New legislation signed in Missouri is allowing drivers to show police officers their proof of auto insurance by their cell phones instead of traditional paper.
But some people in our area are skeptical about the convenience of the idea.
On Tuesday Governor Jay Nixon signed the law allowing you to show proof of auto insurance through your cell phone, tablet or even a laptop. So when an officer pulls you over, you no longer have to show a piece of paper, everything can be done on your cell phone. The law takes effect on August 28 in Missouri.
Crawford County Sheriff Dan Peak says similar legislation recently passed in Kansas, saying the changes took effect in that state on July 1.
Joplin police officers believe the change will may make routine traffic stops safer.
“Officers get a little nervous when people are digging in glove boxes, and center consoles and things like that for trying to find their insurance cards because obviously bad things that can hurt us are hidden there as well, and so most people have their phones or an electronic device right here on that person,” says Lt. Darren Gallup of the Joplin Police Department.
Residents tell us they worry drivers may not have their phone, but officials say they’ll still take the paper forms of proof of insurance.
“We’re still going to have to get the information and write it down,” says Lt. Gallup. “But maybe technology will in the future allow us to just electronically copy that.”
In addition to using electronic devices to show proof of automobile insurance, the legislation allows insurance companies to deliver the policies to their policy-holders by electronic means.