(1)(a) Every owner or registrant of a motor vehicle, other than a motor vehicle used as a school bus as defined in s. 1006.25 or limousine, required to be registered and licensed in this state shall maintain security as required by subsection (3) in effect continuously throughout the registration or licensing period.
(b) Every owner or registrant of a motor vehicle used as a taxicab shall not be governed by paragraph (1)(a) but shall maintain security as required under s. 324.032(1), and s. 627.737 shall not apply to any motor vehicle used as a taxicab.
(2) Every nonresident owner or registrant of a motor vehicle which, whether operated or not, has been physically present within this state for more than 90 days during the preceding 365 days shall thereafter maintain security as defined by subsection (3) in effect continuously throughout the period such motor vehicle remains within this state.
(3) Such security shall be provided:
(a) By an insurance policy delivered or issued for delivery in this state by an authorized or eligible motor vehicle liability insurer which provides the benefits and exemptions contained in ss. 627.730-627.7405. Any policy of insurance represented or sold as providing the security required hereunder shall be deemed to provide insurance for the payment of the required benefits; or
(b) By any other method authorized by s. 324.031(2), (3), or (4) and approved by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles as affording security equivalent to that afforded by a policy of insurance or by self-insuring as authorized by s. 768.28(16). The person filing such security shall have all of the obligations and rights of an insurer under ss. 627.730-627.7405.
(4) An owner of a motor vehicle with respect to which security is required by this section who fails to have such security in effect at the time of an accident shall have no immunity from tort liability, but shall be personally liable for the payment of benefits under s. 627.736. With respect to such benefits, such an owner shall have all of the rights and obligations of an insurer under ss. 627.730-627.7405.
(5) In addition to other persons who are not required to provide required security as required under this section and s. 324.022, the owner or registrant of a motor vehicle is exempt from such requirements if she or he is a member of the United States Armed Forces and is called to or on active duty outside the United States in an emergency situation. The exemption provided by this subsection applies only as long as the member of the armed forces is on such active duty outside the United States and applies only while the vehicle covered by the security required by this section and s. 324.022 is not operated by any person. Upon receipt of a written request by the insured to whom the exemption provided in this subsection applies, the insurer shall cancel the coverages and return any unearned premium or suspend the security required by this section and s. 324.022. Notwithstanding s. 324.0221(2), the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may not suspend the registration or operator’s license of any owner or registrant of a motor vehicle during the time she or he qualifies for an exemption under this subsection. Any owner or registrant of a motor vehicle who qualifies for an exemption under this subsection shall immediately notify the department prior to and at the end of the expiration of the exemption.
History.—ss. 4, 6, ch. 71-252; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 8, ch. 77-118; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 31, 32, ch. 77-468; s. 11, ch. 78-374; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 552, 563, ch. 82-243; s. 69, ch. 82-386; ss. 4, 6, ch. 86-182; s. 18, ch. 88-370; s. 57, ch. 89-282; s. 5, ch. 91-106; s. 4, ch. 91-110; s. 1, ch. 91-128; s. 77, ch. 93-120; s. 7, ch. 95-202; s. 30, ch. 95-211; s. 2, ch. 97-84; s. 362, ch. 97-102; s. 14, ch. 98-223; s. 34, ch. 99-3; ss. 63, 317, ch. 99-248; s. 1031, ch. 2002-387; s. 19, ch. 2003-2; s. 19, ch. 2003-411; s. 123, ch. 2004-5; s. 47, ch. 2006-290; s. 4, ch. 2007-150; s. 11, ch. 2007-324.
Note.—Consolidation of s. 627.733 and former s. 627.735.