Arizona Joins Idaho in Allowing Smartphone Insurance Proof

On the same day that Idaho’s governor signed off on a bill allowing motorists to use their mobile phones to prove they have an insurance policy, Arizona’s head stateswoman did the same.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed HB 2677 into law on March 27, coupling Arizona with Idaho as two states leading what advocates are calling “the wave of the future.”

“Paper cards are not always what consumers want. More policyholders want a truly paperless policy,” Kelly Campbell, vice president of Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), said in a statement. The trade organization is advocating paperless forms of policy ID across the United States.

According to the Court Statistics Project, state courts saw more than 58 million traffic violation cases in 2009, and it’s likely that in all of those the offending motorists had to show their proof of coverage cards.
Some carriers like State Farm have specific smartphone apps that display policies. And since most companies have some sort of PDF or electronic format of policies, consumers making car insurance comparisons can count on their insurer to provide a copy that can be displayed on a smartphone—whether or not police will accept it as a form of ID depends on where you are.

Regulation in Alabama that permits paperless forms of proof during both traffic stops and vehicle registration goes into effect January 2013. In Colorado, such proof during the registration process is already legal. California is considering legislation proposed in February allowing mobile phones as a form of proving that you have a policy.

As was the case for legislators in Idaho, legalizing electronic means of proof of insurance was an easy, quick vote for lawmakers in Arizona, where they passed HB 2677 unanimously in the state Senate and House; both votes occurred in March.

The recent law in the Grand Canyon State, proposed by Rep. Jeff Dial (R-Chandler), takes effect 90 days after the end of the state’s legislative session.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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