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Is a person required to hand over their license in a traffic stop?

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Is a person required to hand over their license in a traffic stop?

Old 06-30-2018, 11:48 AM
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Default Is a person required to hand over their license in a traffic stop?

It seems Florida as well as Ohio laws say you merely have to "display" your license. I could take this to mean merely holding it up to the window. Any attorney's or LEO care to weigh in on this?

322.15 License to be carried and exhibited on demand; fingerprint to be imprinted upon a citation. - Florida Statutes - USA Laws Searching
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:50 AM
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I don't get it. Why would handing your license to an officer be a problem for you?
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:54 AM
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Are you referring to a traffic stop, or checkpoint?
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:57 AM
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Try it and video it.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:00 PM
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This is a citation from Georgia law (because I ran across it first). But almost every state has similar advice as most of its based upon case law even so far into Supreme Court decisions. Driving is not a right. And you are operating on public property not private. You enter into this agreement by becoming licensed and partaking of the public travel ways.


Georgia law requires every licensed driver to “display his license upon the demand of a law enforcement officer.” O.C.G.A. § 40-5-29(b). Failure to do so permits officers to presume that: 1) you do not have a license on your person as required by O.C.G.A. § 40-5-29(a); and 2) you are driving without being licensed in violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-5-20. Furthermore, repeated refusals to comply with an officer’s request for your license can rise to the level of criminal obstruction of the officer in the performance of his duties pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 16-10-24(a), for which you can be lawfully arrested. In addition to your drivers’ license, officers may also lawfully require you to display proof of insurance pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-6-10. Failure to comply with these requests can lead to arrest, prosecution, and conviction (see Johnson v. State, 234 Ga. App. 218 (1998)). However, once you have complied with these requirements, you are not legally required to say anything more.

I'd imagine "display" and to allow him to actually hold it are one in the same. The definition of display in this case likely includes his ability to examine it closely.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:01 PM
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Playing semantics will end up in getting you a beat down, and few will feel sorry for you. I'm sure the OP has no intention of doing playing this game with police and is just asking a question, but not a good game to be in.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:05 PM
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I can't imagine a code or law that would require you to have a license in possession and then not require you to give the license to an Officer upon a legal request. I can see the confusion with the wording "display" though. Kinda an interesting choice there. I know in my State a license must be on your person and must be surrendered to an Officer upon a legal request. I've had those jackwagons that do the whole crack the window barely and slide it out thing. I can promise you those guys are getting written up for every little thing I can find. Most Officer's are going to return the level of respect they're shown.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:09 PM
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With the technology now days I can run your tag and within 5 seconds it automatically runs your DL too........as long as you are the registered owner of the vehicle lots of times the LEO already knows the status of your DL when he walks up. I rarely ask for the DL anymore...
If someone says "i'll only display my license to you not give it to you" I would say no problem..it would just give me an idea of the attitude of the person i'm dealing with...
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:19 PM
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I would gladly hand it over to an officer upon request. I don’t need to start shit or be an ass. They have my respect from the beginning, until they give me reason not to respect them.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:22 PM
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Yep. Be a dick and see where that gets you. Then don’t complain about it like all the other bitches who do nothing but disrespect officers and play antagonist.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:23 PM
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I'd stuff it down the front of my pants then hand it right over.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:24 PM
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Why even pull over when you can gun it
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Beuford T. Justice View Post
I don't get it. Why would handing your license to an officer be a problem for you?
Never said it was a problem, just curious
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:49 PM
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Just tell them you're a sovereign citizen
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Old 06-30-2018, 01:03 PM
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Show the officer some respect, don't BS to him, if you were speeding admit to him that you were going as fast as you were, and answer politely any other questions he might ask (where are you going, etc.). If you weren't driving recklessly or intoxicated, and do these things, there is a decent chance you will get off with a warning.

I've gotten pulled over several times for 20 MPH over, did these things, and gotten away with a warning,
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Old 06-30-2018, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaJay View Post


I've gotten pulled over several times for 20 MPH over, did these things, and gotten away with a warning,

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Old 06-30-2018, 01:17 PM
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Not directing this at the OP, but damn it, stop being asshats to the police. Some are dicks, most are not, and they’ve got a pain in the ass job dealing with the public. Show them a little respect. Makes your day and theirs go a lot easier.
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Old 06-30-2018, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
This is a citation from Georgia law (because I ran across it first). But almost every state has similar advice as most of its based upon case law even so far into Supreme Court decisions. Driving is not a right. And you are operating on public property not private. You enter into this agreement by becoming licensed and partaking of the public travel ways.


Georgia law requires every licensed driver to “display his license upon the demand of a law enforcement officer.” O.C.G.A. § 40-5-29(b). Failure to do so permits officers to presume that: 1) you do not have a license on your person as required by O.C.G.A. § 40-5-29(a); and 2) you are driving without being licensed in violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-5-20. Furthermore, repeated refusals to comply with an officer’s request for your license can rise to the level of criminal obstruction of the officer in the performance of his duties pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 16-10-24(a), for which you can be lawfully arrested. In addition to your drivers’ license, officers may also lawfully require you to display proof of insurance pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-6-10. Failure to comply with these requests can lead to arrest, prosecution, and conviction (see Johnson v. State, 234 Ga. App. 218 (1998)). However, once you have complied with these requirements, you are not legally required to say anything more.

I'd imagine "display" and to allow him to actually hold it are one in the same. The definition of display in this case likely includes his ability to examine it closely.
Very true - with the advent of less than $10,000.00 Dye-Sub ID card printers - crooks make a handy profit out of selling false ID's and DL's. The officers are trained to examine the licenses and ID's for obvious signs forgery. That's one of the reasons why he wants to hold it. Next is, if you drive off, he's knows who you are. Lastly, the back of the D/L has UPC/OCR on it. He scans the license, to see if you have any wants or warrants.
Like others have said, be nice and civil. The police have to deal with lots of flaming @ssholes - and jailhouse lawyers. Be nice and you're on you way quickly. Don'r be nice and decent, you may be there for quite a spell while they get the drug dog to your QTH (or 20).. In the end, you cop an attotude, the officver will most likely get one too. Human nature.
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Old 06-30-2018, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaJay View Post
Show the officer some respect, don't BS to him, if you were speeding admit to him that you were going as fast as you were, and answer politely any other questions he might ask (where are you going, etc.). If you weren't driving recklessly or intoxicated, and do these things, there is a decent chance you will get off with a warning.

I've gotten pulled over several times for 20 MPH over, did these things, and gotten away with a warning,
Exactly. Doesn't matter how the law was written or what your rights are. The officer isn't the government. He didn't make the rules. They want to do their job and provide for their family, just like every other schmuck in this world. They (and you) just want the interaction to end as quickly as possible, with all parties able to get home to sleep in their own beds.

Questions like this never even enter my mind. I'm not knocking you for asking it, I'm just saying you shouldn't need to concern yourself with the "legal" answer unless you're a POS trying to work the system.
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Old 06-30-2018, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rbhankins001 View Post
Just tell them you're a sovereign citizen
Do not pass go, do not collect $200
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