Each state requires drivers to have some kind of proof that they meet their state’s minimum auto liability insurance requirements. If you get pulled over or are involved in an accident, you can show this proof and avoid paying hefty fines. Whether or not showing electronic proof of insurance is enough depends on where you’re driving.
Read on to learn how and in which states you can use digital insurance cards to prove coverage:
States Where Digital Insurance Cards are Accepted as Proof of Liability Coverage
In 49 states and the District of Columbia, you can show a digital version of your insurance on a mobile device if required by police at a traffic stop. Massachusetts, on the other hand, keeps your insurance details on your car’s registration documents.
In New Mexico, the police don’t have to accept electronic proof of auto liability coverage. It’s probably the only state where, when you’re pulled over, you may need more than a digital insurance card to show that you satisfy the required liability limits.
What is Electronic Proof of Insurance?
There are various ways insurers can present electronic proof that a policyholder is insured. This proof may be available as a digital auto ID card within your insurance company’s mobile application. Similarly, other insurers may display electronic versions of your insurance ID card on their official website. It’s also possible to deliver electronic insurance proof in an email.
If law enforcement requires such proof in an accident or traffic stop, you can simply access your insurer’s smartphone or tablet application or website and show it. You may also present a paper version of your insurance card if you’re driving in a state that recognizes digital copies of the same.
Digital Insurance Cards and Privacy Concerns
When their digital insurance information is accessed by law enforcement officers, the privacy of policyholders is an active area of consumer and legal concern in many states. There’s also the question of who bears responsibility for any damage to the driver’s tablet or smartphone while in the hands of the officers. In some states, legislation has attempted to address those issues.
For example, in Rhode Island, you can use your mobile device as evidence of insurance. However, the police officer who requests this proof is prohibited from reading or otherwise accessing any other information on your device. Also, the law now holds motorists responsible for any damage to their phone or tablet while in the hands of law enforcement officers for purposes of auto insurance verification.
Can the Other Driver Request to See Your Mobile/Electronic Proof of Insurance?
Your safety and that of everyone else, including passengers, is of paramount importance immediately after an auto accident. Once you’ve taken care of that, you may want to exchange contact and car insurance information with the other motorist. Exchanging information may include showing the other driver your digital proof of insurance, provided that it contains the same information as your physical auto insurance ID card.
After an accident, here’s the vital information you should share with or obtain from the others involved:
- The names and contact information of all persons involved in the accident, including the other driver and passengers
- The other motorist’s auto insurer and policy number
- Driver’s license number and license plate number for all the other motorists involved in the crash
- Details of the cars involved, including model, type, and color
- Location of the auto accident
In a nutshell, if you’re driving in a state that accepts electronic proof of auto insurance, you can show your auto ID in a traffic stop or car crash.
Auto insurance is there for you when you need it the most. Work with an agency that has your best interests in mind. When you’re looking for reliable and affordable car insurance coverage, talk to the team at Humble & Davenport Insurance.