Idaho is one three states considering allowing insurance companies to supply an electronic version of a driver’s proof of insurance which they could access via their smartphone.

The pending legislation is meant to make life a little easier for drivers, especially those who do not carry a wallet, or who have replaced their briefcase with a jump stick and a smartphone.

In Idaho as in every state, drivers are required to carry proof of their automobile insurance with them at all times or face serious fines and possible suspension of their driving privileges.

Many insurance companies already have a smartphone app available for companies which allows them to access details of their coverage, but state laws have not yet caught up with the new technology, so no rules exist allowing drivers to produce this information rather than their actual insurance card. It seems a small detail to most defensive drivers, but having proof you are insured is the only way an officer knows for sure what sort of coverage you have and who it is with. They can’t just take your word for it.

If the pending legislation passes it will not only allow drivers to use a smartphone app as their proof of insurance, but also require insurance companies to provide an electronic version of their insurance card for any driver who requests one. There are also movements underway to digitize all registrations and driver licensing information as a way of cutting down on paperwork and easing costs for state departments of motor vehicles.

In addition to Idaho, California and Arizona also have legislation moving forward which would allow the use of digital insurance identification. Once passed (or, if passed) drivers will have a use for their smartphone in their cars after all. But not for texting or talking-just for proving to the officer they are properly insured.

Image: Salvatore Vuono /