(1) As used in this section, the terms “dispute” or “pending claim” refer to a dispute or pending claim between the prime contractor and the department.
(2) Each contract for construction or maintenance entered into pursuant to this chapter shall provide for final payment within 75 days of final field acceptance, provided all documents which are required by the contract from the contractor, with the exception of the acceptance letter and a consent by the contractor’s surety for release of payment of the retained percentage and final estimate to the contractor, are received within 30 days of final field acceptance. If the contractor fails to provide the documents within 30 days after final field acceptance, payment shall be made within 45 days of receipt by the department of such documents. The department shall notify the contractor within 20 days of receipt of the documents which are required for payment if such documents are incomplete and shall specifically list for the contractor which documents have not been submitted. Should the department fail to notify the contractor within 20 days, regardless of completeness of the documents, the time required for payment shall begin. The period of time from the offer of final payment to the receipt by the department of the acceptance letter and surety’s consent shall not count as part of the 75-day or 45-day time periods. Final payment shall not be so made as to any amount which is in dispute or the subject of a pending claim, but shall be so made as to that portion of a contract or those amounts which are not in dispute or the subject of a pending claim. However, such partial payment shall not constitute any bar, admission, or estoppel or have any other effect as to those payments that are in dispute or the subject of a pending claim. No payment may be made to a construction or maintenance contractor until the department has on file proof, in the form of a notarized affidavit from the contractor, that all motor vehicles that he or she operates in this state are registered in compliance with chapter 320.
(3) For each day after 75 days, or 30 days after settlement of a claim, the department shall pay to the contractor interest at the rate set forth in s. 55.03.
(4) If a contractor fails to submit all documents required for final payment within 2 years after final acceptance of the work or within 1 year after the offer by the department of final payment, whichever occurs later, any amount owed as final payment shall be considered to be forfeited. The forfeiture will not apply to documents that are the subject of existing claims or pending legal proceedings. Written notice shall be given by the department at least 60 days prior to forfeiture.