S.B. No. 1670
relating to a motor vehicle financial responsibility verification
program; providing a penalty.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Chapter 601, Transportation Code, is amended by
adding Subchapter N to read as follows:
SUBCHAPTER N. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY VERIFICATION PROGRAM
Sec. 601.451. DEFINITION. In this subchapter,
"implementing agencies" means:
(1) the department;
(2) the Texas Department of Transportation;
(3) the Texas Department of Insurance; and
(4) the Department of Information Resources.
Sec. 601.452. IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAM; RULES. (a) The
Texas Department of Insurance in consultation with the other
implementing agencies shall establish a program for verification of
whether owners of motor vehicles have established financial
responsibility. The program established must be:
(1) the program most likely to:
(A) reduce the number of uninsured motorists in
(B) operate reliably;
(C) be cost-effective;
(D) sufficiently protect the privacy of the motor
(E) sufficiently safeguard the security and
integrity of information provided by insurance companies;
(F) identify and employ a method of compliance
that improves public convenience; and
(G) provide information that is accurate and
(2) capable of being audited by an independent
(b) The implementing agencies shall jointly adopt rules to
administer this subchapter.
(c) The implementing agencies shall convene a working group
to facilitate the implementation of the program, assist in the
development of rules, and coordinate a testing phase and necessary
changes identified in the testing phase. The working group must
consist of representatives of the implementing agencies and the
insurance industry and technical experts with the skills and
knowledge, including knowledge of privacy laws, required to create
and maintain the program.
Sec. 601.453. AGENT. (a) The Texas Department of
Insurance in consultation with the other implementing agencies,
under a competitive bidding procedure, shall select an agent to
develop, implement, operate, and maintain the program.
(b) The implementing agencies shall jointly enter into a
contract with the selected agent.
(c) A contract under this section may not have a term of more
than five years.
Sec. 601.454. INFORMATION PROVIDED BY INSURANCE COMPANY;
PRIVACY. (a) Each insurance company providing motor vehicle
liability insurance policies in this state shall provide necessary
information for those policies to allow the agent to carry out this
subchapter, subject to the agent's contract with the implementing
agencies and rules adopted under this subchapter.
(b) The agent is entitled only to information that is at
that time available from the insurance company and that is
determined by the implementing agencies to be necessary to carry
out this subchapter.
(c) Information obtained under this subchapter is
confidential. The agent may use the information only for a purpose
authorized under this subchapter and may not use the information
for a commercial purpose.
(d) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly uses
information obtained under this subchapter for any purpose not
authorized under this subchapter. An offense under this subsection
is a Class B misdemeanor.
SECTION 2. Subsections (c) and (d), Section 502.1715,
Transportation Code, are amended to read as follows:
(c) Fees [
On or after August 31, 2005, fees] collected under
this section shall be deposited to the credit of the state highway
fund. Subject to appropriation, the money may be used by the
Department of Public Safety, the Texas Department of Insurance, the
Department of Information Resources, and the department to carry
out Subchapter N, Chapter 601.
(d) The Department of Public Safety, [ and] the Texas
Department of Insurance, the Department of Information Resources,
and the department shall jointly adopt rules and develop forms
necessary to administer this section.
SECTION 3. Subsection (b), Section 502.1715,
Transportation Code, is repealed.
SECTION 4. The Texas Department of Insurance shall select
an agent required by Section 601.453, Transportation Code, as added
by this Act, before December 31, 2005. The agencies responsible for
implementing Subchapter N, Chapter 601, Transportation Code, as
added by this Act, shall adopt rules and establish and publish a
user guide clearly specifying requirements and procedures for
providing information under the verification program under that
subchapter not later than seven months before the full
implementation of the program. Those implementing agencies shall
require full implementation of the financial responsibility
verification program for vehicles covered under a personal
automobile insurance policy before December 31, 2006, and
implementation of that program for vehicles covered under a
commercial insurance policy when the implementing agencies
determine that implementation for vehicles covered under a
commercial insurance policy is feasible.
SECTION 5. This Act takes effect September 1, 2005.
President of the Senate Speaker of the House
I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1670 passed the Senate on
April 26, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0;
May 16, 2005, Senate refused to concur in House amendments and
requested appointment of Conference Committee; May 18, 2005, House
granted request of the Senate; May 29, 2005, Senate adopted
Conference Committee Report by the following vote: Yeas 31,
Secretary of the Senate
I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1670 passed the House, with
amendments, on May 12, 2005, by a non-record vote; May 18, 2005,
House granted request of the Senate for appointment of Conference
Committee; May 29, 2005, House adopted Conference Committee Report
by a non-record vote.
Chief Clerk of the House