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Financial Responsibility Laws

Amendment to the Financial Responsibility Law

Tennessee's Financial Responsibility Law (T.C.A.,55-12-139) changed effective January 1, 2002. At the time the driver of a motor vehicle is charged with any violation under Title 55, Chapters 8 and 10, Parts 1-5, Chapter 50; any other local ordinance regulating traffic; or at the time of an accident for which notice is required under Section 55-10-106, the officer will request evidence of financial responsibility. In the case of an accident for which notice is required under Section 55-10-106, the officer will request such evidence from all drivers involved in the accident, without regard to apparent or actual fault.

Per T.C.A. 55-12-139(e)(2), a person who did not have financial responsibility in effect at the time of being charged with a violation of subsection (c) shall not have that violation dismissed. T.C.A. 55-12-140(a) requires the record of conviction of an offense under T.C.A. 55-12-139(c) be promptly transmitted to the Department of Safety. For any such conviction occurring after July 1, 2009, upon request by the Commissioner of Safety, the Commissioner of Revenue shall not issue a renewal of registration for any vehicle for which evidence of financial responsibility is required under T.C.A. 55-12-139 until the person who was convicted of violating T.C.A. 55-12-139(c) furnishes proof of financial responsibility. If a STOP is placed on your vehicle file, click here for STOP removal procedures.

Evidence of Financial Responsibility

Evidence needed to comply with the law includes documentation such as an insurance card, binder or declaration page of a policy from an insurance company authorized to do business in Tennessee, stating that a policy of insurance meeting the requirements of the Tennessee Financial Responsibility Law of 1977 has been issued; or a certificate from the Department of Safety noting that a cash deposit or bond has been posted in the amount required by the Tennessee Financial Responsibility Law of 1977, or that a person has qualified as a self-insurer under Section 55-12-111, or 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.