Car Insurance Policy Number: What It Is and Where to Find It

Learn how to find the policy number on your insurance card and when you might need it.

Woman online using laptop with insurance card. Car Insurance Policy Number.

A car insurance policy number comes with every policy. It's most commonly used to identify your policy when you're speaking to your independent insurance agent, have been pulled over, or have just been in an accident. Understanding what an insurance policy number is can help you locate yours if necessary and know when you might need to reference it. Knowing where to find the policy number on an insurance card and why it's important to be able to locate it can help save you time and energy in the future.

An independent insurance agent can also help you locate your car insurance policy number. Not only that, but they can help you get set up with the right car insurance policy if you're still in need. But for now, let's break down what a car insurance policy number is, where to find it, and when you might need to use it.

What Is a Car Insurance Policy Number?

So, what is an insurance policy number, exactly? A car insurance policy number is an identification number that links your policy to you as the policyholder or driver of the vehicle. If you've been wondering, "What is the policy number on my insurance card?" it's a number that's unique to your account and is used by insurance companies to identify you as the policy owner. 

Your car insurance policy number is just one piece of information found on your insurance card. Other information found on your insurance card includes your name, address, vehicle information (i.e., make, model, year, and VIN), your insurance carrier, and the policy's effective dates. Take time to familiarize yourself with all the information on your car insurance card so you know what to look for in case of an accident or if you need to make a change to your coverage.


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Where Do I Find My Car Insurance Policy Number? 

Where is the policy number on an insurance card? Your car insurance policy number can be found in a variety of locations. Most conveniently, it’s printed on your insurance ID card. If you've been wondering how to find your insurance policy number, consider the following example.

Insurance Policy Number Example

Insurance Card Example.

Your insurance card policy number is different from your car's VIN, which is a 16-digit number and letter combination that uniquely identifies your vehicle. This is also located on your insurance card but shouldn’t be confused with your policy number. 

Your policy number can be found in all of the following locations:

  • The insurance card itself
  • Your online account with the carrier
  • The carrier's mobile app
  • Your policy's premium or billing statements
  • Your insurance policy's declarations page
  • Your insurance policy packet

An independent insurance agent can also help you locate your car insurance policy number if you're unable to find it.

When Do I Need My Car Insurance Policy Number?

It's important to always have proof of insurance in your vehicle because there are specific times when you'll need it. Having your insurance policy number on hand helps save time in what can be an already overwhelming situation, such as an accident. There are a few scenarios in which you would need your auto insurance policy number: 

  1. You’re pulled over: When you’re pulled over, police officers ask for your proof of insurance so they can check that you are currently insured. You’ll want to hand them your insurance ID card with your policy number on it since this is how they check that you’re properly insured.
  2. You’re in a car accident: One of the first things you'll do when you get in a car accident is to call your insurance company or independent insurance agent. You’ll need your insurance policy number for them to locate your account information. You’ll also need your insurance policy number if you’re in an accident with another vehicle and exchange insurance information. 
  3. You need to contact your insurer: Whether you have questions about your insurance plan, want to change your coverage, or are simply checking in, any time you contact your insurance company, you need your insurance policy number. 
  4. You're test-driving a new car: When test-driving a vehicle, you'll likely need to hand over your car insurance card first. The dealership will need to have your car insurance policy number on file in case something happens during your test drive.
  5. You're buying a new car: Before you can purchase a new vehicle, you'll be forced to provide proof of insurance before you can complete the sale and drive the car off the lot. It is illegal to drive without carrying at least your state's minimum required car insurance coverage.

When Do I Need Someone Else’s Insurance Policy Number?

You only need access to someone else’s insurance card policy number if you're involved in an accident with that person. Any time you’re in a collision with another vehicle, you should exchange insurance information. An easy way to take note of someone’s insurance information is by taking a picture of their insurance card with your phone.

If the person doesn't know or have their car insurance policy number on them, you can take a picture of their driver's license or call your insurance company and provide them with the person’s name, license plate number, and the name of their insurance company. In addition to the other driver's auto insurance policy number, you'll need to gather the following information from them:

  • Name of driver/policyholder
  • Contact information/phone number
  • License plate number
  • Insurance company name

If the other driver fails to share their insurance policy number or car insurance card, you can file a police report or contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

What Happens If I Lose My Car Insurance Policy Number?

Any time you lose your insurance policy number, you can request a new insurance card from your insurer. Most companies allow you to easily order new copies of your insurance card online, and many offer digital versions that you can print straight from their app or the insurance website. This allows you to have proof of your insurance card policy number when you need it, such as in case of an accident.

We recommend keeping several copies of your insurance card on hand: one in your glove box, one at home, and a photo on your phone. This way, you’re never without your insurance information, including your car insurance policy number. However, it's important to note that currently, New Mexico is the only state that doesn't accept electronic proof of insurance, including auto insurance policy numbers.

Knowing Your Policy Number When It Matters

While knowing your car insurance policy number doesn’t require you to try memorizing it, it’s important that you know how to access it in a time of need. When you purchase auto insurance, make several copies of your insurance policy number and take note of the places you can access it so you'll be prepared whenever you need it.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Car Insurance Policy Numbers

As long as you stay with the same insurance company, your insurance policy number will not change. It doesn’t matter if you change cars every year or have the same car forever. Your policy number will remain the same with that company.

If you change car insurance companies, you will receive a new insurance policy number. It’s also possible that your insurance policy number will change if you don't renew your insurance before the renewal date, and the insurance company has to create a new plan for you.

If you have multiple cars or people on your car insurance, the insurance policy number will most likely change with each vehicle and driver. Most commonly, this is a single number change that will be identified on the insurance card.

It's recommended to keep several copies of your car insurance policy number handy. Keep copies in your glove box, at home, and in digital format as a photo stored on your cell phone. This should allow you to have access to it anywhere, anytime.

If you've lost your auto insurance policy number, contact your independent insurance agent or carrier immediately. Your carrier should be able to send you a new insurance card immediately. This new insurance card will contain your car insurance policy number.

No, your car's VIN is a unique identification number for your vehicle only. An insurance policy number, on the other hand, identifies you as the driver and policyholder of the car insurance policy. It's not related to your vehicle.

A car insurance policy number is typically between nine and 13 digits long.

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