Proof of Auto Insurance Law Unclear

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Alabama law states that you must have three things when stopped by an officer on the roadway.

"The State of Alabama requires that you have a current and valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and a tag on your vehicle that is current."

Major Parrish says that the drivers license and vehicle tag part of the law is pretty clear the problem is with proof of insurance.

"One of the problems we've had in the past that's pretty unavoidable until someone can actually come up with a system where we can check is the officer's validation of the proof of insurance when the individual who is driving presents that."

Now a new program called the Alabama online insurance verification system is going to help with that problem.
The state-wide program is online and will allow officials to verify car insurance with the push of a button.

"It's going to enable us to verify that. So it will be a safer thing for everybody and less liability and so forth."

But that's not the only dilemma with proof of insurance that officers are facing.
Many drivers are confused about what is an acceptable form of proof.
Some say it has to be a hard copy of the insurance card, while others think an electronic copy meets required standards.

"The law is kinda vague on that. The proof of insurance statue actually just says the driver is responsible for having proof of insurance is in that vehicle."

Major Parrish says the Dothan police department is usually accepting of electronic copies of proof of insurance.

"Officers are primarily accepting of those type of things when we see them and as the law changes and electronics become more prevalent, people are using them more."

But major Parrish warns that it's still a good idea to have a hard copy with you just in case.

"At the end of the day, if you have insurance, you're not going to have to pay a ticket. If you don't have your card with you, could you be sited? Absolutely."

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