Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Feb 11, 2022

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The Lowdown

  • Your auto insurance policy number is typically listed at the top or in the middle of your insurance card
  • Whenever you add a car to your policy, a new insurance card will be sent to you
  • You can request a new insurance card if yours is ever lost or damaged

You may have heard that you must give another driver your auto insurance policy information after being involved in an accident, but where can you find your policy number, and what is it for?

The member ID on insurance cards is very important because it designates your individual policy out of hundreds, if not thousands, of others that your insurance company services. An insurance representative can use your insurance policy number to pull up your information, which can be very useful if you have a common last name.

Your insurance number should be listed on most of your insurance documents, like your bills and your insurance card. Keep reading to learn more about this very essential set of numbers and discover how you can find it quickly whenever you need it.

The policy number on insurance cards can even help you with the insurance shopping process. Enter your ZIP code to get free quotes to see which insurance companies can save you the most money.

What is an auto insurance policy number?

Just as there is a unique group number on medical insurance cards, an auto insurance policy number is created just for you whenever you get a new auto insurance policy. When looking for the group number on insurance cards, look for a string of eight to 10 digits. This number is computer-generated and typically reads without any spaces or hyphens.

Now, depending upon the insurance company, you’ll see slight variations of that number if you own more than one car. For example, your insurance cards could read as 1451458568-1 and 1451458568-2 if you had two cars on your policy.

Giving each car its own unique marker helps your insurance company pull up your exact car out of its massive database of insured vehicles so you can be sure that the correct changes are being made. Now that you know what you need to be looking for let’s review where you can find your policy number on your insurance card if you should ever need it.

Where to Find Your Auto Insurance Policy Number on Your Insurance Card

Auto insurance companies never use the exact same format for insurance cards; however, insurance policy numbers are usually listed in two places on your insurance card — at the top or in the middle underneath your name. There is typically a label like “ID Number” or “Policy Number” marking your insurance policy number as well.

Now, when you begin looking for your insurance number, you’ll need to be aware that there is another long string of numbers and letters that could be listed on your card. If it contains 16 characters, then the number you have found is your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN). Just as a subscriber id on insurance cards serves to identify an individual, the VIN identifies your individual car.

When You’ll Need Your Insurance Card

You may think that the only important document you’ll need to get out on the road is your driver’s license, but keeping a copy of your insurance card in your car or wallet is very important because you’ll need it if:

  • You are pulled over by the police
  • You cause an accident
  • You want to buy a new insurance policy

No matter if you’ve been pulled over for speeding, a broken tail light, or for rolling through a stop sign, a police officer may ask you to display proof of insurance. These days, showing a digital copy of your insurance card is acceptable in some states, but you shouldn’t take any chances. Always keep a spare copy of your insurance card in your wallet or glove compartment so you can have proof of insurance no matter when you need it.

If you are caught driving without proof of insurance, you may be able to contest your ticket by collecting all the necessary forms and sending them over to your local law enforcement officials. If you don’t currently have any insurance and plan on driving, you should buy a policy right away.

Driving without insurance is illegal in most states. If you’re not sure how your state views driving without insurance, you can review this data table which displays how each state regards this act:

Driving Without a License: Offense Classification

StateType of Offense
AlabamaMisdemeanor
AlaskaClass A Misdemeanor
ArizonaClass 1 Misdemeanor (first offense), Class 2 Misdemeanor (second offense)
ArkansasMisdemeanor
ColoradoMisdemeanor
FloridaSecond degree misdemeanor (first offense), first-degree misdemeanor (second offense), felony (subsequent offense)
GeorgiaMisdemeanor, High and Aggravated Misdemeanor (second and third offenses), felony (subsequent offense)
IdahoMisdemeanor
IllinoisClass A Misdemeanor (first offense), Class 4 Felony (subsequent offense)
IndianaClass 6 Felony
IowaMisdemeanor
KansasClass B Nonperson Misdemeanor (first offense), Class A Nonperson Misdemeanor (subsequent offense)
KentuckyClass B Misdemeanor (first offense), Class A Misdemeanor (second offense), Class D Felony (subsequent offense)
MaineClass E Crime
MarylandMisdemeanor
MassachusettsMisdemeanor
MichiganMisdemeanor
MinnesotaMisdemeanor
MississippiMisdemeanor
MissouriClass D Misdemeanor (first offense), Class A Misdemeanor (second offense), Class E Felony (subsequent offense)
MontanaMisdemeanor
NebraskaClass II Misdemeanor (first-third offense), Class I Misdemeanor (subsequent offense)
NevadaMisdemeanor
New HampshireMisdemeanor
New MexicoMisdemeanor
New YorkMisdemeanor
North CarolinaMisdemeanor
North DakotaClass B Misdemeanor
OhioUnclassified Misdemeanor (first offense), First Degree Misdemeanor (subsequent offense)
OklahomaMisdemeanor
OregonClass A Traffic Infraction
PennsylvaniaSummary Offense
Rhode IslandMisdemeanor$250-$1,000
South DakotaClass 1 Misdemeanor (revoked license), Class 2 Misdemeanor (suspended or canceled license)
TennesseeClass B Misdemeanor (first offense), Class A Misdemeanor (second offense)
TexasClass C Misdemeanor (first offense), Class B Misdemeanor (subsequent offense)
UtahClass C Misdemeanor
VirginiaClass 1 Misdemeanor
WashingtonGross Misdemeanor
West VirginiaMisdemeanor
WyomingMisdemeanor
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Now, if you’ve caused an accident and damaged the other driver’s car, you’ll need to share your insurance information so that individual can file a claim with your insurance company. Accidents can be stressful events, so it is often easiest to hand someone a copy of your insurance card to keep or to photograph. With a copy, you don’t have to stress about your original card getting lost during the chaos.

This may surprise you, but you’ll actually need to have access to your policy number if you want to buy a new policy. Most insurance companies require drivers to send in a cancellation letter that lists the current policy number, the cancellation date of that policy, the new policy number, and the effective date of that policy.

If you have easy access to your insurance card, you can save yourself some time trying to track down your policy number and get a better policy that much faster.

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What happens if a driver loses their insurance card?

The loss of an insurance card may seem dire since having proof of insurance is so important, but this issue can be resolved very quickly. If you have misplaced your insurance card or discover that it is no longer legible, there are quite a few ways in which you can get a new one.

If you always have your smartphone on you wherever you go, you can access a digital copy of your insurance card via your insurance company’s mobile app. You can even take a picture of it and save it to your phone in case you need to share your information but are having trouble accessing the app.

Saving your ID card is also a smart idea because if you are in an accident, you don’t have to worry about digging around in your car for a spare card to share with the other driver. You can simply send it in a text or as an email attachment.

Of course, if you prefer having a physical copy available to you, you can call your insurance representative and ask that a new card be mailed to you. You can even have a temporary insurance card emailed to you that you can print out at home.

It is a good rule of thumb to always check your state’s laws regarding proof of insurance. Some states have no qualms about drivers only carrying a digital copy of their insurance cards, but other states require you to have a physical copy.

What You Need to Know About Your Insurance Card

Knowing how to find your insurance policy number on your insurance card is very important. You’ll need it not only to provide proof of insurance to a police officer but also to confirm that your insurance representative has pulled up the right policy if you need to make any adjustments to your insurance coverage.

Your insurance policy is typically composed of eight to 10 digits and can be found at the top or in the middle of your insurance card. Most companies will label your insurance policy number on the card as the “ID Number,” but not every company uses the same format for insurance cards, so if you’re having difficulty finding your policy number, you can call your insurance company representative for assistance.

You’ll also need to know where to find your policy number on the insurance card when you want to buy a new insurance policy. You can enter your ZIP code to start comparing free quotes from insurance companies near you today.