What documents am I required to have?

If you are stopped by a police officer, you will typically be asked for your licene, registration, and proof of insurance (almost all states now require automobile insurance).

In some instnces, the officer may ask you “why” you believe they stopped you. YOU SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO ANSWER. Any answer you give may give them the requisite “reasonable suspicion” they are searching for. You are under no obligation to answer any specific questions, but you must supply the required documentation upon request.

According to Article 38.02 of the Texas Penal Code, a person must identify themselves with a valid name, address, and date of birth to a police officer who has lawfully arrested them. Notice that the person must be under arrest for this to apply. In Texas, if you are not under lawful arrest, you do not have to identify yourself.

You can simply decline to provide your name and date of birth. This is why most officers who stop a vehicle ask for your license and registration, which provides them with the information they want without having to ask you for it.


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