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Thread: Question about providing ID during a traffic stop

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    I was reading that "Am I being detained?" thread on another board (Washington, I think?), and I was wondering about something- Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the State of Virginia, you must provide your drivers license if stopped by a LEO while you're in the drivers seat. My question is this- If the LEO says that I am not being detained, but "wants to see my drivers license", can I provide him with a copy of it on a piece of paper, as opposed to the actual card, so I can just be on my way and not have to worry about them taking forever to run it and return it to me?

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    mercutio545 wrote:
    I was reading that "Am I being detained?" thread on another board (Washington, I think?), and I was wondering about something- Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the State of Virginia, you must provide your drivers license if stopped by a LEO while you're in the drivers seat. My question is this- If the LEO says that I am not being detained, but "wants to see my drivers license", can I provide him with a copy of it on a piece of paper, as opposed to the actual card, so I can just be on my way and not have to worry about them taking forever to run it and return it to me?
    Lets assume you mean to exclude situations where you mustprovide your driver's license.

    Trust me. If he wants your driver's license, he wants to check if you have outstanding warrants or just harass you, or both. He is not going to like the idea that you hand him thephotocopy and then walk away such that he can't arrest you if you are wanted. As soon as you start to leave, he will just restart the conversation about "if you have nothing to hide..." The only difference will be that the subject will shift from providing your license to waiting until he runs the check, "If you have nothing to hide, why don't you want to wait until I've run the check?"

    My suggestion is a polite flat refusal or something that diverts a little, "Officer, if you get to the point you are writing a summons or making an arrest, I'll be glad to identify myself to you. Now, please tell me again why you've stopped me?"
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    If you are operating a motor vehicle, you must provide your drivers license if requested to do so.
    Revelation 1911 - And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

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    mobeewan wrote:
    If you are operating a motor vehicle, you must provide your drivers license if requested to do so.
    Yes, I know this, as previously stated. I was just asking if I had to provide the physical ID card, or a copy of it.

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    mercutio545 wrote:
    SNIP Yes, I know this, as previously stated. I was just asking if I had to provide the physical ID card, or a copy of it.

    If you're not driving, there is no law in VA requiring you to even carry ID, much less provide it upon demand, request, beg, etc.




    Heh, heh, heh. "I'm sorry Officer, I forgot to bring my Passenger License with me today. May I receive a warning instead of a citation?"
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Yes, this is why I don't usually carry ID on me unless I'm driving, or purchasing something that requires proof of age. My question was in regards to if I am driving. Like, if I go through a DUI checkpoint and they request my drivers license, could I just give them a disposable copy, instead of giving them the actual card?

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    mercutio545 wrote:
    Yes, this is why I don't usually carry ID on me unless I'm driving, or purchasing something that requires proof of age. My question was in regards to if I am driving. Like, if I go through a DUI checkpoint and they request my drivers license, could I just give them a disposable copy, instead of giving them the actual card?
    I seem to recall (possibly incorrectly) reading another similar thread a few months back where someone provided a cite showing it to be illegal to make copies of your DL....

    Edit: See:http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-204.2
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington

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    In some states it is illegal to make copies of any type liecense or official document such as a birth certificate. Even in those states where it is not illegal they can require the actual document especially if it has any type of seal or counterfeit protection device on/in it.

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    PT111 wrote:
    In some states it is illegal to make copies of any type liecense or official document such as a birth certificate. Even in those states where it is not illegal they can require the actual document especially if it has any type of seal or counterfeit protection device on/in it.
    Car dealerships reguarly make copies of DLs prior to allowing a test drive... I'd imagine their insurance requires it.

    Any time I've rented an aircraft from a new FBO they've always wanted to make copies of my pilot certificate, medical certificate and driver's license...

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    PT111 wrote:
    In some states it is illegal to make copies of any type liecense or official document such as a birth certificate. Even in those states where it is not illegal they can require the actual document especially if it has any type of seal or counterfeit protection device on/in it.
    Yeah most car dealerships I test drive at copy my license, and some websites I buy ammo from make me e-mail them a copy of my license for proof of age.


    Edit: To me it looks like that code section that was posted refers to "fake" ID's, not paper copies of real ones. I wasn't trying to alter the license, just make an exact copy of the real one.

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    18.2-204.2
    "A. It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, advertise for sale, sell or possess any fictitious, facsimile or simulated driver's license issued by any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or any foreign country or government;"

    Merriam-Webster's 11th Colegiate Dictionary


    1 : an exact copy
    2 : a system of transmitting and reproducing graphic matter (as printing or still pictures) by means of signals sent over telephone lines
    synonyms see REPRODUCTION
    Revelation 1911 - And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

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    mobeewan wrote:
    18.2-204.2
    "A. It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, advertise for sale, sell or possess any fictitious, facsimile or simulated driver's license issued by any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or any foreign country or government;"

    Merriam-Webster's 11th Colegiate Dictionary


    1 : an exact copy
    2 : a system of transmitting and reproducing graphic matter (as printing or still pictures) by means of signals sent over telephone lines
    synonyms see REPRODUCTION
    this is also in the code

    ...or in any way reproduce any identification card or facsimile thereof in such a manner that it could be mistaken for a valid license or identification of any type specified in this subsection...

    This tells me to just make the copy in black and white.

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    If the LEO says that I am not being detained, but "wants to see my drivers license"
    This sounds like a consent encounter to me. Either you're being arrested or detained, or you're not.

    "Are you asking me for my license, or ordering me to produce it?" If the former, I am politely declining and being on my way. If the latter then I'm probably going to produce the license. YMMV...

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    roscoe13 wrote:
    mercutio545 wrote:
    Yes, this is why I don't usually carry ID on me unless I'm driving, or purchasing something that requires proof of age. My question was in regards to if I am driving. Like, if I go through a DUI checkpoint and they request my drivers license, could I just give them a disposable copy, instead of giving them the actual card?
    I seem to recall (possibly incorrectly) reading another similar thread a few months back where someone provided a cite showing it to be illegal to make copies of your DL....

    Edit: See:http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-204.2
    My interpretation of this section of code relates toa fake id (i.e. so you can go by booze even though your underage or something), not giving a photocopy so you can be on your way as the OP describes.

    That being said, if a cop takes the time to pull you over, i cant imagine they'd willingly let you go before they were done with you. Thats not to say they would have the legal justification to do so, but i believe that with all the vague language that is sprinkled throughout the code a crafty lawman could make it say just about anything he/she needs it to say to get what he/she needs done.

    interesting idea though.

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    I think this will answer the question. Red emphasis is mine:

    § 46.2-104. Possession of registration cards; exhibiting registration card and licenses; failure to carry license or registration card.

    The operator of any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer being operated on the highways in the Commonwealth, shall have in his possession: (i) the registration card issued by the Department or the registration card issued by the state or country in which the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer is registered, and (ii) his driver's license, learner's permit, or temporary driver's permit.

    The owner or operator of any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer shall stop on the signal of any law-enforcement officer who is in uniform or shows his badge or other sign of authority and shall, on the officer's request, exhibit his registration card, driver's license, learner's permit, or temporary driver's permit and write his name in the presence of the officer, if so required, for the purpose of establishing his identity.

    Every person licensed by the Department as a driver or issued a learner's or temporary driver's permit who fails to carry his license or permit, and the registration card for the vehicle which he operates, shall be guilty of a traffic infraction and upon conviction punished by a fine of ten dollars. However, if any person summoned to appear before a court for failure to display his license, permit, or registration card presents to the officer issuing the summons or a magistrate of the county or city in which the summons was issued, before the return date of the summons, a license or permit issued to him prior to the time the summons was issued or a registration card, as the case may be, or appears pursuant to the summons and produces before the court a license or permit issued to him prior to the time the summons was issued or a registration card, as the case may be, he shall have complied with the provisions of this section.

    (Code 1950, §§ 46-15, 46-80; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-7; 1964, c. 205; 1972, c. 362; 1978, cc. 500, 605; 1984, c. 780; 1988, c. 74; 1989, c. 727.)


    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    The red and/or blue lights during a traffic stop mean your are required to stop. This means your are being detailed even before being asked for your license.

    If you do not have your actual license you will get a ticket for not having your OL in your possession.

    Having a copy means nothing and could have been easily altered. That copy is worthless and a bad idea.

    Whilehe holds your ID... your are certainly being detained in the eyes of the courts so normally we will return it quickly.

    If a LEO asks you for your ID... he may not want you walking away while he checks to see if your the escapeinmate they are looking for.

    If your not driving..... and he says it... then the contact is completely voluntary and he has told you this up front. You can deny his request and simply walk away. But again... a copy is worthless.

    If you actually take the time to stick around and talk to the cop you may find a fellow human being just like you. Someone that is kind and helpfuland just doing his job.

    So many on here paint the LEO as a Nazi and they want to RUN, RUN, RUN!!!!

    I give my card out all the time to people I meet and tell them to call if they have any questions. And they do call and I am happy to help out.

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    Citizen wrote:
    mercutio545 wrote:
    I was reading that "Am I being detained?" thread on another board (Washington, I think?), and I was wondering about something- Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the State of Virginia, you must provide your drivers license if stopped by a LEO while you're in the drivers seat. My question is this- If the LEO says that I am not being detained, but "wants to see my drivers license", can I provide him with a copy of it on a piece of paper, as opposed to the actual card, so I can just be on my way and not have to worry about them taking forever to run it and return it to me?

    Lets assume you mean to exclude situations where you mustprovide your driver's license.

    Trust me. If he wants your driver's license, he wants to check if you have outstanding warrants or just harass you, or both. He is not going to like the idea that you hand him thephotocopy and then walk away such that he can't arrest you if you are wanted. As soon as you start to leave, he will just restart the conversation about "if you have nothing to hide..." The only difference will be that the subject will shift from providing your license to waiting until he runs the check, "If you have nothing to hide, why don't you want to wait until I've run the check?"

    My suggestion is a polite flat refusal or something that diverts a little, "Officer, if you get to the point you are writing a summons or making an arrest, I'll be glad to identify myself to you. Now, please tell me again why you've stopped me?"

    You are required to provide a valid ID card, not a copy. Please don't listen to this poster, you will be arrested.

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