Paper motor insurance certificates could be scrapped

| November 14, 2012
Paper motor insurance certificates could be scrapped

As part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge, the Department for Transport may end the requirement for drivers to keep a copy of their motor insurance certificate.

An eight-week consultation is underway to consider the proposal, which would reduce costs for insurance companies and ultimately motorists if the cost savings are passed on.

Many insurance companies have already stopped sending insurance certificates through the post, choosing to email them to customers instead.

The police now have the ability to check a driver’s insurance status on the Motor Insurance Database.

Records kept by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency are compared regularly with the Motor Insurance Database to identify registered keepers of vehicles which appear to have no insurance.

However, there are a number of potential problems with scrapping paper certificates and these will be considered during the consultation period.

Provision will need to be made for people without internet access and there could also be a problem when driving abroad, as motorists could be asked to produce paper documents.

Roads Minister Stephen Hammond said: “More and more people are using technology to organise their everyday lives so it is only right we look at how we can make life easier for motorists and industry.

“That is why we are launching a consultation to scrap the legal requirement for insurance certificates to be issued and consolidate a system whereby all information is online.”

The views of the insurance industry and motorists will be considered as part of the consultation.

Last month, plans were announced to end the requirement to produce a motor insurance certificate when buying road tax.

In a statement Stephen Hammond said: “There is absolutely no benefit in making motorists prove they have insurance when they buy a tax disc now that we regularly check existing databases for insurance under Continues Insurance Enforcement rules”.

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