A recent regulatory bulletin in Oklahoma cleared the way for drivers there to begin using electronic proof of car insurance statewide.
The bulletin, issued last week, notifies coverage providers and others “within the insurance industry that OID supports the recognition of electronic versions of security verification.”
In most states so far, lawmakers have legalized electronic proof through pieces of legislation.
However, Oklahoma’s bill, SB 860, never made it to the governor to be signed into law. Despite that, the latest OID bulletin “confirms the legality” of proving coverage through devices like smartphones and lifts the need for lawmakers to pass a piece of legislation that permits police to accept such means of proof.
The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) applauded the OID and “the efficiency of this new law, and hope this will be accepted nationwide.”
“People may forget their insurance cards, but they rarely forget their phones,” Joe Woods, vice president of state government relations at PCI, said in a statement.
According to the OID, the regulatory department backed the legality of electronic proof because it found “nothing in the Oklahoma Insurance Code” that prevents authorities from accepting electronic forms of insurance cards.
“Oklahoma law doesn’t specify which format the security verification form must take, therefore an electronic version is perfectly acceptable,” John Doak, the state’s insurance commissioner, said in a statement.
Doak said that the OID will advise police officers statewide about the “clarification” as it trains them on a new law allowing officers to seize uninsured drivers’ license plates. Training for that law began last week as the state prepares to implement it in January.
Most States Allow Electronic Proof
“We live in a digital world where you can do just about anything on your smartphone or tablet,” Doak said. “More and more insurance companies are offering electronic verification forms and we have to adapt to the times.”
“More and more,” as Doak said, is exactly right. In turn, more and more states have joined the movement toward electronic proof.
A New York lawmaker said last month that he would introduce a bill during the upcoming legislative session to legalize electronic car insurance proof there.
In fact, most states in the U.S. now have a law or regulation on the books that allow a driver to electronically prove that they have coverage:
- North Dakota
For a more details on car coverage proof, visit our FAQ section on the topic here.