A New Use for Smartphones: New Law Allows Electronic Proof of Insurance

Wisconsin law requires drivers to have, in their immediate possession, proof of insurance. Additionally, traffic officers can demand that drivers display that proof. In the past, that meant that drivers had to carry an insurance card or other paper that contained proof of insurance. As of July 7, 2013, Wisconsin has gone green: a driver may provide proof of insurance by electronic documents, including by display of images on a cellular telephone or other electronic device. 2013 Wisconsin Act 31.

The new rule simplifies drivers’ ability to comply with the proof of insurance law and keeps up with today’s ever-growing dependence on electronic data. Municipal officers should: (1) be aware of this change in the law; (2) readily accept electronic proof; and (3) consider inquiring about a driver’s ability to provide electronic proof, if no paper documents are immediately available.

If your municipality has questions about the new law or its application and enforcement, contact your municipal attorney or Bakke Norman’s municipal prosecution attorney, Deanne M. Koll.

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