Bulletin, May 27, 2016, Wisconsin Act 135 and "For-hire" Carriers

Last Updated: May 27, 2016

Date: May 27, 2016
To: All Agents Authorized to Write Auto Insurance Coverage in Wisconsin
From: Theodore K. Nickel, Commissioner of Insurance
Subject: Wisconsin Act 135 and "For-hire" Carriers

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) has become aware of confusion in the agent community surrounding 2015 Act 135 and the minimum policy limits set for so-called "for-hire" motor carriers. Act 135 clarified that both for-hire property and passenger truck and bus companies (motor carriers) operating totally (or in part) within Wisconsin (intrastate) are subject to the same motor carrier safety requirements as motor carriers that are engaged in interstate commerce. The Act authorizes the State Patrol to proactively ensure compliance through educational outreach and inspection, in addition to ordering corrective action when warranted. However, Act 135 did not make changes to the minimum insurance policy limits required for "for-hire" motor carriers. The required limits are posted on the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Web site listed below:


While there have been no changes in the required limits, there has been confusion regarding the application of DOT rules—both state and federal—that outline the limits for intrastate carriers. While limits outlined above are in effect now, the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will work with intrastate passenger carriers to obtain compliance. Intrastate passenger carriers will be provided a few weeks, but not months, to file the required insurance amount. Insurance providers tell us that obtaining higher levels can take some time, so motor carriers needing higher levels of insurance should contact their agent or insurance provider promptly. Within the next several weeks, the DMV will begin reviewing its records for compliance with limits outlined on the DOT Web site.

Any insurance questions concerning this bulletin should be directed to J.P. Wieske at jp.wieske@wisconsin.gov.

Any questions regarding insurance limits or compliance with required insurance limits should be directed to Paul Bernander at paul.bernander@dot.wi.gov.