General Question

Nullo's avatar

Are there any circumstances in which driving without a license handy is likely to be forgiven by the police?

Asked by Nullo (21978points) June 27th, 2011

I locked myself out of the house in my pajamas the other day (I’ve made a habit of twisting the knob lock and tugging the handle on my way out the door), and the nearest set of keys was about a mile and a half away. My dad’s old car has the ignition key hidden inside it, so I took that to get the spare house keys.
Needless to say (so I say it anyway), I don’t typically carry my wallet in my PJs. I know that the actual law may vary from place to place, but people are people everywhere.

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17 Answers

woodcutter's avatar

It could all depend on your attitude with the cop. Or what you were stopped for in the first place.

WestRiverrat's avatar

The cop will probably still give you a ticket, but it you go to court it would likely be dismissed in your scenario. If you can prove you had proper license and insurance at the time of the ticket.

rebbel's avatar

I was stopped two years ago by the police, for not wearing seat belts.
Also, i hadn’t with me: drivers license, car owners papers (i was driving my fathers car at the time) and insurance papers.
They fined me around 100 dollar for the belts, the other things they let go.
Circumstances: i smiled my friendliest smile.

lillycoyote's avatar

I think it would depend on the cop. There really aren’t any mitigating circumstances; I believe you are required by law to have on your person when driving in all states in the U.S. but I’m not 100% sure of that, and you either have with you or you don’t. The officer can look you up on the computer and find out whether or not you have a valid license and depending on the cop you might get a lecture, a warning or a ticket; hard to say.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

As long as one stays calm and follows the driving laws in the area, it is highly unlikely that the driver will be pulled over, unless the tags are expired or a light is out.

Another option is to knock on a neighbor’s door and ask for a ride or to borrow their phone to call a friend/relative.

One time, I was pulled over for having an expired license plate, and after apologizing, I begged the officer to follow me home so that he could see that I actually had it, but had forgotten to put the decal on the plate. While a ticket wasn’t issued, I’m still sort of miffed that he didn’t take up my request.

mrrich724's avatar

If you are nice, and you weren’t doing anything ridiculous, you should be able to explain yourself and the office can look you up using your credentials to ensure you aren’t a wanted criminal.

Police can also forgive, and look you up in the system using your driver license.

Once, I woke up 10 minutes before a final in college. I was like “oh shi” and ran out of the house, no phone, no wallet, NO HELMET OR GLASSES.

I didn’t even realize it, after the test the cop pulled me over and then I realized I didn’t have ANYTHING. I told him I was in a rush, and that I’m SOOOO SORRY, and that I ALWAYS wear my helmet and that I’m stupid for not even wearing protective eyewear.

He told me not to do it again, and sent me on my way!

asmonet's avatar

I’ve been pulled over three or four times, at least twice I didn’t have my license on me.

I stayed chipper and polite. Asked him how he was doing, wished him well and said ‘thank you’ and ‘sir’. It’s never been an issue, they just tell me to keep it on me for next time.

janbb's avatar

If you look like their mother and are crying because your son just left for college, they are very nice to you. (Just something I heard….)

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Don’t think I could get away with it in my state. They may not write a ticket but I might get a free ride to the “iron bar” hotel, for a complete check.

Aethelflaed's avatar

At least where I live, they can look it up on the computer in the car if you don’t have it on you.

creative1's avatar

Here in RI all they require is you to produce your actual license in court to prove you were a licensed driver.

bob_'s avatar

If you have a nice rack, they tend to be more forgiving.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@bob_ Not necessarily. Not all officers are heterosexual men or lesbians.

bob_'s avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Hence the “tend to”.

Meego's avatar

AFAIK if you have a valid license I think they know if you give them the right name. Normally you wouldn’t get pulled over if you don’t look suspicious, if the car your driving is unregistered they will pull you over. I have heard of some officers saying as long as you can produce a valid copy of license if they do write you a ticket then you can fight it
Could you put your extra house key where the car key is? Or maybe change the door handle to a less easily locking mechanism then you won’t have to worry at all.

Roby's avatar

II forgot my wallet once and got stopped at a check point. Ticket was dismissed at city hall when I took my licenses in and presented it.

Schroedes13's avatar

In Ontario, driving without a license will get usually you a little slip that states that if you cannot produce your license within 24 hours, you will get a fine. Usually, the officer just checks your name through their files and can see whether you have a license or not.

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