(a) All insurance carriers transacting insurance in this state shall supply a certificate to the insured or to any person subject to the registration provisions of article three, chapter seventeen-a of this code certifying that there is in effect a motor vehicle liability policy upon such motor vehicle in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter seventeen-a of this code. The certificate shall give its effective date and the effective date of the policy and, unless the policy is issued to a person who is not the owner of a motor vehicle, must designate by explicit description, in such detail as the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles shall by rule require, all motor vehicles covered and all replacement vehicles of similar classification: Provided, That on and after July 1, 1984, insurance companies shall supply a certificate of insurance in duplicate for each policy term and for each vehicle included in a policy, except for those listed in a fleet policy. Each such certificate of insurance shall list the name of the policyholder and the name of the vehicle owner if different from the policyholder.
The certificate must specify for each vehicle listed therein that there is a minimum liability insurance coverage not less than the requirements of section two, article four, chapter seventeen-d of this code.
(b) The certificate provided pursuant to the provisions of this section or other proof of insurance shall be carried by the insured in the appropriate vehicle for use as proof of security, and must be presented at the time of vehicle inspection as required by article sixteen, chapter seventeen-c of this code. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $200 nor more than $5,000; and upon a second or subsequent conviction, shall be fined not less than $200 nor more than $5,000, or confined in the county or regional jail for not less than fifteen days nor more than one year, or both: Provided, That an insured shall not be guilty of a violation of this subsection (b) if he or she furnishes proof that such insurance was in effect within seven days of being cited for not carrying such certificate or other proof in such vehicle.
(c) As used in this section, proof of insurance means a certificate of insurance, an insurance policy, a mechanically reproduced copy of an insurance policy, a certificate of self-insurance, an image displayed on a wireless communication device, as defined in section one, article one, chapter seventeen-b of this code, that includes the information required by this section as provided by a liability insurer or a copy of the current registration issued to a motor carrier by the Public Service Commission: (1) Through the single state registration system established pursuant to section fourteen, article six-a, chapter twenty-four-a of this code; or (2) pursuant to the provisions of section four, article six, chapter twenty-four-a of this code.