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Alberta Becomes Third Province to Allow Electronic Pink Slips

By Hayley Vesh
Man on phone with car

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has announced that the Government of Alberta will allow drivers to use electronic pink slips as proof of insurance, effective immediately.

In Alberta and Ontario the paper pink slip is the standard proof of insurance card. The document allows provincial police to more easily identify a valid insurance card from out of province, as well as verify a driver’s insurance information on the spot. Currently in Ontario, and until today, in Alberta, motorists are required to carry a paper version of that document.

As technology evolves so has banking and other industries. In a media release, IBC Vice President, Western, Celyeste Power, stated, “The insurance industry supports any changes that help make insurance easier and more accessible for drivers. The government understands consumers deserve a 21st century insurance product, and we look forward to continuing to work with the government to bring more choice and innovation to Albertans.”

Alberta follows in the footsteps of Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, as it becomes the third province to allow digital proof of insurance.

According to Allstate, as of April 2018, 48 out of 50 U.S. states permit driver to use an electronic copy of their insurance card as proof of insurance. Privacy has been a main source of concern for the new method of proof, with some states amending laws to prohibit officers from viewing any additional information on the device.

Pros and Cons

Potential benefits of the electronic insurance slip include:

  • Going paperless reduces the clutter in the glovebox
  • Personal documentation not left in an unattended car/theft reduction
  • May reduce the probability of having an expired card
  • Possibly minimize fraudulent proof of insurance
  • Access immediately/no need to wait for the mail
  • Convenient, on-demand access to documents
  • Digital sharing of information

Potential cons or unanswered questions:

  • What happens if your device is damaged during inspection?
  • What happens if your battery dies?
  • What if you forget your phone at home?
  • How is my privacy protected from law enforcement?
  • How does electronic proof work if I let someone borrow my car?

Now, the question is, when will Ontario follow suit? 

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