I am frequently asked by friends, family, and clients of mine, “Are you required to show ID to police?” In other words, they want to know if they have a right to refuse showing their driver’s license or another form of identification to a police officer. The simple answer is you probably have to provide your identification to the police officer in most circumstances.
When do you have to show ID to police?
Obviously, there are two different scenarios where police may ask you to show ID. The first scenario is when you are driving a vehicle, and you are lawfully stopped. You are legally obligated to exhibit your driver’s license when demanded by the police officer. Idaho Code §49-316 requires it. The second is when you are not driving. The law is not as clear, and if a police officer suspects you of committing a crime you can refuse to show ID. They will arrest you anyway for the crime if they have probable cause that you are the individual that committed the crime. You will not be arrested for failure to provide ID as you would while driving a motor vehicle.
Driving without a license is a crime.
A police officer can practically pull you over for any reason as long as the police officer has a legitimate reason for stopping you. They can legally ask you for identification, proof of insurance, and registration. They can even ask for these things when they have no reason to believe there is criminal activity afoot. For example, they can ask for these items even when they are performing their “community caretaking function”. The community caretaking function is the role an officer plays when they help someone who is broken down on the side of the road for example. An officer can stop to see if you need help, and in the process can ask for driver’s license, insurance and registration.
The Idaho Supreme Court decided the issue of whether a motorist must supply identification in State v. Martinez, 136 Idaho 436 (2001). For a more detailed analysis, you can review the case yourself.
Refusing to comply is your right.
As far as whether you must provide identification when you are simply a pedestrian, there is no specific case law on that issue. At least none that I can find. If I had to venture a guess, based on my reading of the analysis done in State v. Martinez, it appears you probably would have to provide identification if an officer stopped you as a pedestrian in most circumstances. The only circumstance I can imagine where you would at least have an argument that you do not have to provide identification is if the officer had no reasonable articulable suspicion that criminal activity was afoot. Also, if the officer had no reason to think you needed their help (community caretaking function). For example, if the officer was just questioning everyone in a park, and asked for their personal identification, you could argue that you have no duty to provide the ID, since the office neither suspects you committed a crime, nor do you appear in need of his assistance.
Require a solid defense?
Many times showing your driver’s license to a police officer can result in further charges, like Driving Without Privileges (probably the reason you didn’t want to show the officer you ID to begin with). If you have charges against you as a result of showing an officer your identification (or not showing him as the case may be), please call our office to see if we can assist you in defending your case.
So Idaho Supreme Court decided to ignore the Constitution the Fourth Amendment if officer isn’t pulling somebody over for a violation shouldn’t be able to ask you for anyting give help and be on his merry way
I was charged with resisting and obstruction for not giving my name or id. I was just a passenger in the backseat. The 2 people in the front had a no contact order with each other and because of that the officer said I had to give him my name. He said he was conducting an investigation and therefore i had to. It was total bs. I’m still currently fighting the case.
I was recently pulled over for driving without a license because the officer recognized me. The thing is I was on private land at the time he seen me then it went into city land. I put my blinker on and pulled to the side before he turned on his lights to stop me. I instantly called my wife before he could even get to the vehical and was on the phone with her which ended up in an obstruction charge because he wanted my dob and license number which doesn’t make sense because obviously he knew who is was that was his reason for pulling me over. I dont believe idaho is a stop and identify state but in any case why would I have to identify if his whole premise of the stop was that he personally identified and ran me through dispatch?
The officer has to have a reasonable articulable basis to stop you, which sounds like you are conceding that he. You maintain a right to remain silent, but you have to comply with his request for Identification. You can do that without speaking as long as you have your ID on you.
Would you please cite the statutes that govern requirements to identify yourself when requested or demanded by the police (let’s assume that you are not the the driver of a vehicle).
Do the statutes define what “identifying yourself” requires? Must you present an ID card,if available? Does it mean that you need to give your name and address? What if you are asked for a date of birth or social security number?
If an officer does stop you and demands ID, is he under any obligation to articulate what the reasonable basis for his suspicion that there is criminal activity afoot? Can a citizen demand that the officer articulate his suspicions or, does the officer have until he is filling out his report to come up with one?
I know that these are a lot of questions and I appreciate your help in educating the public. I’ve got a million more if you want them.
In Idaho, there are a couple of statutes dealing with identifying yourself. The one you read about in this article, the other is 23-943A, which requires identification when you are possessing or consuming alcohol, or present at a bar. As I said in the article, there is no other statute, and you are probably never going to run into a situation where they arrest you for failing to provide identification when you are not the driver, they will just arrest you for some other crime instead.
If you are the driver of the other vehicle, you must hand them your ID. They will get everything they need to from that. You do not need to provide any other identifying information, other than of course your registration and proof of insurance.
The officer is not obligated to tell you the basis for the stop, he is only obligated to have a reasonable articulable basis for the stop. You have no grounds to demand that they articulate anything. You can later file a motion to suppress and then argue that they did not have a basis, but you cannot fight your case on the streets. In your motion to suppress you can argue that he made up his reason for stopping you after the fact, and his audio will not have the basis to contradict your argument if he decided to not articulate. That is why they usually tell you right away so that later the court doesn’t doubt their reason.
I hope this helps.
If Driving With A Suspended License And Pulled Over By Police Officer Solely For Running Plates And Coming Back As Suspended Is That A Lawful Reason To Stop And Ask For ID? Or Is There A Base Where There Can Be A Motion To Suppress?, If No Other Information Was Given Other Than What Is Required
The officer must also have reasonable articulable suspicion that the driver of the vehicle is the one who is suspended. Typically the officer will try to ID the driver by looking at the photo in their system and matching it up the description of the person operating the vehicle. If the officer goes just off the fact that the vehicle is registered to you, then you could try arguing that the officer did not have a reasonable articulable suspicion that you were the one operating the vehicle. It is a totality of the circumstances analysis, and it would be up to the judge to decide. But in most cases I’ve seen, the officer claims that he saw the person inside the vehicle, and it matched the description of the photo of the suspended driver.