Sometimes when you see common sense prevail and help consumers across the country --in such small steps, one state at a time-- it makes you wonder why the states that trail behind are so slow to act...

In New York State Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson) announced that he will be introducing a bill legalizing electronic auto insurance proof. Ball said the bill will be introduced during the upcoming legislative session that convenes in January.

According to Ball, the legislation is “pro-consumer.” Provided that the legislation passes, the state’s motorists can go to their auto insurers for a smartphone app that will allow those drivers to electronically prove that they have the New York car insurance required to operate a vehicle.

“This … legislation will save paper as well as postage for the state and insurance companies,” he said in a statement. “The bill will also continue New York State’s push to remain an up-and-coming center of technology into the 21st century.”

Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) said he will introduce a companion bill in the state Assembly because “in our ever-expanding electronic era, [this legislation] makes perfect sense.”

According to onlineautoinsurance.com, there are dozens of states that have legalized electronic proof of coverage since last year, when Arizona and Idaho became the first states to do so. State proposals to allow drivers to electronically display their coverage have, by and large, seen little resistance from lawmakers during the legislative process.

Electronic proof of auto insurance kicked in for Missouri drivers this past August, when legislation there went into effect allowing them to electronically display their evidence of coverage; the bill behind the proposal, SB 317, did not see a single dissenting vote from senators.

Most concerns about electronic proof have been minor and center on privacy and enforcement. California lawmakers aired their concerns about those issues last year before eventually passing their own electronic-proof bill.

This year has seen a number of other states pass similar bills, including Illinois, Texas, Colorado and Oregon. Good move, Senator Ball. Let's hope there are no roadblocks... this one's a no-brainer.