Insurance pink slips and why you need one

9 minute read Published on Apr 8, 2024 by BrokerLink Communications

Insurance pink slips and why you need one

One crucial piece of the insurance puzzle that often goes overlooked is the insurance pink slip—formally known as your liability slip or proof of auto insurance. This seemingly simple document is what you need to prove you’re insured, a necessity in today’s world. Below, we explore why having your insurance pink slip readily available is more than just a formality—it’s a requirement.

You are legally required to have your insurance pink slip on hand when driving

Also known as your proof of auto insurance card, your insurance pink slip shows that your vehicle is insured under a policy that meets at least the minimum liability coverage required by law in your province or territory. Carrying this document in your vehicle is mandatory when driving. Upon request, you must be able to present your pink slip to law enforcement officers or after an accident to prove that you have valid insurance.

If you cannot surrender proof of insurance, this can result in fines and, depending on the province or territory, potentially more severe penalties, like licence suspensions. Luckily, some provinces have also started to accept electronic proof of insurance. An electric pink slip allows drivers to display their insurance on mobile devices like cell phones or tablets. However, it’s essential to check the specific regulations in your province or territory to ensure you follow the local requirements, as some still require you to present a physical paper copy.

What exactly is a pink slip?

An insurance pink slip is an official document that serves as proof of car insurance for your vehicle. Pink slip is a commonly used term for a proof of insurance card, and more technically referred to as a liability insurance card or a proof of insurance certificate. However, despite its informal name suggesting a pink colour, the document’s actual colour can vary depending on the insurance provider.

Your insurance company provides your pink slip when you purchase or renew your car insurance policy. The insurance card contains essential information about your car insurance policy, including:

  • The insurance company’s name and contact information
  • The policy number and effective dates of coverage
  • The insured vehicle’s make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The name(s) of the insured driver(s)

It serves as proof or evidence that your vehicle is insured under a policy that meets the minimum third-party liability coverage required by your province or territory’s law.

What is a digital pink slip?

A digital pink slip is a digital version of the traditional paper copy of your proof of insurance. A digital pink slip works just like its physical counterpart—providing proof of insurance for your vehicle under a policy that meets or exceeds the minimum liability coverage required by your province or territory. The digital pink slip displays all the essential information found on the paper version.

Digital pink slips have been growing in Canada because they give drivers a more convenient way to carry around their proof of insurance. It is accepted in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador. Drivers in these provinces can keep a copy of their digital proof on their smartphones or other devices, like tablets, so they can quickly and easily present it during traffic stops or after an accident.

However, drivers must remember that while some places in Canada accept digital insurance cards, others still require the traditional paper card. So unless you live in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, you must always keep a paper copy of your pink slip on hand while driving.

How can you acquire a pink slip?

If this is your first time getting insurance, don’t fret. Obtaining a pink slip in Canada only requires a few simple steps:

Step 1: Research

First, you’ll want to research and select an insurance company that offers car insurance coverage that meets your needs and provincial requirements.

Step 2: Apply for insurance

Then, you’ll need to apply for car insurance by providing the necessary information about yourself, your driving history, and your vehicle. This may include details like your vehicle’s make, model, year, trim and vehicle identification number (VIN), as well as your personal information and driving record.

Step 3: Have your pink slip issued and delivered

Once you have your car insurance policy and paid your premium, your insurance company will issue your pink slip as proof of your coverage. This document confirms that your vehicle is insured and lists details such as the policy number, effective dates, insured vehicle and the names of any insured drivers.

There are several ways you can receive your pink slip. It can be sent through the mail, provided in person if you purchase insurance at an office, or sent electronically via email or through the insurer’s mobile app or online portal if your province or territory accepts digital pink slips.

What happens if you lose your insurance pink slip?

If you’ve lost your insurance slip, first—don’t panic! However, you must contact your insurance provider right away. This will help you avoid potential legal issues. If you are pulled over by law enforcement, involved in an accident, and found to be driving without valid proof of insurance, it could lead to fines or other penalties. If you’ve lost your pink slip, here’s what you should do:

Contact your insurance provider

The first step is to get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible and tell them that you have lost your insurance pink slip. Let them know that you’ll need a replacement issued, which shouldn’t take long—insurance companies are accustomed to such requests and can typically issue new proof of insurance quickly. If digital pink slips are accepted in your province, you may be able to receive a digital copy immediately, followed later by your paper copy in the mail.

Request a temporary slip if needed

If you need a physical copy of your proof of insurance immediately, for example, if you need to be able to drive to work, ask your insurance provider to issue a temporary insurance slip. You’ll receive it via email or an online account, which you can print out and use until your new official slip arrives.

Save the digital slip (if applicable)

If you opt to use a digital version of your insurance pink slip and your province allows you to, of course, don’t forget to save a copy somewhere on your phone or mobile device that you can easily access should you need to present it. Some insurance providers also use specific apps that allow you to access and display your insurance slip digitally, so make sure to download the app and set up your account before you drive.

Keep the replacement safe

Once you receive your new insurance slip, make sure you keep it safe. It’s good practice to keep one copy on you or in your vehicle at all times and another in a space at home, just in case you lose the first copy. If you’re using a digital pink slip, another good idea is to keep your phone or smart device protected with a secure password or biometric lock in case your device is lost or stolen.

Should you keep your proof of insurance pink slip in your glove box?

Keeping your insurance pink slip in your vehicle's glove box is a common practice. It is particularly convenient if you suddenly find yourself in a situation where you need to have your pink slip easily available. For example, having it readily available in your glove box is particularly useful during traffic stops or in the event of an accident.

Nevertheless, there are some things to remember if you keep it in your glove box instead of your wallet. If your vehicle is stolen or broken into, the thief could access personal information from your pink slip, potentially leading to privacy concerns or identity theft. For another example, the pink slip could be damaged if the vehicle is involved in an accident. On the other hand, should you choose to keep it in your wallet, while this can be more convenient if you regularly drive multiple cars, there’s a higher chance of losing it, as people are more likely to lose their wallets than their vehicles.

How to help keep it safe in your car

If you prefer keeping a physical copy in the vehicle, maybe consider using a more secure location than the glove box, such as a locked safe designed for vehicles. Or, if you can lock your glove box, this can help add additional security should your vehicle get broken into.

On the other hand, if you live in a province or territory that allows digital proof of insurance, consider keeping your digital pink slip on your smartphone and your physical copy at home. This method reduces the risk of loss or theft associated with a physical paper copy.

Whether you should keep your insurance pink slip in your glove box depends on your preference, the level of risk you’re comfortable with, and the legal requirements for carrying proof of insurance where you live.

Tips to keep in mind for managing your pink slip

Managing your insurance pink slips is crucial for any driver. Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure you’re always prepared and compliant:

Keep it accessible

For physical pink slips, keep at least one copy in your vehicle at all times, typically in the glove compartment or another safe spot where you can easily retrieve it if needed.

If using an electronic pink slip, ensure it is saved on a device that you carry with you, such as a smartphone, and that it can be accessed quickly, even without an internet connection.

Stay updated

Regularly check that your pink slip is up to date and reflects your current insurance policy. Renew your auto insurance before it expires to maintain continuous coverage and legal compliance. Upon renewing your insurance, immediately replace the old pink slip with the new one to avoid any confusion or legal issues.

Paper or digital pink slips

Understand whether your province or territory allows for electronic proof of insurance and the specific requirements if they do. This can provide a convenient alternative to carrying a physical copy. Some insurance companies offer apps or online portals to access your pink slip and other important documents. Take advantage of these tools if available.

Protect your privacy

Be cautious about who you share your pink slip with. It contains personal information that could be misused if it falls into the wrong hands. When using an electronic pink slip, ensure your smartphone or device is secured with a strong password, fingerprint, or facial recognition to prevent unauthorized access.

Report a lost pink slip immediately

If your pink slip is lost or stolen, report it to your insurance provider immediately to obtain a replacement. This ensures you can continue to prove your insurance coverage without interruption.

Consider having additional copies

Consider keeping multiple copies of your pink slip if you have more than one driver in your household. This helps ensure that any driver using the vehicle has access to the proof of insurance.

In addition, you may want to consider keeping a copy in your wallet or with other important documents, especially if you frequently drive different vehicles. This ensures you always have proof of insurance, regardless of which vehicle you are using.

Contact BrokerLink

Get in touch today to learn more about pink slips and request your free auto insurance quote.

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What is a pink slip in insurance?

A pink slip, also known as a liability slip in insurance, is a document that serves as proof of auto insurance coverage. It confirms that a vehicle is insured under a policy that meets the minimum liability requirements set by law. The slip contains information about the insurance policy, the vehicle, and the insured driver(s).

What happens if you lose your insurance slip?

If you lose your insurance slip, contact your insurance provider immediately to request a replacement. Most insurers can quickly provide a new slip, either digitally or as a physical copy, to ensure you continue to have proof of insurance for your vehicle.

If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.