Louisiana Enacts Electronic Insurance Proof Measure

Following strong support by legislators, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a bill into law Friday allowing motorists in Louisiana to use electronic forms of proving insurance coverage to authorities.

Jindal’s approval makes Louisiana the third state in the U.S. to enact such a law, with governors in Idaho and Arizona signing similar bills into law in March.

The law, called Act 824 of 2012, enjoyed robust support as it moved through the state Legislature, garnering unanimous votes in both the state Senate and House in May. It goes into effect Aug. 1.

Under the new law, images or photocopies of a policy card or documents showing coverage presented to authorities on a mobile electronic device will be legally acceptable forms of proving you have the proper policy in place to operate a vehicle.

Several provisions were set into Louisiana law, including one that forbids police from searching the phone for other data when it is presented to them to prove coverage.

The uninsured should get car insurance quotes online to get covered, as proving their coverage is becoming a simpler process for motorists. Many major insurers already offer electronic applications that display versions of an insurance policy on smartphones, while others simply scan a policy card into PDF formats that can be shown on most phones as an image.

State legislators that have proposed such laws have not had a hard time getting them on the books. Bills in Idaho and Arizona both received unanimous supporting votes at one point as they moved through the legislative process.

Rep. Greg Cromer (R-Slidell), who sponsored the Louisiana bill, said his proposal would bring the state up to date as “more companies are using electronic files and communications.”

“The law needs to keep up with technology,” he said in an April editorial as his legislation was being considered in a Senate committee.

Current regulations in Colorado and Alabama permit electronic means of proving coverage during the registration process. In California, lawmakers are considering AB 1708, a similar bill that is scheduled for a Senate committee hearing on June 27.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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