Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is urging the state’s lead transportation agency to harness technology that would allow Floridians to show digital proof of insurance on their smartphones.
In a letter sent Wednesday to Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Director Terry Rhodes, Patronis shared plans to push legislation that would require the state to create the digital insurance verification tool by 2023.
The technology, Patronis said, should coincide with the state’s ongoing effort to develop a digital driver’s license. The 2022 Legislative Session begins Tuesday.
“Your agency is doing important work with this digital effort and we all look forward to the day when we can legally drive on Florida’s roadways and leave the wallet at home,” Patronis wrote.
According to Patronis’ letter, Florida is expected to launch the digital driver’s license app some time in the first quarter of this year.
The app would allow Floridians to share their license with law enforcement, as well as with stores that request identification. Future planned uses for the app include car rentals, voting, airport security, ride-sharing and more.
In the letter, Patronis noted that many insurance carriers — GEICO, Allstate and State Farm, among others — already provide insurance cards via apps. But motorists may be better served, Patronis suggested, by marrying the digital driver’s license with an insurance verification tool.
“If the real-time insurance status of the driver was made crystal clear within the digital-driver’s license app, then the policyholder would more easily know their coverage status,” Patronis wrote.
He continued: “This is a much better way to ensure that we have coverage on Florida roadways, rather than drivers having to learn the hard way, after getting pulled over and digging around their glove compartments, only to learn they do not have coverage.”
Florida has worked to create the digital driver’s license app since 2014. Once live, the digital license will be just as valid as a traditional ID card.