2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
March 20, 2019 - Introduced by Senators Bernier, Olsen,
Jacque and Stroebel,
cosponsored by Representatives
Kulp, Ballweg, Fields, Sortwell, Tittl,
Steffen, Tusler, Murphy, Quinn and Thiesfeldt. Referred to Committee on
Insurance, Financial Services, Government Oversight and Courts.
1An Act to renumber and amend
344.16 (1); to amend
344.14 (2) (d) and 344.16 2
(2); and to create
344.16 (1) (a) and (b), 344.16 (2m) and 344.63 (1) (cm) of the 3
statutes; relating to: self-insurance by religious sects for purposes of motor
4vehicle financial responsibility and liability insurance requirements.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under this bill, the Department of Transportation may issue a certificate of
self-insurance to a religious sect that meets specified requirements.
Under current law, subject to certain exceptions, a person may not operate a
motor vehicle in this state unless the owner or operator of the vehicle has in effect
a motor vehicle liability insurance policy for the vehicle providing coverage in
specified minimum liability limits. However, there is an exception for a motor vehicle
owned by a self-insurer possessing a certificate of self-insurance issued by DOT.
Also under current law, if a motor vehicle accident results in injury, death, or
property damage of $1,000 or more, DOT is required to notify the operator and the
owner of the vehicle that the person must deposit with DOT security for the accident
in an amount sufficient to satisfy any resulting judgment for damages. If DOT
receives a copy of a judgment for damages of $500 or more arising out of a motor
vehicle accident, the person against whom the judgment was rendered is required
to provide proof of financial responsibility. In both situations, proof of financial
responsibility includes coverage under a motor vehicle liability insurance policy with
specified minimum liability limits. In lieu of a motor vehicle liability insurance
policy, a person may show that the person is a self-insurer possessing a certificate
of self-insurance issued by DOT.
Under this bill, upon application, DOT may issue a certificate of self-insurance
to a religious sect the members of which have a history of mutual financial assistance
and have collectively registered with DOT more than 25 vehicles. If DOT issues a
certificate of self-insurance to a religious sect, the certificate of self-insurance may
be used in lieu of motor vehicle liability insurance by members of the religious sect
to satisfy proof of financial responsibility and mandatory motor vehicle liability
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
344.14 (2) (d) of the statutes is amended to read:
(d) To any person qualifying as a self-insurer under s. 344.16 or to
operating a vehicle for such self-insurer or to any member of a religious
4sect issued a certificate of self-insurance under s. 344.16
344.16 (1) of the statutes is renumbered 344.16 (1) (intro.) and 6
amended to read:
(intro.) Any person in whose name more than 25 motor vehicles are
8registered of the following
may qualify as a self-insurer by obtaining a certificate of 9
self-insurance issued by the secretary as provided in sub. (2).:
344.16 (1) (a) and (b) of the statutes are created to read:
(a) A person in whose name more than 25 motor vehicles are 12
(b) Subject to sub. (2m), a religious sect the members of which have collectively 14
registered with the department more than 25 motor vehicles.
344.16 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
344.16 (2) The Subject to sub. (2m), the
secretary may, upon the application of 2
such a person or religious sect
, issue a certificate of self-insurance when satisfied 3
that such person or religious sect
is possessed and will continue to be possessed of 4
ability to pay judgments obtained against such person or religious sect
344.16 (2m) of the statutes is created to read:
The secretary may issue a certificate of self-insurance under sub. 7
(2) to a religious sect if all of the following apply:
(a) The secretary determines that the members of the religious sect have a 9
history of not less than 25 years of mutual financial assistance in time of need to the 10
extent that they share in financial obligations of other members who would 11
otherwise be unable to meet their obligations.
(b) The department receives an application for a certificate of self-insurance 13
from the religious sect within one year after the effective date of this paragraph .... 14
[LRB inserts date].
344.63 (1) (cm) of the statutes is created to read:
(cm) The motor vehicle is owned by a member of a religious sect that 17
is a self-insurer holding a valid certificate of self-insurance under s. 344.16, the 18
self-insurer has made an agreement described in s. 344.30 (4), and the vehicle is 19
being operated with the owner's permission.
(1) This act takes effect on the first day of the 3rd month beginning after 22