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Electronic proof of insurance now accepted in Lawton

LAWTON, Okla._The City of Lawton has changed its policy and is now accepting electronic proofs of car insurance. 

Back in November, the State Insurance Commissioner ruled that electronic proof of insurance should be recognized, but the city attorney had instructed local police they were not legitimate and should not be accepted until further notice.

Lieutenant Brad Davis was asked about the delay from the city attorney's office and he explained, "The reason for the delay was for our city attorneys to kind of look it over and make sure that everything was as legitimate and would work for what we are doing."

Being able to accept them can be a huge convenience to law enforcement, "We see it a lot of times when we pull someone over, we see them dig through their console and glove compartment and find maybe four, five or six insurance but can't find their current one," said Lt. Davis.

So drivers being able to pull their insurance up on their smartphone will be much simpler and that's why Commissioner Doak said he made the ruling to keep Oklahoma in pace with technology, "Anymore it's hard to find folks that don't have a mobile phone today and that technology is there, anything to make it easier for law enforcement and easier for consumers that are carrying their insurance policies."

Doak said while it is now required to accept the electronic proofs he knows that it is an education process to get all agencies to know that it is now acceptable, "They need time to adjust and see what is it that we are seeing and I think over time these law enforcement officials around the state will understand that it is good for everyone and my option can actually reduce some of the fraud."

Lt. Davis said if your phone is your proof of insurance then the officer would have to take your phone back to their patrol car while they are issuing the citation, but could cause a problem, "If you were anticipating a phone call or an officer isn't going to be sitting there digging through the phone looking at pictures and stuff like that but if a text message happened to pop up while he was sitting there looking at it that could be embarrassing."

Lt. Davis also said he thinks it would be a smart choice to always keep the paper in your car just in case you are in a situation where it may be a inconvenience to give your phone to an officer.

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