Wisconsin and Missouri became the latest states to approve “e-card” proposals, with governors in both states signing off on respective pieces of legislation allowing motorists to prove that they have the appropriate coverage to drive through their smartphones and tablets.
Under the laws in Wisconsin and Missouri, along with those in a number of other states across the U.S., a driver can present an electronic policy ID card instead of the paper ID card that has been traditionally provided by auto insurers.
In states with e-card measures, drivers can now present electronic versions of their ID cards to authorities that will suffice as proof of coverage.
E-cards are made available from several major insurers like State Farm and Progressive, though some state laws allow drivers to present photographs of their ID cards to serve as legitimate proof, as long as relevant policy information is legible.
The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), a national trade group that coined the “e-card” term, applauded Wisconsin on its legislation, which PCI said was passed “in recognition of the widespread use of mobile technology.”
“[The legislation] may help some motorist avoid being ticketed because they were not able to immediately locate their paper insurance card,” Jeffrey Junkas, a regional manager for PCI, said in a statement.
In Missouri, electronic proof of auto coverage was authorized through HB 322, signed by Gov. Jay Nixon on Tuesday.
Gov. Nixon said that the legislation saves the state’s drivers the unneeded “hassle of printing and keeping hard copies” their policy ID cards.
“Each day, more and more Missourians are using their smart phones and tablets to pay bills, get directions and access the information they need, wherever and whenever they need it,” he said in a statement. “This common sense legislation will make life a little easier for motorists by eliminating this outdated requirement and allowing proof of insurance to be shown on a mobile device.”
The law becomes effective in late August.
Most States Have E-Card Laws
E-card laws are currently in at least 27 states, meaning most states allow electronic proof of coverage.
The first e-card laws were passed last year in Idaho and Arizona. Last month, governors in Florida, North Dakota and Alaska gave their signatures to e-card legislation.
Here are the states with e-card laws: