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Electronic Car Insurance Not Acceptable in Lawton

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LAWTON Okla_ In spite of a ruling from the state insurance commissioner that drivers can use an electronic version of insurance verification, the City of Lawton said they won't recognize it.

Commissioner John Doak sent out a release last week saying his office had consulted with the State Department of Public Safety. They determined that the law did not specify which format the verification had to take, so an electronic form on a smartphone would be acceptable. However, the Lawton Police Department said the city attorney has informed them they are not legitimate and won't be recognized until further notice.

The city attorney's office has no commented on this matter. So at this point, it is still unclear why they aren't accepting electronic verification. So until further notice, Lawton drivers beware: if you don't have the paper form of insurance verification, you will probably get a ticket.

If you're on a state highway or turnpike though, there is no need to panic. The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety and Oklahoma Highway Patrol is on board with the new policy.

"It's easier; we don't have to wait on the motorist to search through numerous paper forms of insurance verification trying to find the most current," OHP Trooper Cody Jackson said.

That was the same point Commissioner Doak made in the bulletin he issued, which stated:

"We live in a digital world where you can do just about anything on your smartphone or tablet… More and more insurance companies are offering electronic verification forms, and we have to adapt to the times. Oklahoma law doesn't specify which format the security verification form must take. Therefore, an electronic version is perfectly acceptable."

There are a few potential problems that could come up if you're relying on your phone, though. What if it lost power or you didn't have service?

"In an event like that, you could receive a citation for failure to carry a copy of insurance verification," Jackson said. "That's why it would be a good idea for motorist to have a paper form back up."

There is also the issue of whether the electronic form could be fake.

"Anytime we would become suspect of fraudulent insurance verification we have always and will continue to contact the insurance company directly to verify coverage," Jackson said.

Jackson said he thinks drivers will find using the digital form more convenient, because these days, people rarely leave their homes without their phones.

If digital is the form you chose to use, the trooper would have the authority to take your phone to his patrol car, but they would not have the authority to look at anything other than your insurance.

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