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Does anyone know if there's a law...

Old 10-09-09, 06:31 PM
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Does anyone know if there's a law...

that requires cyclists to carry identification such as a driver's license or something? I almost always do, but I got to wondering about what would happen if a cop pulled me over for some infraction and I wasn't carrying my license. I have taken quick rides around the neighborhood without my wallet.

Of course, I never violate any traffic laws. It would be his word against mine.
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Old 10-09-09, 06:42 PM
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The answer probably differs from state to state. In Florida, there is no requirement to carry ID. You don't need a license to ride a bike. If you get pulled over, you need to truthfully identify yourself, which you can do by telling the officer your name. If the stop is not lawful, meaning you're stopped for an improper reason (getting told to ride on the sidewalk, getting told toget off the sidewalk, getting told to get off the road, that sort of thing) you are not legally required to cooperate. However, it's somewhat unwise to try to analyze your legal situation on the roadside, especially with a person with a gun and arrest authority, who may well have an incorrect understanding of the law.

I keep a photocopy of my license in my seatbag with my contact info and insurance information, more for ID if I get whacked by a car than for a police officer who might stop me. If I ever get stopped, I would tell the officer my name and only pull out the DL copy if required. My goal in life is to get stopped for speeding, for good cause.
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Old 10-09-09, 06:43 PM
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Some muncipalities requires bicycles to be licensed, so in those you would need some proof of license. Many state trails require a trail pass, which usually has the person's name on it.

But I'm not aware of any requirement for one to have a government ID on them. No more than a walker would need an ID.
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Old 10-09-09, 10:50 PM
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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
https://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, that has a law that a citizen who has committed a traffic infraction 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 and you are also going to carry illegal drugs, weapons or other illegal items on you. 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.

Folks, if you are truly interested in the ID Card subject and confirming for yourself that a cyclist is only required to provide basic verbal identifying information if stopped by police, please read the Hiibel case. It is long and may be a little hard to follow, but it is worth while to understand your rights.
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Old 10-09-09, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post

Now if you are in a state like California, that has a law that a citizen who has committed a traffic infraction 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 and you are also going to carry illegal drugs, weapons or other illegal items on you. 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.
Thanks for this really detailed and good information! I don't PLAN on breaking traffic laws, and I'm certainly not carrying illegal drugs, weapons, or other illegal items (unless pie is illegal). But I have been known to make a "rolling stop" at a stop sign in my neighborhood, and a cop might not like that.

Anyway, thanks for the link. Very illuminating!
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Old 10-10-09, 05:52 AM
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I wear a dog tag when riding solo, in case of injury. In my case I have provided my address and phone # on the tag, but you might want to consider whether you want to do this or not. In any case, if I'm lying on the side of the road without ID, I'm just a John Doe without any form of identification and I got the dog tag at Walmart (engraved and everything) from a vending machine for about $10.
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Old 10-10-09, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
I don't PLAN on breaking traffic laws,
Err!!

Don't you ride a white bike?
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Old 10-10-09, 06:57 AM
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I carry a copy of my license, just for ID purposes.
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Old 10-10-09, 10:16 AM
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I too would often ride without wallet/ID etc. I live in a small very rural community, most everyone
knows everyone [sometimes too well]. A couple years ago I got a smallet from Duluth trading, sort of a credit card wallet. In it I keep a $20 [US and CND, i live near the border] and a photocopy of my passport. Place that in the tool pouch attached to my bike. If I get squashed by a log truck, they'll know where to send my parts.
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Old 10-10-09, 10:21 AM
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I always just ride with my wallet. I spent money on a Road ID a couple of years ago and never use it.

Since I commute by bike, and want my wallet to be with me during the day, I continuously edit my wallet to make sure it doesn't accumulate junk - about all it has is (a little) cash, one credit card, an ATM card, my health insurance card, and my drivers license.

I don't keep any frequent flyer cards, business cards, photos, sandwich shop cards, library cards, or any other junk in there. Makes it easy to slip into my jersey pocket.
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Old 10-10-09, 10:58 AM
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You just never know when you need your ID.

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking from the convenience store that is caddy-corner to my apartment back to my apartment when I was flagged by a cop in the parking lot of the convenience store. He was looking for a parole violater who matched my description, so he said, and demanded to see my ID. Had I not had it on me, I might have had a trip downtown suddenly put on my agenda.

At the end of the conversation after the cop had realized that I was not the suspect, he allowed how the suspect was shorter, balder and didn't have a beard.
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 10-10-09, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
library cards, or any other junk in there.
Library cards, junk**********????
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 10-10-09, 11:24 AM
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No requirement for ID over here. Funny how the Police always want to know why you don't carry ANY ID if they stop you though.
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Old 10-10-09, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
No requirement for ID over here. Funny how the Police always want to know why you don't carry ANY ID if they stop you though.
Tell them you always have your DNA and your fingerprints on you!
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Old 10-10-09, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
Thanks for this really detailed and good information! I don't PLAN on breaking traffic laws, and I'm certainly not carrying illegal drugs, weapons, or other illegal items (unless pie is illegal). But I have been known to make a "rolling stop" at a stop sign in my neighborhood, and a cop might not like that.

Anyway, thanks for the link. Very illuminating!
For chris' sake, Gary, if a cop stops you for rolling through that sign, do what any red-blooded American hero would do...kick him in the huevos and run!
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Old 10-10-09, 11:54 AM
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If I'm wearing street clothes, I've probably got my wallet on me. If I'm in cycling clothes, I don't but I have my dog tags on with my name, etc. on it. If that doesn't work, then downtown we go.
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Old 10-10-09, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
Library cards, junk**********????
I didn't mean to suggest that library cards are junk -- except that any card that is "needed" just 'cause I need the number from it can be replaced by storing the number in my cell phone. Then I just gotta remember to keep my cell phone charged...
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Old 10-10-09, 12:58 PM
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Many of you must live in a really, really different world than me. We don't worry about how to fight with the cops, or aggrevate them. We worry whether we'll get the proper treatment when we get to the hospital after a collision.

Sure, there is that occasional problem cop like there are problem citizens of other occupations. But, for the most part our cops are pretty much members of the community like any other citizen. Maybe that comes because the citizens have retained the right to carry arms, we pay very well, we select our cops pretty carefully and, except for one city, our communities are small enough we have retained the sense of community.

Given the medical treatment situation, to me, it is foolish to not carry ID. That ID doesn't neet to be a Driver License. It can be a set of dog tags, a state issued ID, or whatever.
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Old 10-10-09, 02:11 PM
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In a police state, you must always carry ID and you must show your ID when requested.
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Old 10-10-09, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Latitude65 View Post
Many of you must live in a really, really different world than me. We don't worry about how to fight with the cops, or aggrevate them.
Here's a law professor's advice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

Not agreeing with the points contained in the video; I saw this posted recently and thought it was interesting.

Personally I'm always polite, to the point, and more than happy to pull out my ID when asked. As Kerlenbach says above, I make it a point to never argue with someone carrying a gun.
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Old 10-10-09, 05:37 PM
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If I ever got pulled over I'd tell them I was BluesDawg.

Of course, that might get me pistol whipped.
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Old 10-10-09, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
If I ever got pulled over I'd tell them I was BluesDawg.

Of course, that might get me pistol whipped.
Nah. They don't know me by that alias.
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Old 10-10-09, 08:31 PM
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We both always carry ID when riding.
Was stopped by cop while on my single bike commute years ago and he wanted 'drivers license'.
Told him I had picture ID. He said 'drivers license.' Told him driver's license is not required for riding a bicycle. He was a bit huffy about it, but accepted my VA medical card.
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Old 10-10-09, 09:24 PM
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Seeing as you're in California, they should be able to pull up your driver license photo on their computer, if you don't have it on you to verify. I carry my driver license when I go riding.
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Old 10-12-09, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Dchiefransom View Post
Seeing as you're in California, they should be able to pull up your driver license photo on their computer, if you don't have it on you to verify. I carry my driver license when I go riding.
Pretty sure every state has databases that the cops can link to from squad car computers to pull up drivers license, state ID, arrest records. That is part of the reason the supreme court cited verbal name and birth date being sufficient for identification.
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