Industry Frequently Asked Questions
Motor Vehicle Law Enforcement Fee Frequently Asked Questions
Law Section 9110)
The Department has received a number of inquiries concerning the Motor Vehicle Law Enforcement fee. In an effort to assist companies, the Department has prepared the following examples in a "question and answer" format which should be useful.
Question: Is the fee $5 or $10 per vehicle?
Answer: Effective June 1, 2009 -
- For policies with a term longer than six months: An insurer must collect a $10 fee per insured vehicle when the policy is first issued and upon the policy’s anniversary date. For example, on a policy written on January 1, 2009 with a one-year policy term, an insurer must collect $10 on January 1, 2010. For any possible multi-year policy, an insurer must collect a $10 fee upon each anniversary date.
- For a vehicle added or replaced on or after June 1, 2009, an insurer must collect a $10 fee at the time of the addition or replacement and thereafter upon the policy’s anniversary date.
- For policies with a term of six months or less: An insurer must collect a $5 fee per insured vehicle when the policy is first issued and upon renewal of the policy, but the total fees collected should not exceed $10 per insured vehicle annually. For example, on a policy written on January 1, 2010 with a six-month term, an insurer must collect $5 on both January 1, 2010 and July 1, 2010.
- For a policy issued prior to June 1, 2009, an insurer should not collect any additional fee until the policy’s next anniversary date. For example, if on May 1, 2009 an insurer collected $5, then it should not collect a fee on the same vehicle on November 1, 2009, but rather, must collect the fee on May 1, 2010.
- For a vehicle added or replaced on or after June 1, 2009, an insurer must collect a $5 fee at the time of the addition or replacement and thereafter upon the renewal of the policy.
Question: Can a company split the $10 fee if the insured pays the premium in installments?
Answer: The Department does not support the splitting of the Motor Vehicle Law Enforcement fee and such collection is not permitted. The entire fee must be paid at the start of the policy period or when a vehicle is added to or replaced on a policy.
Question: Can a policy be cancelled for nonpayment of the fee?
Answer: A policy may be cancelled for nonpayment of the Motor Vehicle Law Enforcement Fee.
Question: For what vehicles must this fee be collected?
Answer: The fee must be collected for each insured vehicle registered pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (b) of subdivision one of Section four hundred one of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. Excluded from the fee are motorcycles, electrically-driven mobility assistance devices operated or driven by a person with a disability, trailers, semitrailers, coach or house trailers, vehicles which run only upon rails or tracks, snowmobiles and all terrain vehicles as described in Articles forty-seven and forty-eight B of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, fire and police vehicles (other than ambulances), farm-type tractors and all terrain type vehicles used exclusively for agricultural or for snow plowing (other than for hire), farm equipment including self-propelled machines used exclusively in growing, harvesting or handling produce, and self-propelled caterpillar or crawler-type equipment while being operated on the contract site.
Question: Are companies required to file the Motor Vehicle Law Enforcement Fee form every month?
Answer: All companies licensed to write motor vehicle insurance in New York State are required to file, even if they have no premiums for the month. On-line filing, with payment via ACH debit, is available via the Department website. See "Information about filing MVLEF electronically" on the Department website.
Question: Previously insurers reported vehicles in 2 categories, vehicles subject to Vehicle and Traffic Law section 401(6)(a), and those subject to the provisions of Vehicle and Traffic Law section 401, other than section 401(6)(a). Has this changed?
Answer: An insurer no longer needs to report vehicles by type of registration on the Department's remittance form.
Question: What are the filing deadlines and penalties?
Answer: Motor Vehicle Law Enforcement Fee filings are due on the 15th day following the end of the month. Payments along with completed, signed and notarized filing forms must be postmarked by the 15th day of the following month, or the following business day, if the 15th is on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday.
Under Section 9109 of the New York State Insurance Law, the Department assesses late fees for filings filed late. Late fees are $250 for filings received with postmarks 1 to 30 days after the deadline and $500 for filings with postmarks more than 30 days after the deadline. In addition, there is a penalty of 5% of the amount to be paid for filings with postmarks 1 to 30 days after the deadline plus 1% for every month late thereafter.
Question: May insurers refund MVLEF fees collected to a policy holder?
Answer: An insurer may refund a fee only if the policy is rescinded without having become effective, and may not refund the fee simply because a vehicle is removed from the policy.
Question: May insurers include this fee in their rates?
Answer: An insurer may not calculate or include the fee in its rate filings. An insurer should show the fee as a separately identified amount on a premium bill, the declarations page of the policy, or in a separate written communication to the policyholder.
Question: What are the record requirements for insurers?
Answer: An insurer should maintain its records in such a manner that amounts billed and collected from each policyholder can be identified.
Question: May an insurance producer earn a commission on the fees?
Question: Should insurers include this fee in their premiums when paying premium taxes?
Answer: No. The fee is not subject to premium tax.