New Law Allows Driver so Use Phones to Prove Insurance

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STATELINE (WIFR) -- It seems nearly everyone has a smartphone these days and now thanks to a new law we can use them as our proof of insurance if we get pulled over. But exactly how that process will work has some local law enforcement agencies baffled.

Local law enforcement agencies aren't arguing whether the law is a good idea. The concern is over how the information is exchanged. Typically when you get pulled over you hand the officer a card and he takes it to his car. But what about handing over your phone?

The law was created to help drivers avoid tickets if they forget to have their insurance card in their vehicles by simply showing the officers proof of insurance on their phones or tablets. Several police agencies say they're not exactly sure how they're going to do it. Chiefs all over the state are saying they're worried drivers won't feel comfortable letting officers take their phones back to the squad cars to confirm the insurance or when officers do, the phones will lock up. Belvidere Police Chief Jan Noble says a bigger problem may be drivers trying to pull a fast one.

"Law enforcement does have a genuine concern here,” says Chief Noble. “Is the document that the officer views at the time of the traffic stop true and accurate? In this day and age it would not be hard for someone to gain access to a mock up and then carry that in their electronic device such as a phone."

Several Stateline police chiefs say they like the new law, because of the convenience factor for drivers and say they're confident they'll be able to find a way to make it work. The law says officers are not allowed to view anything else but the insurance info on the phones. The law is already in effect. More than 20 other states already have similar laws.

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