Find answers, information and resources to help you with all your California vehicle registration needs.
Why Won't CA Recognize Proof of Insurance From My Company?
Why won't California DMV recognize proof of insurance sent by my insurance company? All vehicle information is on file with the DMV and the insurance company has been the same for years.
We'd like to offer some information regarding how California insurance companies are required to electronically report coverage information to the DMV. The electronic reporting time requirement for an insurance company to report coverage data to the California DMV is 30 days from the date auto insurance coverage is obtained, and 45 days from when coverage is canceled. Depending on how often, during a calendar month, an auto insurance carrier sends data to the DMV, the DMV's system may or may not reflect the vehicle's current insurance status. Records will indicate no financial liability coverage on file when the vehicle is actually covered.
If your vehicle has recently had a lapse in coverage, this may explain why the DMV shows no insurance on record. If you're renewing your registration through NeedTags, we'll ask you to simply snap a photo of your current insurance card and email it to us. We'll record it with the California Department of Motor Vehicles and that'll take care of your proof of insurance. The only time we won't be able to do this is if your coverage has lapsed long enough to where the DMV has suspended the vehicle's registration. In that case we'd recommend reading information on how to remove a DMV registration suspension. Once the suspension is cleared, you can renew your registration through NeedTags.com, and you won't have to go to the DMV.
Another reason electronic insurance coverage information may not be recorded with the DMV could be due to a vehicle's VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). Older model car, trucks, SUVs, vans and RVs, were not required to meet the current 17 digit VIN number standard. When a vehicle is insured which has a VIN number that's 10 digits or less, the vehicle's electronic insurance record must match up with a drivers license number on-file with the DMV for that particular vehicle. If no drivers license information is attached to a vehicle's registration, such as in the case where a vehicle owner is unlicensed or for any reason a drivers license number does not exist in the system, electronic proof of insurance can not be recorded with the DMV. The vehicle owner will need to submit a hard-copy of their insurance card or provide digital proof of insurance if renewing registration online through NeedTags.
Also, commercial or business insurance policies are exempt from electronic reporting. Vehicles insured under these policies also require hard-copy or digital proof. Insurance documentation may always be either mailed or hand deliver the DMV.