Senate Bill No. 147
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act revising the penalties for noncompliance with motor vehicle insurance requirements; and amending section
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 61-6-304, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-6-304. Penalties. (1) Conviction of
a first an offense under 61-6-301 or 61-6-302 is punishable by:
(a) a fine of not less than $250 or more than $500;
by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 10 days ,; or
(c) both a fine and imprisonment.
A second conviction is punishable by a fine of $350 or by imprisonment in the county
jail for not more than 10 days, or both. A third or subsequent conviction is punishable by a fine of $500 or by imprisonment
in the county jail for not more than 6 months, or both.
(2) (a) Upon
a second or subsequent conviction under 61-6-301 or 61-6-302, the sentencing court shall order the surrender
of the vehicle registration receipt and license plates for the vehicle operated at the time of the offense if that vehicle was
operated by the registered owner or a member of the registered owner's immediate family or by a person whose operation of
that vehicle was authorized by the registered owner. The court shall send the receipt and plates, along with a copy of the
complaint and dispositional order, to the department, which shall immediately suspend the receipt and plates for a period of
90 days from the date of a second conviction or 180 days from the date of a third or subsequent conviction. The Except as
provided in subsection (2)(b), the receipt and plates may not be reinstated until the expiration of that period, but if the
vehicle is transferred to a new owner, the new owner is entitled to register the vehicle.
(b) The receipt and plates may be reinstated during the 90-day period only if the owner of the vehicle furnishes proof:
(i) that the vehicle is in compliance with 61-6-301;
(ii) that the insurance policy is prepaid for at least 6 months; and
(iii) through a certified statement, that the insurer will not cancel the policy.
(3) Upon conviction under 61-6-301 or 61-6-302, the sentencing court shall order impoundment of the vehicle for 90 days at the owner's expense. The owner may retrieve the vehicle during the 90-day period only if the owner furnishes proof:
(a) that the vehicle is in compliance with 61-6-301;
(b) that the insurance policy is prepaid for at least 6 months; and
(c) through a certified statement, that the insurer will not cancel the policy.
(3)(4) The court may suspend a required fine only upon a determination that the offender is or will be unable to pay the
fine. (4)(5) A court may not defer imposition of penalties provided by this section."