Are you required by law to carry an identification card?
Question by ultraindy: Are you required by law to carry an identification card?
A coworker of mine mentioned today that there is no law on the books that require that you to have an identification card of some kind on you in California. He went on to add that if a police officer asks you for ID that you can refuse and that he has to get a “bench warrant” to proceed further, or let you go. This guy is notorious for suggesting such things (not to mention, the source of all sorts of conspiracy theories/urban legends that are true/etc.).
Does anyone know if this is true and, if so, where I could find it online to shut this guy up?
Thanks in advance.
Answer by Ben O
The guy is tecnically correct, if you’re not driving a vehicle, there is no law that says you have to show ID to a police officer, but it takes a brave person to stand up for their legal rights when dealing with the police.
Why would a police officer be asking you for identification, that implies they are investigating suspicious curcumstances. If the police want to, they can do things to you that you aren’t going to like, like arrest you (as refusing to show ID looks suspicious) and keep you for up to 24 hours without charge and let you go again and there isn’t a lot you can do about it. They could even find something to charge you with and even if you are innocent, you will have to pay for you own lawyer, or have some court appointed rookie just out of law school represent you.
Also if you are driving a vehicle, you are required to show a police officer your licence when requested.
What do you think? Answer below!