Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • A car insurance certificate is a summary of your full insurance policy
  • The certificate is an easy way to provide proof of insurance
  • Locating the certificate can be done online, or with the help of your carrier

There are many instances where you as a consumer are going to need to produce evidence that you have existing insurance on a vehicle. One of the most common examples of this is when you are going to purchase a new vehicle or lease one.

In these cases, the car dealership is likely to ask you to show evidence that you have car insurance. This is when having a copy of your car insurance certificate is very powerful.

Just how can you as a consumer, though, easily get a copy of this so that you can move forward in a timely fashion?

A car insurance certificate is basically an identification card of what you have for insurance, and also evidence that you are carrying an in-force insurance policy.

You need car insurance to have an automobile on the road and it is easier to produce this certificate than it is to hand someone your entire car insurance policy as proof of coverage.

That is why so many will look for you to provide a car insurance certificate before an actual full-blown policy. The certificate has all of the important information in a concise one-page document.

Make sure you have the coverage you need for the best price. Compare car insurance quotes from top companies today!

Check Your Paper Documentation


When you purchase a car insurance policy, your insurer may provide your policy as well as a car insurance certificate. This is proof of insurance that you are going to need when requested by a third party, such as a car dealership.

The first and easiest way to get that certificate is to see if you already have a copy. Go back and check your paper documentation from when you initially purchased your car insurance policy.

Did your insurer provide one that you can easily snag and provide to whoever is requesting it?

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Using an Online Portal

Chances are your car insurance carrier has a website and an online portal where you can hop on the site and quickly log into your account.

This is another very easy way of getting your certificate because typically, on here, you are able to pull down the following:

  • Electronic copies of your policy
  • Any endorsement you may have made
  • Your certificate

A quick download from the online portal can give you a PDF copy of that certificate in no time at all.

The nice thing is that you are not going to have to print it out, you can probably just e-mail it right off to whoever is requesting it and move on with your day.

Smartphone Apps Work


A smartphone app may work as well for you to get this information that you need.

The big insurance carriers and even many of the smaller ones now have smartphone apps that act the same as their full-blown websites.

You can log into your account on these apps and be off to the races in terms of pulling down copies of your policy, car insurance certificate, as well as any other documents that you may need.

If All Else Fails, Call the Insurer

When you have had it in terms of trying to find your car insurance certificate, it is then that you want to pick up the phone and call your insurer.

They will be able to get you a copy of your car insurance certificate in no time at all and can probably either mail it to you via snail mail or send it electronically over e-mail. Either way, you can have a copy of that certificate in short order.

Understanding what a car insurance certificate is and how easy it is to get a copy of can make the process of actually locating the document that much simpler.

Insurance carriers are making it easier than ever to get insurance documents and you as a consumer benefit from this.

When you shop for insurance, do comparisons of what electronic documentation your insurance carrier provides so that you can find one that can conveniently get you documents such as this.

Comparison shop today for car insurance using our free quote tool!