Electronic Proof of Insurance Cards - accepted by LEOs?

User avatar
PrivacyGuy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined:

Electronic Proof of Insurance Cards - accepted by LEOs?

Unread post by PrivacyGuy on

Under what circumstances will LEOs accept a photo or digital representation of a (valid) proof of auto insurance card?
I understand that only original (printed) cards are considered valid (e.g. no photocopies), but LEOs will often accept *temporary* proof of insurance cards (that are emailed to drivers/owners). Is there much discretion and variability in LEO practices across Ontario?
Thx, PG


The Compulsory Insurance Act says:
Operator to carry insurance card
3. (1) An operator of a motor vehicle on a highway shall have in the motor vehicle at all times,
(a) an insurance card for the motor vehicle; or
(b) an insurance card evidencing that the operator is insured under a contract of automobile insurance,
and the operator shall surrender the insurance card for reasonable inspection upon the demand of a police officer. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.25, s. 3 (1).

“insurance card” means,
(a) a Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card in the form approved by the Superintendent,
(b) a policy of automobile insurance or a certificate of a policy in the form approved by the Superintendent, or
(c) a document in a form approved by the Superintendent;


User avatar
Decatur
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 697
Joined:

Posting Awards

Moderator

Unread post by Decatur on

I don't accept any electronic "copy" of any documents, including insurance. How can i take an electronic copy back to my police vehicle to make notes?


User avatar
PrivacyGuy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined:

Unread post by PrivacyGuy on

i expect that you'd take the mobile device that displays the image.
On a separate note, is it always necessary to take the card back to the police vehicle? Isn't inspection enough in most cases?


User avatar
Decatur
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 697
Joined:

Posting Awards

Moderator

Unread post by Decatur on

1- There's no way i'm taking someones phone back to a police vehicle.
2- I'm not going to stand at roadside to write notes/evidence for any potential charges.


jsherk
High Authority
High Authority
Posts: 1722
Joined:

Unread post by jsherk on

There is no obligation for police to accept digital version on what they are asking for.

Some might, but they do not have too.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


User avatar
PrivacyGuy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined:

Unread post by PrivacyGuy on

Good to know. Might want to make your views known to the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators, who are proposing to introduce electronic proof of insurance cards. See their May 2016 issues paper
https://www.ccir-ccrra.org/en/init/Elec ... f(ENG).pdf

From what I understand about the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, LEOs would have to accept them, even if they do not currently do so.
The major issue they identify in the paper are concerns about LEOs handing mobile devices - lots of potential for things to go wrong: battery is dead, screen is cracked and text not legible, password protect screensaver comes on, suspicious text messages appear on the screen; LEO's confiscate the phone, and search the phone's contents on a pretext to look for something else.

As a driver i would never hand over my phone to an LEO.


screeech
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 324
Joined:

Unread post by screeech on

The council may propose the change but it will have to be passed through a change in the legislation if the police are to accept them. I see too many problems with an electronic version of any document...Electronic versions of Log Books for commercial motor vehicle drivers is common now, however, they must still be able to print out a copy of their log page, or hand write one, if requested by an inspector.


User avatar
Nanuk
Jr. Member
Jr. Member
Posts: 72
Joined:

Unread post by Nanuk on

screeech wrote:The council may propose the change but it will have to be passed through a change in the legislation if the police are to accept them. I see too many problems with an electronic version of any document...Electronic versions of Log Books for commercial motor vehicle drivers is common now, however, they must still be able to print out a copy of their log page, or hand write one, if requested by an inspector.
Which is exactly why it wont fly. I also have never accepted an electronic copy on an electronic device, as this is not in the format approved by the superintendent.


UnluckyDuck
Member
Member
Posts: 201
Joined:

Unread post by UnluckyDuck on

Question regarding "format approved by the superintendent". My Insurance slip expired a couple months ago, and I did not receive the updated slips, so I called my insurance company and they emailed me a valid slip, which I printed out. Would this be sufficient enough, or does this technically not count as an approved format?


argyll
VIP
VIP
Posts: 888
Joined:

Posting Awards

Unread post by argyll on

Does anyone have the definition of approved format ?
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


Zatota
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 270
Joined:
Location: Thornhill

Posting Awards

Unread post by Zatota on

UnluckyDuck wrote:Question regarding "format approved by the superintendent". My Insurance slip expired a couple months ago, and I did not receive the updated slips, so I called my insurance company and they emailed me a valid slip, which I printed out. Would this be sufficient enough, or does this technically not count as an approved format?
That should be fine. To the best of my knowledge, the copy in your car does not need to be an original.


User avatar
Nanuk
Jr. Member
Jr. Member
Posts: 72
Joined:

Unread post by Nanuk on

argyll wrote:Does anyone have the definition of approved format ?
I know member Stanton had posted it before when referencing the FSCO documentation.


screeech
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 324
Joined:

Unread post by screeech on

A copy of the insurance card is not ok...a copy of the ownership is...


Bob in Ontario
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined:

Unread post by Bob in Ontario on

Recently As the result of an accident that wasn't my fault I had to put a car back out on the road that I hadn't been using . I contacted my insurance company and put insurance on the car . I printed the documents and went to the Service Ontario office to get a valid sticker for the car . Even with the insurance documents that clearly showed the car was insured in my hand I was told that I couldn't get the plate sticker because the insurance coverage " wasn't entered into the system yet."

I assume that " the system " includes the computer network the police use ?
The next conclusion from that is if police can confirm a car is or isn't insured by running the plate why is there still a necessity to carry insurance slips for the car ?
And lastly .... With this no sticker for you till the insurance is " in the system " that took three days . What would you do if you bought a used car from another part of the province ? Wait three days in a motel room till your insurance is " in the system " to get plates to bring it home ?
I phoned my insurance company about the delay and they said they had forwarded the information to where it was supposed to go then I called the Insurance Bureau of Canada and was told the delay was because of third party contractors that now do the data entry .
The end result was me having to keep the rental car I was using for three extra days till my insurance info got into the system and I could get valid stickers for my license plates .
I found the whole thing bureaucracy at it's finest .


User avatar
Decatur
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 697
Joined:

Posting Awards

Moderator

Unread post by Decatur on

"The system" does not include the computer network that the police use. If anything, some access to some users may indicate whether the vehicle is insured or not, but the is based on the information that is submitted when a validation sticker is renewed. This information is usually not accurate or incomplete. You still have to carry your valid insurance card.






Post Reply

Return to “Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act”