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How To Show Electronic Proof Of Insurance

Question: My state now allows proof of car insurance to be shown to police officers via electronic means.  Is there a certain way the proof should be displayed on my phone? 

Answer: Due to newly approved revisions to state laws, there are now several states that accept electronic proof of auto insurance when requested by a police officer during a traffic stop.  Presently this includes:   Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana and Minnesota.  

Alabama also accepts electronic proof of car insurance when registering your vehicle.  Colorado law allows electronic proof of insurance for motor vehicle registration purposes and is considering legislation that would extent electronic proof to traffic stops as well.

There are over 20 other states considering electronic proof of coverage bills or proposals during the 2013 legislative sessions including: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

We think this is a great step for these states to modernize the method in which they accept proof of insurance and allow more people to live paperless, if they so choose.  It should make showing proof of insurance at a traffic stop less of a hassle and cut down on tickets for driving without proof of insurance. While those are minor fix-it tickets if you have valid insurance, they can take several hours at the courthouse to clear up.  (See “ Proof of insurance: Paper or plastic”)

Just as the minimum state required auto insurance coverages and limits vary greatly from one state to the next, the wording for laws stating what each state will accept as proof of insurance varies. 

The methods most talked about for showing the electronic proof are a PDF from your insurer that you save to your phone (or tablet) or downloading a copy of your valid insurance ID card from your insurance carrier's mobile app.  We checked with officers in California and Arizona about what specific electronic proof they were accepting now.

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