Idaho Governor Signs Electronic Proof of Coverage Law

By | March 28, 2012

Idaho became the first state in the nation on Wednesday to enact legislation to allow motorists to use a smart phone to demonstrate proof of insurance coverage.

Gov. Butch Otter signed Senate Bill 1319, which enables Idaho motorists to either show proof of coverage with a smartphone app or a PDF copy of proof saved on a phone, as well as the traditional hard copy proof of insurance card.

SB 1319 was unanimously approved by the Senate and in the House of Representatives on a 64 – 1 vote. The law takes effect July 1.

The bill to enable auto insurance policyholders to issue proof of coverage verification via a mobile electronic device, such as a smartphone, is among several similar bills in at least a handful of states in various stages of passage.

In California, Assembly Bill 1708 authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Silver Lake, would enable a person required to provide evidence of financial responsibility to do so through the use of a mobile electronic device, according to the bill’s wording. Gatto introduced his bill earlier in late February. It awaits a hearing in the Assembly Insurance Committee.

“Electronic proof of coverage is the wave of the future and Idaho is the first state to enact a law allowing the use of a smart phone to show proof of coverage,” said Kenton Brine, assistant vice president of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. “Many policyholders are living green and want to go paperless, but without changing the law, insurers are still required to send paper ID cards. Currently, Arizona and California are considering similar legislation. We hope that more states will enact similar laws so drivers can use the technology available to show they have coverage.”

Following are nationwide legislation and regulations allowing electronic proof of insurance collected by PCI:

  • Alabama: Alabama will soon allw motorists to electronically display proof both at registration and during traffic stops starting Jan. 1, 2013.
  • Arizona: The Arizona Legislature has approved HB 2677, which allows motorists to display proof of insurance electronically. The bill is currently on the governor’s desk.
  • Colorado: An existing Colorado regulation allows motorists to show proof of coverage electronically when they register their vehicles.

Mississippi and Maryland may also consider legislation to allow electronic proof of coverage in 2012.

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