Idaho approves of digital proof of coverage for drivers

Proof of Auto Insurance

Proof of InsuranceIn under two years, vehicle owners in the state will be able to use digital proof of their policies.

Starting in 2014, car owners in Idaho will be able to use their smartphones and other mobile devices in order to prove that they carry auto insurance.

The Legislature in the state passed a law that would make it legal for real-time car coverage verification systems to be created so that it could be used by the courts, law enforcement, and the state departments of insurance and transportation.

The new system will help to make it easier for motorists to provide proof that they are insured in incidents such as when they are pulled over, or following a collision. Furthermore, it helps to make certain that drivers who have been involved in crashes are honest about their coverage. According to Sgt. John Gonzales of the Meridian Police, he has seen many drivers lie about their policies. “We get documentation at the crash … then we get a call a few days later saying, ‘Well, that person doesn’t really have insurance,’.”

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The cost of the new verification system should come with a price tag of $100,000 for the Department of Transportation.

Other states are already using a similar system, helping to avoid time consuming and often embarrassing scenarios where the driver is insured, but when he or she pulls out the card providing proof of that coverage, it turns out that it is expired. He or she has simply failed to place the new card in the glove compartment.

This leads to a ticket and forces the driver to have to go to court to prove that insurance was present, or pay a fine of $126.50 (which will be increased to $131.50 as of July 1,2012). This is a time consuming and expensive process, especially when the driver was, indeed, covered and, according to a Boise attorney, Michael Kane, it happens tens of thousands of times per year in Idaho alone. Kane lobbies for the Property and Casualty Insurers Association. He stated that there were 47,000 tickets dismissed last year among the 66,000 that were issued for this type of offense.

 

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