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If you’re ever involved in a car accident or pulled over by the police in a traffic stop, you’ll likely need to present your insurance card to show proof you meet your state’s minimum auto insurance requirements.

This card includes important information, like the policy number associated with your insurance policy. This number appears on your insurance card, as well as any coverage or billing statements you receive in the mail.

Here’s what you need to know about your policy number and how to find it, along with other information about your auto insurance card.

Learn More: What Does Policyholder Mean in Car Insurance?

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What’s on your insurance card?

Most states require drivers to carry an auto insurance card to prove that they meet their state’s auto coverage requirements. Your insurer will typically issue these cards for each insured household member when you purchase or renew auto coverage.

Keep your car insurance card in an accessible place, like your glove compartment or your wallet, in case you ever need it. In the unfortunate event that you lose your card, you can contact your insurer to get a replacement. You may get a copy in the mail, or you could print one through your online account if your insurer provides the option.

Information on your insurance card

While auto insurance cards may look slightly different depending on your state and insurer, they’ll generally include the following information on the front:

  • Policy number

  • Policyholder’s name

  • Vehicle year, make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN)

  • Name and phone number of insurance agent

  • Card issue or effective date

  • Card expiration date

It may also include other information, such as your insurance company’s name and address or your home address.

See Also: What to Do After a Car Accident (7 Steps to Take)

Finding your policy number

Typically eight to 10 digits long, your policy number may be located in the middle, upper-right, or upper-left corner of your card. The location of the number could be different depending on the state you live in and how your insurance company formats its cards. It should be very easy to find your policy number because your insurer will clearly write “policy number” beside it or above it.

Do other policyholders have the same policy number?

You may see multiple policy numbers listed on your card if you insure more than one car with your auto insurance provider. In this case, your policy numbers will be the same, apart from the last digit. One car could have the policy number 12345678-01, for instance, while the other’s policy number might be 12345678-02.

When do you need to know your policy number?

You or someone else may need your auto insurance policy number in a few different scenarios. Because this number proves you meet your state’s auto insurance coverage requirements, you’ll likely need to provide it after an accident, if pulled over by the police, or when modifying your vehicle’s coverage with your insurer.

Following an accident

You’ll need your insurance card close by to exchange insurance information with the other driver when involved in an auto accident. Be sure to write down the other driver’s auto policy number, insurance company name, and agent contact information. You’ll need to provide this information when you file an insurance claim.

The police will also need your insurance information for their report if called to the scene.

Proof of insurance for police

In addition to showing your driver’s license, you’ll also need to show your insurance card if the police pull you over. The police will use your insurance card to confirm you have insurance coverage during a traffic stop.

If you’ve recently lost your card or don’t have it, the police can also look up your insurance information by running your plates. Most police cruisers come equipped with computers that provide this capability.

Contacting your auto insurance provider

When you want to discuss or modify your coverage, you’ll likely need to provide your policy number to your insurer so they can access all your information. For instance, if you want to add a rider to your policy or increase or decrease coverage amounts, your insurance company needs to know your policy number to make adjustments to your coverage.

See More: How Long Does an Accident Affect Your Insurance Rates?

Insurance card policy number FAQs

Find answers to some common questions about insurance card policy numbers below.

  • The location of your policy number on your insurance card can vary. Some insurers include it on the upper-right corner of your card, while others could put it in the middle or upper-left corner.

    Generally, your insurer will write “policy number” beside or above the eight- or 10-digit number, so it should be easy to identify.

  • Though both act as important and unique identifiers, your insurance policy number isn’t the same as your VIN, or vehicle identification number. Your policy number reflects your insurance coverage, while your VIN acts as your vehicle’s unique identifier. Policy numbers are also much shorter than 17-digit VINs.

    You can generally find your VIN on your driver’s side dashboard, driver’s side door frame, under the hood of your car, or under your spare tire.

  • If you lose your insurance card, contact your insurance company about getting a replacement. You may also be able to print the digital version of your card by logging into your online insurance account. Your policy number can serve as proof of insurance while you’re waiting for a new card.

  • Your car insurance card will typically include the name of the primary policyholder. The card generally won’t list the names of all those insured under a particular policy. Your name doesn’t have to be on the card as long as you’re included as a covered driver on the policy.

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Jess Ullrich
Jess UllrichInsurance Writer

Jess is a personal finance writer who's been creating financial and business content for over a decade. Her work is published on Investopedia, MoneyWise, NextAdvisor, The HuffPost, and more. Prior to freelancing full-time, Jess was an editor at Investopedia, The Balance, and FinanceBuzz. Connect with her on LinkedIn.