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New way to show proof of insurance

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Updated: 7/22/2013 6:29 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- While you are no longer allowed to text on your phone when you're behind the wheel, there's a new law just passed here in Florida that promotes using your cellphone in the car.

In Florida, it's illegal to get behind the wheel if you don't have insurance. But how many times have you been pulled over, only to rummage through your crowded glove box searching for proof to no avail?

Jacqui Coleman struggled to find hers Monday.

"I'm taking my son to his drivers test this afternoon and I had to dig through and find it," she said.

Now you have a new option. Florida just joined the list of more than a dozen states allowing motorists to carry insurance cards electronically on your smart phone or tablet. Coleman already downloaded it.

"I think it's a pretty big deal and everything is going electronic and everyone has phone apps and apps for different things so this is just one more thing that I think will help some people out," said Scott Roberts, owner of Roberts Insurance in Clay County.

Action News checked in with local sheriff's offices and the Florida Highway Patrol. They all said effective July 1, if a driver gets pulled over, insurance in the electronic format is enough for the officer. You don't need the paper copy.

FHP said it is also a good way to keep personal information out of the wrong hands. If your car gets stolen, the crook won't have access to all of your info.

"Technology has just advanced in many many ways. I know that years ago having proof of coverage you'd have to call them and wait for something to come in the mail and now it's just instantaneous," said Coleman.

Insurance agents say it makes life easier for them, too. They don't have to print and mail as many paper copies every quarter.

"There's still other ways to get it for people who don't want to use the app but I think there's going to be a certain segment out there that's going to use it and be beneficial," Roberts said.

FHP said the same rules apply with electronic insurance. Make sure your policy number and expiration date are included.

In all, 25 states now allow electronic proof of coverage. Georgia is also one of them.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Azrael - 7/23/2013 1:29 PM
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still not going to stop all the idiots out there
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