Monday, March 5, 2012

California State lawmaker wants smartphone app for proving vehicle registration

California drivers seeing flashing lights in their rearview mirror may soon be reaching for their smartphones instead of putting them down.
A bill introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, would give Californians the option of presenting their proof of insurance on a hand-held device during traffic stops.
"We are the state where there's so much technological capital," Gatto said. "We run the risk of losing that value if we don't update our laws from time to time."
Many insurance companies have introduced apps that display customer information, but the state vehicle code does not mention electronic devices, leaving law enforcement officers in a gray area during traffic stops.
One of Gatto's younger staffers suggested AB1708 as a way to spare residents from having to rustle through the glove compartment for insurance papers. Similar efforts are under consideration in Arizona and Idaho, but no states have yet approved the change, according to insurance organizations.
Gatto plans to amend the bill to include registration papers, which the Department of Motor Vehicles would have to provide electronically.

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