Ask A Trooper: Drivers required to carry proof of insurance

Published 5:27 pm Friday, April 26, 2024

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By Sgt. Troy Christianson

Question: If I am stopped by the police and am asked to show my driver’s license or car insurance papers, do I have to have physical copies to show or are photos of these papers on my phone also acceptable to show?

Answer: Every driver is required to carry proof of insurance while driving. They must also produce proof of insurance when requested by an officer during a traffic stop or an incident such as a crash. You can be cited for no proof on insurance and the same rules apply as no driver’s license in possession penalties.  The citation will be dropped if you provide proof of insurance to traffic court before the court date.  If you do not, the citation turns into a no insurance citation which is a misdemeanor violation.

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Proof of insurance can be in electronic form, meaning text-based or imaged-based content that can be shown on a computer or other digital device. So a photograph of the actual insurance card or screen shot is sufficient.

Information required for proof of insurance:

(1) The insured’s name

(2) The policy number

(3) The policy dates of coverage

(4) The make, model, and year of the vehicle insured

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

(6) The name of the obligor providing coverage.

You are required to have your driver’s license in possession, electronic images are not acceptable.  When you are stopped or involved in a crash, we need the hard copy of the driver’s license to enter all your information.  In a worst case scenario if you are involved in a serious crash, then we need the hard copy of a driver’s license to be able to identify you and contact family members.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention, and always drive sober.  Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at,