Code of the District of Columbia

§ 31–2403. Required insurance.

(a) Residents of District. — Each owner of a motor vehicle which is required to be registered or for which a reciprocity sticker is required in the District shall maintain insurance required by § 31-2406. This insurance shall be in effect continuously during the motor vehicle’s period of registration or reciprocity.

(b) Nonresidents of District owning or operating motor vehicles in District. —

(1) A person who is not a resident of the District who owns a motor vehicle shall not operate the motor vehicle, or permit the motor vehicle to be operated in the District, unless insurance required by § 31-2406 is provided and maintained during the time that the motor vehicle is present in the District.

(2) The Director shall require adequate proof of insurance as required by this section for nonresident owners or operators prior to the return of motor vehicles immobilized by the Department to the nonresident owners or operators.

(c) Form. —

(1) Any policy of motor vehicle insurance which is represented or sold as providing, pursuant to this chapter or pursuant to the coverage required by Chapter 13 of Title 50, security covering a motor vehicle or required insurance shall be deemed to provide insurance for payment of the benefits required by this chapter.

(2) The insurance required by this section may be provided under a valid policy of insurance issued by an insurer authorized to transact business in the District or by any other method approved by the Commissioner.

(d) Administration of requirement. —

(1)(A) Every person applying to register a motor vehicle in the District or applying for a reciprocity sticker for a motor vehicle in the District shall certify to the Director, on a form supplied by the Director, that the insurance required by this chapter is in effect with respect to that motor vehicle.

(B) The Director may request an insurer to verify any information provided pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. The insurer shall accurately respond to the Director’s request within 10 business days.

(C) The Director may request that the person who has certified to the Director pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph submit proof, within 15 business days, that the required insurance is in effect.

(2)(A) The Director shall suspend the reciprocity sticker or vehicle registration certificate issued to the owner of a motor vehicle if the required insurance is not in effect with respect to the motor vehicle. The suspension shall take effect 30 days after service by regular mail of a notice of proposed suspension, unless the person provides proof that he or she has an effective motor vehicle insurance policy and has paid all applicable fines. The person shall also be advised that the fine established pursuant to § 31-2413(b)(2) shall be imposed unless, within the 30 day period, the person proves that the required insurance was maintained during the registration or reciprocity period. The suspension shall remain in effect until the person appears at the Department with proof of an effective motor vehicle insurance policy and pays a reinstatement fee and the applicable fine.

(i)-(iii)Repealed.

(iv) If a person’s registration certificate has been suspended as provided for in this subsection, the registration certificate shall not be transferred and the motor vehicle with respect to which the registration certificate was issued shall not be registered in any other name until the Director is satisfied that the transfer of the registration certificate is in good faith and not for the purpose or with the effect of defeating the purposes of this chapter.

(v) Nothing in this section shall affect the rights of any conditional vendor, chattel mortgagee or lessor of the motor vehicle.

(vi) The Director shall suspend or revoke the registration certificate of any motor vehicle transferred in violation of the provisions of this section.

(vii) Decisions of the Director shall be subject to review by the Mayor. Orders and decisions of the board of review shall be appealable pursuant to § 2-510. For the purposes of this sub-subparagraph, the phrase “review by the Mayor” shall mean a review by any board of review established by the Mayor pursuant to this chapter to review the order or act of any agent of the Mayor.

(B) A motor vehicle with respect to which the registration certificate or reciprocity sticker is suspended under this paragraph may be immobilized by the Department or the Metropolitan Police Department until the insurance required by this section is in effect.

(C) The registration certificate or reciprocity sticker and the tags of any motor vehicle, the registration or reciprocity of which is suspended under this paragraph, shall be recovered whenever possible.

(3)(A) The Director shall require all insurers authorized to sell motor vehicle insurance in the District to furnish to the Department notice of motor vehicle insurance cancellations within 30 days after the effective date of cancellation. Upon receipt of a notice of cancellation concerning a motor vehicle insurance policy on a vehicle registered in the District, the Director shall notify the person in whose name the vehicle is registered that the Director will revoke or cancel the registration of the vehicle pursuant to law.

(B) The insurers shall provide information and cooperate in prosecutions under § 31-2413.

(C) The insurers shall cooperate with, assist, and advise the Director with respect to the detection of persons who have applied for or obtained registration certificate or reciprocity stickers for motor vehicles in the District without first obtaining the insurance, or who cancel or otherwise terminate insurance subsequent to the issuance of a registration certificate or reciprocity stickers.

(4)(A) Repealed.

(B) Payments from the Administration Fund shall be made for the benefit of the Commissioner and for the benefit of the Department but no payments shall be made for costs incurred by either the Department or the Commissioner prior to September 18, 1982, or which would probably have been incurred if this chapter had not been enacted.

(5)(A) On the first day of each month, an insurer authorized to sell motor vehicle insurance in the District shall furnish to the Director the following records pertaining to each vehicle insured by it in the District:

(i) The owner’s full name and address;

(ii) The insurance policy number or binder number;

(iii) The commencement date of the motor vehicle insurance policy;

(iv) The expiration or termination date of the motor vehicle insurance policy;

(v) The operator’s license number, if known;

(vi) The corresponding vehicle identification number, if known; and

(vii) Other relevant information the Director may require.

(B) The records required by this paragraph shall be submitted or transmitted in electronic files and in compliance with procedures established by the Department.

(C) In lieu of requiring insurers to satisfy the requirements of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the Director may allow insurers to verify insurance through an online insurance verification system.


(Sept. 18, 1982, D.C. Law 4-155, § 4, 29 DCR 3491; Mar. 14, 1985, D.C. Law 5-159, § 13(a), 32 DCR 30; Mar. 4, 1986, D.C. Law 6-96, § 2(b), 32 DCR 7245; May 21, 1997, D.C. Law 11-268, § 10(v), 44 DCR 1730; Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-289, § 101(b), 48 DCR 2057; Oct. 23, 2012, D.C. Law 19-186, § 2, 59 DCR 10147.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 35-2103.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 31-2413.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-289, in subsec. (d), par. (2)(A), rewrote the introductory paragraph, repealed sub-subpars. (i) through (iii), and deleted “or revoked” following “has been suspended” in sub-subpar. (iv); and repealed subsec. (d), par. (4)(A). Subsec. (d), par. (2)(A), introductory paragraph and sub-subpars (i) through (iii), and subsec. (d), par. (4)(A) had read:

“(2)(A) The Director shall suspend or revoke the license, reciprocity sticker, or registration certificate issued to the owner or operator of a motor vehicle who has been convicted of a violation of this chapter, or who knowingly operates or knowingly permits the operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, or who falsely certifies to the Director that a motor vehicle is an insured motor vehicle, or who knowingly provides the Director with false or inaccurate information as requested by the Director pursuant to this chapter.

“(i) Whenever a license, reciprocity sticker, or registration certificate has been revoked or suspended under the provisions of this subsection the reasons therefor shall be set forth in the order of revocation or suspension. The order shall take effect 5 days after service or notice on the person whose license, reciprocity sticker, or registration certificate is revoked or suspended unless the person shall have filed with the Director, within the 5-day period, written application for a hearing; provided, that application to the Director for a hearing shall not operate as a stay of the order of the Director when the order has been issued revoking or suspending a reciprocity sticker or registration certificate. The hearing by the Director shall only cover the issues of whether a policy motor vehicle of insurance has been issued to the person and had been in effect on the day the order of revocation or suspension was issued and whether the person provided the Director with false or inaccurate information.

“(ii) If, following the hearing provided for in this subsection, the Director shall sustain the order of revocation or suspension, the order shall become effective immediately.

“(iii) Where the registration certificate, license, or reciprocity sticker has been revoked, no new registration certificate, license, or reciprocity sticker shall be issued to the person for 6 months after the effective date of the order of revocation; provided, that no new registration certificate or reciprocity sticker shall be issued to the person until the motor vehicle is an insured motor vehicle.”

“(4)(A) The reasonable costs incurred by the District government in administering and enforcing the requirements of this section and § 31-2413 shall be paid from the Administration Fund.”

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-186 added (d)(5).

Cross References

Violations, penalties, and adjudications under this chapter, see § 31-2413.

Transfer of Functions

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 35-2102.

Editor's Notes

Subsection (d)(2)(A)(i) is set forth exactly as enacted by D.C. Law 4-155. The reference in the last sentence of that subsection to “policy motor vehicle of insurance” should probably be “motor vehicle policy of insurance”, given the context.