ALBANY, N.Y. --If a bill making its way through the New York legislature becomes law, you won't have that awkward moment of scrambling through your glove compartment to find your proof of insurance when you get pulled over.
The New York State Senate passed legislation (S5068A) Friday, sponsored by Senator Simcha Felder (D, Brooklyn), that would enable drivers to have proof of auto insurance on their smartphones, rather than having to produce a paper insurance card.
Current law states that motorists must show written proof of insurance. However many insurance companies offer apps for cell phones or tablets that display the insurance information. People may find it more convenient to have the information accessible electronically rather than having a paper document which can easily be lost or misplaced. The proposed legislation would allow, but not require insurers to offer proof of insurance in an electronic format.
"This bill proposes a 21st century convenience for drivers that would give them more options instead of searching through glove boxes or under the seats for proof of insurance," Senator Felder said. "It would also help motorists avoid a ticket or having to take time off work to go to court to defend themselves when they can't find their insurance card. This will save drivers, police and courts time, money and resources."
According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, 24 states already allow drivers to prove insurance coverage with a wireless device. Seventeen states have approved the new laws this year.
The bill now goes to the Assembly.