Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 7. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LAWS [16000 - 16560]

  ( Division 7 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 2. Suspensions Following Unsatisfied Judgments [16250 - 16381]

  ( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

ARTICLE 2. Suspension of Driving Privilege [16370 - 16381]
  ( Heading of Article 2 amended by Stats. 1975, Ch. 354. )

16370.
  

The department shall suspend the privilege of any person to operate a motor vehicle upon receiving a certified copy of a judgment, or a certified copy of the register of actions (or a comparable court record of another jurisdiction) in an action resulting in a judgment for damages, and a certificate of facts relative to the judgment, on a form provided by the department, indicating that the person has failed for a period of 30 days to satisfy a judgment rendered against him or her.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 44, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2002.)

16370.5.
  

The department shall suspend the privilege of any person to operate a motor vehicle as specified in Section 116.880 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Except as provided in this section, an action brought under Section 116.880 of the Code of Civil Procedure is not governed by Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 16250) of Division 7.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 594, Sec. 42. Effective January 1, 2004.)

16370.7.
  

Documents filed with the department pursuant to Section 16370 shall be accompanied by a fee of not to exceed twenty dollars ($20) to pay for processing the documents and issuing the suspension order.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 395, Sec. 4. Effective August 11, 1988.)

16371.
  

The suspension shall remain in effect, and no license shall be issued to the judgment debtor until the judgment debtor gives proof of financial responsibility as provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 16430), and until either the judgment is satisfied in full or to the extent provided in this chapter, subject to the exemption provided in Section 16375.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1157, Sec. 6.)

16373.
  

(a) The clerk of a court shall, subject to subdivision (b), issue upon the request of a judgment creditor a certified copy of any judgment or a certified copy of the register of actions in an action resulting in a judgment for damages, and a certificate of facts relative to the judgment on a form provided by the department.

(b) The judgment creditor may pay the required fees and request the documents specified in subdivision (a) upon the expiration of 30 days after the judgment has become final, if the judgment has not been stayed or satisfied within the amounts specified in this chapter as shown by the records of the court. The court shall determine the required fees, which shall be commensurate with the cost incurred by the court in carrying out this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 44, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2002.)

16374.
  

Whenever after a judgment is satisfied and proof of financial responsibility is given, another judgment is rendered against the same person for any accident occurring prior to the date of the giving of the proof and the person fails to satisfy the latter judgment within the amounts specified in this chapter within 15 days after the latter judgment became final, then the department shall again suspend the driver’s license of the judgment debtor and shall not issue to him or her any driver’s license while the latter judgment remains unsatisfied and subsisting within the amounts specified in this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1157, Sec. 7.)

16375.
  

Any person whose driver’s license has been suspended, or is about to be suspended or shall become subject to suspension under this chapter, may relieve himself from the effect of the judgment by filing with the department an affidavit stating that at the time of the accident upon which the judgment has been rendered he was insured, that the insurer is liable to pay such judgment, and the reason, if known, why the insurance company has not paid the judgment. He shall also file the original policy of insurance or a certified copy thereof, if available, and such other documents as the department may require to show that the loss, injury, or damage for which the judgment was rendered, was covered by the policy of insurance.

If the department is satisfied from such papers that the insurer was authorized to issue the policy of insurance in this state at the time of issuing the policy and that such insurer is liable to pay such judgment, at least to the extent and for the amounts provided in this chapter, the department shall not suspend the license, or if already suspended, shall reinstate it.

(Amended by Stats. 1974, Ch. 714.)

16376.
  

(a) If the person against whom judgment is rendered is a nonresident and the person fails within the prescribed time to satisfy the judgment in full or to the extent specified in this chapter, all privileges of operating a motor vehicle in this state given to the person under this code shall be suspended while the judgment remains in effect and unsatisfied and until the nonresident gives proof of his or her financial responsibility in the manner and to the extent provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 16430) for accidents occurring after the date of the giving of proof.

(b)  The department shall forward a certified copy of the judgment of a court of record to the appropriate officer in charge of the licensing of drivers in the state of which the person is a resident.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 44, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2002.)

16377.
  

(a) For the purposes of this chapter, every judgment shall be deemed satisfied if any of the following apply:

(1) Fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) has been credited, upon any judgment in excess of that amount, or upon all judgments, collectively, which together total in excess of that amount, for personal injury to or death of one person as a result of any one accident.

(2) Subject to the limit of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) as to one person, the sum of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) has been credited, upon any judgment in excess of that amount, or upon all judgments, collectively, which together total in excess of that amount, for personal injury to or death of more than one person as a result of any one accident.

(3) Five thousand dollars ($5,000) has been credited, upon any judgment in excess of that amount, or upon all judgments, collectively, each of which is in excess of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750), and which together total in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000), for damage to property of others as a result of any one accident.

(4) The judgment debtor or a person designated by him or her has deposited with the department a sum equal to the amount of the unsatisfied judgment for which the suspension action was taken and presents proof, satisfactory to the department, of inability to locate the judgment creditor.

(b) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2017, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2017, deletes or extends that date.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 451, Sec. 38. Effective January 1, 2016. Repealed as of January 1, 2017, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 451.)

16377.
  

(a) For the purposes of this chapter, every judgment shall be deemed satisfied if any of the following apply:

(1) Fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) has been credited, upon any judgment in excess of that amount, or upon all judgments, collectively, which together total in excess of that amount, for personal injury to or death of one person as a result of any one accident.

(2) Subject to the limit of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) as to one person, the sum of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) has been credited, upon any judgment in excess of that amount, or upon all judgments, collectively, which together total in excess of that amount, for personal injury to or death of more than one person as a result of any one accident.

(3) Five thousand dollars ($5,000) has been credited, upon any judgment in excess of that amount, or upon all judgments, collectively, each of which is in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000), and which together total in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000), for damage to property of others as a result of any one accident.

(4) The judgment debtor or a person designated by him or her has deposited with the department a sum equal to the amount of the unsatisfied judgment for which the suspension action was taken and presents proof, satisfactory to the department, of inability to locate the judgment creditor.

(b) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2017.

(Repealed (in Sec. 38) and added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 451, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 2016. Section operative January 1, 2017, by its own provisions.)

16378.
  

(a) Money deposited pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 16377 shall be:

(1) Deposited by the department in the special deposit fund with the Treasurer.

(2) Payable to the judgment creditor upon presentation of a valid claim establishing that he or she is the judgment creditor for which the deposit was made and that the judgment remains unsatisfied.

(3) Refunded to the person making the deposit or to a person designated by himself or herself if the deposit remains unclaimed by the judgment creditor for a period of two years following the date of the deposit.

(4) The Controller shall draw his or her warrant on the Treasurer for any payment ordered pursuant to this section as ordered by the department.

(b) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2017, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2017, deletes or extends that date.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 451, Sec. 40. Effective January 1, 2016. Repealed as of January 1, 2017, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 451.)

16378.
  

(a) Money deposited pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 16377 shall be:

(1) Deposited by the department in the special deposit fund with the Treasurer.

(2) Payable to the judgment creditor upon presentation of a valid claim establishing that he or she is the judgment creditor for which the deposit was made and that the judgment remains unsatisfied.

(3) Refunded to the person making the deposit or to a person designated by himself or herself if the deposit remains unclaimed by the judgment creditor for a period of two years following the date of the deposit.

(4) The Controller shall draw his or her warrant on the Treasurer for any payment ordered pursuant to this section as ordered by the department.

(b) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2017.

(Repealed (in Sec. 40) and added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 451, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 2016. Section operative January 1, 2017, by its own provisions.)

16379.
  

(a) The department shall not suspend a license and shall restore any suspended license following nonpayment of a final judgment when the judgment debtor gives proof of financial responsibility for future damages and when the trial court in which the judgment was rendered orders the payment of the judgment in installments and while the payment of any installment payment is not in default.

(b) Whenever the trial court orders the payment of a judgment in installments as provided in this section, upon payment of the required fees by the judgment creditor, it shall forward a certified copy of the order to the department, together with a certified copy of the judgment or a certified copy of the register of actions in an action resulting in a judgment for damages and a certificate of facts relative to the judgment on a form provided by the department.

(c) The court shall determine the required fees, which shall be commensurate with the cost incurred by the court in carrying out the provisions of this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 44, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 2002.)

16380.
  

The trial court may order the payment of a judgment in installments only when the defendant is not insured or the insurance policy covering the automobile involved in the accident, for the ownership or operation of which the defendant is held liable, is not sufficient to pay the amount of the judgment, and then only as to such portion of the judgment not covered by the insurance policy. The order shall fix the amounts and times of payment of the installments and shall be without prejudice to any other legal remedies available to the judgment creditor.

(Added by renumbering Section 16486 by Stats. 1967, Ch. 211.)

16381.
  

In the event that it is made to appear to the court that the judgment debtor has failed to pay any installment as permitted by the order of the court, upon the payment of required fees by the judgment creditor, the court shall give notice of the default to the department and the department shall forthwith suspend the driving privilege of the judgment debtor until the judgment is satisfied as provided in this chapter. The court shall determine the required fees, which shall be commensurate with the cost incurred by the court in carrying out the provisions of this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1981, Ch. 362, Sec. 3.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH2