Ask a Cop: Getting Pulled Over
This is a weekly column in which local residents can pose questions for the Fredericksburg Police Department? Have one? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Question: When being pulled over, is a police officer, be it local or state, required to ask for any other documentation other than a driver's license?
Answer from Fredericksburg Traffic Officer Jamie Walker:
During a basic traffic stop with the average motorist, a police officer will ask you for your license and registration card. Motorists are required to have these two pieces of documentation (both issued by DMV) in accordance with Virginia Code 46.2-104. These two documents are necessary in order for him to confirm the identity of the driver and the owner of the vehicle, among other things. Without this documentation officers are still generally able to accomplish this goal by running your identifying information or license plate number through the DMV computer (if available) but it is more time-consuming for all involved.
Motorists are not required to carry proof of insurance, but may be asked for it if the officer feels it is relevant. Such cases would include the investigation of a motor vehicle crash, or when a driver’s license is suspended for failure to maintain insurance on a vehicle.
Also, any court-ordered paperwork, such as a restricted license order, may be required for a period of time after having ones license suspended.
Commercial vehicle operators have a lot of documentation that they must maintain and present to motor carrier certified officers (or inspectors). Log books, medical cards, fuel receipts and inspection paperwork are some of the items which must be made available to officers conducting inspections.