How do I get a car insurance card?

A car insurance card is required of all drivers while driving. Penalties for driving without a car insurance card include impounding, multiple fines, and potential arrest.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 29, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • You must have proof of insurance when operating a vehicle
  • You should be able to obtain your insurance card online instantly
  • If you lose your card, contact your insurance provider immediately for a new copy

Proof of insurance, also known as the car insurance card, is a necessary thing for drivers to have in their car at all times while driving.

Most states have severe penalties for a driver failing to have their car insurance card with them, which can include:

  • impounding of the vehicle
  • citations
  • multiple fines
  • possible arrest

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Therefore, it’s smart for all drivers to carry proof of insurance. If a person doesn’t have car insurance, then they should compare quotes for car insurance as soon as they possibly can. Failure to do so can result in the above-mentioned problems.

Luckily, car insurance is fairly cheap if a person shops around and does thorough research.

The Basics of a Car Insurance Card

When a person purchases car insurance, they are either mailed a car insurance card or they can print one through the insurer’s website.

Most car insurance cards list the same general information, which can include:

  • Policyholder’s name and address
  • Policy number and coverage dates
  • Vehicle make and model
  • Insurer’s contact information

It’s important for drivers to keep the right car insurance card in the correct vehicle because they will face problems should they attempt to explain their incorrect card.

Also, car insurance cards are only valid for certain periods, which coincide with their policy coverage dates. A driver should note when their current card expires and obtain their next one promptly.

Although not as serious as the consequences for those who drive without car insurance, expired proof of insurance will still result in problems.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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The Importance of a Car Insurance Card

As mentioned previously, car insurance cards are required by nearly every state as proof of basic insurance.

A car insurance card tells a police officer or another driver that the person is insured and can cover the cost of any damages they inflict in an accident. For police officers, it tells them that the driver is obeying the law.

Likewise, it tells a person involved in an accident with the cardholder that their damages will be paid for.

A car insurance card also guarantees that a person is insured and won’t fall victim to thousands of dollars worth of losses if they cause an accident. Basically, insurance is protection for the driver from losing all of their money after an accident.

It also protects them in case they are the victim of an accident in which case they would receive compensation to fix their vehicle, pay medical bills, or receive compensation for work hours lost due to injury.

The Different Ways to Obtain a Car Insurance Card

Obtaining the car insurance card is quite simple.

A person can either print them online — which makes the car insurance “card” a simple copy of the actual one — or request one to be mailed to their address.

Around the time a card is set to expire, the new car insurance card will be mailed to the customer or they can simply print it from the company website.

Simply put, a person should never have a hard time obtaining their current car insurance card.

If they do experience problems, then it might be a good idea for them to consider switching auto insurance providers. If that’s the case, then they should compare auto insurance quotes and find a company that will give them their car insurance card on time.

Enter your zip code below to receive car insurance quotes from multiple companies today!


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