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

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jan 19, 2022

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Things to Remember

  • Your insurance company needs your insurance policy number to identify your policy
  • You must provide proof of insurance if you are pulled over by a police office
  • While you can always access your insurance policy number online, you should keep a physical copy in your car too

According to most states’ auto insurance laws, every person who operates a vehicle must have an insurance policy, and when you purchase an auto insurance policy, you receive an insurance policy number. This is true no matter if you buy a policy from State Farm or any other insurance company.

Using your policy number as a reference helps your insurance representative avoid making any mistakes as an insurance policy number lookup can pull up your specific policy even if you have an incredibly common name like John Smith.

If you look, you’ll find that this very helpful number is displayed on your monthly insurance bill, your insurance paperwork, and your auto insurance card. But does the policy number on the insurance card make affordable auto insurance easier to buy? It may shock you but the insurance number plays an important role when in the insurance buying process.

If you find yourself asking, “How does the insurance policy number on the card affect auto insurance quotes?” the answer isn’t clear cut. Each driver’s individual insurance history has an impact on the rates they are offered.

Enter your ZIP code to get free insurance quotes if you want to know, “How does the insurance policy number on the card affect my rates?”

What is a driver’s insurance policy number?

Just as there is a unique group number on an insurance card for your health insurance plan, you get a one-of-a-kind number for your auto insurance. The 8 – 10 digit combination printed on your auto insurance card is called your auto insurance policy number. If you’re not sure what to look for, here is a car insurance policy number example: 88888888

Now, if you own more than one car, you could end up seeing an identical number printed on the insurance cards for all your vehicles. You may also see a slight variation of the policy number like 88888888-1 for your first car, 88888888-2 for the second, and so on. But where is the policy number on the insurance card?

The position of your policy number will vary from company to company as no two insurance companies share the exact same design for their insurance cards. You may find your policy number listed up in the top right corner of your card, or it could be listed in the middle of the card, just under your name.

You should also take a good look at your card when you receive it so you can find all the information you need quickly if you’re ever in a high-stress situation. Without your policy number, car insurance would be far more complicated.

While examining your card, you should see another long string of numbers listed on it. at your insurance card, you may see another long assembly of numbers on it; that’s the vehicle identification number (VIN) of your car, and this serves as a way to identify your individual vehicle.

Deciphering Your Car’s VIN

Now the 3 digit vehicle ID on the insurance card is actually the first three digits of your car’s VIN. Those three digits are known as the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI).

You can differentiate your insurance policy number from your VIN because the VIN will contain 16 characters made up of both letters and numbers. It will also be located by the listed make and model on your card.

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When will a driver need their insurance policy number?

You may assume that your insurance policy number isn’t very vital to your driving experience, but you could very well end up in a situation where you need to provide proof of insurance. For instance, if you were to be in an accident, you would need to have your insurance card readily available so you could share your insurance information with all of the other drivers involved.

The police may even ask to see a copy of your insurance in case anyone decides to file a police report.

You should also know that the police typically ask to see proof of insurance if you’ve been pulled over for speeding or running a stop sign. Police officers ask to see your insurance card to confirm that you aren’t conducting any other moving violations — like driving without insurance.

While driving without proof of insurance can result in a headache, you can usually provide proof of your active coverage at a later day; however, driving without insurance carries extensive legal ramifications.

Driving without insurance is not worth it. Every state has its own approach to this crime, but here you can see examples of what can happen if you are caught driving without insurance:

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance  
PenaltyFirst OffenseSecond Offense
Fine$500 minimum$1,000 minimum
License SuspensionUntil you show proof of insurance to the DMV Four months
Community ServicePossible up to 40 hoursPossible up to 40 hours
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Now, another good time to have your policy number on hand is if you cannot call your usual insurance representative but are forced to call into your insurance company’s 24-7 customer service line. Since you most likely won’t have a working relationship with whoever picks up, you should give them your policy number so you know that they are looking at the proper policy.

What happens when a driver loses their insurance card?

There’s no need to worry if you discover that you’ve lost your insurance card. Getting a new copy is very simple. Typically, you can log on to your online account and save a digital copy to your phone.

Of course, you should always keep a physical copy for emergencies so it would be best if you requested that a new insurance card be mailed out to you as well. Store this paper copy in your wallet or, even better, in your glove box. That way you’ll know exactly where it is if you should ever need it.

When should drivers share their insurance policy numbers?

Protecting your privacy is more important than ever these days, but there will be some occasions where you need to share personal information like your insurance policy number.

For example, if someone hit you with their car and they were clearly the cause of the accident, you would need to ask them for their full name, their insurance policy number, and their insurance company. Ideally, they would have an insurance card on hand to share with you so you could get to filing your claim with their company right away.

If the other driver doesn’t want to hand you a copy of the card, you can always take a picture of it or write it down.

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Must a driver give their old policy number when signing up with a new  insurance company?

If you’re shopping for a new insurance company, you’ve probably asked yourself, “Will a new auto insurance company need the insurance policy number on the card?” While the new insurance company won’t need your old policy number to sell you a policy, it will need it if you would like help canceling your old auto insurance policy.

Drivers would don’t want to get embroiled in an awkward conversation when canceling their old insurance policy can ask their new insurance company to send a letter with all the pertinent information needed to cancel the previous policy.

In order for your new insurance company to do this, it will need:

  • Your old insurance policy number
  • Your new insurance policy number
  • Your full name
  • Your address
  • Your old policy’s end date
  • Your new policy’s start date.

Now, you may be wondering, “Will the insurance policy number on the card lower auto insurance rates?”

It’s quite possible that it could. Let’s say that you have no accidents on your records and no history of moving violations. When your insurance company uses your policy number to pull up your account with them at the time of your policy renewal, you could very well be awarded a variety of discounts.

Below, you can examine some of the discounts offered by the biggest names in the insurance industry:

Auto Insurance Discounts from Top Companies

Auto Insurance DiscountsAllstate (%)American Family (%)Farmers (%)GEICO (%)Liberty Mutual (%)Nationwide (%)Progressive (%)State Farm (%)Travelers (%)USAA (%)
Adaptive Cruise ControlN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Adaptive HeadlightsN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Anti-lock Brakesxxx555x5xx
Claim Freexxx26x10x152312
Continuous CoveragexxxxN/AN/AxN/A15N/A
Daytime Running Lightsxxx155xN/Axx
Defensive Driverxxxx105105103
Distant StudentxxxxN/A10xx7x
Driver's Edxxxx10N/A101583
Driving Device/AppxxN/Ax30402050305
Early SigningxxxxN/A8xN/A1012
Electronic Stability ControlxxxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Emergency DeploymentN/AN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Family LegacyN/AxN/AxN/AN/AxN/AN/A10
Family PlanN/AxxN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/A
Farm VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Federal EmployeeN/AN/Ax810N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Forward Collision WarningN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Full PaymentN/Axxx$5N/AxN/A7.5N/A
Further EducationN/AN/AN/Ax1015N/AN/AxN/A
Good CreditxxN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/A
Good Studentxxx1522.510x2583
Green VehiclexN/A5N/A10N/AN/AN/A10N/A
Lane Departure WarningN/AN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/AN/A
Life InsurancexN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/A
Low Mileagexxxxxxx30xx
Military GaragingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15
Multiple DriversN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Multiple Policies1029x102010121713x
Multiple Vehiclesxxx25102010208x
New Customer/New PlanN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New GraduateN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Newer VehiclexN/AxxN/Axx401012
Newly LicensedN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Occasional OperatorN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
On-Time PaymentsxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15N/A
Online ShopperN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A7N/AN/AN/A
Paperless DocumentsxxxN/AN/A5$50N/AN/AN/A
Paperless/Auto BillingxxxN/Ax$30x$233
Passive Restraintxxx40x20x40xx
Recent RetireesN/AN/AN/AN/A4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Safe DriverN/AN/Ax15N/A3531152312
Seat Belt UseN/AN/AN/A15N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Senior DriverxN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
Stable ResidenceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AxxN/AN/AN/A
Students & AlumniN/AxN/Ax107N/AN/AN/AN/A
Switching ProviderN/AxxN/A10N/AxN/AN/AN/A
Utility VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Vehicle Recoveryxxx153525x5xx
VIN EtchingN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/Axx
Young DriverN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AxN/AN/A$75
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As you can see, you can reap some huge rewards by driving safely and bundling multiple policies with one company.

Your Car Insurance Policy Number: What You Need to Know

The humble insurance policy number is a very important tool that makes your specific policy stand out from the plethora of other policies that your insurance company provides. If you’ve been in an accident, be sure to get all the other drivers’ insurance information so you can reach their insurance companies in case you need to file a claim.

You should also keep a paper copy in your glove box in addition to having a digital copy saved on your phone.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Do I need the old insurance policy number on the card to buy auto insurance?”

You don’t need always need to provide your old policy number when filling out quotes, but if you would like your new insurance company to write up a cancellation letter for you then you  will need to provide it.

Enter your ZIP code to get free quotes from insurance companies near you if you want to see a new insurance policy number on the card today.