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Why is your Maryland auto insurance ID card only issued for six months?

Wonder why your Maryland auto insurance ID card is only good for 6 months?

You look at your auto insurance policy and it is a one year policy term.  Then you look at your auto insurance ID card and see that it is only good for six months.  Then you think, what the F*%^*.

We receive calls all of the time regarding the auto insurance ID cards.  There is a simple answer to why the ID cards are only good for 6 months.  In Maryland, auto insurance ID cards are only issued for 6 months due to specific laws passed by the General Assembly.  These laws allowed for the regulations that are established by the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

Before you get mad at your legislators, they did have some reasoning behind passing the law.

These regulations require all drivers in Maryland to have current, valid proof of auto insurance. And the 6-month cycle keeps drivers accountable and up-to-date on their policy coverages.

Prior to this law being passed, the auto insurance ID cards were issued for the actual term of the car insurance policy.  So, if you had a one year policy, your ID cards would be issued for one year.  The fear was that since the ID card was showing a one year term, someone could let their policy cancel early and still had an ID card that shows the policy is in force for the entire year.  This could still happen with the six month ID card, but it lessens the time that someone could be carrying an invalid ID card.

Will you get updated ID cards every six months?

Yes.  your insurance company will send you updated ID cards every six months as long as your policy is in force.  So don’t worry, before your current cards expire, you should get new ones in the mail.  If you do not have them a week or so before they expire, give your agent or company a call.  They should be able to email you a copy of the new ID card.

Do you have to have your auto insurance ID card in your vehicle at all times?

Yes.  You do have to be able to produce your insurance ID card when requested by a law enforcement officer.  If you fail to present your proof of insurance, you are subject to a citation and a fine for failing to provide proof of insurance.  You then will have to pay the fine AND provide proof of insurance  prevent further court actions.

We have a solution if you are a client of Huff Insurance.  You can sign up for our client portal and download our mobile app to your phone.  This will give you 24/7 access to your auto insurance ID card on your phone. Digital ID cards are acceptable in most states.  You can get the details by visiting our Portal Page on our website.

Not a client of Huff Insurance?  WHY NOT?  Just kidding (well, sort of…).  You should talk to your agent or insurance company.  They may have a mobile app as well for you to use.

Hope this helps answer that frustrating question regarding the auto insurance ID cards.

Happy driving!  Stay safe and stay between the lines!




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