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Digital proof of insurance could be on way for Minnesota drivers

Stopped for speeding? Minnesota law may soon expressly allow for drivers to hand over their required proof of insurance on phones, tablets or other electronic devices.

HF307 would modify the definition of “insurance identification card” in state law to include insurance information in digital formats if it is provided by an insurance company.

Insurance companies are increasingly providing motorists with electronic proof of insurance, said bill sponsor Rep. Dan Fabian (R-Roseau), many through smartphone apps. Thirty-four other states explicitly reference electronic formats for vehicle insurance cards.

Approved Monday by the House Transportation Policy and Finance Committee, the bill was sent to the House Civil Law and Data Practices Committee. A companion, SF632, sponsored by Sen. Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley), is scheduled to be heard Wednesday by the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee.

Minnesota requires drivers to attest that they have coverage or produce proof of insurance when a vehicle is registered or the registration is renewed. Proof of insurance is also requested by law enforcement during a traffic stop or a crash, and to remove a vehicle from the impound lot.

A 2014 report from the Motor Vehicle Insurance Coverage Verification Task Force recommended the Department of Public Safety’s Driver and Vehicle Services Division require people to provide three additional pieces of information as proof of insurance: the insurance company name, policy number and policy expiration date.

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