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  1. #1
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    Driving with no license

    if i get pulled over for not having a driver's license but i sincerely say that i forgot it at home and just realized it, what's going to happen to me and my car?

    what if i can provide an alternative form of ID in the meantime? i live in california. are the rules the same for the local PDs and the CHP?

    thanks.

  2. #2
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    No DL

    I can't answer for California, but I would say that the answer could vary significantly depending on where this happens. In many areas, mine for example, if you have a drivers license and it can be verified via the computer, probably nothing happens to you or your car. Other places they will cite you for not having a drivers license in possession. In other areas, if you have no identification and no other means of verifying your identity, you might be jailed and your car might be impounded. I know that sounds pretty harsh, but think about it. Here is somebody with no identification that could be wanted and if there is another charge probably won't appear in court if his/her identity cannot be verified.

    I think my neighboring Wisconsin requires traffic violators to post bail or bond on the spot. Now I don't know if that is just out of state violators, just the Wisconsin State Patrol, just more serious traffic violators, etc., but I have heard of folks in Minnesota driving fast in Wisconsin, stopped by the Wisconsin State Patrol, and then transported to the local jail until they can post bond. It could be just urban legend or VERY dated information. Just think, in many organizations you could effectively tie up the whole shift and fill the jail up in short order with traffic violators. (And my jail whines when I bring someone in on a felony warrant.)

  3. #3
    Forum Member SgtScott31's Avatar
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    In TN, it's a citable offense to be driving without your license on your person, regardless if you have another means of identifying yourself. Technically I can take you to jail for it, but if another photo ID is available, I will just cite and cut you loose.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovesocal
    if i get pulled over for not having a driver's license but i sincerely say that i forgot it at home and just realized it, what's going to happen to me and my car?

    what if i can provide an alternative form of ID in the meantime? i live in california. are the rules the same for the local PDs and the CHP?

    thanks.
    If you had an "alternative form of ID," you might skate with a ticket for no DL in possession. This would depend on what kind of ID you had in possession, and whether the validity of your DL could be confirmed over the radio. I have been told hundreds of times, "I left my license at home. You can call it in." Gee, can I? I love taking up air time and standing around waiting for the results!

    I'd also be asking you why you can remember your "alternative form of ID," but can't remember to carry your license.

    I used to be pretty slack on trying to confirm missing DLs over the radio, and then I got bitten on the butt. I stopped a guy for some violation I can't remember now. He said he didn't have his license in possession, but was able to give me his name, date of birth, address, and social security number (which is what we used for a DL number at the time). Everything came back clear, with a valid license. I wrote him for the violation and went on my way. This was against department policy, but was still a common practice. Anything that kept the jail census down was considered a blessing.

    Months later, I'm in court on the ticket. The prosecutor tells me that the defendant swears that he's not the one I stopped, and wants me to talk to him. I do this, and 30 seconds later I know he's not the guy I stopped. The one I stopped was the defendant's black sheep brother, who had a revoked driver's license pursuant to his second DUI conviction. He had memorized the law-abiding brother's information to parrot back to me.

    This gets better, or actually, worse. The black sheep brother didn't do anything about the citation, big surprise there. The citation went to warrant, which automatically suspended the DL of the person named in the warrant, the one that was in court. He was with his wife at Lake Tahoe when he was pulled over for something innocuous. Before he knows it, he's in handcuffs in the back of a patrol car, arrested on the warrant and for driving while suspended. It took days for him to be able to get enough money for bail, during which he lost his job. This guy did absolutely nothing wrong, and got screwed mightily for it.

    I apologized to him, for whatever that was worth, and the charges against him were dismissed. I offered to talk to his former boss, but he said he'd found another job since then. I don't know why he didn't sue me and the department, because he would have had a slam dunk if he did.

    After that, if I wasn't certain who you were and that you had a valid DL, you were leaving with me. We had a lot of dumb policies, but that one turned out to be well-considered.
    Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

  5. #5
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    If you don't have your license you can be cited for 12951(a) of the vehicle code which is normally a fix it violation (pay $10 and show your license to the court). The caveat is that we can take you into custody (40302(a) CVC ) if you lack satisfactory evidence of identification. If you have some reasonable alternate form of identification and we find matching info in the DMV computer you'll most likely get a fix it ticket at the most. No reasonable ID and/or DMV system is down you have a good chance of being taken into custody.

    I've rarely arrested for 40302(a) cvc. I can usually find enough info in the computer system and if you answer questions correctly I can reasonably be sure if you are telling me the truth about your identity. If I suspect somebody is lying I'll typically slap the cuffs on. 99% once folks know they are going to jail they give up their real name.
    If you see me running try to keep up!

  6. #6
    forum member deputy x 2's Avatar
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    Once it is confirmed that your license IS valid, you will probably get a cite for the original violation, plus the license not in possession and probably no evidence of insurance.

    People don't generally memorize their DL # and it wouldn't be a first that someone uses someone else's info.
    This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

  7. #7
    Barefoot Ninja SRT936's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim1648
    I think my neighboring Wisconsin requires traffic violators to post bail or bond on the spot. Now I don't know if that is just out of state violators, just the Wisconsin State Patrol, just more serious traffic violators, etc., but I have heard of folks in Minnesota driving fast in Wisconsin, stopped by the Wisconsin State Patrol, and then transported to the local jail until they can post bond. It could be just urban legend or VERY dated information. Just think, in many organizations you could effectively tie up the whole shift and fill the jail up in short order with traffic violators. (And my jail whines when I bring someone in on a felony warrant.)
    Not an urban legend. Out of state violators can (not shall) be brought to the local SO or jail to post bond on ANY traffic violation prior to being released. My agency does not do it as a matter of course, but the WSP does. Of course, now days we can actually do a credit card posting on scene. Cuts down on the extra trip.
    Quote Originally Posted by kontemplerande View Post
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  8. #8
    Forum Member firemanjb's Avatar
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    First, you probably aren't getting stopped for not having a license. You'd generally have to commit another offense to attract an officer's attention. That is, unless you own the car and you don't have a valid O/L. If that's the case, you're probably going to jail.

    In KY, driving without your O/L in possession is arrestable, but it is normally cited to court. Driving without ANY O/L, that is being unlicensed or suspended, will usually involved a trip to jail and a towing of the vehicle. I've even arrested someone for letting an unlicensed driver drive his car...and for letting someone drive a car without insurance.
    My posts are sometimes educated, sometimes informed, and sometimes blowing smoke...but they are mine and mine alone and do not reflect on anyone else (especially my employer).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by firemanjb
    First, you probably aren't getting stopped for not having a license. You'd generally have to commit another offense to attract an officer's attention. That is, unless you own the car and you don't have a valid O/L. If that's the case, you're probably going to jail.
    thanks fireman. but the reason i asked is sometimes i forget my wallet. i do keep an expired DL in the trunk in the event that i don't have my current one and i have to prove who i am.

  10. #10
    Forum Member ignignokt373's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovesocal
    thanks fireman. but the reason i asked is sometimes i forget my wallet. i do keep an expired DL in the trunk in the event that i don't have my current one and i have to prove who i am.
    Can't you just go out and buy a second one? Keep one in the car with your insurance and registration and the other one on your person.

    I carry two. One in my wallet and one with my creds just in case.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignignokt373
    Can't you just go out and buy a second one? Keep one in the car with your insurance and registration and the other one on your person.

    I carry two. One in my wallet and one with my creds just in case.
    do you mean have two DLs? is that legal?

    so the DMV will approve if i want another DL?

  12. #12
    Forum Member ignignokt373's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovesocal
    do you mean have two DLs? is that legal?

    so the DMV will approve if i want another DL?
    Why wouldn't they? It's you on the DL. And you paying the extra amount. Unless there is some strange law saying that you cannot be in possession of two of your own DLs, I would think it would be legal.

    The ones I have are issued from MO. I told the clerk I wanted an extra one (just in case) and they sold them to me.

    When they expire in a few short months, I will get a new one issued from VA and will ask if it's legal in VA to have two. If it is, I will get two. One for my wallet and one to go with my Creds.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Gundo's Avatar
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    In Cali it is one and only one...but you could get an ID card has the same number on it. CA law states if you the officer can not verify the operators license status, impound the vehicle. I am personally quite happy with our new computer system, I can actually see your cdl and picture on the computer in my car...Also I ALWAYS grab a thumb print whenever I cite someone without their CDL...Makes it much easier to id them 3 years later...

  14. #14
    Forum Member dignon's Avatar
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    severe punishment

    Depending upon all other "attendant circumstances"...I don't usually write a citation for it...as long as everything matches up (you come back on the computer and height, weight, etc matches).

    As for 2 D.L.'s, here in colorado...you can't have two forms of state issued ID. You can't have a DL AND a state ID, and you can't have two DL's. It has something to do with the possible selling of DL's to undocumented people.
    Dig
    Never...EVER...do anything to encourage a mime!

  15. #15
    Former Deputy Sheriff VA Dutch's Avatar
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    Here in VA, you can only have one -- either a driver's license OR a state-issued ID card (typically given to you by DMV when your license is suspended or revoked).

    As for having duplicate copies of your driver's license, I do not know if that is legal or not. I have an extra one, but strictly by accident. I had used my original DL when entering a military installation (job-related call) and they forgot to give it back to me. When I used my credit card a day later and realized my license was missing, I went to DMV, paid a few bucks and then was issued a duplicate license. (I had phoned the security personnel at the gate the day after I discovered my license was missing, but nobody there had my DL in their possession.)

    Two days later, my original one showed up in the mail. Someone apparently had found it - Good Karma! - and sent it to me. Anyway, I now keep my "old" one as a spare (in my house) and use my duplicate license as my regular one. I am sure it is in the computer that I have a 'duplicate' license and it is imprinted with 'Duplicate' below my address information. The main thing, though, is that it is still my photo and I don't have two different licenses from different states (a big no-no nowadays).

    In a nutshell, just go to DMV and tell them your license was lost or mutilated. A duplicate will cost a few clams, but may come in handy sometime.

    The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

    The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

    ------------------------------------------------

    "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

  16. #16
    Forum Member Dudley DoRight's Avatar
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    Up here it is a ticketable offense...fail to produce a DL. You must produce it, hand it to the Police and answer questions from the information on it. $ 81 ticket. It wastes several minutes of our time checking you on the computer and asking questions to prove your identity. Funny thing, many of the drivers I stop who fail to produce have previous tickets for the same thing. Last guy I wrote had 3 and a female driver a while back had 7 or 8 convictions. As an aside. most of the folks who tell me that they accidentally left it at home...have an expired one, are prohibited or suspended or never had one. Bring it with you and save our time and your money.

  17. #17
    Forum Member PeteBroccolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudley DoRight
    Up here it is a ticketable offense...fail to produce a DL. You must produce it, hand it to the Police and answer questions from the information on it. $ 81 ticket. It wastes several minutes of our time checking you on the computer and asking questions to prove your identity. Funny thing, many of the drivers I stop who fail to produce have previous tickets for the same thing. Last guy I wrote had 3 and a female driver a while back had 7 or 8 convictions. As an aside. most of the folks who tell me that they accidentally left it at home...have an expired one, are prohibited or suspended or never had one. Bring it with you and save our time and your money.
    It is about the same here, but it depends if you are a Saskatchewan resident or not. Non-residents MUST produce it immediately; residents have 48 hours to do so. $140 fine.

    However, I generally take the time, for residents and Canadian non-residents, to check for DL validation. A Traffic man with a heart - now THERE'S a contradiction!

    I also find that a significant number of people that do not have their licence with them are prohibited, disqualified or suspended from driving, either per the Criminal Code or Provincial Statute. On top of that, most often they are "flagged" for a 30 or 60 day impound!

  18. #18
    Forum Member ftlaudcop's Avatar
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    Talking jail and prison state

    if that happens in good ole flor-i-dah,

    no questions, off to the countyy jail and we give ya 30

    hard labor on the work squad........

    if yr a ' new yorker, new jersey, boston person, 60 days bread and water.
    " if you talk in your sleep, don't mention my name....
    " if you walk in your sleep, forget where you came....

  19. #19
    gone Jellybean400's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gundo
    In Cali it is one and only one...
    If you lose your copy of your DL, you cant purchase another?

  20. #20
    Forum Member Fuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellybean400
    If you lose your copy of your DL, you cant purchase another?
    California Vehicle Code
    12511. No person shall have in his or her possession or otherwise
    under his or her control more than one driver's license.

    If you lose one and then replace it you are still only in possession of one license. You may not have multiple licenses in your possession.

  21. #21
    Corporal redbird07's Avatar
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    I dont know about other states, but in MD you are allowed only one license. Period. When you move to the state, the MVA requires you to surrender your out of state licence. There is also a charge for possession of more than one license at a time. Doesnt matter if its an old licence, license from another state, ect. I also wouldnt keep my extra form(s) of ID in the trunk either. Officers dont like people getting into the trunk area on a TS anyway Why not the glove box. More readily accessible. Some officers will not even accept an expired ID/License as a form if ID. Sounds squirrely, but Iv'e seen it happen

  22. #22
    Forum Member Wile E. Coyote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deputy x 2
    People don't generally memorize their DL # and it wouldn't be a first that someone uses someone else's info.
    The only ones I've seen that memorize their DL are minors with a fake or someone else's ID. Otherwise, who would bother? I only know a few digits because Soundex can be your friend.

  23. #23
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    Social Security

    Here in ohio it has happened to me twice, i just give them my social and date of birth and a picture of me pops up on their computer, it tells them whether or not i do have a license, and then im good to go.

  24. #24
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    I work in Michigan. If you have a decent picture ID and I can verify an operator's license through SOS/LEIN, might be a warning or a misdemeanor ticket. At the discretion of the court, the fine will be reduced or voided all together if you bring your license to the court within X number of days (kind of like a fix-it ticket). On the other hand, if you have no ID and there's even a hint of doubt about who you say you are, it's a trip to jail. Especially if I'm also writing any other infraction(s). A couple years ago I wrote an illegal turn ticket to someone who had no ID, but came back clear & valid on the computer. A couple months go by and I get a subpoena to court for it. The person who showed up to fight it had the same name as on the ticket, but was not the person I gave the ticket to. Lesson learned.

    -Noah

  25. #25
    Forum Member Ralph8119's Avatar
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    Lightbulb O.k.

    Guy's the question is why you stopped the driver? O.k. something minor no license, ticket Chow!
    Now he or she was a jerk and the traffic offense was high, No license, YOU'RE COMING WITH ME!!!
    Last edited by Ralph8119; 04-12-2008 at 10:12 PM.
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