Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • It’s mandatory to carry proof of auto insurance when you drive
  • Printing your proof of insurance is easier than ever online
  • Online insurance websites allow for comparison shopping

Proof of insurance is a very important document. Today, buy and print auto insurance simplifies proof of insurance. An increasing number of consumers are comparing and buying automobile insurance online to find cheap auto insurance, as their insurance companies are allowing them to print an auto insurance certificate online right off of the website.

Online buying and printing of automobile insurance proof documents make the entire otherwise tedious process quick, simple, and convenient.

If you want to buy and print cheap auto insurance online instantly, enter your zip code into our free comparison tool above to find affordable auto insurance quotes now.

Reasons to Buy Auto Insurance Online

As an increasing number of people use the Internet for making daily purchases, it is easy to see why automobile insurance companies are also seeing their online business grow on a regular basis. How many auto insurance quotes are made monthly online? It is estimated that 3.2 million auto insurance quotes are requested online every month.

In addition, according to a J.D. Power and Associates’ study titled 2012 Insurance Shopping Study, 34 percent of automobile insurance shoppers prefer to shop for insurance online.

These numbers are projected to increase. Some of the reasons for this growing trend are as follows:

  • Convenience – Perhaps the largest incentive is the ease of sitting in your armchair, in your pajamas, looking for the best auto insurance policy available. Being able to access all information means ease and comfort for potential automobile insurance buyers
  • No agents – This could be one of the few times where consumers are not looking for a human touch or voice! Customers can browse without any pressure to buy or commit to quotes sent out by the largely anonymous insurance website
  • Choice – Online insurance websites allow for easy comparison-shopping. Not only will they provide you with a number of quotes to match your needs and budget, they also have different aids such as calculators that will help you determine your premium and deductibles

All of these pluses are a great reason to follow the quote, buy, and print auto insurance trend.

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Details on Proof of Auto Insurance Card

What is my proof of insurance? As the name indicates, proof of insurance is just that. It is a document, a card sent by your automobile insurance company that proves that you have purchased the required insurance for your vehicle.

It is important to have your proof of insurance with you at all times, as all drivers need proof of insurance.

Also known as your insurance binder or an insurance identification card, this is the needed piece of paper that will be asked for, when and if you file an insurance claim.

The proof of insurance contains the following information:

  • The name and address of the insured person
  • The kind of automobile you are driving, its model, and year of manufacture
  • Renewal dates on your policy
  • The insurance company name, customer service number, and address
  • The insurance policy number
  • Purpose of proof of insurance

This piece of paper is immensely important since it is evidence that you have purchased liability coverage for your vehicle. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), auto insurance is mandatory in all but three states in the United States.

You can be asked to produce your proof of insurance under the following circumstances:

When you renew your license plate, the Department of Motor Vehicles will require your proof of insurance. This is to make sure that you have been driving your vehicle with valid insurance.

If you are pulled over by a police officer, you are required to show your license, registration, and insurance identification card. Wondering what will happen if you realize I need proof of insurance now? If you are not carrying either of the three, you are likely to get a fine, a ticket, or more.

If you are in an accident, the other party involved in the accident will ask to see your insurance card as will the responding police officer.

When you make a claim to your insurance company, they will ask for proof of insurance to make sure that they have all the information needed, and that you are eligible for whatever settlement you are requesting from them.

If you lose your proof of insurance, be sure to contact your insurance company immediately. They can send you a new copy via email or fax or guide you on how to show proof of insurance online.

Can you show proof of insurance online? Nowadays, an increasing number of insurance companies that provide apps where you can instantly access your insurance card, making it possible to get proof of insurance online from your smartphone. However, not all states accept electronic proof of insurance, so make sure to ask your local DMV can I show proof of insurance online to officers.

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Consequences of Not Having Proof of Auto Insurance

It is illegal to drive without proof of insurance since without the document it will be assumed that you have not purchased auto insurance, which is mandatory in most states. The penalties vary from state to state but can be very severe.

If you are pulled over by a police officer and are unable to provide proof of insurance, you are likely to get a ticket, a fine and if you have existing tickets, you could even get a license and registration suspension if you were driving without insurance.

Some states allow you a certain grace period to get your proof of insurance. If you produce it within the stipulated time limit, they are likely to suspend the ticket and/or fine.

Besides administrative measures, you could also face criminal prosecution and get jail time. This is highly likely if you cause an accident while driving without proof of insurance. The table below details penalties by state for driving without insurance.

Penalties for Driving without Auto Insurance by State
StatesPenalties for
First Offense
Penalties for
Second Offense
AlabamaFine: Up to $500; registration suspension with $200 reinstatement feeFine: Up to $1,000 and/or six-month license suspension; $400 reinstatement fee with four-month registration suspension
AlaskaLicense suspension for 90 daysLicense suspension for one year
ArizonaFine: $500 (or more); license/registration/license plate suspension for three monthsFine: $750 (or more within 36 months); license/registration/license plate suspension for six months
ArkansasFine: $50 to $250; suspended registration/no plates until proof of coverage plus $20 reinstatement fee; court may order impoundmentFine: $250 to $500 fine — minimum fine mandatory; suspended registration/no plates until proof of coverage plus $20 reinstatement fee. Court may order impoundment
CaliforniaFine: $100-$200 plus penalty assessments. Court may order impoundmentFine: $200-$500 within three years plus penalty assessments. Court may order impoundment
ColoradoFine: $500 minimum fine; 4 points against your license; license suspension until you can show proof to the DMV that you are insured. Courts may add up to 40 hours community service$1,000 minimum fine and license suspension for 4 months; 4 points against your license. Courts may add up to 40 hours community service
ConnecticutFine: $100-$1000; suspended registration/license for one month (show proof of insurance) with $175 reinstatement feeFine: $100-$1000; suspended registration/license for six months (show proof of insurance) with $175 reinstatement fee
DelawareFine: $1500 minimum fine; license/privilege suspension for six monthsFine: $3000 minimum fine within three years; license/privilege suspension for six months
FloridaSuspension of license and registration until reinstatement fee is paid and non-cancelable coverage is secured; $150 fee for first reinstatementSuspension of license and registration until reinstatement fee is paid and non-cancelable coverage is secured; $250 fee for second reinstatement
GeorgiaSuspended registration with $25 lapse fee and $60 reinstatement fee. Pay any other registration fees and vehicle ad valorem taxes dueWithin five years: Suspended registration with $25 lapse fee and $60 reinstatement fee. Pay any other registration fees and vehicle ad valorem taxes due
HawaiiFine: $500 fine or community service granted by judge. Either license suspension for three months or a required nonrefundable insurance policy in force for six monthsFine: $1500 minimum fine within five years; either license suspension for one year or a required non-refundable insurance policy in force for six months
IdahoFine: $75; license suspension until financial proof. No reinstatement fee.Fine: $1000 maximum fine within five years and/or no more than six months in jail; license suspension until financial proof. No reinstatement fee.
IllinoisFine: minimum of $500; License plate suspension until $100 reinstatement fee and insurance proofFine: minimum of $1,000; License plate suspension for four months; $100 reinstatement fee and insurance proof
IndianaLicense/registration suspension for 90 days to one yearWithin three years: license/registration suspension for one year
IowaFine: $500 if in accident; Otherwise, fine: $250; community service in lieu of fine. Possible citation/warning if pulled over plus removal of plates and registration possible when pulled over without insurance and reissued upon payment of fine or completed community service, proof of insurance, and $15 fee; possible impoundment when pulled overN/A
KansasFine: $300 to $1000 and/or confinement in jail up to six months; license/registration suspension; reinstatement fee: $100Fine: $800 to $2500 within three years; license/registration suspension; reinstatement fee: $300 if revoked within previous year, otherwise $100
KentuckyFine: $500 to $1000 fine and/or sentenced up to 90 days in jail; license plates and registration revoked for one year or until proof of insurance is shownWithin five years: 180 days in jail and/or $1000 to $2500; license plates and registration revoked for one year or until proof of insurance is shown
LouisianaFine: $500 to $1000; If in car accident, fine plus registration revoked and driving privileges suspended for 180 daysN/A
MaineFine: $100 to $500; suspension of license and registration until proof of insuranceN/A
MarylandLose license plates and vehicle registration privileges; pay uninsured motorist penalty fees for each lapse of insurance — $150 for the first 30 days, $7 for each day thereafter; Pay a restoration fee of up to $25 for a vehicle's registrationN/A
MassachusettsFine: $500 to $5000 fine and/or imprisonment for one year or lessWithin six years: License/driving privileges suspended for one year
MichiganFine: $200 to $500 fine and/or imprisonment for one year or less; license suspension for 30 days or until proof of insurance; $25 service fee to Secretary of StateN/A
MinnesotaFine: $200 to $1000 (or community service) and/or imprisonment for up to 90 days; License and registration revoked for no more than 12 monthsN/A
MississippiFine: $1000; driving privileges suspended for one year or until proof of insuranceN/A
MissouriFour points against driving record; driver may be supervised; suspended until proof of insurance with $20 reinstatement feeFour points against driving record; driver may be supervised; suspended for 90 days with $200 reinstatement fee
MontanaFine: $250 to $500 fine and/or imprisonment for no more than 10 daysFine: $350 and/or imprisonment for no more than 10 days — within 5 years; license and registration revoked until proof of insurance and payment of reinstatement fees within 90 days
NebraskaLicense and registration suspension; reinstatement fee of $50 for each; proof of insurance to remain on file for three years
NevadaFine: $250 to $1,000 depending on length of lapse; registration suspension — until payment of reinstatement fee and, depending on circumstances, an SR-22 (proof of financial responsibility) if lapsed more than 90 days; reinstatement fee: $250Fine: $500 to $1000 depending on length of lapse; registration suspension — until payment of reinstatement fee and, depending on circumstances, SR-22 (proof of financial responsibility) if lapsed more than 90 days; Reinstatement fee: $500
New HampshireNot a mandatory insurance state. Proof of insurance may be required as the result of a conviction, crash involvement, or administrative action. If you are required to file proof of insurance and vehicles are registered in your name, you will be required to file an Owner’s SR-22 Certificate of Insurance.N/A
New JerseyFine: $300 to $1000; license suspension for one year; pay surcharges for three years in the amount of $250 per yearFine: up to $5000; two-year license suspension; 14-day, mandatory jail term, and an additional mandatory 30 days of community service
New MexicoFine: up to $300 and/or imprisoned for 90 days; license suspensionN/A
New YorkFine: up to $1500 if involved in accident plus $750 civil penalty; license and registration suspension – revoked for one year; suspension of license if without
insurance for 90 days; suspension lasts as long as registration suspension; Suspension of registration: equal to time without insurance or pays $8/day up to thirty days for which financial security was not in effect, $10/day from the thirty-first to the sixtieth day $12/day from the sixtieth to the ninetieth day and proof of security is provided. Or for the same time as the vehicle was operated without insurance.
N/A
North CarolinaFine: $50; registration suspension until proof of financial responsibility but 30-day suspension if in car accident or knowingly driving without insurance; $50 restoration fee plus license plate feeFine: $100 within three years; registration suspension until proof of financial responsibility but 30-day suspension if in car accident or knowingly driving without insurance; $50 restoration fee plus license plate fee
North DakotaFine: up to $1500 and/or 30 days in prison; 14 points against license plus suspension; Proof of insurance must be provided for one year; license with a
notation requiring that person keep proof of liability insurance on file with the department. The fee for this license is $50, and the fee to remove
this notation is $50.
Fine: up to $1500 and/or 30 days in prison; 14 points against license plus suspension; license plates impounded until proof of insurance (provided for one year) plus $20 reinstatement fee; license with a notation requiring that person keep proof of liability insurance on file with the department. The fee for this license is $50 and the fee to remove this notation is $50.
OhioLicense/plates/registration suspension until requirements are met and $100 reinstatement fee is paid; maintain special high-risk coverage on file with the BMV for three to five years; If involved in accident without insurance: all above penalties and a security suspension for two plus years and an indefinite judgment suspension (until all damages are satisfied)License/plates/registration suspension for one year; $300 reinstatement fee; maintain special high-risk coverage on file with the BMV for three or five years; if involved in accident without insurance: all above penalties and a security suspension for two plus years and an indefinite judgment suspension (until all damages are satisfied)
OklahomaFine: $250; jail time up to 30 days; license suspension with $275 reinstatement fee. Police can seize license plates and assign temporary plates and liability insurance — in effect for 10 days and can also impound the vehicle. The cost of the temporary coverage is added to the administrative fee and any fines paid for plates to be returned. If car impounded, owner must also pay towing and storage fees.N/A
OregonFine: $130-$1000 ($260 is the presumptive fine); If involved in accident — at least a one year license suspension; proof of financial responsibility required for three yearsN/A
PennsylvaniaRegistration suspended for three months (unless lapse was for less than 31 days and vehicle not operated during that time); $88 restoration fee plus proof of insurance required to get it back; $500 civil penalty fee is optional in lieu of registration suspension plus $88 restoration fee — can only use this option once within a 12-month periodN/A
Rhode IslandFine: $100 to $500; license and registration suspension up to three months; reinstatement fee: $30 to $50Fine: $500; license and registration suspension up to six months; reinstatement fee: $30 to $50
South CarolinaFine: $100-$200 or 30-day imprisonment; failure to surrender registration and plates when insurance lapses; license/registration suspended until proof of insurance plus $200 reinstatement feeFine: $200 and/or 30-day imprisonment — within 10 years; license/registration suspended until proof of insurance plus $200 reinstatement fee
South DakotaFine: $100 and/or 30 days imprisonment; license suspension for 30 days to one year; filing proof of insurance (SR-22) with the state for three years from date of conviction. Failure to file proof will result in suspension of vehicle registration, license plates, and driver license.N/A
TennesseePay $25 coverage failure fee within 30 days of notice; if not paid, then an additional $100 coverage failure fee with suspension or revocation of registration plus reinstatement fee of no more than $25N/A
TexasFine: $175 to $350 fine; plus, pay up to a $250 surcharge every year for three years (may be reduced with certain requirements)Fine: $350 to $1000; pay up to a $250 surcharge every year for three years (may be reduced with certain requirements); suspend the driver's license and vehicle registrations of the person unless the person files and maintains evidence of financial responsibility with the department until the second anniversary of the date of the subsequent conviction; Impoundment: for 180 days and
cannot apply for release of car without evidence of financial responsibility and impoundment fee of $15/day.
UtahFine: $400; license suspension until proof of insurance (maintained for three years) and $100 reinstatement feeFine: $1000 — with three years; license suspension until proof of insurance (maintained for three years) and $100 reinstatement fee
VermontFine: up to $500; license suspended until proof of insuranceN/A
VirginiaFine: may pay $500 Uninsured Motorists Vehicle fee to drive without insurance at your own risk. If this fee is not paid in lieu of insurance, all driving and vehicle registration privileges will be suspended until a $500 statutory fee is paid, proof of insurance is filed for three years, and a reinstatement fee (if applicable) is paidN/A
WashingtonFine: Up to $250 or moreN/A
West VirginiaFine: $200 to $5000; license suspended for 30 days with reinstatement fees, unless there's proof of insurance and $200 penalty feeFine: $200-$5000 fine and/or 15 days to one year in jail — within five years; license suspended for 90 days and registration revoked until proof of insurance
WisconsinFine: up to $500N/A
WyomingFine: up to $750 fine and up to six months in jailN/A
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Make sure you have good insurance coverage and keep your proof of insurance available, such as keeping it in the glove box of your car. Read on to learn how to get proof of insurance for a car and how to get an insurance policy printed.

How to Keep Proof of Auto Insurance Current

Using buy and print auto insurance companies allows you to keep your auto insurance current very easily. It is important to keep your insurance coverage in place because its lapse can result in major hassles and financial burdens.

Paying your premiums annually or bi-annually. This way you don’t have to worry about making monthly payments. Additionally, your insurance company might offer you a discount for making a lump sum payment.

If you are choosing to make monthly payments, then set up automatic payments using your credit or debit cards or through your bank account. That way you won’t miss making any payment, by mistake.

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

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How to Get Proof of Auto Insurance

Depending on how you buy your automobile insurance, you can get your proof of insurance by mail along with all other related policy information. You can also get the document from your brick and mortar insurance agency via fax or email.

In an increasing number of transactions occurring online, you can also print it from your insurance company website. A print auto insurance certificate online is the easiest, fastest, and most convenient way of getting your proof of insurance. If you are wondering how to print an insurance paper online, it is usually as simple as signing into your online account and selecting the right document.

If you are having trouble discovering how to get your insurance paper online, you can always call customer service for more guidance on how to print out proof of insurance.

However, be aware that the Internet spawns an incredible number of fraudulent insurance companies that could promise you the moon and deliver little. So before you start researching how to print an insurance policy online from your insurer, make sure the insurer is actually one you want to stick with.

If you are looking for insurance companies that will allow you to buy your auto insurance online and print proof of purchase instantly, enter your zip code in the free search tool now.