SPRINGFIELD — Those paper cards proving your vehicle is insured could someday go the way of rotary dial phones and typewriters.
In action Friday, Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday allowing Illinoisans to use their smartphones to show proof they have auto insurance.
The move brings Illinois in line with 14 other states that allow motorists to exchange the traditional paper proof for an app on their phone.
Currently, motorists stopped by police must provide proof of insurance or face a traffic citation.
Under the new law, which takes effect immediately, insurance companies can provide proof of coverage in an electronic format, allowing motorists to display the image on their phone or tablet.
Some insurers already are offering the service.
Bloomington-based State Farm Insurance Cos. is touting its Pocket Agent app, which can be used on a variety of smartphones.
The company reports the app has been downloaded more than 2.6 million times and used an estimated 750,000 times.
Country Financial, also based in Bloomington, doesn’t yet have an app, but customers can download a copy of their insurance card from the company website, said spokesman Christopher Stroisch.
“We wanted to make it easy for our customers to access their insurance cards. Most people wouldn’t think of leaving their house without their phone, but they may not remember to put their newest insurance card into their vehicle,” Stroisch said in an email Friday.
“Since the functionality has only been available since April, we’re still trying to promote it to our customers. Information on monthly users to our mobile site is not currently available,” he added.
The legislation is Senate Bill 1775.