For Release: Thursday, June 15, 2017
Contact: Josh Fitzpatrick, (518) 455-2381, firstname.lastname@example.org
Albany, NY – Senator Kathy Marchione (R,C,I,Reform-Halfmoon), Chair of the Senate Local Government Committee, today announced the Senate’s passage of her legislation, Senate Bill S.181, that would amend the State’s Vehicle and Traffic Law permitting automobile insurers to provide proof of insurance in an electronic format displayed on a mobile electronic device. Senator Marchione’s bill passed the Senate during today’s Session by a vote of 60-0.
With mobile technology becoming more common in everyday use, the measure would allow for easy access by both a driver and a law enforcement officer, to view legal proof of insurance. Utilizing this universal technology would provide a much more effective and efficient process, as opposed to a motorist searching their vehicle for an up-to-date insurance card that may or may not be present. To provide privacy for drivers, Senator Marchione’s measure requires that an officer only view the evidence of financial responsibility and be prohibited from viewing any other content on the mobile electronic device.
Senator Marchione’s legislation would eliminate scams such as production and use of fake insurance cards. A fake card can be detected in only a few seconds, using real-time verification systems that allow officers to check for insurance coverage against the car's license plate. Several insurers already associated with this measure will e-mail copies to officers and consumers. This legislation will not negate current law, whereby a driver may choose to keep a paper copy of their insurance inside their vehicle and provide that as legal proof.
“Allowing motorists the ability to provide proof of insurance in an electronic format recognizes the reality that so many people now have smartphones that can easily store, and provide, quick access to this important information. This is a common sense update that will help bring New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law into the 21stcentury,” Senator Marchione said.
Senator Marchione’s legislation has an Assembly companion measure, Assembly Bill A.8396, sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela J. Hunter (D-Syracuse). The Assembly companion legislation was referred to the Assembly Transportation Committee on June 13, 2017.