Assemblymember Mike Gatto, D- Los Angeles, has authored a law that will allow California drivers to show proof of insurance and auto registration on an electronic device, the assemblyman said today.
AB 1708, introduced in February, came out of a brainstorming session with Gatto’s staff. Gatto asked his staff to suggest legislation that deals with the “hassles of life,” and legislative director Aaron Moreno suggested an easier way for drivers to show proof of insurance if pulled over for a traffic stop.
Gatoo said that many young Californians pay for auto insurance on a monthly basis and receive new proof of insurance every month. Losing paperwork in the glove box can result in a ticket. Allowing easier proof brings California law up to date with technological advancements, according to Gatto.
“I would venture that every time that there has been a change in technology… that laws had to change,” Gatto said today. “This just falls into the category of updating our laws.”
The law, if passed, would allow drivers to show proof of insurance and DMV registration on a smartphone or a laptop that’s handy, Gatto said. Drivers can take pictures of the documents, pull the documents up in an email or ask insurance providers for an electronic document. Insurers will likely not be required to provide the electronic documents but can if requested, he said.
The legislation will also include civil liberties safeguards and safety precautions. The law will specify that consent for law enforcement to view a driver’s registration or insurance on a smartphone does not equate to consent to search the entire contents of the phone, Gatto said. Drivers can also easily turn on their cell phones after pulling over so will not be encouraged to use their phones illegally.
“I don’t anticipate there being an justifiable pushback,” Gatto said of the law. “This is not a bill where we’re trying to make anybody’s life difficult. Our goal with this is to make peoples lives easier.”