Safety responsibility law: Uninsured motorists

(en español)

Wisconsin's Safety Responsibility (SR) Law protects those who suffer damages in crashes caused by uninsured motorists. It provides:

  • an incentive for motorists to carry liability insurance (see SR22 Certificate) or otherwise satisfy crash damages. 
  • imposes driver licensing and vehicle registration sanctions against uninsured motorists who do not pay for the damages that may be their responsibility. 
  • applies to all operators and owners of motor vehicles involved in reportable crashes​ in the State of Wisconsin.​​

If you are involved in a crash with an uninsured motorist in Wisconsin, you may submit the appropriate form(s) to the Wisconsin DMV (multiple forms must be submitted together):

  • ​Evaluation of motor vehicle damage ​MV3658
  • Evaluation of property damage MV3657
  • Evaluation of personal injury​ MV3656

After DMV receives the form(s), it will be reviewed and processed by the Uninsured Motorists team within 180 days (6 months).​

If the uninsured motorist is determined to be responsible for the crash damages, they will receive a Notice of Suspension with information on the case and what is required in order to prevent ​.

If the uninsured motorist does not comply within the given timeline (typically up to 41 days), their driver license and/or vehicle registrations will be suspended for one year.​

You will not be contacted regarding the case, unless:

  • We need additional information due to an issue with the form,
    and/or
  • The uninsured motorist requests a hearing to review their responsibility for the crash damages

If you receive a Notice of Suspension, your driver license and/or vehicle registration will be suspended unless you do one of the following SR requirements:

  • Provide proof that liability insurance was in effect at the time of the crash
  • Post a with WisDOT to cover the cost of the claim(s)
  • Enter into an to pay for the claim(s)
  • Submit a proving you have settled the claim(s) with the other party
  • ​ if you believe you were not at fault or are not responsible for the crash damages

SR suspension and reinstatement

If you do not comply with one of the above SR requirements before the suspension date on the Notice of Suspension:

  • The driver license of the driver involved in the crash will be suspended​
  • ALL vehicle registrations of the registered owner of the vehicle involved in the crash will be suspended

You will be eligible to reinstate your driver license and/or vehicle registration(s) after doing one of the following:

  • Complying with one of the SR requirements above
  • Serving a one-year suspension

Once you have complied and want to reinstate the driver license and/or vehicle registration(s), you must: 

  • Provide an SR22 insurance certificate and maintain it for three years; this starts on the date of reinstatement eligibility
  • Pay reinstatement fees​ for the driver license may be done online​ (if all conditions are met)
  • Pay reinstatement fees for the vehicle registrations (payable by mail or at a DMV service center only)​

If you receive a Notice of Suspension, you may request a hearing. You must have evidence that you are not responsible for the crash damages to be eligible for a hearing. The review is limited to whether there is a reasonable possibility of a judgment for damages against you based upon your:

  • Involvement in the crash
  • Liability for the crash
  • Amount of bond claimed because of the crash

Drivers, vehicle owners, and witnesses are placed under oath and testify on the record. You may be represented by an attorney. You may provide evidence, including:

  • Witnesses
  • Sworn affidavits
  • Photographs
  • Other evidence (e.g. proof of sale, etc.)

You must submit a written request prior to your suspension date by emailing: Wisconsin DMV email service

Once you enter the DMV email service:

  1. Select “Driver”
  2. Select “Uninsured Motorist”
  3. Check the box after “Request Hearing”
  4. Complete ALL required fields

Or mail your request to:
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Uninsured Motorists Unit
PO Box 7919
Madison, WI 53707-7919

Safety Responsibility Administrative hearing procedures are governed by the Administrative Procedure and Review​.

Release of liability

If you settle the damages with the other party, you must:

  • ​Submit a Release of Liability MV3041
    • The releasing party (the party sustaining the damages, not the uninsured motorist) must sign the form​
    • The signature must be witnessed or notarized
Installment agreement

You may enter into a payment plan for damages or injuries by completing the form Installment Agreement to Pay Accident Damages MV3128 and submitting it to the Uninsured Motorists Unit.

  • Your signature must be notarized
  • The signature of the party that sustained damages or injuries must be witnessed or notarized (unless payments are being made directly to an insurance or subrogation company)
  • If payments are being made directly to an insurance or subrogation company, their representative’s signature must be witnessed or notarized 

If you fail to make your payments in accordance with the agreement (e.g. late payment, less than agreed upon amount, etc.), your driver license and/or vehicle registration(s) will be suspended.

You may post a security deposit with the DMV as a means of maintaining your driver license and/or vehicle registration(s). The deposit will be held until one of the following occurs:

  • The party who sustained damages or injuries reaches an agreement with you (e.g. )​
  • A court orders DMV to release the funds
  • One year has passed since the receipt of the security deposit and no court action has been initiated
    • If court action has been initiated, the deposit will be held for 20 years or until the claim is settled​

​​​Payment should be made to Registration Fee Trust and mailed to:

Wisconsin Department of Transportation
​Uninsured Motorist Unit
​PO Box 7983
Madison, WI 53707

Accepted payment methods are:

  • Cashier’s check
  • Money order
  • Surety bond
  • An attorney trust account check
  • Certified personal check
  • Loan company drafts
Reaching an agreement

If you post a security deposit with the DMV and later settle the claim, you must file a Security Deposit Assignment and Release of Liability form MV3216 with DMV:

  • The uninsured motorist fills out the Security Deposit Assignment portion of the form
    • Signature must be notarized
  • The claimant(s) completes the Liability Release portion of the form
    • Signature must be witnessed
  • Funds that DMV has been holding are then mailed to the claimant(s)

A damage judgment (DJN) is a court action taken by a plaintiff against an uninsured motorist defendant (you). A DJN results from a motor vehicle crash with unpaid damages of $500 or more.

Once a DJN has been entered and the appeal period has passed, the plaintiff or their attorney may ask the court to certify the DJN to the DMV.

DMV is required to suspend your driver license and vehicle registration(s) after receiving the following from the court:

  • Certificate of Judgment form MV3158
    and
  • Notice of Entry of Judgment

You must contact the plaintiff or your attorney to arrange to settle a DJN. The suspension remains on the driver record for 5 years (WI Statute 344.26 (1) (a)) from the court date or until one of the following documents is filed with the DMV:

  • Private ​
  • ​Court ordered installment agreement - A court ordered payment plan which is signed by a judge and has a court certification stamp; this must be submitted to Wisconsin DMV
  • Satisfaction of Judgment - a form certified through the court that states the DJN has been paind in full (partial satisfaction is not accepted)
  • Bankruptcy - A certified copy of the bankruptcy petition which has the date filed and court case number included
  • Expunge or Vacate Order – A court stamped order that expunges or vacates the DJN (this exempts the defendant from complying with the reinstatement requirements)

If you default on an agreement, the plaintiff can notify DMV and your driver license and vehicle registrations will be suspended.

When DMV receives acceptable documentation of compliance with the DJN requirements, you may reinstate your driver license and vehicle registrations when you:

  • Provide an SR22 insurance certificate and maintain it for three years; this starts on the date of reinstatement eligibility
  • Pay reinstatement fees​ for the driver license (may be done online if all conditions are met)
  • Pay reinstatement fees for the vehicle registrations​ (payable by mail or at a DMV Service Center only)

For more information: Wisconsin Chapter 344

Insurance reporting

Crash reporting​​ ​



​Questions:

Mail:
​​Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Uninsured Motorists Unit 
PO Box 7919
Madison, WI 53707-7919

Phone: (608) 266-1249
Fax: (608) 267-0606