When Do You Have To Show ID To The Cops?

Am I being detained? Can I see your ID? Do you have ID? Do I have to give you my ID? When do I have to show my ID to an officer? These and any form of the question come down to what is sometimes very clear and sometimes….truly depends.

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Author: rafael.nieves


21 thoughts on “When Do You Have To Show ID To The Cops?

  1. If they do approach you, do they have to tell you why they asking for it BEFORE they ask for identification?

    also: Why do cops ask you "Do you know why I'm stopping you"? Is it with the hope you admit on body cam the offense?

  2. My position was always to cooperate and give my ID without even asking why

    If you are innocent, nothing will happen

    If you think you are innocent but actully commited a small fellony like idk being loud at a late hour in the streets, then you cooperating and not asking annoying questions will give you a better chance of walking away with only a warning

    I've probably been asked like 30 times to give my ID to an officer, nothing ever happened, they gave it back in 5 minutes and sent me on my way

    Just my experience, I'm pretty sure it would've been different if I had a criminal record

  3. As a Belgian citizen I don't really get the 'clear case' where you wouldn't have to give your ID.
    I understand it's the law in some places in the US, but why wouldn't you want the police to identify who they are talking to?
    In Belgium everyone over 15 has to carry their ID-card when in public, and if police ask you to show your ID you are obligated to comply, in every situation.
    They have to have a reason for asking, and you can file a complaint if you feel like they didn't at the time, but you still have to cooperate with them.
    I never really thought about this before, it's just logical to me.
    Can someone explain why you guys in the US do it this way? 🙂

  4. What if you're stopped by undercover cops who think you match the profile ("general description") of someone who committed a serious felony, and they don't identify as law enforcement? Google Brownback v King for a real life example of this gone violent

  5. The only time I've ever seen an officer request ID when there was no official reason to was when we were working the state fair and this crackhead walks up to the ambulance and some cops that were shooting the shit and this crackhead just buts into the conversation we were having for no reason. She was asking if we like calico cats or some crackhead shit and the cop just goes hey whats your name she answered then he said whats your date of birth and wouldn't you know it calico crackhead said hey look at the time I gotta go, cop turns back to me smiles and says yup that works every time lol.

  6. A Dumb Cop Gave Me A Warning With A Ticket. It's Like Officer You Give Me A Warning For A Burned Out Bulb In The Taillight Now. If You See me Again With That Same Problem Then You Give Me A Ticket. Took It To The Judge He Said Dismiss He Couldn't Believe It Either He Like Maybe That Cop Needs A Drug Test Lol.

  7. Since the officer can legally "Request" anything as he has free speech, and in some States, refusing to ID is a crime, would it be worth asking the officer to "Order" him to produce ID prior to doing so.

    It seems to me like right now, if the case is in the grey zone, and the person denies to ID when "Requested" the grey zone is later resolved in the officers favor, the person who declined is now guilty of obstruction/refusing to ID, where as if it is later determined that the officer had no reason to get ID, the officer gets off scot free as it was simply a request and he could legally request anything.

    If you can make the officer "Order" you to ID or "Demand" that you produce ID, and then ID, you are now free from arrest, and if the grey area turns out to be in your favor, the officer is guilty of an illegal search/violation of right to privacy.

    The police play games like this all the time with orders/requests. This is the reason for the repeated "Am I detained?" happens. For example, police pull over a driver for an obviously pretextual stop. Driver declines permission to search vehicle, officer calls for drug dog and tells driver to wait. Drug dog takes a long time to arrive. If driver complains/files lawsuit, officer can say, traffic stop ended an hour ago, and driver was free to go, I simply "Requested" that he stay till drug dog arrive. Traffic stop was over in 10 minutes, but the driver chose to stick around for the drug dog to invade his privacy because the officer asked nicely… Make the officer ORDER you to do anything he wants you to do.

  8. dont know why people have to be difficult with the cops they are trying to do their job let them do their job. Ive seen videos on youtube where bikers (Motorcycles) be pulled over and if the biker pulls over ive seen most of the motovloggers be let off with a warning simply because they pulled over where most bikers take off as soon as the blue and red lights come on (Or blue lights come on)

  9. "There's no reason cops are going to pick someone out in public and say "gimme your ID." I guess you haven't seen the bazillion other YouTube videos of cops attempting to do exactly that.

  10. Fuck Cops. Fuck your blue lives matter flag. Smurfs aren't real. If I want to know if I need to show ID I'll ask a lawyer, not a filthy fucking pig. You go to law school? Doubt it. Had you done that you would've gotten a real job you bureaucratic leech. You're wrong by the way. Ask a lawyer – not a cop.

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