Section A. The Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act
Revised November 29, 2017
The Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act (MFRA) (§§ 66-5-201 through 66-5-239)
1. Vehicle Owners Required to be Financially Responsible (§66-5-201.1)
The purpose of the Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act (MFRA) is to require residents of New Mexico who own and operate motor vehicles upon the highways of the state either to have the ability to respond in damages to accidents arising out of the use and operation of a motor vehicle or to obtain a motor vehicle insurance policy.
2. Vehicle must be insured or owner must have evidence of financial responsibility (§66-5-205(A))
No owner shall permit the operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, or a motor vehicle for which evidence of financial responsibility as was affirmed to the department is not currently valid, upon the streets or highways of New Mexico unless the vehicle is specifically exempted from the provisions of the Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act.
3. Evidence of Financial Responsibility; Amounts and Conditions (§66-5-208)
“Evidence of Financial Responsibility,” as used in the MFRA means evidence of the ability to respond in damages for liability, on account of accidents occurring subsequent to the effective date of evidences, arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of a vehicle of a type subject to registration under the laws of New Mexico, in the following amounts:
- $25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident;
- subject to this limit for one person, $50,000 because of bodily injury or death of two or more persons in any one accident;
- $10,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident; and
- if evidence is in the form of a surety bond or a cash deposit, the total amount shall be $60,000.
4. Exempt Motor Vehicles (§66-5-207)
The following motor vehicles are exempt from the MFRA:
- a motor vehicle owned by the United States government, any state or any political subdivision of a state;
- an implement of husbandry or special mobile equipment that is only incidentally operated on a highway;
- a motor vehicle operated upon a highway only for the purpose of crossing such highway from one property to another;
- a commercial motor vehicle registered or proportionally registered in this and any other jurisdiction, provided such motor vehicle is covered by a motor vehicle insurance policy or equivalent coverage or other form of financial responsibility in compliance with the laws of any other jurisdiction in which it is registered;
- A motor vehicle approved as self-insured by the superintendent of insurance pursuant to §66-5-207.1; and
- Any motor vehicle when the owner has submitted to the department a signed statement, in the form prescribed by the department, declaring that the vehicle will not be operated on the highways of New Mexico and explaining the reasons therefore.
5. Self Insurers (§66-5-207.1)
- The Superintendent of Insurance shall issue a Certificate of Self-Insurance to an applicant with motor vehicles registered in his name in this state, provided that the applicant has met the same criteria for self-insurance as set by the Superintendent of Insurance for workmen’s compensation liability.
- Upon not less than five days’ notice and a hearing pursuant to such notice, the superintendent upon reasonable grounds may cancel a Certificate of Self-Insurance. Failure to pay any judgment within 30 days after the judgment is final constitutes a reasonable ground for the cancellation of a Certificate of Self-Insurance.
Section B. MFRA – First Time Registration
Revised November 29, 2017
The Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act (MFRA) applies to all of the vehicle classes listed below, regardless of DGVW (Declared Gross Vehicle Weight):
- Vehicle Class #10 – Passenger Car;
- Vehicle Class #11 – Light Truck;
- Vehicle Class #12 – Farm Truck;
- Vehicle Class #13 – Heavy Vehicle;
- Vehicle Class #14 – School Bus;
- Vehicle Class #15 – Agriculture Bus;
- Vehicle Class #16 – Commercial Bus;
- Vehicle Class #21 – Motorcycle;
- Vehicle Class #23 – Horseless Carriage;
- Vehicle Class #27 – Non–Profit/Religious Bus;
- Vehicle Class #29 – Motor home/RV
Vehicles exempt from the Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act are trailers, off-highway vehicles, manufactured homes and vehicles exempt under §66-5-207 (see Chapter 11 Section A).
For first-time registration, customers must:
- sign the affirmation statement on the Application for Vehicle Title and Registration affirming compliance with the requirements of the MFRA; and
- provide proof of insurance, specifically indicating the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for the vehicle being registered. If the insurance card does not include the VIN identifier, customers may also provide a current Policy Declaration document to evidence current coverage and VIN.
The MVD, Financial Responsibility Bureau will track all registered vehicles to ensure compliance with the MFRA.
Upon a registration insurance status becoming “Unknown” a letter will be generated to the customer(s) notifying them that they have 30 days to provide proof of current automobile insurance for the vehicle.
Customers who do not comply within the 30 days will have their vehicle registration suspended and will incur a $30.00 reinstatement fee.
*Financial Responsibility statuses will not change in Tapestry: Insured, Unknown, and Suspended.
Section C. Reinstating Registration After Non-Compliance with MFRA
Revised November 29, 2017
A vehicle owner whose registration is under Administrative Suspension for failure to comply with the Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act, must provide evidence of current (unexpired) insurance, specifically indicating the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for the vehicle registration being reinstated. If the insurance card does not include the VIN identifier, customers may also provide a current Policy Declaration document to evidence current coverage and VIN.
If the customer has not indicated that the registration needs to be reinstated, Tapestry will notify CSRs that the registration is under Administrative Suspension and that the registration reinstatement needs to be processed.
The customer will have to pay a $30.00 registration reinstatement fee.
If the customer has returned their license plate to MVD (per §66-5-230), a license plate replacement fee will also have to be assessed.
The MVD, Financial Responsibility Bureau will verify all insurance documents provided for registration reinstatements. Should a customer(s) provide invalid evidence of insurance the registration will be re-suspended.
A $30.00 reinstatement fee will be incurred each time the registration is suspended.