Advancements in modern technology have changed many aspects of everyday life, which may soon include how we provide proof of auto insurance. As many motorists already know, vehicle owners in almost every state are required to purchase a minimum amount of coverage to legally drive. To demonstrate that they have met these requirements, drivers need to provide adequate policy verification. One common problem, however, is that people often forget to update their records or keep the necessary documents in their automobile.
If drivers are unable to prove that they are sufficiently insured, they may face a number of consequences. Most commonly, offending motorists could be assessed a fine, their vehicle could be impounded, or they could lose their driving privileges. One solution that several states have begun to pursue is to allow vehicle owners to get proof of insurance online and display it on a mobile electronic device. This includes increasingly popular smartphones and tablets.
States That Allow Digital Proof
One of the first states to allow electronic verification was Idaho, where SB 1319 was recently approved in March. The passing of this bill means that, starting July 1, 2012, residents will be able provide their mandatory proof of liability insurance either in paper form or digital format.
Around the same time, Arizona also passed HB 2677, which allows residents to make the same electronic verifications.
Other states, such as Louisiana and California, are working to pass legislation that would allow motorists to have the same conveniences. As of June 2012, legislators in Louisiana have passed HB 1130, which now awaits approval from Gov. Bobby Jindal. This would allow policyholders to present digitized images of their policy during traffic stops.
Electronic Proof of Insurance Not Accepted by Everyone
Although a handful of states have begun embracing technology and looking for ways to help motorists avoid the consequences of driving without policy verification, using a mobile electronic device will not work everywhere. For example, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has announced that electronic notification will not be accepted by the Highway Patrol. However, like many other states, legislation may soon be on its way.