Heads up, drivers. Starting in January, when you get pulled over and have to show an officer proof of auto insurance, you can flash your phone.
Under a bill signed recently by Gov. Jerry Brown, California is one of seven states that allow consumers to use their smartphone or other mobile device to show they've got insurance. That means no more fumbling around in your glove compartment to find your paper copy.
Instead, insurers now have the option of providing consumers with electronic proof of coverage: via email or an app for mobile devices. The paperless option is voluntary, both for insurance companies and individuals.
Given the prevalence of smart phones in the hands of tech-savvy Californians, electronic proof of coverage is "the wave of the future," according to an email sent to the governor by Armand Feliciano, vice president of the Association of California Insurance Companies.
Six other states - Arizona, Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana and Minnesota - also offer the electronic option, according to ACIC. The bill, AB 1708 by state Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), was signed into law in early September.