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CFO Jimmy Patronis to FLHSMV: Develop Digital Insurance Verification for Florida Drivers

1/5/2022

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Late Tuesday evening, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis issued the following letter to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) Director Terry Rhodes regarding the development of digital insurance verification for licensed Florida drivers. In the letter, the CFO discussed the benefits of working with FLHSMV to craft legislation to implement electronic verification where it can interface seamlessly to FLHSMV’s digital driver’s license project already in process.
 
READ THE FULL LETTER BELOW.

January 4, 2022
 
Director Terry Rhodes
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
2900 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
 
Dear Director Rhodes:
 
As you are aware the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is developing a digital driver’s license, and this is an issue I am passionate about. In the last staff update, your office conveyed that the launch date will occur in the first quarter of 2022. No doubt this will be an important deployment that will benefit our state. With a vast majority of Americans owning and using smartphones, an electronic license will be valuable to both Florida drivers and law enforcement.
 
While your department continues work with Thales – and potentially other vendors in this space like Apple, IDEMIA and GET Group – I believe the project managers must also ensure that digital licenses have the functionality for facilitating communication regarding the insurance status of the licensee as well. To the degree your department can expedite development and deployment of an insurance verification tool that interfaces with the digital license, the better. Many insurance carriers like Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, Progressive and others, have applications where policyholders can access their insurance information via smartphone, so the technological needs from the carriers’ side should be well positioned for interoperability with the digital license. To further support these efforts, it is my intent this session to include, as part of my legislative package, a provision making it explicit that insurance verification must be established by 2023.
 
Florida law stipulates that it is the driver’s burden to demonstrate proof of insurance. If the real-time insurance status of the driver was made crystal clear within the digital-driver’s license app, then the policyholder would more easily know their coverage status. This is a much better way to ensure that we have coverage on Florida roadways, rather than drivers having to learn the hard way, after getting pulled over and digging around their glove compartments, only learn they do not have coverage.
 
Your agency is doing important work with this digital effort and we all look forward to the day when we can legally drive on Florida’s roadways and leave the wallet at home. Again, I look forward to working with you to craft legislation to implement electronic verification where it can interface seamlessly to the digital driver’s license in 2023.
 
Thank you for consideration in this matter.
 
Sincerely,
 
Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer