O.C.G.A § 46-7-12

O.C.G.A § 46-7-12. Requirement as to obtaining of security bond, indemnity insurance, or self_insurance before issuance of certificate or permit. [Amended effective 7/1/01]

 (a) No certificate or permit shall be issued or continued in operation unless the applicant or holder shall give and maintain bond, with adequate security, for the protection, in case of passenger vehicles, of the passengers and baggage carried and of the public against injury proximately caused by the negligence of such motor common or contract carrier, its servants, or its agents. In cases of vehicles transporting freight, the applicant or holder shall give bond, with adequate security, to secure the owner or person entitled to recover therefor against loss or damage to such freight for which the motor common or contract carrier may be legally liable and for the protection of the public against injuries proximately caused by the negligence of such motor carrier, its servants, or its agents.

 (b) The commissioner shall approve, determine, and fix the amount of such bonds and shall prescribe the provisions and limitations thereof; and such bonds shall be for the benefit of and subject to action thereon by any person who shall sustain actionable injury or loss protected thereby.

 (c) The commissioner may, in his or her discretion, allow the filing of a certificate of insurance on forms prescribed by the commissioner, in lieu of such bond, evidencing a policy of indemnity insurance in some indemnity insurance company authorized to do business in this state, which policy must substantially conform to all of the provisions of this article relating to bonds. Such certificate shall be filed by the insurer. The failure to file any form required by the commissioner shall not diminish the rights of any person to pursue an action directly against a motor carrier's insurer.

 (d) The commissioner shall have power to permit self_insurance, in lieu of a bond or policy of indemnity insurance, whenever in his or her opinion the financial ability of the motor carrier so warrants.

 (e) It shall be permissible under this article for any person having a cause of action arising under this article in tort or contract to join in the same action the motor carrier and its surety, in the event a bond is given. If a policy of indemnity insurance is given in lieu of bond, it shall be permissible to join the motor carrier and the insurance carrier in the same action, whether arising in tort or contract.

(Ga.L. 1931, p. 199, § 7; Code 1933, § 68_612; Ga. L.1937, p. 730, § 2; Ga. L. 1996, p. 950, § 3; Ga. L. 2000, p. 951, § 9_4; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1583, § 1)