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  • Electronic Proof of Insurance and/or Registration

    In Illinois I don't have to have my registration in my car but I have to have proof of insurance, of course. Just wondering (for when I'm driving out of state) what you would do if you stopped someone who did not have their registration printed but had an electronic copy in a pdf on their smart phone. Assuming the phone is large enough for the document to be as legible as if it were printed, would you accept that as registration? I'm curious if I need to bring a printed registration with when I drive out of state.

    I have a related question to that. In Illinois it says in our vehicle registration that for personal security we are not required to keep a printed copy of our registration in our car. How does that make me more secure?

    Thank you for your time in answering my questions!

  • #2
    I can only speak for Alabama. In Alabama a copy of your Tag Receipt (Registration) is acceptable. I'm going to guess a copy (legible) on your smart phone would be OK. That's merely a guess though. In contrast to Illinois, Alabama does require that your tag receipt, or a copy be kept in your vehicle. Can't really address the security issue. My thought for you, especially if you're contemplating out of state travel, would be to have a copy of your registration available along with your proof of insurance. Often your proof of insurance will contain the VIN number of your vehicle. Security? Good question.

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    • #3
      If you are out of state, as long as I have something to verify the vehicle's VIN, owner and assigned registration plate then that works for me. If it isn't that big of a deal to print it out then I would suggest you do it to save you any potential hassle.

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      • #4
        Up here, by the book, you HAVE TO HAVE your papers with you. Having said that, as long as I got the info via NCIC / NLETS / your State CIC, and you had not been involved in a collision (even if you were NOT at fault), then you and I would pleasantly part ways.
        #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
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        • #5
          Don't need registration paperwork on hand here in Kansas. Just DL and insurance. But if there was an issue with the tag such as it returning to another vehicle it's nice to have on hand.
          I trust my life with J. M. Browning's design, the 1911.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PeteBroccolo View Post
            Up here, by the book, you HAVE TO HAVE your papers with you. Having said that, as long as I got the info via NCIC / NLETS / your State CIC, and you had not been involved in a collision (even if you were NOT at fault), then you and I would pleasantly part ways.
            Same with Indiana. I will run your tags, if they match your information you will be on your way. If your polite.
            This is for all you parents that like to put your kids names on the back of your mini-vans.

            STOP IT! There are predators that will use that information against them!

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            • #7
              I would not bother you here in Vermont as long as you had valid insurance and Drivers license. Registration, as long as the vehicle is valid and matches the info given to me by Dispatch your good to go.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PeteBroccolo View Post
                Up here, by the book, you HAVE TO HAVE your papers with you. Having said that, as long as I got the info via NCIC / NLETS / your State CIC, and you had not been involved in a collision (even if you were NOT at fault), then you and I would pleasantly part ways.
                Same in CT. Have laws for failure to carry reg/insurance ID. I'm good as long as I get it on the computer for the reg. Have to have insurance, but only enforceable if should be registered in CT.

                HOWEVER - When you leave the state, just bring the papers!
                Last edited by 775; 03-16-2011, 12:31 PM. Reason: spelling - don't want to look a db posting a Q

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                • #9
                  Not a big deal here. As others have said I'd print it out though. It would take up just a sliver of your glove box space and would take about 5 mins to do. I'm on the spend 5 mins of hassle now to avoid 5 hours of hassle later bandwagon....

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the answers! The only reason that I was considering NOT keeping the printed registration in the car was because the state of Illinois was implying that keeping it in the car is a personal security risk. I still don't understand how that can be a security risk. Since I live within an hour's drive of two other states I think I'll just keep the printed copy in the car along with my insurance info. It seems like the easiest thing to do.

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                    • #11
                      Perhaps the security issue is that your registration probably has your address on it. If someone steals your car from the mall parking lot, they now know where you live as well. They could use your garage door opener to access the rest of your house, or if your keys were stolen along with the car and your house keys were on the ring they could get in that way. Ohio now issues two copies of your registration; one with and one without your address on it. They recommend you only keep the one without your address in your car.

                      Personally I could care less if the people I pull over have their registration with them, as I can get what information I need off my computer, which actually works most of the time! I usually don't even ask for it. I still need to see your insurance card, though, as I don't have computer access to that information.

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                      • #12
                        So where's the "security" in keeping it on your phone? If I steal your phone, I have the papers.
                        As a cop, I'm NOT going to stand there and read your smart phone. Produce the reg or get cited.
                        Free Deke O'Mally!!!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by District B 13 View Post
                          So where's the "security" in keeping it on your phone? If I steal your phone, I have the papers.
                          As a cop, I'm NOT going to stand there and read your smart phone. Produce the reg or get cited.
                          That's a really good point. I'm much more likely to lose my phone or have it stolen than to have my car stolen. I live in a suburb of Chicago and we average about 25 vehicle thefts per year with a population of 40,000. I'm sure more than 25 phones are lost or stolen here each year!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JonB View Post
                            In Illinois I don't have to have my registration in my car but I have to have proof of insurance, of course. Just wondering (for when I'm driving out of state) what you would do if you stopped someone who did not have their registration printed but had an electronic copy in a pdf on their smart phone. Assuming the phone is large enough for the document to be as legible as if it were printed, would you accept that as registration? I'm curious if I need to bring a printed registration with when I drive out of state.

                            I have a related question to that. In Illinois it says in our vehicle registration that for personal security we are not required to keep a printed copy of our registration in our car. How does that make me more secure?

                            Thank you for your time in answering my questions!
                            As long as you are compliant with your state laws regarding registration you can't be found in violation of another state's registration rules since you are not registered there. By not keeping the reg in the car it helps protect your privacy. Since the average person can't get the info from your license plate without jumping through a few hoops.

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                            • #15
                              In WA you have to have your current registration and it has to be signed by the registered owner. You also need to have current proof of insurance.

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