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When driving out of state carry proof of insurance

Jul 16 2013

Wayne Texeira  Marketing Director, CFMP, AINS, AIS, API

Many other states require that drivers carry proof of insurance and require that insurance companies issue Auto Insurance ID Cards with policies.  However, most drivers in Massachusetts have not heard of such laws because they don't exist in our state.  This can create stressful situations, which everyone would rather avoid, and it points out the challenges that inconsistencies between state laws can cause. 

Recently, one of our customers had an accident while driving out of state, and the police officer asked for a proof of insurance card.  In Massachusetts, however, proof of insurance cards are not issued and vehicles aren't required to carry them because this information is electronically available to law enforcement via the RMV.  Gladly, after some back and forth with the officer and providing other information, the person was allowed to leave the scene.  Unfortunately, some police officers may not be informed about our laws or be easily flexible about these differences between state insurance requirements.

When you think about it, the Massachusetts method is actually more accurate because police can verify updated RMV information rather than rely on paper documentation that may be out of date if a policy is cancelled. However, since laws vary among states, you as a driver need to be aware of the possible differences and be prepared in case you have a traffic violation or accident when driving your vehicle in another state.

Murphy Insurance recommends that you take a copy of your insurance policy with you in case you need the information.  You can then present your registration, which lists your insurance company and notates that "No Insurance Card Required: Massachusetts' law does not require an insurance card.", and your policy as proof of insurance.

If you prefer, Murphy Insurance is glad to provide you with an Auto Insurance ID Card upon request. To receive Auto Insurance ID Card(s), simply visit our website at dfmurphy.com/autoidcard, and complete the ID Card Request Form. We will email your card(s) to you, which you can print and keep in your vehicle. Please note that the card is only good for the term of your insurance. You will need to request a new card when your policy renews. If you have any questions, give us a call.  We're glad to provide answers and assistance.

Note: If you are driving to Canada, please contact us because you need a special "Canada Non-Resident Inter-Province Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card".

Comments
Total: 2 Comment(s)
L Roy
  I always watch Parking Wars. The emphasis is on "insurance cards". I agree with carrying a policy but what I disagree with is keeping it physically in the car. As a female who lives alone, I keep all IDENTIFIABLE information in my pocketbook. Why? If, God forbid, someone stole my car, the person will know where I live and perhaps...in theory...commit a worse crime. Agree?
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Murphy Insurance
Murphy Insurance  Good comment...we didn't recommend leaving a copy of your insurance policy in your car. You're smart to not leave personally identifying information in your vehicle, other than perhaps your registration in case someone borrows your car. We suggested perhaps taking a copy of your policy with you if you don't get an Auto ID card. MA insurers don't automatically issue them, and shouldn't have to given how our state laws are. But, that doesn't mean other states will respect that in all instances, so it can be a good idea to take proof of insurance with you in order to avoid a problem if you are pulled over or have an accident.
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