Have you seen those commercials advertising how you can show a police officer or DMV employee proof of insurance on your smart phone?
Well, in South Carolina, a driver is not allowed to use such a phone app and must show an officer a paper insurance card. But a Lexington lawmaker hopes the Palmetto State will be the 31st nationwide to allow electronic proof of insurance.
State Rep. Todd Atwater, R-Lexington, sponsored a bill that now sits on the governor’s desk which would allow officers and others to use the electronic apps as evidence of insurance. The legislation unanimously passed the House and Senate (clearing the Senate last Tuesday).
Atwater said it offers flexibility. “Half the time you wind up scrambling into the glove box, trying to find that piece of paper you may or may not have in there. And you panic and hope that you do,” Atwater told South Carolina Radio Network. “I just wanted to allow flexibility and allow it in law that, if you have proof of insurance on a mobile device, that would serve.”
Under current state law, drivers are required to have proof of insurance inside their vehicles at all times.
Atwater said the bill specifies that, by showing an officer their insurance app, a driver is not giving the officer permission to search through their phone.