Sgt. Troy Christianson, who serves with the Minnesota State Patrol, was recently questioned about the criteria for presenting proof of insurance and identification and providing an answer in his weekly "Ask a Trooper" column which you can read below.

If I get pulled over by the police and they ask for my driver's license or car insurance, do I need physical copies, or are photos of these documents on my phone okay?

It's been years since I've been pulled over (fingers crossed!), so when I saw Christianson discussing this, I figured I'd better check if my insurance card is still stashed in my car's center console.

Found it there, but I know some people prefer using digital copies on their phones. Is that legal in Minnesota?

Minnesota State Patrol/Facebook
Minnesota State Patrol/Facebook

In Minnesota, the law requires that proof of insurance includes your name, policy number, coverage dates, vehicle make, model, year, and at least the last three digits of the vehicle identification number, along with the name of the provider.

Is Phone Acceptable for Insurance Proof During Minnesota Traffic Stops?

Woman in car signing speeding ticket for policeman

Sgt. Christianson says it's a must for every driver to have proof of insurance while driving and to provide it upon request during traffic stops or incidents like accidents. Failure to do so can result in a citation.

However, you can have electronic proof of insurance, which includes text or image-based formats displayed on a digital device like your phone. This could be a snapshot of your insurance card or a screenshot.

You must carry your physical driver's license as electronic images aren't accepted. The Minnesota State Trooper emphasizes that this ensures accurate documentation of your information and in the event of serious accidents, having a physical license helps contact family members if required.

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Gallery Credit: Minnesota Now

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