Automotive

Keeping Car Ownership & Insurance Papers In Glove Box

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  • Apr 1st, 2013 12:26 pm
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Aug 18, 2005
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Keeping Car Ownership & Insurance Papers In Glove Box

I have been reading up on this and I learned that keeping your car ownership in the glove box at all times is not a good plan because it can help anyone who steals your car. So it's better to keep a photocopy of the ownership on you and the original at home.

Here are some other questions:

1. Is it dangerous to keep a photocopy of the ownership in the glove box? Or should that be on your person as well?

2. What about the insurance? Is there a risk to keeping that in the car, or should it be in your wallet too?
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45 replies
Deal Fanatic
Apr 24, 2006
6563 posts
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Toronto
I used to keep both in the car but 4 years ago my car was broken into and an attempt was made to steal it. An after market ignition cut off stopped this from happening, thankfully they weren't smart enough to rifle through the glove box to find the paperwork.

Since then I keep both in my wallet all the time.
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Newbie
Jan 7, 2009
19 posts
Toronto, ON
I used to think keeping photocopies of the insurance and ownership was good enough, especially considering most companies are now paperless and legal opinions have held up the validity of scanned images.

Well, I guess it's not enough for the MTO. I got pulled over today for an expired sticker, (OK, I'll pay. My wife must have forgotten to renew it and I'm driving her car.). When I presented photo copies of the current ownership and insurance, the cop wrote me up for not having the documents, $60 fine in each instance of course, saying that photocopies are not good enough. He stated of course, that it would likely get thrown out of court if I produced the originals. To prove what, the copies equal the originals? He should have just asked me to give him $100 in cash to waive the charges. It would have made it easier for both of us.

So beware, keep originals in the car or on you. But if you change vehicles between family members like I do, keep them in the car. Yes, this will make it much easier for thieves, but since the Police doesn't investigate car thefts any more, it shouldn't matter anyway......
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Sep 13, 2005
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Interesting when we changed our plates over from NS to ON we were told a photocopy was sufficient. Honestly we were surprised how ON just gives you this cheap one piece of paper that says you're the owner of it that anybody can steal and use. In NS you get two copies, one to keep at home where you need to bring to the MTO if ownership changes and another copy for the car that has the basic info. The one you leave in your car will not allow you to change car ownerships etc. just a document with info saying "John Smith owns make, model with VIN # xxxx".

I might need to find a better way of hiding the car ownership paper if a photocopy isn't sufficient.
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Jul 30, 2007
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For me, both orig. ownership & insurance slip are in my wallet, no photocopy of both in the glove box. IMO, there are simply too much personal info. on the papers themselves. Why make it that much easier for any thief !

If you leave your orig. papers in the car and the car is stolen, the person can simply sell your car without any hassle (even before you can report your stolen car to the police).
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Dec 1, 2003
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I was recently told by my car dealer that in Ontario a photocopy should be enough, but there are conflicting statements in this thread about it. I can't find on the MTO website anything regarding this...Anyone have better google skills?
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Jun 26, 2005
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TimelessVictory wrote:
Jan 8th, 2009 3:49 pm
So in Ontario are photocopies sufficient?
najibs wrote:
Jan 8th, 2009 4:39 pm
I was recently told by my car dealer that in Ontario a photocopy should be enough, but there are conflicting statements in this thread about it. I can't find on the MTO website anything regarding this...Anyone have better google skills?

(see what 49 coupe posted above you)

When I presented photo copies of the current ownership and insurance, the cop wrote me up for not having the documents, $60 fine in each instance of course, saying that photocopies are not good enough. He stated of course, that it would likely get thrown out of court if I produced the originals
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Jun 26, 2005
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49coupe wrote:
Jan 8th, 2009 2:36 pm
I used to think keeping photocopies of the insurance and ownership was good enough, especially considering most companies are now paperless and legal opinions have held up the validity of scanned images.

Well, I guess it's not enough for the MTO. I got pulled over today for an expired sticker, (OK, I'll pay. My wife must have forgotten to renew it and I'm driving her car.). When I presented photo copies of the current ownership and insurance, the cop wrote me up for not having the documents, $60 fine in each instance of course, saying that photocopies are not good enough. He stated of course, that it would likely get thrown out of court if I produced the originals. To prove what, the copies equal the originals? He should have just asked me to give him $100 in cash to waive the charges. It would have made it easier for both of us.

So beware, keep originals in the car or on you. But if you change vehicles between family members like I do, keep them in the car. Yes, this will make it much easier for thieves, but since the Police doesn't investigate car thefts any more, it shouldn't matter anyway......


Man, this is a pain, I have different drivers on different cars all the time.

Stupid cops and self made rules
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Dec 1, 2003
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There still isn't a clear answer regarding if you're allowed to carry just the photocopy on you, or in your car. THe only info I found is this:

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/fraud.shtml

MTO Consumer Tips

Keep your vehicle permit and insurance certificate in a secure place on your person so you can provide this information, if requested, to law enforcement.
Avoid putting it into an open purse or large pocket where it may be easily stolen or fall out.
When at home and not operating your vehicle, carry your vehicle permit and insurance certificate in a secure place.
Never leave your vehicle permit and insurance certificate carelessly lying around, especially if you employ outside help or where thieves or strangers looking into your house can easily see it.
Placing it in the glovebox of your vehicle is not particularly secure either, in case the vehicle is stolen.
Never leave originals or even photocopies of your vehicle permit or insurance certificate inside your vehicle, particularly not in plain view.
Thieves may be tempted to steal these and use the information they contain to perpetrate fraud.
Store your vehicle permit and insurance certificate securely on your person so if your vehicle is stolen they cannot be used to perpetrate additional fraud.
Never leave briefcases, purses and duffel bags in plain view inside your vehicle.
Regardless of what these actually contain, thieves who think these may contain valuables could be tempted to break into your vehicle.
Never leave your vehicle running or leave the keys in the ignition unless you are in it.
Thieves could not only steal your vehicle but may also use any personal information they find, to steal your identity or perpetrate other fraud.
Lock the doors of your vehicle when you leave it.
Auto theft does not just happen in large urban centres.
Thieves may steal an unlocked vehicle, or rummage through it looking for valuables and documents containing personal information (i.e. vehicle registration and insurance information).
Do not store a set of keys, vehicle permit and registration information or other documents containing personal information in your vehicle.
Never put your vehicle permit or insurance certificate in the trash or recycling bin without first cutting it into small pieces or shredding it.
Never provide information about your vehicle (in particular about the Vehicle Identification Number or "VIN" information) in response to an unsolicited Internet or telephone request, regardless of the apparent source.
The VIN is a unique series of 17 letters and numbers used to identify a vehicle. It contains valuable information about the manufacturer, make/model, equipment and class of vehicle that helps law enforcement, insurance industry, consumers and government and others, identify it.
If you are asked to provide it, find out who will have access to it, why it is needed and what safeguards are in place to prevent unauthorized use.
If you are not satisfied with the response, ask more questions or consider not providing the information being requested.
Remember, it's your identity - you must protect it.
Before you make a decision to buy a used vehicle privately, ask to see the sellers Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) and review it closely.
For more consumer protection tips on buying and selling a used vehicle in Ontario, see Buying and Selling a Used Vehicle in Ontario at www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/vehicle/used.shtml
If you are victim of vehicle theft/fraud, report the incident immediately to your local police.
For more ideas on preventing vehicle theft and fraud, contact your local police or visit the website of the Insurance Bureau of Canada at www.ibc.ca
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Jan 16, 2008
7562 posts
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for the above post...cop just needed to get through his quota im' sure...cause a photocopy is sufficient..however, be sure to copy both the front & back...not just one side.
as for insurance...you can't really do anything with the original...

the ownership is the one you can "sign over"....since anyone can purchase a UVIP and sign that too...LOL

hey can just drive it across the border, or even just across the provincial border, and you're SOL
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Dec 1, 2003
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sienna owner wrote:
Jan 8th, 2009 4:49 pm
for the above post...cop just needed to get through his quota im' sure...cause a photocopy is sufficient..however, be sure to copy both the front & back...not just one side.
as for insurance...you can't really do anything with the original...

the ownership is the one you can "sign over"....since anyone can purchase a UVIP and sign that too...LOL

hey can just drive it across the border, or even just across the provincial border, and you're SOL
For both registration and insurance, or only registration?
Newbie
Mar 31, 2008
34 posts
I got pulled over years ago, gave photocopy of registration and actual copy of insurance. Cop just asked who's car it was. Just got the speeding ticket only.

So maybe if you carry the original insurance (Belair provides 6 copies) but copy of registration, they won't fine you for invalid documents.
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