New York Senator: Electronic Car Insurance Proof in the Works

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New York drivers soon will likely be allowed to prove that they are insured with their smartphones, after Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson) announced this week that he will be introducing a bill legalizing electronic auto insurance proof.

Ball said the bill will be introduced during the upcoming legislative session that convenes in January.

According to Ball, the legislation is “pro-consumer.” Provided that the legislation passes, the state’s motorists can go to their auto insurers for a smartphone app that will allow those drivers to electronically prove that they have the New York car insurance required to operate a vehicle.

“This … legislation will save paper as well as postage for the state and insurance companies,” he said in a statement. “The bill will also continue New York State’s push to remain an up-and-coming center of technology into the 21st century.”

Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) said he will introduce a companion bill in the state Assembly because “in our ever-expanding electronic era, [this legislation] makes perfect sense.”

There are dozens of states that have legalized electronic proof of coverage since last year, when Arizona and Idaho became the first states to do so. State proposals to allow drivers to electronically display their coverage have, by and large, seen little resistance from lawmakers during the legislative process.

Electronic proof of auto insurance kicked in for Missouri drivers this past August, when legislation there went into effect allowing them to electronically display their evidence of coverage; the bill behind the proposal, SB 317, did not see a single dissenting vote from senators.

Most concerns about electronic proof have been minor and center on privacy and enforcement. California lawmakers aired their concerns about those issues last year before eventually passing their own electronic-proof bill.

This year has seen a number of other states pass similar bills, including Illinois, Texas, Colorado and Oregon.

A New York law allowing electronic proof will improve traffic safety for both drivers and police, according to Sen. Ball.

“Spending less time rummaging through your purse or glove box looking for your insurance and registration translates into less time law enforcement officers spend on the side of the road near fast-moving traffic,” he said.

For a more details on car coverage proof, visit our FAQ section on the topic here.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com 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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