(a) This chapter shall apply to every vehicle subject to the registration and certificate of title provisions.

Terms Used In Tennessee Code 55-12-139

  • Bond: means irrevocable bond executed by a corporate surety company licensed to do business as a corporate surety company in this state, with penalties of like amounts as those pertaining to an insurance policy or the amount of damages suffered, whichever is less, the bond to guarantee the payment of any final judgment which might thereafter be rendered against the bonded party resulting from the accident up to and including the total amount of the bond, except the bond may specify a limited payment to those persons who have at the time of its execution filed claims with the commissioner, and shall contain a clause therein that it shall remain in force for one (1) year from the date of the accident or until final determination of any court action brought as a result of the accident, whichever may be the longer period of time. See Tennessee Code 55-12-102
  • Code: includes the Tennessee Code and all amendments and revisions to the code and all additions and supplements to the code. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Commissioner: means the commissioner of safety, unless otherwise indicated or unless the context otherwise requires. See Tennessee Code 55-12-102
  • Department: means the department of revenue. See Tennessee Code 55-1-111
  • Driver: means every person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle. See Tennessee Code 55-8-101
  • Motor vehicle: means every self-propelled vehicle that is designed for use upon the highway, including trailers and semitrailers designed for use with motor vehicles, and every vehicle that is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead wires but not operated upon rails, except traction engines, road rollers and farm tractors. See Tennessee Code 55-12-102
  • Owner: means a person who holds the legal title of a motor vehicle, or in the event a motor vehicle is the subject of an agreement for the conditional sale or lease thereof with the right of purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement and with an immediate right of possession vested in the conditional vendee or lessee, or in the event a mortgagor of a vehicle is entitled to possession, then the conditional vendee, lessee or mortgagor shall be deemed the owner for the purpose of this chapter. See Tennessee Code 55-12-102
  • Person: means every natural person, firm, copartnership, association or corporation. See Tennessee Code 55-8-101
  • Registration: means a registration certificate or certificates and registration plates issued under the laws of this state pertaining to the registration of motor vehicles. See Tennessee Code 55-12-102
  • State: means any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any province of the Dominion of Canada. See Tennessee Code 55-12-102
  • Traffic: means pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, streetcars and other conveyances either singly or together while using any highway for purposes of travel. See Tennessee Code 55-8-101
  • United States: includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Vehicle: means every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks. See Tennessee Code 55-8-101
  • Year: means a calendar year, unless otherwise expressed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

(b) At the time the driver of a motor vehicle is charged with any violation under chapters 8 and 10, parts 1-5, and chapter 50 of this title; any other local ordinance regulating traffic; or at the time of an accident for which notice is required under § Code Sec. 55-10-106″>55-10-106, the officer shall request evidence of financial responsibility as required by this section. In case of an accident for which notice is required under § 55-10-106, the officer shall request evidence of financial responsibility from all drivers involved in the accident, without regard to apparent or actual fault. For the purposes of this section, “financial responsibility” means:

(1) Documentation, such as the declaration page of an insurance policy, an insurance binder, or an insurance card from an insurance company authorized to do business in Tennessee, stating that a policy of insurance meeting the requirements of this chapter, has been issued;

(2) A certificate, valid for one (1) year, issued by the commissioner of safety, stating that a cash deposit or bond in the amount required by this chapter, has been paid or filed with the commissioner, or has qualified as a self-insurer under § 55-12-111; or

(3) The motor vehicle being operated at the time of the violation was owned by a carrier subject to the jurisdiction of the department of safety or the interstate commerce commission, or was owned by the United States, this state or any political subdivision thereof, and that such motor vehicle was being operated with the owner‘s consent.

(c) It is an offense to fail to provide evidence of financial responsibility pursuant to this section. Any violation is a Class C misdemeanor punishable only by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100).

(d) The fines imposed by this section shall be in addition to any other fines imposed by this title for any other violation under this title.

(e) (1) On or before the court date, the person so charged may submit evidence of financial responsibility at the time of the violation. If it is the person’s first violation of this section and the court is satisfied that the financial responsibility was in effect at the time of the violation, the charge of failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility shall be dismissed. Upon the person’s second or subsequent violation of this section, if the court is satisfied that the financial responsibility was in effect at the time of the violation, the charge of failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility may be dismissed. Any charge that is dismissed pursuant to this subsection (e) shall be dismissed without costs to the defendant and no litigation tax shall be due or collected, notwithstanding any law to the contrary.

(2) A person who did not have financial responsibility that was in effect at the time of being charged with a violation of subsection (c) shall not have that person’s violation of subsection (c) dismissed.

(f) (1) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, in any county having a population in excess of seven hundred fifty thousand (750,000), according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census, police service technicians are authorized to issue traffic citations in lieu of arrest pursuant to § 55-10-207.

(2) For the purposes of subdivision (f)(1) only, “police service technician” means a person appointed by the director of police services, who responds to requests for service at accident locations and obtains information, investigates accidents and provides other services to assist the police unit, fire unit, ambulance, emergency rescue and towing service.

[Acts 2001, ch. 292, § 1; 2002, ch. 648, § 1; 2005, ch. 401, § 1; 2008, ch. 1169, § 1; 2009, ch. 370, § 1; 2009, ch. 441, § 1.]