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Do you have to carry ID, License, insurance, documents, blah?

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posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 03:28 PM
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a reply to: SlapMonkey

I understand private businesses requiring ID as well, that is sensible. I needed to hire a tower for a job I was on last week and had to nip home for my passport because I had not used the company before.
There are also situations where the UK government have passed laws which require businesses to see and record ID before a transaction. The scrap metal industry is one, to try to reduce theft.
Similarly, a few weeks ago I sold some copper piping but had to grab my passport for the transaction.

The driving license thing is different though, it is set by legislation and carries a penalty for people not carrying documents while simply going about their daily business otherwise legally and lawfully.
Interesting to read that different states in the US have different legislation regarding things though, let's face it, the UK would be a state approximately the size of California and Texas combined by population.
It's not surprising it varies between the other 48 states.




posted on Jul, 22 2015 @ 03:39 PM
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originally posted by: EvillerBob

originally posted by: grainofsand
a reply to: EvillerBob

Haha, no I love your technical detail!

So, is it technically an offence within those 7 days and 'not guilty' or whatever when the license is produced at the station, or just suspicion of an offence, becoming a 'failure to produce' offence at the end of the period?
Very interesting so I'd be grateful for your interpretation, but I assume we agree that there is no requirement to carry any documents while driving a private vehicle in the UK.


You are committing the offence when you fail to provide on request (ie when the police officer stops your car and asks you to provide your driving license). The fact that you then produced the documents at a police station is a defence that can be raised in court, as per section 147(8) RTA 1988. The statutory defence basically removes any realistic prospect of conviction so there's no point in prosecuting you for failing to produce when asked.

If you want to get really picky about the semantics, it only becomes a defence if there are proceedings against you, so if the proceedings haven't started then you haven't actually got a defence at all. Rather than confusing things further, it's safer to say that producing within 7 days (and it doesn't have to be within 7 days, if you've got a good-enough reason to convince a judge) will stop you being prosecuted for the offence.

As to whether I agree with you... there are, as always, a few sides to that argument. Also, I've not got any case law on the matter at hand.

You could say that to be required to produce inherently means you must have the ability to produce, therefore you are required to have the documents available to produce. As you could conceivably be stopped at any time while driving, you therefore need to have your documents with you whenever driving.

You could, instead, point out that the law does not require you to be prepared to produce, only that you produce on request. Every day that you drive without being stopped, the requirement to produce is not engaged so it is irrelevant whether or not you have your documentation. It would be blatantly ridiculous to have a situation that is legal on one day but not the next, simply because on one of those days you were stopped by police. If it would be legal on those days when you are not stopped by police, it would be legal on all of the days. Therefore, there is not a legal obligation to have documents with you.

Just to throw a spanner in the works... s 165A allows an officer to immediately seize your vehicle if he reasonably believes you do not have a valid license or insurance. So, yes, you would have 7 days to produce... but you might not have your car for those 7 days. All it takes is a glitch in the system when they're checking your name against the database...

Personally I'd keep my documentation with me. No real downside to having it, a handful of potential downsides to not having it. I'm all for having principles, but I also believe in picking your battles and this really isn't a hill worth dying on


Edited to add:

I just wanted to re-address a point I made about it potentially not being a legal obligation to have documents with you. This would lead to a situation where you are effectively being prosecuted as a result of failing to do something that you are not legally obligated to do. It's not a difficult leap to say that such a thing would be illogical, and could only make sense if the Act inherently required documentation to be carried at all times.

I am hampered by the lack of material, to be honest, I'm sure this has already been considered by a court and a determination has been made.


Thanks for the informative reply, I quoted you as I didn't want it lost and unseen on the bottom of the last page.


I love these interpretations of law, and I love that our courts are generally sensible about things anyway.
I'll go out on a limb here though and suggest that my OP is technically wrong in the sense that it is an offence not to produce the documentation when asked by a police officer, but circumstances are taken into account and a time period is allowed in order to assist the driver to produce.
It is not however an offence to drive a private vehicle while not carrying any documents.

I love that technical detail.



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 10:19 AM
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originally posted by: grainofsand
The driving license thing is different though, it is set by legislation and carries a penalty for people not carrying documents while simply going about their daily business otherwise legally and lawfully.


Ah, see...there's a little misunderstanding, I think, at least as your expectation goes. Even though a driver's license is required when operating a vehicle (just like you must post a business license if you're operating a business), LEOs can not stop you randomly just to check to see if you have one--there must be a visible reason to stop you, like breaking a traffic law, or having a light out on your car, or, as in the case with the Cincinnati stop, not having a front license plate (where required, my state [actually, it's a commonwealth], which is just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, doesn't require that).

So, while we do need it when driving, it's not something that cops can randomly harass a driver for if they're doing nothing else wrong, so the requirement to have one doesn't necessarily impede people from going about their daily business legally and lawfully--it's when they do something unlawfully that can be a "primary offense" (something a cop can stop you for) that not having the license becomes a problem.



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 11:44 AM
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a reply to: SlapMonkey

That's an interesting legislative difference between the UK and US.

UK police can pull a car over for any reason, just for driving a rough looking car if they like and fancy a bit of fishing. it is also a legal requirement to stop if a cop ask you to.

If a UK cop pulls you over for say a broken brake/tail light then normal procedure is to issue a ‘vehicle defect rectification notice’.

This requires the driver to to get the fault fixed and provide proof such as a receipt for the work from a mechanic. The time allowed to get it fixed is 14 days from the date of the notice before you have to show the proof to the police. Provide the proof within 14 days then no problem, but failure to get it fixed by the end of the 14 days will result in a penalty charge of £100, or if you have been obstructive/no good reason, then they will go for prosecution in court.
I am of the understanding that the maximum fine for a broken rear light could be up to £1000 in court.

I've only ever had a 'vehicle defect rectification notice' once in my life and that was for brake lights...I got it fixed within the 14 days.



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 02:53 PM
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a reply to: grainofsand

Sorry, GoS, it isn't a "right", it is a privilege here as well. A "right" would mean everyone is entitled to a license with no barriers, exams or other tests of competency - such as a passport, for example.. You have the "right" to learn how to drive and to sit the test, but in order to drive on public roads, one needs a license to prove you are capable.

I know we don't have to carry our license on us in the UK, but I always do. As it happens, I was ID'd for tobacco last week in a BP garage (I am 33!!) so it was just as well I had it on me to be honest.



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 02:57 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: grainofsand
There is NO requirement to carry a drivers license to drive here.


But you still have to prove it. Sounds like this is all semantics.


No, you don't. If your name matches what is on the DVLA and Motor Insurance databases, you don't have to prove anything. In fact, the Police (if they have ANPR in their vehicle) will already know who you are.



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 03:06 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus
Good for you. Have fun with your cameras.


And there is a "banal" comment right there....

I don't need to point out to you that the US is way ahead of the UK in terms of the amount of Government owned CCTV - no doubt you've heard of the "report" some years back about being caught on CCTV in the UK 300 times a day? I won't bore you with the details, unless you really need me too, but even the authors of the report later admitted their methodology was flawed and regardless, 95% of CCTV in the UK is privately owned by shops, garages etc, not the Government, whearas US cities such as NY or Chicago have tens of thousands run by the Authorities.



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 03:08 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: grainofsand
Nah, you've already stated that US drivers are legally required to carry papers to drive.


I did indeed.

And I wanted to say I appreciate you relaying that UK drivers need to head to the police station to verify their identity, I found that rather informative.


ONLY if you are asked to produce and they will only do that if there is cause to disbelieve you. Simply being stopped by the Police and not having it on you doesn't mean at all that you have to produce it within 7 days.



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 03:14 PM
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originally posted by: SlapMonkey
Yeah, not to derail the discussion, but it's similar to the idea that you can't own a pistol...at all...in the UK. I just don't get that.


You can, actually... The barrel just needs to be over 30cm long. So essentially, we're allowed pistols, just really, really big ones! No tiny lady guns for us!



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: stumason

Fair one, but the whole rights and privilege thing is something I have never really been much concerned with, the same government decrees the distinction so it's a technicality in most discussions about legislation.

I have the 'right' to learn to drive, pass a test, purchase the license, and then I have the privilege to drive.
Passports could have restrictions such as tests placed on them on the whim of any totalitarian majority government if they wished,(Parliament act?) ...that would then make a passport a privilege.
I don't see the point of the distinction to be honest.



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 03:20 PM
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a reply to: grainofsand

A "right" is something that is guaranteed - such as Basic Human rights for example. You have the right to live, to raise a family, to travel freely etc (hence why I said passport).

These things are guaranteed by the UN, EU and UK Law. In theory, a right cannot be taken away, although there are exceptions (such as committing a criminal act can cause you to lose certain rights - your freedom for example)

You do not have the right to operate a motor vehicle. You must prove yourself competent and you can have it taken away - hence why it is a privilege,



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 03:38 PM
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a reply to: stumason

Ah I still don't see it Stu. You are talking about internationally recognised 'human rights' now, they are of course different and far more basic in nature.
A majority UK government can do whatever it likes if it's MP's agree with it, even creating a legal definition for a 'right to drive' if it so wished, so how exactly are you defining rights now? UN, EU, or UK law?

*Edit*
And when it is the entity deciding which is a right or a privilege having control anyway, what does the label matter?

edit on 23.7.2015 by grainofsand because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 03:55 PM
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originally posted by: grainofsand
a reply to: stumason

Ah I still don't see it Stu. You are talking about internationally recognised 'human rights' now, they are of course different and far more basic in nature.
A majority UK government can do whatever it likes if it's MP's agree with it, even creating a legal definition for a 'right to drive' if it so wished, so how exactly are you defining rights now? UN, EU, or UK law?

*Edit*
And when it is the entity deciding which is a right or a privilege having control anyway, what does the label matter?


I was just providing examples, GoS, to illustrate the difference between the two. Not quite sure why you're having such difficulty with the concept, it's really easy.

As it happens, in the UK, most things are privileges as many of them can be taken away from you.

The only things that are actual "rights" in UK law are those provided for by the ECHR and the Bill of Rights 1689 - operating a motor vehicle is not one of them. Anything else is the subject to the whims of Parliament and can change. Parliament could, if it so wished, bar us all from driving motor vehicles and there is sod all you can do about it. I have a feeling that if the Greens ever got in, this is probably what they'd do!



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 04:10 PM
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originally posted by: snowspirit
In Canada, if you're driving, you need to carry your license on you.

Licence, ownership and insurance when driving. Passport when leaving the country. Steve has introduced new rules on voting, but that's a separate matter.
No documents legally required required to go about your business, though.



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 04:25 PM
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originally posted by: stumason

ONLY if you are asked to produce and they will only do that if there is cause to disbelieve you. Simply being stopped by the Police and not having it on you doesn't mean at all that you have to produce it within 7 days.



To keep this clear, the "cause to disbelieve" part has no legal basis and is not required under s 164 RTA 1988.

Some forces might approach it like that for convenience, but the fact you are driving (or they reasonably believe you were driving in certain circumstances) is the only criterion actually needed.

Edited to add: Though again to attach the caveat that I've not looked at any caselaw, so maybe there is something that addresses it. The wording of the Act is so clear that I can't really see any reason why a court would feel the need to come to a different conclusion though.

edit on 23-7-2015 by EvillerBob because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 04:37 PM
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a reply to: EvillerBob

True, but if everything you said matches what they know and they have no reason to doubt it, it is unlikely you will be asked to produce your documents.

That said, it saves time if you just carry your photocard on you. At the very least, if you're lucky enough to look as young and beautiful as I do, you might need it when buying booze or fags.



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 04:42 PM
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a reply to: grainofsand

You must have a license and registration on you if you're driving. Proof of current insurance isn't required but you still need to be insured, cops will call in and make sure any proof you give them is valid anyways. I'm really bad about keeping a current insurance card in my car for example, but in the cases I've been pulled over I've just given the cop and old one and told him I have coverage but not a current card. They've called it in and all has been well, once (out of the 3 times I've been pulled over) I had no insurance card at all but gave them my provider and they were still able to verify I was insured.

If you're just walking around town it depends on state and local laws. Some places require you to carry an ID, while others require you to provide ID information on request, and others are content for you to say your name is John Doe.
edit on 23-7-2015 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 04:50 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

In the UK, you don't have to give the Police any information at all unless or until the Officer is actually reporting you for an offence. However, unless you want a protracted debate with a Constable in the street with him/her getting suspicious and looking for a reason to report/arrest, it would be advisable to just play along - unless of course you're a wanted criminal!



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 04:50 PM
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originally posted by: stumason

The only things that are actual "rights" in UK law are those provided for by the ECHR and the Bill of Rights 1689 - operating a motor vehicle is not one of them. Anything else is the subject to the whims of Parliament and can change. Parliament could, if it so wished, bar us all from driving motor vehicles and there is sod all you can do about it. I have a feeling that if the Greens ever got in, this is probably what they'd do!


The problem you face here is that you're on a bit of a sticky wicket with both of those examples, as there is a prevailing analysis that "constitutional statutes" are not protected from repeal, only implied repeal.

To clarify the distinction for other readers (I believe from other threads you're already aware of the difference, I'm adding this for people who might be wondering what the hell I mean by the previous paragraph!), the current position in law is that if a newer Act contradicts an older Act, the newer Act prevails. The assumption is that the new Act is supposed to override the old Act - even if it does not specifically state that - so the repeal is implied. It has been decided by the courts that certain Acts (such as the Bill of Rights) are protected from this process.

However, if a new Act specifically stated that "this Act repeals the Bill of Rights" then it is deliberately repealing the old Act, which would be valid. In other words, Parliament has to fully intend to do it, it can't happen accidentally.

This allows the UK courts to respect both the constitutional nature of those documents, without violating the principle of Parliamentary supremacy - the principle that Parliament can never pass an Act that binds a future Parliament.



posted on Jul, 23 2015 @ 05:07 PM
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originally posted by: stumason
a reply to: EvillerBob

True, but if everything you said matches what they know and they have no reason to doubt it, it is unlikely you will be asked to produce your documents.

That said, it saves time if you just carry your photocard on you. At the very least, if you're lucky enough to look as young and beautiful as I do, you might need it when buying booze or fags.


A lot of the time, this is what it really comes down to: picking your battles. Police officers as a whole aren't setting out to trample of the rights of citizens walking down the street, they're just trying to do a very difficult job with few resources. If you're not acting like an arse or making their lives difficult, the interactions tend to be very short and polite.

My experience might be skewed a little bit though. Perhaps if I wore a tracksuit and sat on the railings outside the off-licence drinking Buckie, I might have a different experience with them...



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