South Carolina Digital Proof of Insurance Bill Sent to Governor

By Seanna | March 4, 2014

A bill on Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk would allow South Carolina drivers to use their smartphone in a traffic stop to prove they have insurance.

While TV commercials suggest officers already accept electronic proof, South Carolina is not among the 30 states currently allowing the convenience.

State law requires drivers to keep proof of insurance in their vehicles at all times, which they must be able to show an officer on demand.

The House passed the measure last April and the Senate gave final approval last week to the bill specifying insurers can provide coverage policies through a smartphone, which drivers can use as proof.

Oyango Snell with the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America said the option means drivers don’t have to keep up with a paper card that must be replaced every six months.

His bill also includes a privacy protection clause. An officer handed a smartphone for insurance purposes does not have permission to search the phone for any other information.

The bill also includes a clause stating that a police officer does not have permission to search a driver’s phone for any other information other than the insurance proof.

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