Texas Drivers Can Show Electronic Copies Of Insurance, But Beware of Obstacles

It is now legal for Texas drivers to show an electronic copy of their insurance cards, but you may want to keep a hard copy on hand.
A new Texas law may clear out some room in your glove compartment. 

"Somebody can have the hard copy with them or they can also have the electronic version," said DPS Sgt. Bryan Witt.

Witt says DPS started honoring electronic insurance cards as soon as the law took effect earlier this month.

'"If the officer believes that the electronic version is not correct than he needs to verify through other means that its not correct," he said.

The card comes in the form of a smartphone app provided by your insurance company. Witt says it's still a good idea to carry a paper copy.

"If  you are in an area that doesn't have cell phone service that could be an obstacle or if you are in an accident and your phone is damaged, so its always a good idea that if you have a paper copy just put it in your wallet or your purse," said Witt.

Kat Anderson with the South Plains Auto Theft Task Force says the officer has to be sure it is real insurance and that it belongs to you.

"If he feels comfortable with your app on your phone then they're going to accept it. If they not and if you are out somewhere and you are not getting cell service they may go ahead and write you a ticket and let the judge decide," said Anderson.

Anderson says from everything she's seen, these apps seems safe to use. She reminds everyone to never leave any personal information in the car.

"Thieves are looking for things to steal and especially looking for your identity now," said Anderson. "You need proof of insurance, I would keep it in my wallet or my purse or on my smart phone but never never in the car."

As part of this new law, if you choose to hand over your phone as proof of insurance that does not give consent for the officer to search any other contents of the phone.

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