I thought it'd been a requirement for years now.
I know (starting maybe) 5-6 years ago in order to register an auto I had to actually provide the insurance card, whereas previously I could simple state Yes - I had insurance - and that was all.
And I know (because my insurer failed to notify the state) that several years ago I got a nasty note from the state saying because I allowed my insurance to lapse they were rescinding my registration. Not once but Twice (thanks State Farm).
So what is different from before?