Nova Scotia becomes first province to permit EPAI electronic pink slips

Published: January 26, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



The Office of the Superintendent of Insurance of Nova Scotia announced it will adopt electronic proof of auto insurance (EPAI), otherwise called electronic pink slips. In doing so, it becomes the regulator in Canada to permit the new auto insurance proof system.

William Ngu, the superintendent for the province, said earlier this month Nova Scotia had outlined guiding principles for the use of EPAI. Those guidelines provide a framework for brokers and insurers to work from if they are to give customers EPAI. The principles in Ngu’s bulletin included provincial legislation and security protocols.

Speaking to Canadian Underwriter, Deputy Superintendent of Insurance Jennifer Calder that EPAI will be exactly what people see in their pink cards now, just in digital format. “This is basically enabling legislation, which is based on consent for both parties, so if an insurer wishes to offer it and an insured chooses to accept that option, they can do so,” she said. “There’s no requirement on any party.”

The framework and introduction of electronic pink slips will work under the Electronic Commerce Act, which allows Nova Scotia to permit customers to carry any document in electronic format. However, there needs to be a constant between involved parties. The provincial government created the following guidelines for the use of EPAI:

  • Respect existing federal and provincial anti-spam and privacy legislation, and maintain appropriate confidentiality with consumer information in accordance with the PIPEDA policy and internal guidelines.
  • Comply with security protocols already established in conducting business electronically, and in protecting consumer information under the Consumer Protection Act.
  • Obtain consent from clients outlining expectations of both parties (clients must consent to receive the new format).
  • The current paper-based pink card must be issued along with the electronic card on the initial roll out to “test the acceptance and practicality of this initiative for consumers.” The subsequent format of delivery may be determined by consumer’s choice and consent, and the three choices offered shall be electronic, paper or both paper and EPAI.
  • Deliver EPAI in a pink background format that mirrors the current pink paper. The EPAI should have detailed wordings verbatim as on the paper card.
  • Create EPAI as a downloadable product with a lock screen capability which can be stored in a secure manner on the device. Provide instructions to clients on how to produce the EPAI on their device to show law enforcement or others.
  • Advise clients that opting in for EPAI is their choice, and “they shall assume any or all risks with damage to the device when handed over to a third party.” In addition, the clients must be advised that the absence of Internet services may “limit the availability and accessibility of EPAI on demand.”
  • Advise clients that EPAI is acceptable at present in Nova Scotia. “However, if they are travelling outside of this province, they may be required to produce a paper-based insurance card and that may require direct confirmation with their insurer or broker.”