Though 23 states say that proof of coverage can be shown via smartphone, they haven’t been without problems.
There are now 23 states in the country that say that it is legal for drivers to use their smartphones to display proof of auto insurance if they are pulled over by a police officer, according to the data from the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America (PCI).
This offers motorists a convenient way to make sure that they always have digital “card” on hand.
The goal is to make it much easier for drivers to be able to locate their auto insurance when they’ve been pulled over or if they are involved in an accident, so that it will reduce unnecessary trips to court to prove that the coverage was there even when the card could not be found at the time. All a driver would need to do is make sure that the digital copy could be presented on the screen of the smartphone.
However, the actual details of what is acceptable digital auto insurance proof has yet to be fully identified.
So far, the states that have approved the use of electronic proof of auto insurance coverage include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
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The states of Illinois, Florida, Wisconsin, and Missouri currently have bills in front of their governors waiting for signatures to make digital proof of auto insurance legal, said the PIC. Moreover, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania have bills of this nature moving through their legislatures at the moment.
However, the struggle that is now being faced as people start to use their smartphones to display their digital auto insurance proof cards is that there has not been specific details created as to what is acceptable as electronic policy cards. For instance, the law in California reads, quite vaguely, that “evidence of financial responsibility may be provided using a mobile electronic device.”
This leaves Highway Patrol officers wondering what they should allow as proof of auto insurance coverage. Is an official looking PDF from an insurer that has been stored on the device enough, or does it need to be downloaded on the spot through the insurer’s mobile app? At the moment, they are accepting anything that looks official from the insurer in digital form – including a clear, legible picture of the paper ID card that is stored on the device.