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Is Electronic Proof of Insurance Valid?

Updated: January 2018

You can pay for your coffee with a digital wallet. Door locks can be opened with a smartphone. And you can even board a plane with a digital boarding pass. But if you are stopped by the police or in an accident, do you have to dig through your glove box for the paper copy of your insurance card, or can you show the officer an electronic version?

Police officer at driver side window.

Whether you can use a digital card as proof of insurance depends on your state's law. As of April 2018, 47 states permit drivers to use an electronic copy of their insurance card during a traffic stop:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
Electronic proof of insurance is not accepted in:
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • New Mexico
  • Massachusetts: Your vehicle's registration document will include your car insurance information.

WHAT IS ELECTRONIC PROOF OF INSURANCE?

The availability of electronic proof of insurance varies by insurance company. Some insurers display an electronic copy of your auto ID card within their mobile app. Other companies allow customers to download a digital version of their auto ID cards from their website. Customers can then show proof of insurance with any digital device, including a smartphone or tablet. States that allow electronic proof also accept paper copies of insurance cards for drivers who prefer the traditional format.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Privacy and who is responsible if the law enforcement officer accidentally damages a driver's digital device are concerns that have been raised by consumers and lawmakers. Some states, such as Rhode Island, have addressed these concerns in their legislation. Rhode Island amended its law to include a provision that if a driver uses a mobile device for proof of insurance, the police officer is prohibited from viewing other information on the phone or tablet. Additionally, the law now specifies that motorists for any damage to the devices while in the possession of law enforcement.

Check with your local motor vehicle department or law enforcement office to find out whether your state accepts electronic proof of insurance, and if so, under which circumstances or conditions.

A suburban home.

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This content is for informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations.

Coverage subject to terms, conditions, and availability. Policy issuance is subject to qualifications. Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL. © 2018 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.
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