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  1. #1
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Enough! Don't play ID games with cops.

    The following is a comment that pops up from time to time, I left it blank because I want to pick on the idea, not the person who made it:

    Quote Originally Posted by Omitted
    I didn't read the whole thread - but i have to ask - did he try to ticket your DRIVERS liscense?? He shouldn't have been able to because you were not operating a motor vehicle. You do not need a drivers license to ride a bike and if I were you and the trooper wanted to issue me a citation, I would not have provided anything to him but my first and last name NOTHING else. If he was a real bad adititude case then I wouldn't have even provided him with that information.
    No matter what you think of how cyclists should ride on the road, it's just plain stupid to play ID games with cops when pulled over, even when you are right and the cop is wrong. Basically, if the cop has reason to think you've violated the law, the cop has has the right to identify you. If you play ID games, you can end up in a holding cell while the cop tries to figure out who you are. If you lie, you can turn a minor traffic infraction into a serious crime (ask Martha Stewart).

    The only exception is true civil disobedience. Even then, you should expect to pay the price for your silence--time in jail until they figure out who you are.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mtnbk3000's Avatar
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    if you don't have a drivers license and you are pulled over what do they do
    hi

  3. #3
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbk3000 View Post
    if you don't have a drivers license and you are pulled over what do they do
    That's one reason it's a good idea to carry some sort of ID that you think a cop would respect. If I didn't have a license, I'd carry a work or school ID. If I got pulled over with no ID, I'd just do the best I could to convince the cop I really didn't have an ID and that I am who I am. I'd be especially polite and respectful, saying "Yes, officer," "No, Officer," "Thank you, officer" a lot. But having an ID is better.

  4. #4
    Roadmaster Snobbery Club bhtooefr's Avatar
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    Also, I don't know about other states, but the BMV in Ohio issues state IDs, that have the same function as a driver's license for identification purposes, but don't give any privileges.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member OH306's Avatar
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    This has nothing to do with A&S.

  6. #6
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OH306 View Post
    This has nothing to do with A&S.
    I have frequently seen the ID game come up in A&S threads. Some people seem to believe that playing ID games with cops is a form of advocacy.

  7. #7
    Troublemaker Berg417448's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbk3000 View Post
    if you don't have a drivers license and you are pulled over what do they do
    The law usually allows an officer to take you into custody for the offense if your identity cannot be established. This might require that you be photographed, fingerprinted and have to post a bond for your appearance in court. Local laws may vary so it is best to check.

  8. #8
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    Gee, then why not carry ID when you're out walking, or at home in the bath too. If not required to by law, then please yourself is my opinion.
    The only good reason for carrying ID is so they can identify your mangled body a little easier. Even then I'm pretty sure I wouldn't care if their day was slightly more complicated by my lack of ID.

  9. #9
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Yes, but you need to be a resident of a state. Some of us are citizens who maintain no residency in the the US. No way am I taking my US passport on a bike ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhtooefr View Post
    Also, I don't know about other states, but the BMV in Ohio issues state IDs, that have the same function as a driver's license for identification purposes, but don't give any privileges.

  10. #10
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    I've always wondered this.

    I have a military ID. Suppose I was pulled over on my bike and presented my military ID. Cop says "Do you have a drivers license." I say "I don't have it with me."

    What would or could the cop do? Would they be able to ticket my drivers license?

  11. #11
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    Out here, if you don't have a driver's license, you get fined and points go on your record for two years and when/if you get a license, the points are there.
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  12. #12
    Troublemaker Berg417448's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
    I've always wondered this.

    I have a military ID. Suppose I was pulled over on my bike and presented my military ID. Cop says "Do you have a drivers license." I say "I don't have it with me."

    What would or could the cop do? Would they be able to ticket my drivers license?

    It would only take a very short time for a computer check to reveal whether you have a drivers license or not. Whether the violation applies to your license or not depends upon how the state law is written.

  13. #13
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tspoon View Post
    The only good reason for carrying ID is so they can identify your mangled body a little easier. Even then I'm pretty sure I wouldn't care if their day was slightly more complicated by my lack of ID.
    This is reason enough for me -- I carry ID and insurance info whenever I ride. If you wipe out at high speed, get hit by a car, or whatever, having this info easy to find could prevent delays in your treatment or notification of key people.

    You do not need to have your ID to get a ticket. I cannot think of any downside to being able to positively identify yourself except if you get ambushed, the attackers would know where you live and they might clean your place out. and try to steal your identity. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I also carry a modest amount of cash and a credit card. You could be asked to show ID if you need to use the CC if you needed to make an emergency purchase on the road.

  14. #14
    Upright bars SirMike1983's Avatar
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    In many places a traffic stop of a car or bike is the equivalent of other "Terry" type stops. In those stops police can force you to identify yourself. You can be arrested for failing to comply with these stops.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirMike1983 View Post
    In many places a traffic stop of a car or bike is the equivalent of other "Terry" type stops. In those stops police can force you to identify yourself. You can be arrested for failing to comply with these stops.
    Identifying yourself (name,birth,address) and producing a license to drive a motor vehicle are two very different things. I'm speaking more generally than being stopped for a bicycle traffic offense, because popular opinion seems to be that citizens must yield unconditionally to the nonsensical and abusive requests of the authority. My god, we used to decry the soviets for this behavior and denounce it based on the principles of the American Republic. How things have changed. Thomas Jefferson was right, our country has been headed straight to the ****ter once we signed off on the constitution. But I think he used the word "downhill."

    Papers please!!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute View Post
    Basically, if the cop has reason to think you've violated the law, the cop has has the right to identify you. If you play ID games, you can end up in a holding cell while the cop tries to figure out who you are.
    And said cop is to presume that you are lying when you share your personal information without giving him an ID? Is that really the road you want to follow?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
    I've always wondered this.

    I have a military ID. Suppose I was pulled over on my bike and presented my military ID. Cop says "Do you have a drivers license." I say "I don't have it with me."

    What would or could the cop do? Would they be able to ticket my drivers license?
    Your motor vehicle driver's license is used to identify you as someone with the priviledge of driving a motor vehicle. Your military (or other state issue ID, or passport for foreigners) is plenty to identify yourself for any other purpose, such as in a traffic stop while riding your bicycle or to buy alcohol or cigarettes. You don't need a driver's license to ride a bike so you shouldn't ever HAVE to produce one. You might need to ID yourself though and if all you have is a driver's license, that's what you'll end up using (which is what I had to do).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute View Post

    The only exception is true civil disobedience. Even then, you should expect to pay the price for your silence--time in jail until they figure out who you are.
    Not only that, but expect to get pepper sprayed and tasered. I was somewhat suprised how many times the cops pepper sprayed or threathen to spray on uncooperative people on the "cop" show, even people already handcuffed who refuse to get finger printed or whatever.

    Makes me wonder if we can use pepper spray and taser legally when we interrogate terrorist suspects.

  19. #19
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tspoon View Post
    Gee, then why not carry ID when you're out walking, or at home in the bath too. If not required to by law, then please yourself is my opinion.
    The only good reason for carrying ID is so they can identify your mangled body a little easier. Even then I'm pretty sure I wouldn't care if their day was slightly more complicated by my lack of ID.
    This very issue has been challenged in court also. The problem is YOUR day becomes more complicated until you can prove who you are. Carry ID, be it state issued, or a passport, otherwise you may be detained until you can prove who you are.

  20. #20
    Campy NR / SR forever cadillacmike68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute View Post
    The following is a comment that pops up from time to time, I left it blank because I want to pick on the idea, not the person who made it:



    No matter what you think of how cyclists should ride on the road, it's just plain stupid to play ID games with cops when pulled over, even when you are right and the cop is wrong. Basically, if the cop has reason to think you've violated the law, the cop has has the right to identify you. If you play ID games, you can end up in a holding cell while the cop tries to figure out who you are. If you lie, you can turn a minor traffic infraction into a serious crime (ask Martha Stewart).

    The only exception is true civil disobedience. Even then, you should expect to pay the price for your silence--time in jail until they figure out who you are.
    I'n NOT advocating giving false information, just not giving them my drivers license for an issue regarding a bicycle. Since one does not need a drivers license to ride a bicycle - then the police have no business trying to issue me a ticket on my drivers license. I can always show them my Colonels ID card.

    I'm not one of those whackos who like to block an entire lane with my bike either. I keep to the side of the road and try not to get too mixed up with the cars. I've never had a run-in with a motorist while on my bike. nor vice-versa. Car vs car that's another matter entirely.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cadillacmike68 View Post
    I'm not one of those whackos who like to block an entire lane with my bike either. I keep to the side of the road and try not to get too mixed up with the cars.
    Yeah, you tell those whackos!

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Interesting, here's a story that was running on slashdot (usually a tech site) today:

    http://newsite.michaelrighi.com/2007...-circuit-city/

    I think these laws may vary highly by state, but my understanding is that the cops can NOT require you to provide any sort of documentation (something about the whole Nazi Germany thing sort of puts people off to that). He CAN require you to identify yourself.

    As a practical matter, I put my license in my under-the-seat pouch so they can identify my body should the need arise.

    Oh, and OT but @cadillacguy - those of us who take the lane aren't 'whackos' when the lane is 9 feet wide. Do the math.

  23. #23
    Arrogant Safety Nanny
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbk3000 View Post
    if you don't have a drivers license and you are pulled over what do they do
    The same as if you're driving a car, walking down the street, or doing anything else. They'll ask you for your name, date of birth, maybe your address, then look up the info in their computer or contact dispatch. With the above information, they can get your DMV info, see your drivers license # and status, any vehicles registered in your name, driving history, arrest record, etc. As long as you're polite and they think you're being honest with them there shouldn't be a problem.

    Whether or not you show them a drivers license, if they want your drivers license # they'll get it.

  24. #24
    Upright bars SirMike1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shofrad View Post
    Identifying yourself (name,birth,address) and producing a license to drive a motor vehicle are two very different things. I'm speaking more generally than being stopped for a bicycle traffic offense, because popular opinion seems to be that citizens must yield unconditionally to the nonsensical and abusive requests of the authority. My god, we used to decry the soviets for this behavior and denounce it based on the principles of the American Republic. How things have changed. Thomas Jefferson was right, our country has been headed straight to the ****ter once we signed off on the constitution. But I think he used the word "downhill."

    Papers please!!
    I make no statement on whether that is good or bad, merely state the fact that once you enter the realm of a "Terry" stop (and often traffic stops qualify), the police have much more authority over you than in a lower rank "consensual" stop.

    But it is true that a Terry stop or a traffic stop needs at least some minimal basis of suspicion to be executed. A mere hunch is not enough, as the courts have said in the past.


    As a general matter:
    What may be causing confusion is the difference between a "consensual stop" and a "Terry stop". The Terry stop requires a floor level of reasonable suspicion that "criminal activity may be afoot". The consensual stop is where the cop may say "hey can I ask you a question" or "can I talk to you?". The courts have said in the past that this sort of thing is akin to one citizen asking another to talk. If the person complies it's deemed "consensual". There doesn't have to be a suspicion of anything for that to happen. Whether or not people really do feel free to leave in these "consensual" stop situations is often a very vague matter.

    Again- I'm not saying anything either way in terms of whether this is good policy or bad, just that this is sort of what goes on.
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  25. #25
    Arrogant Safety Nanny
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    From the original post: "it's just plain stupid to play ID games with cops when pulled over, even when you are right and the cop is wrong. Basically, if the cop has reason to think you've violated the law, the cop has has the right to identify you."

    I don't think the original post was talking about consensual conversations with police officers. Once the officer has ordered a person operating a vehicle to pull to the side of the roadway (either by using flashing lights or a verbal command), and a reasonable person wouldn't feel free to leave the area, that is enough to establish a detention.

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