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: Aug 9, 2021

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Key takeaways...

  • Drivers should understand and comply with their state’s minimum auto insurance requirements
  • There are several convenient ways to get a copy of your auto insurance card
  • You should only drive with your insurance cards in your possession

In most states, drivers are legally obligated to purchase and maintain a minimum level of auto insurance. This state requirement usually includes a minimum level of liability insurance, but coverage requirements vary by state. Many drivers prefer to purchase optional coverage for added protection.

More than that, you should be able to produce proof of coverage upon request at all times when operating a vehicle. Law enforcement may ask for proof of auto insurance coverage if you are pulled over for a traffic violation, or you may need to provide proof of coverage to another party if you are involved in a collision.

By following a few helpful steps, you can more easily obtain the new insurance cards you need to legally operate your vehicle.

Learn more about your car insurance cards below and make sure to use our free insurance comparison tool above!

Look in the Mail

Most auto insurance policies auto-renew as long as you have maintained your account in good standing, and the provider typically will mail you a copy of your new insurance cards upon each renewal.

If you have signed up for electronic documentation from your provider, you should check your email. As long as you are still paying your premium payments on time, the provider should give you access to your cards.

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Download New Auto Insurance Cards

If you have lost or misplaced your auto insurance card in between renewal periods, the fastest and easiest way to get new proof of insurance may be to log into your account online. Visit your provider’s website, and use the same login information you use to manage your account or claims.

There may be a link on the website to view, download, and print copies of your auto insurance cards as needed. Because you can typically take this step at any time of day or night, this is a more convenient option to consider.

In the event you are involved in an accident and discover you have lost your card, you may be able to easily obtain a digital copy of your card to provide to the other by logging into your account online.

Request New Cards By Calling Your Provider

Another option is to request new auto insurance cards by contacting your provider directly. You can call your broker’s office or the customer service number during business hours.

The provider may be able to email the cards to you for immediate printing, or the provider may mail the cards to you. Remember that you should not drive your car until you have access to proof of coverage.

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If Your Insurance Policy Has Expired

Some drivers will learn that they need to purchase a new policy because their coverage has lapsed or been canceled. If this is the case, you can easily get new coverage by following a few simple steps.

Request Insurance Quotes

The first step to take is to get a quote for new coverage. It may be beneficial to request a few different quotes from different providers to find the best overall deal available on coverage. Each provider you request a quote from will require you to provide personal information about yourself and your driving history.

For example, you may need to provide each auto insurance company with your name, address, driver’s license number and accident or citation history for the past three years. You may also need to provide details about the make, model and year of your car as well as other details, such as extra safety equipment in the vehicle.

Seek Discounts

Before you finalize your various requests for auto insurance quotes, seek discounts from the providers you are reaching out to. Each provider may offer different types of auto insurance discounts and have different requirements for them. Some common discounts available include:

  • Low mileage discount
  • Student discount
  • Safe driver discount
  • Bundled policy discount

Compare Insurance Plans

After you receive quotes from several providers with all applicable discounts applied, it is important to compare insurance plans and quotes carefully. Ideally, the coverage types and amounts in all of the plans will be similar. This gives you the ability to make an apples-to-apples comparison to find the best rate.

Many people will select the provider with the lowest rates, but this is not necessarily the best step to take. Keep in mind that you need your auto insurance coverage to be fully protective. The best plan to select is one that meets all of your coverage needs, and this includes state required coverage as well as any optional coverage that you desire.

Choose the Right Provider

Another important factor to consider before you select the right insurance plan to move forward with is the actual provider. Providers vary based on their financial strength, their reputation for processing claims promptly and fully, their level of customer service and more.

To begin learning more about the different providers you have obtained quotes from, search the A.M. Best website for more details about the financial strength of each company.

In addition, search for consumer reviews, and pay attention to comments regarding how fast and easy it was to file and process a claim. These steps will help you to choose the best provider to purchase your auto insurance policy from.

Purchase Your Coverage

Before you can print your new auto insurance cards, you need to purchase your coverage. In most cases, an insurance provider will ask you to pay at least the first month’s premium. They may also ask you to set up regular monthly payments on an automated schedule.

You often can complete this step using your credit or debit card or your bank’s routing number and checking account number.

Driving without proof of proper auto insurance coverage is not recommended, and it is considered to be an illegal act in many states. If you do not have an auto insurance card in your possession, you can easily follow these steps today to obtain proof of insurance.

Before making any final decisions on your insurance company, it is important to learn as much as you can about your local insurance providers, and the coverages they offer. Call your local insurance agent to clear up any questions that you might have. Questions to consider asking include, “What is the best coverage plan for me/my family/my situation?” “What are the minimum coverage requirements in my state and what form of coverage do you recommend?” “Do you guys offer any bundle discounts if I take out both my auto insurance and home insurance with you?” and “What is the average rate of insurance quotes you guys offer?”

Before making any big insurance decisions, use our free tool to compare insurance quotes near you. It’s simple, just plug in your zip code and we’ll do the rest!

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