OPINION

Ask a Trooper: Electronic Proof of Insurance

Sgt. Jesse Grabow
Minnesota State Patrol

Question: I heard somewhere that proof of insurance does not need to be in paper form and can be maintained electronically. Does that mean that each family member and myself who drives can photograph current insurance cards for our vehicles that they drive on a cell phone and that is acceptable, or does the electronic version need to be something sent by insurance company?

Answer: Every driver must keep in their possession proof of insurance while driving. They also must produce that proof of insurance to an officer when requested during a traffic stop or an incident on the road such as a crash.

Proof of insurance can be in an electronic form, meaning text-based or imaged-based content in a form that can be shown on a computer or other digital devices.

So yes, a photograph of the actual insurance card or screen shot of the format is sufficient. Keeping a printed copy of the card in the vehicle of is also a good idea in case your phone doesn’t have service at the time an officer makes the request. The information that is required for proof of insurance is:

(1) the insured's name;

(2) the policy number;

(3) the policy dates of coverage;

(4) the make, model, and year of the vehicle being covered;

(5) the vehicle identification number or at least the last three digits of that number; and

(6) the name of the obligor providing coverage.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state.mn.us

Jesse Grabow