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Should Carrying I.D. Be Required?

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View Poll Results: Should adults be required to carry identification in public?
Yes.
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No.
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Voters: 216. You may not vote on this poll

Should Carrying I.D. Be Required?

Old 11-04-09, 02:15 AM
  #1  
Commando303
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Should Carrying I.D. Be Required?

This is a rather general question, by no means limited to persons on bicycles, but, I end up feeling this may be the best board on which to make the post. In your opinion is it correct for persons to be required to carry identification in public? (How does this apply to biking, more specifically? Well, how often are bikers pulled over by police and asked to produce I.D.?)

One of my previous polls seemed to annoy a few people, as the answer-choices, they argued, were "rigged." Here, it's just "yes" and "no"; any elaborations you wish to make, you'll have to put in writing.

Thanks.
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Old 11-04-09, 03:17 AM
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I haven't decided how to answer the poll yet. I think everyone needs to carry ID in case there is an accident that renders them a corpse or otherwise unresponsive. The time and money spent trying to identify a J Doe and contact any next of kin (if applicable) could surely be better spent on other efforts. However, I'm not too keen on the notion of requiring a person to show ID when asked, with no regard to context. Yes, when a licensed driver exercises his/her privilege to operate a motorized vehicle, I do believe they should be required to show proof that they were granted that privilege when asked (I'm open to hearing the contrary stance to this, by the way); same goes for airport security...if I kept on going with this, I'm sure I could actually come up with a decent list of situations where it seems reasonable to require ID to be shown- these are specific instances though, and as a generality, I don't think it's acceptable to allow certain officials to demand ID from anyone they see fit, whenever.

So in that sense, even though I think everyone ought to carry some kind of ID (state issued or not, I'm not picky), I don't see it as enforceable.

I'll answer the poll now.
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Old 11-04-09, 04:49 AM
  #3  
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When cycling, whether it's utilitarian or recreational I carry my DL, insurance card and my debit card or 20.00 cash. But, it's my contention it should be a choice not a requirement unless operating a motor vehicle. But, it IS hard to do any type of business transaction w/o some sort of ID whether state issued or otherwise.
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Old 11-04-09, 05:14 AM
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i've been pulled over numerous times in maryland while riding my bike to work. i just assume it's cause i'm black and go about my day. hasn't happened once since i've moved to virginia though...
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Old 11-04-09, 05:58 AM
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Old 11-04-09, 06:19 AM
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A friend of mine was stopped by an Atlanta city cop a few months ago. It was 10 PM. He asked for his driver's license. He told the cop that he didn't have it with him nor was it required since he was riding a bicycle. The cop took him to the local police station where this was discussed. He finally let go but was told to have ID with him at all times. No one around here has been able to find a city of Atlanta law, Fulton County law, or Georgia law stating that a person must have ID with them at all times. Stoooopid cops!!
This cop probably thinks bicycles belong on the sidewalk.
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Old 11-04-09, 06:20 AM
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When driving, why should you show identification if you have done nothing wrong and are not making a report?

It should be required to show ID only when being charged with something or when in an accident. No dragnets. Same for cycling, walking, or anything else. If they do not need to know your name, they should not be able to demand it.
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Old 11-04-09, 06:56 AM
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I don't know if it should be required, but it sure makes a lot of common sense to always carry an ID. Particularly while cycling. If you get in an accident, hit by a car, you may not be conscious afterwards. It might mean the difference between life and death having an ID. I keep a photo copy of my driver's license and medical insurance card in a waterproof plastic thingie in my jersey at all times.
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Old 11-04-09, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dbgray21 View Post
i've been pulled over numerous times in maryland while riding my bike to work. i just assume it's cause i'm black and go about my day. hasn't happened once since i've moved to virginia though...
"Biking while Black" ?? Sorry, I know MD has issues with profiling, but while on a bike? That's pretty freaking sad.

I don't think it should be required. Common sense says yes, and I carry an ATM card and/or cash, my work ID, and wear a roadID, in addition to a full contact list on my Blackberry.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:07 AM
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You should not be required to carry official ID. I have my name written on the tag on my reflective vest that I commute in. They can use this to figure out where to ship my corpse.

If I'm just out on a recreational ride, I generally have my wallet as I may want to stop and buy something to eat. I also carry my phone. Either of these should be a sufficient way for the authorities to figure out who the poor sod is they just scraped off the pavement.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:08 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
"Biking while Black" ?? Sorry, I know MD has issues with profiling, but while on a bike? That's pretty freaking sad.
I think it is more, "Biking while dark". MD has some anti-cycling laws and I think the cops assume if anyone is "biking at night" they are up to no good (running drugs, robbery, DUI suspect, etc.)
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Old 11-04-09, 07:16 AM
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Two weeks ago I was stopped by the police and asked for ID. When I said I didn't have any my wallet was searched and my ID was removed without my permission. I was not informed that I was a suspect for any crime nor did the officer claim to be investigating any particular crime and I kept asking "Am I breaking the law? Am I free to go? If I'm not breaking the law then I should be free to go", but the officer's only response was "no you are not free to go". My privacy and my right to walk down the street without being harassed was violated and there was nothing I could do about it and if I weren't carrying ID then I would have undoubtedly been arrested and taken to the station for further harassment.

Unfortunately, carrying ID is a de facto requirement created by an overempowered police force. I wish we weren't required to carry ID, but the reality is that we are.

The problem is the police have too much power. They can drag you into the police station any time without any justification. They can just feign ignorance and say, "refusing to show ID is suspicious". "Suspicious" has become a catch all term to harass and intimidate anyone the police would like to single out for whatever reason. Time is money and the ability of the police to waste the time of anyone they want without rhyme or reason is a form of arbitrary legal punishment.

The only power we have is passive resistance. Next time the police ask you to do something which you are not legally required to do then refuse. Then maybe they will get the picture that their time is better spent pursuing actual crimes than abusing their power to harass innocuous individuals who have obviously committed no crime. If we let them get away with their abuses then things will only get worse.

Last edited by chucky; 11-04-09 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:20 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
I don't know if it should be required, but it sure makes a lot of common sense to always carry an ID. Particularly while cycling. If you get in an accident, hit by a car, you may not be conscious afterwards. It might mean the difference between life and death having an ID. I keep a photo copy of my driver's license and medical insurance card in a waterproof plastic thingie in my jersey at all times.
Sure, ID, but not OFFICIAL ID. This isn't a totalitarian state (yet) - so while I do have a dog tag on so if I'm in an accident, they can find my name, immediately relevant medical issues, and my family's phone number, unless I'm driving a car (which is a priviledge that I need to carry a license with me to prove that I've earned) I shouldn't have to carry an OFFICIAL ID.

I wear a necklace tag and a dogtag on my shoelaces with all that info on them.

AFAIK, US citizens who are not operating a motor vehicle and are in public areas are not required to carry official ID in any state or city in the US.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
Two weeks ago I was stopped by the police and asked for ID. When I said I didn't have any my wallet was searched and my ID was removed without my permission. I was not informed that I was a suspect for any crime nor did the officer claim to be investigating any particular crime and I kept asking "Am I breaking the law? Am I free to go? If I'm not breaking the law then I should be free to go", but the officer's only response was "no you are not free to go". My privacy and my right to walk down the street without being harassed was violated and there was nothing I could do about it.
Sure there's something you can do about it. You can take the police department to court. That's your recourse. I'd sure be doing it. You at least have illegal search and seizure, and probably unlawful detention (don't know what the legal term for it is) since you were not being held on suspicion of anything in particular, it sounds like they were just fishing, or didn't like the look of you.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
Two weeks ago I was stopped by the police and asked for ID. When I said I didn't have any my wallet was searched and my ID was removed without my permission. I was not informed that I was a suspect for any crime nor did the officer claim to be investigating any particular crime and I kept asking "Am I breaking the law? Am I free to go? If I'm not breaking the law then I should be free to go", but the officer's only response was "no you are not free to go". My privacy and my right to walk down the street without being harassed was violated and there was nothing I could do about it and if I weren't carrying ID then I would have undoubtedly been arrested and taken to the station for further harassment.

Unfortunately, carrying ID is a de facto requirement created by an overempowered police force. I wish we weren't required to carry ID, but the reality is that we are.

The problem is the police have too much power. They can drag you into the police station any time without any justification. They can just feign ignorance and say, "refusing to show ID is suspicious". "Suspicious" has become a catch all term to harass and intimidate anyone the police would like to single out for whatever reason.

The only power we have is passive resistance. Next time the police ask you to do something which you are not legally required to do then refuse. Then maybe they will get the picture that their time is better spent pursuing actual crimes than abusing their power to harass innocuous individuals who have obviously committed no crime.

They can't drag you to a police station at any time. They can't demand ID. They can't forcibly search you without probably cause. They can't open any closed or locked containers. Call him on it and make a big deal out of it.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:25 AM
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Here is the US Supreme Court - Hiibel case that establishes that a cyclist is only required to provide basic verbal identifying information if stopped by police:

HIIBEL v. SIXTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT OF NEVADA
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...&invol=03-5554

Here is the bottom line on cyclist and ID Cards. The Hiibel US Supreme Court case firmly establishes that if a cyclist is stopped by police either for investigation or arrest, all the cyclist must do, is verbally provide their correct name and birth date. No state laws can override this. So no state can legally compel cyclist to carry or present an ID Card to police.

If a cyclist wants to carry an ID Card for emergencies, fine, but cyclist are not required to so. Cyclist can also put an emergency contact number into their cell phone under ICE (standing for ‘‘In Case of Emergency’’) which would also allow police or EMTs to quickly contact someone who knows you, and may know any special medical conditions you have.

Now if you are in a state like California (Colorado is similar), that has a law that a citizen who has committed a traffic infraction (which is a criminal offense in CA and CO) and if that citizen is willing to show a valid ID Card and sign a promise to appear, then the police must release the citizen with a citation and cannot take such citizen into custody; then it might be a good idea to carry a valid ID Card with you, IF you plan on breaking traffic laws. If you have broken a traffic law in these states and do not have an ID, then you will likely be taken into custody and searched; and if you are also carrying illegal drugs, weapons or other illegal items on you, your in deep trouble. In such a case, the ID Card might be a get out of jail free card for the illegal drugs, weapons or other illegal items. For those of us that do not break the traffic code and do not carry illegal drugs, weapons or other illegal items; NOT carrying the ID Card when cycling has no legal impact.

Choosing to either carry an ID Card or NOT carry an ID Card is YOUR legal choice when cycling.
You cannot be arrested for not carrying and presenting an ID Card to police when cycling.

Last edited by CB HI; 11-04-09 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Sure there's something you can do about it. You can take the police department to court. That's your recourse. I'd sure be doing it. You at least have illegal search and seizure, and probably unlawful detention (don't know what the legal term for it is) since you were not being held on suspicion of anything in particular, it sounds like they were just fishing, or didn't like the look of you.
At best that will result in bureaucratic wanking and at worst it will just waste more of my time. Even if I win the reality is that cop will be treated politely and get paid, the judges get paid, the lawyers get paid, and I get punished with more wasted time.

Petty as it sounds the only difference we can make is by just being verbally abusive and uncooperative. That's one right we can still exercise in the hopes of making the stupid pigs that don't think twice before meting out unnecessary harassment miserable.

In my case it was a citizen that didn't like the way I looked and called the cops. All these "if you see something say something" campaigns have people worked into a frenzy. After the police let me go I told the guy to mind his own ****ing business.

Originally Posted by helmut View Post
They can't drag you to a police station at any time. They can't demand ID. They can't forcibly search you without probably cause. They can't open any closed or locked containers. Call him on it and make a big deal out of it.
They can because they can feign ignorance. Probability is in the eye of the beholder. Any police officer too dumb to recognize the facts can claim probable cause. Most of them fit that requirement and the others can fake it.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jrich179 View Post
money spent trying to identify a J Doe


.
Yes I do! I watch The Forgotten



Honestly I don’t see any reason why people can’t carry a simple I.D. card while riding.
Don’t have the “me factor” but think of other people’s safety. If a person is struck by a vehicle or just happens to pass out when riding and the EMS arrives on scene they will stabilize then transports to the local ER. If you have ever rode in an ambulance you would know what the crew does when in route. They make radio contact with the local ER giving the patients vitals, sex, race and when available name. Why the name? So the ER can attempt to pull any medical records (history) they may have on the patient. If time allows they may also contact family (if listed as emergency contacts in the medical records.)
The police on scene if an I.D. is located will (or should) retrieve a number through the DMV file (or through their system NCIC or local files depending on what the victim has done in the past) and make contact with a family member. The importance in this is for the victim, family support, medical concerns (allergies, DNR.)
I understand a lot of us do not want to be told what we have to do by the government but when it can involve life or death dictions wouldn’t that be for the greater good of all?
It’s like the mandatory helmet law for children (under the age of 12). Would we all agree that is for the best interest for our children?

Anyways this is my 2 cents, I don’t think it should be mandatory but for safety we all should anyways.
FYI, The best thing to carry is a cell phone! Why? That is the first thing I use to I.D. and or locate a spouse/family member. Make sure you label your spouse “wife, husband” it makes it easier. I usually go for the “mom or dad” because almost everyone uses that contact name.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:14 AM
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You can't beat the cops. You've always committed an offence.
Weaving, erratic riding, you name it. If you've got a mean cop he's going to mess with you.

The only way to clean up the police forces is to reject anyone who applies for the job.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:23 AM
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I don't think anyone should be required to carry I.D. The day that becomes law it could be considered that this country becomes more like the former Soviet Union where it was required.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
Two weeks ago I was stopped by the police and asked for ID. When I said I didn't have any my wallet was searched and my ID was removed without my permission. I was not informed that I was a suspect for any crime nor did the officer claim to be investigating any particular crime and I kept asking "Am I breaking the law? Am I free to go? If I'm not breaking the law then I should be free to go", but the officer's only response was "no you are not free to go". My privacy and my right to walk down the street without being harassed was violated and there was nothing I could do about it and if I weren't carrying ID then I would have undoubtedly been arrested and taken to the station for further harassment.

Unfortunately, carrying ID is a de facto requirement created by an overempowered police force. I wish we weren't required to carry ID, but the reality is that we are.

The problem is the police have too much power. They can drag you into the police station any time without any justification. They can just feign ignorance and say, "refusing to show ID is suspicious". "Suspicious" has become a catch all term to harass and intimidate anyone the police would like to single out for whatever reason. Time is money and the ability of the police to waste the time of anyone they want without rhyme or reason is a form of arbitrary legal punishment.

The only power we have is passive resistance. Next time the police ask you to do something which you are not legally required to do then refuse. Then maybe they will get the picture that their time is better spent pursuing actual crimes than abusing their power to harass innocuous individuals who have obviously committed no crime. If we let them get away with their abuses then things will only get worse.
Sorry this happened to you. Why were you actually stopped? What reason did the officer give you for stopping you? Did he give you a reason? I know you said he did not give you a reason and you asked if you were breaking the law, but did you ask why did you stop me?Aside from his uniform and the badge on his shirt did he announce himself as a police officer and give his name, or did you have to read it from his name tag? Did he let you go? Were you given a citation or warning? Was he walking or in a vehicle?

Granted you said you did not have any at which point the officer should have simply asked for your name, unless he already had it, and that should have sufficed. Not to defend the officers action because right now it sounds like what he did was contemptable, base on what you have told us. But you did lie to him, perhaps he picked up on that, thus deciding to search you and then finding your wallet and your I.D. he further uncovered your lie which likely caused him to hold you despite you being asked if you were free to go. As a word of advice next time be honest and say yes you have I.D. I think lying and then getting caught for lying made this ordeal all that much worse for you.

I think had you been honest and simply said yes, but did not offer to show him and waited for him to ask for it things would have gone better. He may not even have asked for it. Or if he had you could have asked why are you being stopped, beside which police have to tell you anyway. Perhaps there was a suspect in the area the police were looking for and you fit the description.

Lying about not having I.D. then *****ing and moaning about it when you are caught in the lie does not bode well for you.

Last edited by Square & Compas; 11-04-09 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:39 AM
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Isn't this a P&R subject?

I only carry my driver's license when driving.

Otherwise, I never carry it. My wallet contains my student ID (which acts as a bus pass), cash, and a credit card for emergencies. I'll leave the student ID at home if I don't plan to use the bus at all or go to school.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:51 AM
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Don't know about "required," but it is smart.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:56 AM
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Emphatically, NO.

LAND OF THE FREE.

If you're doing nothing that requires elevated privileges (elevated meaning doing something which requires licensure) then NO WAY should anything be required of anyone so long as they don't interfere with another person's liberty.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:59 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
...At best that will result in bureaucratic wanking and at worst it will just waste more of my time. Even if I win the reality is that cop will be treated politely and get paid, the judges get paid, the lawyers get paid, and I get punished with more wasted time....
Freedom isn't free. Either pay the price (with some of your obviously precious time) and defend your freedom by filing a complaint -or- suck it up and stop whining on BF about the "big, bad cop".

BTW, I totally oppose requiring adults to carry ID, this isn't Nazi Germany or Castro's Cuba.
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