You need car insurance to drive legally in nearly every state. But you’re not totally home free after you buy a policy. You still need to be able to prove that you’re insured to other drivers, police, and other state officials. You can do so with a proof of insurance card (also called an “insurance ID card”). You’ll get this card from your insurer after you buy a policy. Your insurer may send it to you, let you print it online, or give you an electronic copy.
A proof of insurance card typically includes the following information:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your insurance company’s name
- Your policy number
- The policy’s start and/or end dates
- The insured car’s year, make, model, and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
The card should also have your insurer’s contact number and
a list of the coverages included in your policy.
Why do you need this card? You may need to prove you’re insured when you:
- Are stopped by the police
- Get into an accident with another driver
- Register your car
- Title your vehicle
- Get license plate tags
If police ask for your proof at a traffic stop and you don’t have it, you may receive a traffic violation and could have to pay a fine.
Electronic Proof of Insurance
Some states now accept electronic proof of insurance. That means when you’re stopped by police, you can prove you’re covered with a copy of your card on your smartphone or tablet.
As of February 2014, 30 states have electronic proof laws. Use the following list to find out if your state is one of them.