Is it bad if my temporary auto insurance card is stolen?

If you've experienced a car break-in while shopping for new insurance, you may wonder, "If I want lower auto insurance rates, is it bad if my temporary auto insurance card is stolen?" Losing your car insurance card does not mean you have lost your insurance. You are still an insured driver even without the card, but you should try to get a replacement as soon as possible and keep a copy at home.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati.com. ...

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2021

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Can't-Miss Facts

  • If your insurance and registration are stolen, file a report with the police right away
  • You can contact your insurance company to replace a lost or stolen ID card
  • If you don’t have proof of insurance available when you are pulled over by a police officer you may incur a fine

When you finalize the purchase of an auto insurance policy, you will typically be emailed a temporary automobile insurance card as proof of insurance.

What is proof of insurance? It is simply documentation proving that you have an active insurance policy. You can use a temporary insurance card as proof of insurance until your real card comes in the mail.

You might find yourself asking, “If I want more affordable auto insurance quotes, is it bad if my temporary auto insurance card is stolen?”

Not necessarily. You will still be able to get quotes from different companies without an insurance card on hand, but you will need to complete a few steps if your insurance card is stolen or lost to prove that you still have insurance coverage while you’re cruising down the road.

If you find yourself asking, “Is it bad if my temporary car insurance card is stolen?”, then enter your ZIP code to receive free quotes from companies in your city.

What should drivers do if their temporary insurance card is stolen?

If your car has been broken into, then your temporary insurance card may have been stolen, but what happens if someone steals your auto insurance card?

Victims of such a crime should file a report with the police right away. For your records, make sure you are given a hard copy of the police report as well as the case number. You should then contact your insurance company so a replacement insurance card can be sent to you.

Now, if your registration was pinched as well, you will have to reach out to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV will help you get a replacement registration form for your vehicle.

Car theft is not only a disturbing occurrence but it can cause a lot of headaches too. Be prepared for whatever comes your way by making a copy of both sides of your insurance card. Keep one copy in your vehicle and the other in a secure location in your home.

You may also want to consider purchasing a car with an anti-theft device or having one installed. Not only will it protect your vehicle, but it could also snag you an anti-theft device discount.

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What should drivers do if they lose their temporary insurance cards?

If you notice that you’ve lost your temporary insurance card and need to know how to get proof of insurance before you hit the road, simply contact your insurance company to have a new card mailed or emailed to you. You can then print it out at home or save it to your smartphone.

These days, you can even access your insurance card via your insurance company’s app. This can be incredibly helpful if you misplace the hard copy of your insurance card in other situations such as a traffic stop, but you will need to make sure that all the information on it is accurate.

During a traffic stop, if your card has incorrect information or if you aren’t able to provide proof of insurance, there is a high chance that you will be ticketed for driving without insurance.

Of course, if you have an active policy and can provide proof of insurance after the incident, you can have the ticket dismissed; however, you will need to check the rules in your state.

Also bear in mind that you may still be liable to pay some fines. The best way to avoid this is to keep proof of insurance in your vehicle and a copy on your person so you don’t end up forgetting it in your other pair of pants.

If you ever do need to get an extra copy of your insurance card, here’s how to get proof of auto insurance:

  • Request an insurance card via your insurance company’s website
  • Call your insurance company and request an insurance card over the phone
  • Request an insurance card via the email
  • Use the insurance company’s app to access a digital insurance card

Now if you’ve just bought a new policy, your insurance company will send you an insurance card in the mail.

When do drivers need insurance cards?

You must have access to either a digital copy or paper copy of your auto insurance card whenever you find yourself in any of these situations:

  • If you are pulled over
  • If you’re in an accident
  • When you renew your registration
  • When you register your vehicle for the first time

If you find yourself in a traffic stop and don’t have your insurance information, you could be ticketed for driving without insurance.

That is a moving violation and such violations do negatively affect your rates. Of course, if you are insured but misplaced your card, most states will let you send in proof of insurance. Once the proof is received, the violation is dismissed from your record.

Can drivers buy auto insurance without an insurance card?

After taking all this in, you may be wondering, “If I need to buy auto insurance, is it bad if my temporary auto insurance card is stolen?”

While your new auto insurance company will need to see an insurance card so they can verify when you last had coverage, they can send over a form requesting such information from your previous insurance company.

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Stolen Insurance Cards: The Bottom Line

Losing your insurance card does not mean you have lost your insurance. You are still an insured driver even without the card, but you should try to get a replacement as soon as possible to avoid getting cited as driving without insurance.

If you’re still questioning, “Is it bad if my temporary auto insurance card is stolen?”, enter your ZIP code into our free tool so you can start comparing quotes today.

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