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Smartphones are amazing. Now they can get you out of a ticket.

Twenty-four states now allow drivers to show electronic proof of insurance coverage during a traffic stop, according to the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America (PCI). Rather than root around in your glovebox for an insurance card (that you may or may not have remembered to replace with the new one), you simply hand the officer your phone.

Approving electronic proof of coverage laws so far in 2013 are Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. They join Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota and Virginia.

Bills await signatures from governors in Florida, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin, PCI says, and bills are still moving through legislatures in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

You trust a lot of your life to a phone. Why not your insurance, too?

But what exactly am I showing them?
No one's nailed down exactly what constitutes acceptable electronic proof of insurance. California's law, for example, reads simply that "evidence of financial responsibility may be provided using a mobile electronic device."

A California Highway Patrol officer we spoke with said the preference was for an official-looking proof of insurance, such as a PDF from your insurer stored on your electronic device or an insurance card downloaded from your insurer's mobile application. However, since the law doesn't specifically exclude a picture of your insurance ID card that is stored on your phone, he said, it should be accepted by officers as valid proof of auto insurance.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety representative gave a similar answer.

Request your ID card for your auto policy here.

This post is by Des Toups of CarInsurance.com.
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