Editor's Note: The following is a press release issued Wednesday by the Majority Coalition Caucus of the Washington State Senate.
Sen. Pam Roach’s bill to allow drivers to carry vehicle-registrations and proof-of-insurance on a smart phone or tablet passed the Senate unanimously Wednesday. Senate Bill 5095 will help to prevent identity theft and burglaries by keeping driver identities and addresses out of an unattended glove compartment.
“This legislation serves to address two very important issues,” said Roach, R-Auburn. “Most importantly, it prevents crimes that can occur when these documents fall into the wrong hands, but it also makes it easier for drivers stopped for a traffic infraction.”
Roach pointed out that keeping proof-of-insurance and vehicle-registration in a glove compartment while the car is in a parking lot can leave the owner vulnerable to additional crimes.
“If your car is in a parking lot, a thief already knows you aren’t home,” Roach said. “After breaking into your car, they just need to copy down the information and they have all they need to break into your home or steal your identity. However, if you carry this information on your phone, you’ll know it’s protected.”
Passing this bill would also offer more options to drivers stopped by police, keeping Washington ahead of emerging technology trends.
“If a driver is stopped by the police for a driving infraction, they would have the option of presenting their proof-of-insurance and vehicle-registration in paper form, or electronically,” Roach explained. “Both would be valid under the law, and that makes it easier to ensure that a driver has these documents should they be pulled over.”
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.