer requests. If the forms are not furnished within 15 days, the insured is deemed to have complied with the requirements for furnishing information to the insurer. Suit may not be instituted against the insurer in less than 60 days from the posting of the first notice of the injury or accident to the insurer at the address shown on the policy or after personal delivery of the notice to the insurer or its agent. The failure to post notice to the insurer 60 days before the initiation of the suit shall not be grounds for dismissal of the action, but shall automatically extend the time for filing of an answer or other pleadings to 60 days after the time of service of the summons, complaint, or other process on the insurer.

Provided under this section the term "uninsured motor vehicle" shall include, but not be limited to, an insured motor vehicle where the liability insurer thereof is unable to make payment with respect to the legal liability within the limits specified therein because of insolvency.

An insurer's insolvency protection shall be applicable only to accidents occurring during a policy period in which its insured's uninsured motorist coverage is in effect where the liability insurer of the tort-feasor becomes insolvent within three years after such an accident. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent any insurer from affording insolvency protection under terms and conditions more favorable to the insured than is provided herein.

In the event of payment to any person under the coverage required by this section and subject to the terms and conditions of coverage, the insurer making payment shall, to the extent thereof, be entitled to the proceeds of any settlement for judgment resulting from the exercise of any limits of recovery of that person against any person or organization legally responsible for the bodily injury for which the payment is made, including the proceeds recoverable from the assets of the insolvent insurer.

For the purpose of this section, an "uninsured motor vehicle" shall be a motor vehicle as to which there is no bodily injury liability insurance and property damage liability insurance in at least the amounts specified in subsection (c) of G.S. 20-279.5, or there is that insurance but the insurance company writing the insurance denies coverage thereunder, or has become bankrupt, or there is no bond or deposit of money or securities as provided in G.S. 20-279.24 or 20-279.25 in lieu of the bodily injury and property damage liability insurance, or the owner of the motor vehicle has not qualified as a self-insurer under the provisions of G.S. 20-279.33, or a vehicle that is not subject to the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Safety and Financial Responsibility Act; but the term "uninsured motor vehicle" shall not include:

a.         A motor vehicle owned by the named insured;

b.         A motor vehicle that is owned or operated by a self-insurer within the meaning of any motor vehicle financial responsibility law, motor carrier law or any similar law;

c.         A motor vehicle that is owned by the United States of America, Canada, a state, or any agency of any of the foregoing (excluding, however, political subdivisions thereof);

d.         A land motor vehicle or trailer, if operated on rails or crawler-treads or while located for use as a residence or premises and not as a vehicle; or

e.         A farm-type tractor or equipment designed for use principally off public roads, except while actually upon public roads.

For purposes of this section "persons insured" means the named insured and, while resident of the same household, the spouse of any named insured and relatives of either, while in a motor vehicle or otherwise, and any person who uses with the consent, expressed or implied, of the named insured, the motor vehicle to which the policy applies and a guest in the motor vehicle to which the policy applies or the personal representative of any of the above or any other person or persons in lawful possession of the motor vehicle.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, no policy of motor vehicle liability insurance applicable solely to commercial motor vehicles as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(3d) or applicable solely to fleet vehicles shall be required to provide uninsured motorist coverage. When determining whether a policy is applicable solely to fleet vehicles, the insurer may rely upon the number of vehicles reported by the insured at the time of the issuance of the policy for the policy term in question. In the event of a renewal of the policy, when determining whether a policy is applicable solely to fleet vehicles, the insurer may rely upon the number of vehicles reported by the insured at the time of the renewal of the policy for the policy term in question. Any motor vehicle liability policy that insures both commercial motor vehicles as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(3d) and noncommercial motor vehicles shall provide uninsured motorist coverage in accordance with the provisions of this subsection in amounts equal to the highest limits of bodily injury and property damage liability coverage for any one noncommercial motor vehicle insured under the policy, subject to the right of the insured to purchase greater or lesser uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage limits and lesser uninsured motorist property damage coverage limits as set forth in this subsection. For the purpose of the immediately preceding sentence, noncommercial motor vehicle shall mean any motor vehicle that is not a commercial motor vehicle as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(3d), but that is otherwise subject to the requirements of this subsection.

(4)        Shall, in addition to the coverages set forth in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection, provide underinsured motorist coverage, to be used only with a policy that is written at limits that exceed those prescribed by subdivision (2) of this subsection. The limits of such underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage shall be equal to the highest limits of bodily injury liability coverage for any one vehicle insured under the policy; provided, however, that (i) the limits shall not exceed one million dollars ($1,000,000) per person and one million dollars ($1,000,000) per accident regardless of whether the highest limits of bodily injury liability coverage for any one vehicle insured under the policy exceed those limits, (ii) a named insured may purchase greater or lesser limits, except that the limits shall exceed the bodily injury liability limits required pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, and in no event shall an insurer be required by this subdivision to sell underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage at limits that exceed one million dollars ($1,000,000) per person and one million dollars ($1,000,000) per accident, and (iii) the limits shall be equal to the limits of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage purchased pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection. When the policy is issued and renewed, the insurer shall notify the named insured as provided in subsection (m) of this section. An "uninsured motor vehicle," as described in subdivision (3) of this subsection, includes an "underinsured highway vehicle," which means a highway vehicle with respect to the ownership, maintenance, or use of which, the sum of the limits of liability under all bodily injury liability bonds and insurance policies applicable at the time of the accident is less than the applicable limits of underinsured motorist coverage for the vehicle involved in the accident and insured under the owner's policy. For purposes of an underinsured motorist claim asserted by a person injured in an accident where more than one person is injured, a highway vehicle will also be an "underinsured highway vehicle" if the total amount actually paid to that person under all bodily injury liability bonds and insurance policies applicable at the time of the accident is less than the applicable limits of underinsured motorist coverage for the vehicle involved in the accident and insured under the owner's policy. Notwithstanding the immediately preceding sentence, a highway vehicle shall not be an "underinsured motor vehicle" for purposes of an underinsured motorist claim under an owner's policy insuring that vehicle unless the owner's policy insuring that vehicle provides underinsured motorist coverage with limits that are greater than that policy's bodily injury liability limits. For the purposes of this subdivision, the term "highway vehicle" means a land motor vehicle or trailer other than (i) a farm-type tractor or other vehicle designed for use principally off public roads and while not upon public roads, (ii) a vehicle operated on rails or crawler-treads, or (iii) a vehicle while located for use as a residence or premises. The provisions of subdivision (3) of this subsection shall apply to the coverage required by this subdivision. Underinsured motorist coverage is deemed to apply when, by reason of payment of judgment or settlement, all liability bonds or insurance policies providing coverage for bodily injury caused by the ownership, maintenance, or use of the underinsured highway vehicle have been exhausted. Exhaustion of that liability coverage for the purpose of any single liability claim presented for underinsured motorist coverage is deemed to occur when either (a) the limits of liability per claim have been paid upon the claim, or (b) by reason of multiple claims, the aggregate per occurrence limit of liability has been paid. Underinsured motorist coverage is deemed to apply to the first dollar of an underinsured motorist coverage claim beyond amounts paid to the claimant under the exhausted liability policy.

In any event, the limit of underinsured motorist coverage applicable to any claim is determined to be the difference between the amount paid to the claimant under the exhausted liability policy or policies and the limit of underinsured motorist coverage applicable to the motor vehicle involved in the accident. Furthermore, if a claimant is an insured under the underinsured motorist coverage on separate or additional policies, the limit of underinsured motorist coverage applicable to the claimant is the difference between the amount paid to the claimant under the exhausted liability policy or policies and the total limits of the claimant's underinsured motorist coverages as determined by combining the highest limit available under each policy; provided that this sentence shall apply only to insurance on nonfleet private passenger motor vehicles as described in G.S. 58-40-15(9) and (10). The underinsured motorist limits applicable to any one motor vehicle under a policy shall not be combined with or added to the limits applicable to any other motor vehicle under that policy.

An underinsured motorist insurer may at its option, upon a claim pursuant to underinsured motorist coverage, pay moneys without there having first been an exhaustion of the liability insurance policy covering the ownership, use, and maintenance of the underinsured highway vehicle. In the event of payment, the underinsured motorist insurer shall be either: (a) entitled to receive by assignment from the claimant any right or (b) subrogated to the claimant's right regarding any claim the claimant has or had against the owner, operator, or maintainer of the underinsured highway vehicle, provided that the amount of the insurer's right by subrogation or assignment shall not exceed payments made to the claimant by the insurer. No insurer shall exercise any right of subrogation or any right to approve settlement with the original owner, operator, or maintainer of the underinsured highway vehicle under a policy providing coverage against an underinsured motorist where the insurer has been provided with written notice before a settlement between its insured and the underinsured motorist and the insurer fails to advance a payment to the insured in an amount equal to the tentative settlement within 30 days following receipt of that notice. Further, the insurer shall have the right, at its election, to pursue its claim by assignment or subrogation in the name of the claimant, and the insurer shall not be denominated as a party in its own name except upon its own election. Assignment or subrogation as provided in this subdivision shall not, absent contrary agreement, operate to defeat the claimant's right to pursue recovery against the owner, operator, or maintainer of the underinsured highway vehicle for damages beyond those paid by the underinsured motorist insurer. The claimant and the underinsured motorist insurer may join their claims in a single suit without requiring that the insurer be named as a party. Any claimant who intends to pursue recovery against the owner, operator, or maintainer of the underinsured highway vehicle for moneys beyond those paid by the underinsured motorist insurer shall before doing so give notice to the insurer and give the insurer, at its expense, the opportunity to participate in the prosecution of the claim. Upon the entry of judgment in a suit upon any such claim in which the underinsured motorist insurer and claimant are joined, payment upon the judgment, unless otherwise agreed to, shall be applied pro rata to the claimant's claim beyond payment by the insurer of the owner, operator or maintainer of the underinsured highway vehicle and the claim of the underinsured motorist insurer.

A party injured by the operation of an underinsured highway vehicle who institutes a suit for the recovery of moneys for those injuries and in such an amount that, if recovered, would support a claim under underinsured motorist coverage shall give notice of the initiation of the suit to the underinsured motorist insurer as well as to the insurer providing primary liability coverage upon the underinsured highway vehicle. Upon receipt of notice, the underinsured motorist insurer shall have the right to appear in defense of the claim without being named as a party therein, and without being named as a party may participate in the suit as fully as if it were a party. The underinsured motorist insurer may elect, but may not be compelled, to appear in the action in its own name and present therein a claim against other parties; provided that application is made to and approved by a presiding superior court judge, in any such suit, any insurer providing primary liability insurance on the underinsured highway vehicle may upon payment of all of its applicable limits of liability be released from further liability or obligation to participate in the defense of such proceeding. However, before approving any such application, the court shall be persuaded that the owner, operator, or maintainer of the underinsured highway vehicle against whom a claim has been made has been apprised of the nature of the proceeding and given his right to select counsel of his own choice to appear in the action on his separate behalf. If an underinsured motorist insurer, following the approval of the application, pays in settlement or partial or total satisfaction of judgment moneys to the claimant, the insurer shall be subrogated to or entitled to an assignment of the claimant's rights against the owner, operator, or maintainer of the underinsured highway vehicle and, provided that adequate notice of right of independent representation was given to the owner, operator, or maintainer, a finding of liability or the award of damages shall be res judicata between the underinsured motorist insurer and the owner, operator, or maintainer of underinsured highway vehicle.

As consideration for payment of policy limits by a liability insurer on behalf of the owner, operator, or maintainer of an underinsured motor vehicle, a party injured by an underinsured motor vehicle may execute a contractual covenant not to enforce against the owner, operator, or maintainer of the vehicle any judgment that exceeds the policy limits. A covenant not to enforce judgment shall not preclude the injured party from pursuing available underinsured motorist benefits, unless the terms of the covenant expressly provide otherwise, and shall not preclude an insurer providing underinsured motorist coverage from pursuing any right of subrogation.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, no policy of motor vehicle liability insurance applicable solely to commercial motor vehicles as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(3d) or applicable solely to fleet vehicles shall be required to provide underinsured motorist coverage. When determining whether a policy is applicable solely to fleet vehicles, the insurer may rely upon the number of vehicles reported by the insured at the time of the issuance of the policy for the policy term in question. In the event of a renewal of the policy, when determining whether a policy is applicable solely to fleet vehicles, the insurer may rely upon the number of vehicles reported by the insured at the time of the renewal of the policy for the policy term in question. Any motor vehicle liability policy that insures both commercial motor vehicles as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(3d) and noncommercial motor vehicles shall provide underinsured motorist coverage in accordance with the provisions of this subsection in an amount equal to the highest limits of bodily injury liability coverage for any one noncommercial motor vehicle insured under the policy, subject to the right of the insured to purchase greater or lesser underinsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage limits as set forth in this subsection. For the purpose of the immediately preceding sentence, noncommercial motor vehicle shall mean any motor vehicle that is not a commercial motor vehicle as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(3d), but that is otherwise subject to the requirements of this subsection.

(c)        Such operator's policy of liability insurance shall insure the person named as insured therein against loss from the liability imposed upon him by law for damages arising out of the use by him of any motor vehicle not owned by him, and within 30 days following the date of its delivery to him of any motor vehicle owned by him, within the same territorial limits and subject to the same limits of liability as are set forth above with respect to an owner's policy of liability insurance.

(d)       Such motor vehicle liability policy shall state the name and address of the named insured, the coverage afforded by the policy, the premium charged therefor, the policy period and the limits of liability, and shall contain an agreement or be endorsed that insurance is provided thereunder in accordance with the coverage defined in this Article as respects bodily injury and death or property damage, or both, and is subject to all the provisions of this Article.

(d1)     Such motor vehicle liability policy shall provide an alternative method of determining the amount of property damage to a motor vehicle when liability for coverage for the claim is not in dispute. For a claim for property damage to a motor vehicle against an insurer, the policy shall provide that if:

(1)        The claimant and the insurer fail to agree as to the difference in fair market value of the vehicle immediately before the accident and immediately after the accident; and

(2)        The difference in the claimant's and the insurer's estimate of the diminution in fair market value is greater than two thousand dollars ($2,000) or twenty-five percent (25%) of the fair market retail value of the vehicle prior to the accident as determined by the latest edition of the National Automobile Dealers Association Pricing Guide Book or other publications approved by the Commissioner of Insurance, whichever is less, then on the written demand of either the claimant or the insurer, each shall select a competent and disinterested appraiser and notify the other of the appraiser selected within 20 days after the demand. The appraisers shall then appraise the loss. Should the appraisers fail to agree, they shall then select a competent and disinterested appraiser to serve as an umpire. If the appraisers cannot agree upon an umpire within 15 days, either the claimant or the insurer may request that a magistrate resident in the county where the insured motor vehicle is registered or the county where the accident occurred select the umpire. The appraisers shall then submit their differences to the umpire. The umpire then shall prepare a report determining the amount of the loss and shall file the report with the insurer and the claimant. The agreement of the two appraisers or the report of the umpire, when filed with the insurer and the claimant, shall determine the amount of the damages. In preparing the report, the umpire shall not award damages that are higher or lower than the determinations of the appraisers. In no event shall appraisers or the umpire make any determination as to liability for damages or as to whether the policy provides coverage for claims asserted. The claimant or the insurer shall have 15 days from the filing of the report to reject the report and notify the other party of such rejection. If the report is not rejected within 15 days from the filing of the report, the report shall be binding upon both the claimant and the insurer. Each appraiser shall be paid by the party selecting the appraiser, and the expenses of appraisal and umpire shall be paid by the parties equally. For purposes of this section, "appraiser" and "umpire" shall mean a person who as a part of his or her regular employment is in the business of advising relative to the nature and amount of motor vehicle damage and the fair market value of damaged and undamaged motor vehicles.

(e)        Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage that is provided as part of a motor vehicle liability policy shall insure that portion of a loss uncompensated by any workers' compensation law and the amount of an employer's lien determined pursuant to G.S. 97-10.2(h) or (j). In no event shall this subsection be construed to require that coverage exceed the applicable uninsured or underinsured coverage limits of the motor vehicle policy or allow a recovery for damages already paid by workers' compensation. The policy need not insure a loss from any liability for damage to property owned by, rented to, in charge of or transported by the insured.

(f)        Every motor vehicle liability policy shall be subject to the following provisions which need not be contained therein:

(1)        Except as hereinafter provided, the liability of the insurance carrier with respect to the insurance required by this Article shall become absolute whenever injury or damage covered by said motor vehicle liability policy occurs; said policy may not be canceled or annulled as to such liability by any agreement between the insurance carrier and the insured after the occurrence of the injury or damage; no statement made by the insured or on his behalf and no violation of said policy shall defeat or void said policy. As to policies issued to insureds in this State under the assigned risk plan or through the North Carolina Motor Vehicle Reinsurance Facility, a default judgment taken against such an insured shall not be used as a basis for obtaining judgment against the insurer unless counsel for the plaintiff has forwarded to the insurer, or to one of its agents, by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested, or served by any other method of service provided by law, a copy of summons, complaint, or other pleadings, filed in the action. The return receipt shall, upon its return to plaintiff's counsel, be filed with the clerk of court wherein the action is pending against the insured and shall be admissible in evidence as proof of notice to the insurer. The refusal of insurer or its agent to accept delivery of the registered mail, as provided in this section, shall not affect the validity of such notice and any insurer or agent of an insurer refusing to accept such registered mail shall be charged with the knowledge of the contents of such notice. When notice has been sent to an agent of the insurer such notice shall be notice to the insurer. The word "agent" as used in this subsection shall include, but shall not be limited to, any person designated by the insurer as its agent for the service of process, any person duly licensed by the insurer in the State as insurance agent, any general agent of the company in the State of North Carolina, and any employee of the company in a managerial or other responsible position, or the North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance; provided, where the return receipt is signed by an employee of the insurer or an employee of an agent for the insurer, shall be deemed for the purposes of this subsection to have been received. The term "agent" as used in this subsection shall not include a producer of record or broker, who forwards an application for insurance to the North Carolina Motor Vehicle Reinsurance Facility.

The insurer, upon receipt of summons, complaint or other process, shall be entitled, upon its motion, to intervene in the suit against its insured as a party defendant and to defend the same in the name of its insured. In the event of such intervention by an insurer it shall become a named party defendant. The insurer shall have 30 days from the signing of the return receipt acknowledging receipt of the summons, complaint or other pleading in which to file a motion to intervene, along with any responsive pleading, whether verified or not, which it may deem necessary to protect its interest: Provided, the court having jurisdiction over the matter may, upon motion duly made, extend the time for the filing of responsive pleading or continue the trial of the matter for the purpose of affording the insurer a reasonable time in which to file responsive pleading or defend the action. If, after receiving copy of the summons, complaint or other pleading, the insurer elects not to defend the action, if coverage is in fact provided by the policy, the insurer shall be bound to the extent of its policy limits to the judgment taken by default against the insured, and noncooperation of the insured shall not be a defense.

If the plaintiff initiating an action against the insured has complied with the provisions of this subsection, then, in such event, the insurer may not cancel or annul the policy as to such liability and the defense of noncooperation shall not be available to the insurer: Provided, however, nothing in this section shall be construed as depriving an insurer of its defenses that the policy was not in force at the time in question, that the operator was not an "insured" under policy provisions, or that the policy had been lawfully canceled at the time of the accident giving rise to the cause of action.

Provided further that the provisions of this subdivision shall not apply when the insured has delivered a copy of the summons, complaint or other pleadings served on him to his insurance carrier within the time provided by law for filing answer, demurrer or other pleadings.

(2)        The satisfaction by the insured of a judgment for such injury or damage shall not be a condition precedent to the right or duty of the insurance carrier to make payment on account of such injury or damage;

(3)        The insurance carrier shall have the right to settle any claim covered by the policy, and if such settlement is made in good faith, the amount thereof shall be deductible from the limits of liability specified in subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of this section;

(4)        The policy, the written application therefor, if any, and any rider or endorsement which does not conflict with the provisions of the Article shall constitute the entire contract between the parties.

(g)        Any policy which grants the coverage required for a motor vehicle liability policy may also grant any lawful coverage in excess of or in addition to the coverage specified for a motor vehicle liability policy and such excess or additional coverage shall not be subject to the provisions of this Article. With respect to a policy which grants such excess or additional coverage the term "motor vehicle liability policy" shall apply only to that part of the coverage which is required by this section.

(h)        Any motor vehicle liability policy may provide that the insured shall reimburse the insurance carrier for any payment the insurance carrier would not have been obligated to make under the terms of the policy except for the provisions of this Article.

(i)         Any motor vehicle liability policy may provide for the prorating of the insurance thereunder with other valid and collectible insurance.

(j)         The requirements for a motor vehicle liability policy may be fulfilled by the policies of one or more insurance carriers which policies together meet such requirements.

(k)        Any binder issued pending the issuance of a motor vehicle liability policy shall be deemed to fulfill the requirements for such a policy.

(l)         A party injured by an uninsured motor vehicle covered under a policy in amounts less than those set forth in G.S. 20-279.5, may execute a contractual covenant not to enforce against the owner, operator, or maintainer of the uninsured vehicle any judgment that exceeds the liability policy limits, as consideration for payment of any applicable policy limits by the insurer where judgment exceeds the policy limits. A covenant not to enforce judgment shall not preclude the injured party from pursuing available uninsured motorist benefits, unless the terms of the covenant expressly provide otherwise, and shall not preclude an insurer providing uninsured motorist coverage from pursuing any right of subrogation.

(m)       Every insurer that sells motor vehicle liability policies subject to the requirements of subdivisions (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section shall, when issuing and renewing a policy, give reasonable notice to the named insured of all of the following:

(1)        The named insured is required to purchase uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, uninsured motorist property damage coverage, and, if applicable, underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage.

(2)        The named insured's uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage limits shall be equal to the highest limits of bodily injury liability coverage for any one vehicle insured under the policy unless the insured elects to purchase greater or lesser limits for uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage.

(3)        The named insured's uninsured motorist property damage coverage limits shall be equal to the highest limits of property damage liability coverage for any one vehicle insured under the policy unless the insured elects to purchase lesser limits for uninsured motorist property damage coverage.

(4)        The named insured's underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage limits, if applicable, shall be equal to the highest limits of bodily injury liability coverage for any one vehicle insured under the policy unless the insured elects to purchase greater or lesser limits for underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage.

(5)        The named insured may purchase uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage and, if applicable, underinsured motorist coverage with limits up to one million dollars ($1,000,000) per person and one million dollars ($1,000,000) per accident.

An insurer shall be deemed to have given reasonable notice if it includes the following or substantially similar language on the policy's original and renewal declarations pages or in a separate notice accompanying the original and renewal declarations pages in at least 12 point type:

NOTICE: YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PURCHASE UNINSURED MOTORIST BODILY INJURY COVERAGE, UNINSURED MOTORIST PROPERTY DAMAGE COVERAGE AND, IN SOME CASES, UNDERINSURED MOTORIST BODILY INJURY COVERAGE. THIS INSURANCE PROTECTS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AGAINST INJURIES AND PROPERTY DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE NEGLIGENCE OF OTHER DRIVERS WHO MAY HAVE LIMITED OR ONLY MINIMUM COVERAGE OR EVEN NO LIABILITY INSURANCE. YOU MAY PURCHASE UNINSURED MOTORIST BODILY INJURY COVERAGE AND, IF APPLICABLE, UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE WITH LIMITS UP TO ONE MILLION DOLLARS ($1,000,000) PER PERSON AND ONE MILLION DOLLARS ($1,000,000) PER ACCIDENT OR AT SUCH LESSER LIMITS YOU CHOOSE. YOU CANNOT PURCHASE COVERAGE FOR LESS THAN THE MINIMUM LIMITS FOR THE BODILY INJURY AND PROPERTY DAMAGE COVERAGE THAT ARE REQUIRED FOR YOUR OWN VEHICLE. IF YOU DO NOT CHOOSE A GREATER OR LESSER LIMIT FOR UNINSURED MOTORIST BODILY INJURY COVERAGE, A LESSER LIMIT FOR UNINSURED MOTORIST PROPERTY DAMAGE COVERAGE, AND/OR A GREATER OR LESSER LIMIT FOR UNDERINSURED MOTORIST BODILY INJURY COVERAGE, THEN THE LIMITS FOR THE UNINSURED MOTORIST BODILY INJURY COVERAGE AND, IF APPLICABLE, THE UNDERINSURED MOTORIST BODILY INJURY COVERAGE WILL BE THE SAME AS THE HIGHEST LIMITS FOR BODILY INJURY LIABILITY COVERAGE FOR ANY ONE OF YOUR OWN VEHICLES INSURED UNDER THE POLICY AND THE LIMITS FOR THE UNINSURED MOTORIST PROPERTY DAMAGE COVERAGE WILL BE THE SAME AS THE HIGHEST LIMITS FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY COVERAGE FOR ANY ONE OF YOUR OWN VEHICLES INSURED UNDER THE POLICY. IF YOU WISH TO PURCHASE UNINSURED MOTORIST AND, IF APPLICABLE, UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE AT DIFFERENT LIMITS THAN THE LIMITS FOR YOUR OWN VEHICLE INSURED UNDER THE POLICY, THEN YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY OR AGENT TO DISCUSS YOUR OPTIONS FOR OBTAINING DIFFERENT COVERAGE LIMITS. YOU SHOULD ALSO READ YOUR ENTIRE POLICY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS COVERED UNDER UNINSURED AND UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGES.

(n)        Nothing in this section shall be construed to provide greater amounts of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in a liability policy than the insured has purchased from the insurer under this section.

(o)        An insurer that fails to comply with subsection (m) of this section is subject to a civil penalty under G.S. 58-2-70.  (1953, c. 1300, s. 21; 1955, c. 1355; 1961, c. 640; 1965, c. 156; c. 674, s. 1; c. 898; 1967, c. 277, s. 4; c. 854; c. 1159, s. 1; c. 1162, s. 1; c. 1186, s. 1; c. 1246, s. 1; 1971, c. 1205, s. 2; 1973, c. 745, s. 4; 1975, c. 326, ss. 1, 2; c. 716, s. 5; c. 866, ss. 1-4; 1979, cc. 190, 675; c. 832, ss. 6, 7; 1983, c. 777, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 666, s. 74; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1027, ss. 41, 42; 1987, c. 529; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 975, s. 33; 1991, c. 469, s. 4; c. 636, s. 3; c. 646, ss. 1, 2; c. 761, s. 12.3; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 837, s. 9; 1997-396, ss. 2, 3; 1999-195, s. 1; 1999-228, s. 4; 2003-311, ss. 1, 2; 2008-124, ss. 1.1, 1.2; 2009-440, s. 1; 2009-561, s. 1; 2009-566, s. 28.)

 

20-279.22.  Notice of cancellation or termination of certified policy.

When an insurance carrier has certified a motor vehicle liability policy under G.S. 20-279.19 or a policy under G.S. 20-279.20, the insurance so certified shall not be canceled or terminated until at least 20 days after a notice of cancellation or termination of the insurance so certified shall be filed in the office of the Commissioner, except that such a policy subsequently procured and certified shall, on the effective date of its certification, terminate the insurance previously certified with respect to any motor vehicle designated in both certificates. (1953, c. 1300, s. 22.)

 

20-279.23.  Article not to affect other policies.

(a)        This Article shall not be held to apply to or affect policies of automobile insurance against liability which may now or hereafter be required by any other law of this State, and such policies, if they contain an agreement or are endorsed to conform to the requirements of this Article, may be certified as proof of financial responsibility under this Article.

(b)        This Article shall not be held to apply to or affect policies  insuring solely the insured named in the policy against liability resulting from the maintenance or use by persons in the insured's employ or on his behalf of motor vehicles not owned by the insured. (1953, c. 1300, s. 23.)

 

20-279.24.  Bond as proof.

(a)        Proof of financial responsibility may be furnished by filing with the Commissioner the bond of a surety company duly authorized to transact business in the State or a bond with at least two individual sureties each owning real estate within this State, and together having equities in such real estate over and above any encumbrances thereon equal in value to at least twice the amount of such bond, which real estate shall be scheduled in the bond which shall be approved by the clerk of the superior court of the county wherein the real estate is situated. Such bond shall be conditioned for payments in amounts and under the same circumstances as would be required in a motor vehicle liability policy, and shall not be cancellable except after 20 days' written notice to the Commissioner. A certificate of the county tax supervisor or person performing the duties of the tax supervisor, showing the assessed valuation of each tract or parcel of real estate for tax purposes shall accompany a bond with individual sureties and, upon acceptance and approval by the Commissioner, the execution of such bond shall be proved before the clerk of the superior court of the county or counties wherein the land or any part thereof lies, and such bond shall be recorded in the office of the register of deeds of such county or counties. Such bond shall constitute a lien upon the real estate therein described from and after filing for recordation to the same extent as in the case of ordinary mortgages and shall be regarded as the equivalent of a mortgage or deed of trust. In the event of default in the terms of the bond the Commissioner may foreclose the lien thereof by making public sale upon publishing notice thereof as provided by G.S. 45-21.17; provided, that any such sale shall be subject to the provisions for upset or increased bids and resales and the procedure therefor as set out in Part 2 of Article 2A of Chapter 45 of the General Statutes. The proceeds of such sale shall be applied by the Commissioner toward the discharge of liability upon the bond, any excess to be paid over to the surety whose property was sold. The Commissioner shall have power to so sell as much of the property of either or both sureties described in the bond as shall be deemed necessary to discharge the liability under the bond, and shall not be required to apportion or prorate the liability as between sureties.

If any surety is a married person, his or her spouse shall be required to execute the bond, but only for the purpose of releasing any dower or curtesy interest in the property described in the bond, and the signing of such bond shall constitute a conveyance of dower or curtesy interest, as well as the homestead exemption of the surety, for the purpose of the bond, and the execution of the bond shall be duly acknowledged as in the case of deeds of conveyance. The Commissioner may require a certificate of title of a duly licensed attorney which shall show all liens and encumbrances with respect to each parcel of real estate described in the bond and, if any parcel of such real estate has buildings or other improvements thereon, the Commissioner may, in his discretion, require the filing with him of a policy or policies of fire and other hazard insurance, with loss clauses payable to the Commissioner as his interest may appear. All costs and expenses in connection with furnishing such bond and the registration thereof, and the certificate of title, insurance and other necessary items of expense shall be borne by the principal obligor under the bond, except that the costs of foreclosure may be paid from the proceeds of sale.

(b)        If such a judgment, rendered against the principal on such bond shall not be satisfied within 60 days after it has become final,  the judgment creditor may, for his own use and benefit and at his sole expense, bring an action or actions in the name of the State against the company or persons executing such bond, including an action or proceeding to foreclose any lien that may exist upon the real estate of a person who has executed such bond. (1953, c. 1300, s. 24; 1993, c. 553, s. 10.)

 

20-279.25.  Money or securities as proof.

(a)        Proof of financial responsibility may be evidenced by the certificate of the State Treasurer that the person named therein has deposited with him eighty-five thousand dollars ($85,000) in cash, or securities such as may legally be purchased by savings banks or for trust funds of a market value of eighty-five thousand dollars ($85,000). The State Treasurer shall not accept any such deposit and issue a certificate therefor and the Commissioner shall not accept such certificate unless accompanied by evidence that there are no unsatisfied judgments of any character against the depositor in the county where the depositor resides.

(b)        Such deposit shall be held by the State Treasurer to satisfy, in accordance with the provisions of this Article, any execution on a judgment issued against such person making the deposit for damages, including damages for care and loss of services because of bodily injury to or death of any person, or for damages because of injury to or destruction of property, including the loss of use thereof, resulting from the ownership, maintenance, use or operation of a motor vehicle after such deposit was made. Money or securities so deposited shall not be subject to attachment, garnishment, or execution unless such attachment, garnishment, or execution shall arise out of a suit for damages as aforesaid. (1953, c. 1300, s. 25; 1965, c. 358, s. 1; 1967, c. 277, s. 5; 1973, c. 745, s. 5; 1979, c. 832, s. 8; 1991, c. 469, s. 8; 1999-228, s. 5.)

 

20-279.26.  Owner may give proof for others.

Whenever any person required to give proof of financial responsibility hereunder is or later becomes an operator in the employ of any owner, or is or later becomes a member of the immediate family  or household of the owner, the Commissioner shall accept proof given by such owner in lieu of proof by such other person to permit such other person to operate a motor vehicle for which the owner has given proof as herein provided. The Commissioner shall designate the restrictions imposed by this section on the face of such person's license. (1953, c. 1300, s. 26.)

 

20-279.27.  Substitution of proof.

The Commissioner shall consent to the cancellation of any bond or certificate of insurance or the Commissioner shall direct and the State Treasurer shall return any money or securities to the person entitled thereto upon the substitution and acceptance of other adequate proof of financial responsibility pursuant to this Article. (1953, c. 1300, s. 27.)

 

20-279.28.  Other proof may be required.

Whenever any proof of financial responsibility filed under the provisions of this Article no longer fulfills the purposes for which required, the Commissioner shall for the purpose of this Article, require other proof as required by this Article, or whenever it appears that proof filed to cover any motor vehicle owned by a person does not cover all motor vehicles registered in the name of such person, the Commissioner shall require proof covering all such motor vehicles. The Commissioner shall suspend the license or the nonresident's operating privilege pending the filing of such other proof. (1953, c. 1300, s. 28.)

 

20-279.29.  Duration of proof; when proof may be canceled or returned.

The Commissioner shall upon request consent to the immediate cancellation of any bond or certificate of insurance, or the Commissioner shall direct and the State Treasurer shall return to the  person entitled thereto any money or securities deposited pursuant to this Article as proof of financial responsibility, or the Commissioner shall waive the requirement of filing proof, in any of the following events:

(1)        At any time after two years from the date such proof was required when, during the two-year period preceding the request, the Commissioner has not received record of a conviction or a forfeiture of bail which would require or permit the suspension or revocation of the license, registration or nonresident's operating privilege of the person by or for whom such proof was furnished; or

(2)        In the event of the death of the person on whose behalf such proof was filed or the permanent incapacity of such person to operate a motor vehicle; or

(3)        In the event the person who has given proof surrenders his license to the Commissioner.

Provided, however, that the Commissioner shall not consent to the cancellation of any bond or the return of any money or securities in the event any action for damages upon a liability covered by such proof is then pending or any judgment upon any such liability is then  unsatisfied or in the event the person who has filed such bond or deposited such money or securities, has, within one year immediately preceding such request, been involved as an operator or owner in any motor vehicle accident resulting in injury or damage to the person or property of others. An affidavit of the applicant as to the nonexistence of such facts, or that he has been released from all of his liability, or has been finally adjudicated not to be liable, for such injury or damage, shall be sufficient evidence thereof in the absence of evidence to the contrary in the records of the Commissioner.

Whenever any person whose proof has been canceled or returned under subdivision (3) of this section applies for a license within a period of two years from the date proof was originally required, any such application shall be refused unless the applicant shall reestablish such proof for the remainder of such two-year period. (1953, c. 1300, s. 29.)

 

20-279.30.  Surrender of license.

Any person whose license shall have been suspended as herein provided, or whose policy of insurance or bond, when required under this Article, shall have been canceled or terminated, or who shall neglect to furnish other proof upon request of the Commissioner  shall immediately return his license to the Commissioner. If any person shall fail to return to the Commissioner the license as provided herein, the Commissioner shall forthwith direct any peace officer to secure possession thereof and to return the same to the Commissioner. (1953, c. 1300, s. 30.)

 

20-279.31.  Other violations; penalties.

(a)        The Commissioner shall suspend the license of a person who fails to report a reportable accident, as required by G.S. 20-166.1, until the Division receives a report and for an additional period set by the Commissioner. The additional period may not exceed 30 days.

(b)        Any person who does any of the following commits a Class 1 misdemeanor:

(1)        Gives information required in a report of a reportable accident, knowing or having reason to believe the information is false.

(2)        Forges or without authority signs any evidence of proof of financial responsibility.

(3)        Files or offers for filing any evidence of proof of financial responsibility, knowing or having reason to believe that it is forged or signed without authority.

(c)        Any person willfully failing to return a license as required in G.S. 20-279.30 is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

(c1)      Any person who makes a false affidavit or knowingly swears or affirms falsely to any matter under G.S. 20-279.5, 20-279.6, or 20-279.7 is guilty of a Class I felony.

(d)       Any person who shall violate any provision of this Article for which no penalty is otherwise provided is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. (1953, c. 1300, s. 31; 1983, c. 610, s. 2; 1993, c. 539, ss. 384, 1261; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 191, s. 7.)

 

20-279.32.  Exceptions.

This Article does not apply to a motor vehicle registered under G.S. 20-382 by a for-hire motor carrier. This Article does not apply to any motor vehicle owned by the State of North Carolina, nor does it apply to the operator of a vehicle owned by the State of North Carolina who becomes involved in an accident while operating the state-owned vehicle if the Commissioner determines that the vehicle at the time of the accident was probably being operated in the course of the operator's employment as an employee or officer of the State. This Article does not apply to any motor vehicle owned by a county or municipality of the State of North Carolina, nor does it apply to the operator of a vehicle owned by a county or municipality of the State of North Carolina who becomes involved in an accident while operating such vehicle in the course of the operator's employment as an employee or officer of the county or municipality. This Article does not apply to the operator of a vehicle owned by a political subdivision, other than a county or municipality, of the State of North Carolina who becomes involved in an accident while operating such vehicle if the Commissioner determines that the vehicle at the time of the accident was probably being operated in the course of the operator's employment as an employee or officer of the subdivision providing that the Commissioner finds that the political subdivision has waived any immunity it has with respect to such accidents and has in force an insurance policy or other method of satisfying claims which may arise out of the accident. This Article does not apply to any motor vehicle owned by the federal government, nor does it apply to the operator of a motor vehicle owned by the federal government who becomes involved in an accident while operating the government-owned vehicle if the Commissioner determines that the vehicle at the time of the accident was probably being operated in the course of the operator's employment as an employee or officer of the federal government. (1953, c. 1300, s. 32; 1955, c. 1152, s. 19; 1979, c. 667, s. 38; 1989, c. 485, s. 54; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 756, s. 18; 1999-330, s. 4.1.)

 

20-279.32A.  Exception of school bus drivers.

The provisions of this Article shall not apply to school bus drivers with respect to accidents or collisions in which they are involved while operating school buses in the course of their employment. (1955, c. 1282.)

 

20-279.33.  Self-insurers.

(a)        Any person in whose name more than 25 motor vehicles are registered may qualify as a self-insurer by obtaining a certificate of self-insurance issued by the Commissioner as provided in subsection (b) of this section. For the purpose of this Article, the State of North Carolina shall be considered a self-insurer.

(b)        The Commissioner may, in his discretion, upon the application  of such a person, issue a certificate of self-insurance when he is satisfied that such person is possessed and will continue to be possessed of ability to pay judgments obtained against such person.

(c)        Upon not less than five days' notice and a hearing pursuant to such notice, the Commissioner may upon reasonable grounds cancel a certificate of self-insurance. Failure to pay any judgment within 30 days after such judgment shall have become final shall constitute a reasonable ground for the cancellation of a certificate of self-insurance. (1953, c. 1300, s. 33.)

 

20-279.33A.  Religious organizations; self-insurance.

(a)        Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article or Article 13 of this Chapter, any recognized religious organization having established tenets or teachings and that has been in existence at all times since December 31, 1950, may qualify as a self-insurer by obtaining a certificate of self-insurance from the Commissioner as provided in subsection (c) of this section if the Commissioner determines that all of the following conditions are met:

(1)        Members of the religious organization operate five or more vehicles that are registered in this State and are either owned or leased by them.

(2)        Members of the religious organization hold a common belief in mutual financial assistance in time of need to the extent that they share in financial obligations of other members who would otherwise be unable to meet their obligations.

(3)        The religious organization has met all of its insurance obligations for the five years preceding its application.

(4)        The religious organization is financially solvent and not subject to any actions in bankruptcy, trusteeship, receivership, or any other court proceeding in which the financial solvency of the religious organization is in question.

(5)        Neither the religious organization nor any of its participating members has any judgments arising out of the operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle taken against them that have remained unsatisfied for more than 30 days after becoming final.

(6)        There are no other factors that cause the Commissioner to believe that the religious organization and its participating members are not of sufficient financial ability to pay judgments against them.

(7)        The religious organization and its participating members meet other requirements that the Commissioner by administrative rule prescribes.

(b)        The Commissioner may, in the Commissioner's discretion, upon the application of a religious organization, issue a certificate of self-insurance when the Commissioner is satisfied that the religious organization is possessed and will continue to be possessed of an ability to pay any judgments that might be rendered against the religious organization. The certificate shall serve as evidence of insurance for the purposes of G.S. 20-7(c1), 20-13.2(e), 20-16.1, 20-19(k), and 20-179.3(l).

(c)        A group issued a certificate of self-insurance under this section shall notify the Commissioner in writing if any person ceases to be a member of the group. The group shall notify the Commissioner within 10 days of the person's removal or departure from the group.

(d)       The Commissioner may, at any time after the issuance of a certificate of self-insurance under this subsection, cancel the certificate by giving 30 days' written notice of cancellation to the religious organization whenever there is reason to believe that the religious organization to whom the certificate was issued is no longer qualified as a self-insurer under this section. (2006-145, s. 5.)

 

20-279.34:  Repealed by Session Laws 1993 (Reg.  Sess., 1994), c. 761, s. 27.

 

20-279.35.  Supplemental to motor vehicle laws; repeal of laws in conflict.

This Article shall in no respect be considered as a repeal of any of the motor vehicle laws of this State but shall be construed as supplemental thereto.

The "Motor Vehicle Safety and Responsibility Act" enacted by the 1947 Session of the General Assembly, being Chapter 1006 of the Session Laws of 1947 (G.S. 20-224 to 20-279), is hereby repealed except with respect to any accident or violation of the motor vehicle  laws of this State occurring prior to January 1, 1954, or with respect to any judgment arising from such accident or violation, and as to such accidents, violations or judgments Chapter 1006 of the Session Laws of 1947 shall remain in full force and effect. Except as herein stated, all laws and clauses of laws in conflict with this Article are hereby repealed. (1953, c. 1300, s. 35.)

 

20-279.36.  Past application of Article.

This Article shall not apply with respect to any accident, or judgment arising therefrom, or violation of the motor vehicle laws of this State, occurring prior to January 1, 1954. (1953, c. 1300, s. 37.)

 

20-279.37.  Article not to prevent other process.

Nothing in this Article shall be construed as preventing the plaintiff in any action at law from relying for relief upon the other processes provided by law. (1953, c. 1300, s. 38.)

 

20-279.38.  Uniformity of interpretation.

This Article shall be so interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the laws of those states which enact it. (1953, c. 1300, s. 39.)

 

20-279.39.  Title of Article.

This Article may be cited as the "Motor Vehicle Safety-Responsibility Act of 1953." (1953, c. 1300, s. 41.)