Ask a Trooper: Can a person “carry” an electronic insurance card on a smart phone?

Published 8:42 am Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Question: Can a person “carry” an electronic insurance card on a smart phone? For example, I’ve had my insurance company send my card by email, which I downloaded to my phone. Is this legal, or does a person need to have the paper version? Thanks much in advance!

Answer: It would be acceptable if the driver or registered owner is able to show the current auto insurance electronically (mobile phone or other means electronically).  Every driver, including a motorcyclist, must have proof of insurance and display it on demand of a peace officer.

Proof of insurance may be presented electronically pursuant to Minn. Stat. sec. 60A.139, subd. 2. Failure to display proof of insurance is a misdemeanor or a gross misdemeanor if it is a third violation within 10 years pursuant to Minn. Stat. sec. 169.791, subd. 2.

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“Delivered by electronic means” includes, delivery to an e-mail address at which a party has consented to receive notices or documents or posting on an electronic network or web site accessible via the internet, mobile application, computer, mobile device, tablet, or other electronic device, together with separate notice of posting, which must be provided by electronic mail to the address at which the party has consented to receive notice or by any other delivery method that has been consented to by the party.

If your electronic device is not working (dead battery on your phone, website not accessible, no service, etc.), you could be cited for “no proof of insurance.” I recommend that you print a copy of your insurance card in case your electronic equipment is unable to display your proof of insurance and keep it in your vehicle.