Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • Replacing a proof of insurance card should be done without delay to avoid fines and penalties
  • Contacting the auto insurance company by phone or email or following self-service directions through an online account is normally all you’ll need to do
  • Electronic proof is acceptable in certain states, but not many

Losing an insurance card is a big deal. An insurance card reflects proof that insurance was purchased by a driver.

In virtually every state, buying car insurance is compulsory. Not carrying insurance entails some sort of punishment. How severe the punishment depends on the laws in a particular state.

Regardless of the state, someone lives in, the police ask drivers to show proof of insurance when pulled over or involved in an incident.

Not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign means a somewhat costly traffic citation, but the ticket is easy to deal with. Not being able to show the officer proof of insurance could turn a simple traffic stop into an extremely troubling situation.

Compare car insurance quotes to find the insurance company that offers you the best coverage for the best rate.

Procuring a New Insurance Card

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Insurance cards get lost or destroyed for any number of reasons. A card could fall out when the glove compartment is opened and find itself under the passenger seat and out of sight.

The driver may remove the card to use it as proof of residency at a local government office.

Failure to return the card to its rightful spot can be an unfortunate oversight. Keeping proof of insurance inside a wallet could be a smart move, too.

No matter how or why the card was lost, drivers must replace the cards right away. Here are a few ways to do so:

– Call the Insurance Company

Auto insurance companies are often able to intake phone calls 24/7. A simple, easy phone call may be all it takes to get the card sent out.

The customer service representative usually asks for the policy number, but the obvious problem here if the number cannot be recalled.

The representative can use the following information to help pull up the account:

  • Name
  • address
  • phone number
  • date of birth

– Email the Insurance Company

Emailing the company to make a request for a new card can be done through the internal communications system found when an insurance customer logs onto his/her account.

Those who never opened an online account with their insurance provider should do so right away maintaining an online account makes requests a lot easier and faster.

– Follow Instructions through Your Online Account

In truth, emailing or calling the insurance company might not even be necessary with an online account. Upon signing into an account, clicking on the “Manage Account” button should lead to an option for procuring a new insurance ID card.

Making a request to receive a new card might also be unnecessary.

Computers connected to a printer can request to “view and print” a card. Without a printer, the option exists to save the card to a flash drive, take the device to a print shop, and print the document there. Other ways of receiving the card are possible as well.

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Getting Your Hands on A New Card

Whether calling, emailing, or taking advantage of self-service options, three ways exist to receive the new cards:

  • Postal mail
  • Fax
  • Email

Most people likely do not have access to a fax machine. Those who do can take advantage of receiving a paper printout of the card without delay. Postal mail may take several days to receive.

Email does require printing out the correspondence which, as previously mentioned, may require a trip to the print shop.

Sans fax machine, car insurance customer might wish to employ the following plan of action: Request both an emailing and postal mailing of the insurance card document. Print out a copy of the emailed document without delay until the more official looking mailer arrives.

Make copies of the new ID cards as well. Keeping copies on file somewhere eliminates a lot of hassles the next time one copy of the card turns up missing.

Electronic Proof of Auto Insurance

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In a limited number of jurisdictions, showing electronic proof of insurance is acceptable. Electronic proof entails displaying proof on a smartphone or other device. Hopefully, more states will soon accept this form of proof.

Regardless of how many states do, drivers should keep paper proof in their vehicles.

Electronic devices run out of power or malfunction at times. When they do, the devices won’t help the cause of displaying proof of insurance.

No ID Proof Hassles

Driving without insurance brings forth penalties. The penalties can be severe depending on the state in which one lives. Comparison shopping for solid rates on insurance might be a smart thing for those in need of insurance to do.

Driving without insurance brings forth all sorts of civil and, possibly, criminal risks.

Possessing insurance but not possessing proof of insurance can create hassles as well.

The courts can still fine someone who fails to provide proof of insurance. Acquire proof of insurance and avoid a lot of problems. Things, hopefully, become a lot simpler and less stressful this way.

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