Getting digital with electronic pink slips
Electronic pink slips for auto insurance
Our phones can do just about everything, and now in some provinces, drivers can add one more thing to the list – providing proof of auto insurance. That’s right, no more carrying around a paper pink slip for some Canadian drivers. Currently, drivers in Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have the option to use electronic proof of auto insurance (or EPAI), and we’re pretty excited.

What is a digital pink slip?

A digital pink slip is an electronic version of your motor vehicle liability card. It can be accessed through your smartphone or other mobile device. It also goes by a few other names including electronic proof of auto insurance (EPAI), electronic pink slip, or eSlip. (But to keep things simple, we’ll stick with digital or electronic pink slip from here on out.)

In those provinces that accept it (Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador), a digital pink slip can replace its physical counterpart when asked for proof of insurance. For example, if you’re stopped by a police officer, rather than fumbling around your glovebox, you can show them your phone instead.

Electronic pink slips are another way that the insurance industry is adapting to our increasingly mobile and digital society. Plus, it gives insurance buyers more choice – a win-win! But, if you’re not quite ready to switch, the option to use a paper pink slip will still be available.

Why do I need to carry a pink slip?

Since auto insurance is mandatory in Canada, you need a way to prove that you carry the legally required amount of coverage in your province. This is where pink slips or liability cards come into play.

Because you never know when you may need to provide proof of insurance, you need to have your pink slip with you whenever you’re driving. This applies whether you stick to a paper pink slip or go with an electronic pink slip. But since most of us have our phone by our sides 24/7 anyways, having this on us shouldn’t be a problem.

If you do opt into the digital option, you will be responsible for making sure your phone is in working condition and has a battery charge. With this in mind, you’re best to still have a paper copy on you at all times. Luckily, you can also choose to go with both a digital and physical pink slip1.

It’s important to note that if you’re found driving without your pink slip (or with an expired slip), you could be ticketed. This could also end up costing you on your car insurance premiums.

What if someone borrows my vehicle?

If you let someone else drive your vehicle, they will also need to be able to produce proof of insurance for the car, if asked. This is because when you lend your car, you also lend your insurance.

But don’t worry, you won’t need to let them borrow your phone too if you choose to go the electronic pink slip route. In this situation, you’ll be able to email your electronic pink slip over to the person driving your car, so they’ll have access to it just in case. Or, you’ll be able to print out a copy for them to use1.

What about my privacy?

Your privacy has also been considered when it comes to electronic pink slips. For those insurance providers that give their customers the option of electronic pink slips, it will need to be presented on a locked screen to prevent access to other personal info – think of how you can present a digital boarding pass on your lock screen when flying. This means you’d need to provide a password to actually enter the phone1.

Also, your digital pink slip can’t collect your data without your permission, and can’t be edited or altered2.

Even with printed pink slips, it’s important to think about protecting your information. Your pink slip contains quite a bit of info including your name and address, as well as your policy number and vehicle details (among other items). Many people leave their liability cards in their car, which makes it easy to ensure it’s always on you while driving. However, this may also make your car a target to thieves who may steal pink slips in order to commit insurance fraud.

Will other provinces allow digital pink slips in the future?

We’ll still need to wait and see, but we’re optimistic. In the meantime, if you’re from a province that allows digital pink slips, you’ll need to have a paper pink slip ready when you’re travelling to a province that doesn’t3.

Coverage your car’s always wanted at a competitive price. The problem with electronic pink cards Ontario approves electronic proof of auto insurance Second provincial regulator approves electronic pink slips