In Washington, drivers are required to produce proof of car insurance to police officers on request. The proof of insurance should be carried in the vehicle at all times.
If a driver is unable to provide the requested documentation, the office will presume that the driver does not have coverage. This is a traffic infraction which carries a minimum fine of $450. Providing the officer with a falsified insurance document is a misdemeanor offense.
A valid identification card includes the following information:
- Name of the insurance company
- Policy number
- Date policy took effect
- Expiry date for the policy
The insurance card will also include a description of the vehicle the policy pertains to. It lists the make and model of the vehicle, as well as its year.
A new insurance card is issued when a policy is renewed, and a driver needs make sure to switch the previous card for the new one on receipt. Destroying the old insurance card is a good idea to avoid confusion about whether the driver has the current one in his or her car.
Some types of vehicles are exempt from the proof of insurance regulation:
- Antique vehicle
- Collector vehicle more than 30 years old
- Motor-driven cycle)
- State or publicly-owned vehicle
They must be insured, but an operator does have the same duty to produce proof of insurance when asked to do so by a police officer.