(a) The department, not less than 30 days after receipt of an accident report or notice of an accident with respect to which a person claims under oath to have suffered damages and requests determination of security, shall determine the amount of security sufficient in its judgment to satisfy any judgment or judgments for damages resulting from such accident that may be recovered against each operator and owner. Such determination shall be made on the basis of the reports or other information submitted. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the department shall not consider or take any action with respect to an accident report, notice of accident, or any claim filed under this Code section which is received more than six months after the date of the accident.
(b) The department, upon determining the amount of security required, shall give written notice to each operator and owner of the amount of security required to be deposited by him or her. Such notice shall state that each operator's license shall be suspended on the thirtieth day from the date of mailing of notice unless within that time the required security is deposited and such owner or operator shall give proof of financial responsibility for the future. The license of the one depositing the security will not then be suspended.
(c)(1) Any person so notified may, within ten days after receipt of such notification, make a written request to the department for a hearing. Such request shall operate as a stay of any suspension pending the outcome of such hearing. The scope of such hearing, for the purposes of this Code section, shall cover the issues of whether there is a reasonable possibility that a judgment could be rendered against such person in an action arising out of the accident and whether such person is exempt from the requirement of depositing security under Code Section 40-9-34 . The department may also consider at such hearing the amount of security required. The requirements of depositing security under this Code section shall not apply to any person against whom the department has found that there is not a reasonable possibility of a judgment being rendered.
(2) For the purposes of this Code section, a hearing may consist of a department determination of such issues, such determination to be based solely on written reports submitted by the operator or owner and by investigatory officers, provided that the owner or operator in his or her request to the department for a hearing has expressly consented to this type of hearing and that the department has also consented thereto.
(d) Any person required to give security after a hearing as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section may petition for judicial review of the decision of the department, but suspension of such person's driver's license or operating privilege shall not be stayed while such appeal is pending. The superior court upon such appeal may consider the written reports considered by the department at the hearing as authorized by subsection (c) of this Code section.
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