§31-47-12  Police officers and agents of administrator of the division of motor vehicles – Fees collected, forms of proof. –


Published: 2015

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TITLE 31

Motor and Other vehicles

CHAPTER 31-47

Motor Vehicle Reparations Act

SECTION 31-47-12



   § 31-47-12  Police officers and agents of

administrator of the division of motor vehicles – Fees collected, forms of

proof. –

(a) For the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter, every police

officer of a state, town, or municipality is deemed an agent of the

administrator of the division of motor vehicles. Any police officer who, in the

performance of his or her duties as authorized by law, becomes aware of a

person whose license is under an order of suspension, or whose certificate of

registration and registration plates are under an order of impoundment,

pursuant to this section may confiscate the license, certificate of

registration, and registration plates, and return them to the administrator of

the division of motor vehicles. Any forms used by law enforcement agencies in

administering this section shall be prescribed by the administrator of the

division of motor vehicles, the cost of which shall be borne by these agencies.

No police officer, law enforcement agency employing a police officer, or

political subdivision or governmental agency that employs a police officer

shall be liable in a civil action for damages or loss to persons arising out of

the performance of the duty required or authorized by this section. "Police

officer" means the full-time police from the rank of patrolman up to and

including the rank of chief, including policewomen of any police department in

any city or town within the state of Rhode Island or of the state police.



   (b) All fees, except court costs, collected under this

chapter shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the highway

safety fund in a special account hereby created, to be known as the "financial

responsibility compliance special account". This special account shall be used

exclusively to cover costs incurred by the division of motor vehicles in the

administration of this chapter, and by any law enforcement agency employing any

police officer who returns any license, certificate of registration, and

registration plates to the administrator of the division of motor vehicles

pursuant to this chapter.



   (c) The administrator of the division of motor vehicles,

court, or traffic tribunal may require proof of financial security to be

demonstrated by use of standard form SR 22. If the use of a standard form is

not required, a person may demonstrate proof of financial responsibility under

this section by presenting to the court, traffic tribunal, or administrator of

the division of motor vehicles any of the following documents or a copy of

these documents:



   (1) A certificate of proof of financial responsibility;



   (2) A bond or certification of the issuance of a bond;



   (3) A certificate of deposit of money or securities; or



   (4) A certificate of self insurance.



   (d) At the time of investigation of a motor vehicle offense

or accident by a police officer or when a motor vehicle is stopped by a police

officer for probable cause, the police officer making the investigation or

stopping the motor vehicle shall ask for evidence of proof of financial

security as defined in this chapter. Proof of financial responsibility may be

provided using a mobile electronic device; provided, however, that the police

officer requiring the proof of financial responsibility shall be prohibited

from viewing any other content on the mobile electronic device. Any person

utilizing an electronic device to provide proof of insurance shall assume any

and all liability for any damage sustained to the mobile electronic device. If

the evidence is not provided, a citation to appear before the traffic tribunal

shall be issued to the operator. However, any citation issued solely for

failing to provide evidence of financial responsibility shall be held by the

issuing police officer or law enforcement agency for at least one business day

before submitting the citation to the traffic tribunal. Any operator who

receives a citation for failing to provide valid evidence of financial

responsibility shall have the opportunity to provide evidence of financial

responsibility that existed at the time of the violation within the

one-business-day period, at which time the issuing police officer or law

enforcement agency shall withdraw the citation, and the motorist shall not be

required to appear before the traffic tribunal. Notwithstanding this provision,

police officers who issue a citation for lack of evidence of financial

responsibility, in addition to one or more other citations, need not wait the

one-business-day waiting period before submitting the citation for lack of

evidence of financial responsibility to the traffic tribunal. The traffic

tribunal may, by rule and regulation, prescribe the procedures for processing

the citations. Motor vehicles may not be stopped solely for the purpose of

checking for evidence of proof of financial security.



   (e)(1) Upon a first offense, one must provide proof of

current insurance and a binder or release letter covering the cost of the

accident, as long as the accident does not include bodily injury, death, etc.



   (2) In addition, penalties do not release the motorist from

any pending matter before any other appropriate court.



History of Section.

(P.L. 1991, ch. 167, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 182, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch.

204, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 476, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 498, § 1; P.L.

2007, ch. 513, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 24, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 28, §

1.)

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