(a) Any owner of a motor vehicle, subject to this article, who fails to have the required security in effect at the time such vehicle is registered or being operated upon the roads or highways shall have his or her driver's license suspended by the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles and shall have his or her motor vehicle registration revoked as follows:
(1) For the first offense, the commissioner shall suspend the driver's license for thirty days and until such time as he or she presents current proof of insurance on all currently registered vehicles: Provided, That if an owner complies with this subdivision, and pays a penalty fee of $200 before the effective date, the driver's license suspension of thirty days may not be imposed and the vehicle registration revocation may not be imposed and no reinstatement fees are required. Any fees collected under the provisions of this subsection shall be deposited in the Motor Vehicle Fees Fund established in accordance with section twenty- one, article two, chapter seventeen-a of this code.
(2) For the second or subsequent offense within five years, the commissioner shall suspend the owner's driver's license for a period of ninety days and shall revoke the owner's vehicle registration until he or she presents to the Division of Motor Vehicles the proof of security required by this article.
(3) If the motor vehicle is titled and registered in more than one name, the commissioner shall suspend the driver's license of only one of the owners.
(b) Any person who is not the vehicle owner and is convicted of operating a motor vehicle upon the roads or highways of this state which does not have the security required by this article shall have the conviction placed on his or her driver's license record.
(c) The division may not suspend or revoke a driver's license under this article for any citation of driving without insurance that is received by the division from a court that is more than one year from the date of the offense.
(d) The commissioner may withdraw a suspension of a driver's license or revocation of a motor vehicle registration and refund any penalty or reinstatement fees at any time provided that the commissioner is satisfied that there was not a violation of the provisions of required security related to operation of a motor vehicle upon the roads or highways of this state by such person. The commissioner may request additional information as needed in order to make such determination.
(e) A person may not have his or her driver's license suspended or motor vehicle registration revoked under this section unless he or she and any lienholder noted on the certificate of title are first given written notice of such suspension or revocation sent by certified mail, at least thirty days prior to the effective date of such suspension or revocation, and upon that person's written request, he or she shall be afforded an opportunity for a hearing thereupon as well as a stay of the commissioner's order of suspension or revocation and an opportunity for judicial review of such hearing. The request for a hearing shall be made within ten days from the date of receipt of the notice of driver's license suspension or motor vehicle registration revocation. The scope of the hearing is limited to questions of identity or whether or not there was insurance in effect at the time of the event causing the commissioner's action. Upon affirmation of the commissioner's order, the period of suspension, revocation or other penalty commences to run.
(f) A suspended driver's license is reinstated following the period of suspension upon compliance with the conditions set forth in this article and a revoked motor vehicle registration is reissued only upon lawful compliance with this article.
(g) Revocation of a motor vehicle registration pursuant to this section does not affect the perfection or priority of a lien or security interest attaching to the motor vehicle that is noted on the certificate of title to the motor vehicle.
(h) Any owner or driver of a motor vehicle determined by an electronic insurance verification program to be uninsured shall be assessed the same criminal and administrative sanctions prescribed in this chapter subject to the following:
(1) Any person who is assessed a penalty prescribed by this section has the same procedural due process provided by this chapter or by rules promulgated by the division to show that there was not a violation and provide for the exoneration of any penalties or records; and
(2) The commissioner may accept a binder, an identification
card or a declaration page from a policy as evidence of insurance
pending electronic verification to stay a pending administrative
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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