New insurance law brings change for Missouri drivers

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Your driver's license and proof of insurance are commonly asked for by an officer when you get pulled over. It's a simple request, but giving the officer what he or she wants isn't always so simple.

"I've been pulled over and had my insurance card in the trunk of the car and the officer would not let me get it so I got a ticket," said Sherri Thompson.

A new law means Thompson, and other drivers like her, now have another option.

"The new bill allows for you to have that in an electronic format, so you can now make that information available to the officer in paper format or electronically, either on a cell phone or any sort of wireless device," said Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jason Pace.

The law took effect last week.  Gov. Jay Nixon says he signed it because it would help Missouri drivers.

"It's a good common sense solution for drivers.  It's a lot easier to get out your iPhone or your Blackberry and show them your insurance registration than it is to try to find that piece of paper that's down in your glove box," said Nixon.

Some drivers are excited about having a new option that's available at thier fingertips.

"I have my cell phone everywhere, but a little piece of paper is definitely harder to hold on to especially with kids," said Thompson.

She knows from experience that it will save drivers a lot of headaches.

"I had to go to court and show that I had insurance and all of that.  It was a hassle," said Thompson.

In addition to potentially spending less time in the courtroom, drivers I spoke with say this new measure could also be financially beneficial as well, saving them not only time but also money.

"Court costs are $31.50 alone just to appear, so I think it's a great idea for people who don't always have their card right there handy," said Thompson.

Many insurance companies have a mobile application that can be downloaded on portable devices to help drivers access their insurance policy information with just a few swipes on a keypad.