The state has now passed a law that allows drivers to use their smartphones to prove their coverage.
Drivers in Illinois will soon be able to choose whether they would like to prove that they have auto insurance using the traditional printed cards or whether they would rather use their smartphones to display a digital copy of this information.
Some believe that this could mean that they days of digging through glove compartments may soon be over.
On Friday, the bill to allow the digital auto insurance proof in Illinois was on the desk of Governor Pat Quinn, and he did sign it to allow the use of technology to make proving coverage more practical and convenient for many drivers throughout the state. This joins Illinois with a growing number of other states that have already passed similar bills. At the time of the writing of this article, there were a total of fifteen states that had completed the process of passing bills to permit drivers to use digital proof for their policies.
Drivers who are pulled over by police can now prove their auto insurance coverage by displaying it on their smartphones.
If drivers fail to show proof of coverage when they are pulled over in the state, they can face a traffic citation. This previously caused motorists to have to fish around in purses, wallets, and glove compartments to dig up the small printed auto insurance cards. Now, electronic formats are considered to be acceptable, so as long as drivers have their mobile devices with them and they have the coverage app from their insurer, it can be displayed on the smartphone or tablet screen.
Not all auto insurance companies in the state have produced the necessary apps to allow their policyholders to take advantage of this new law. For example, while State Farm has its Pocket Agent application that has already been downloaded 2.6 million times (and used an estimated 750,000 times), Country Financial has not yet produced such a digital offering. However, the latter insurer has overcome this barrier by allowing its customers to simply download a digital copy of the card from the official company website, so that it can be saved on the device in case it needs to be displayed.