Saint Petersburg, FL asked in Criminal Law, DUI / DWI, Traffic Tickets and Civil Rights for Florida

Q: If pulled over driving, when required to show a driver's license, may I refuse to let the officer run a check on it?

My friend and I are debating a video in which a man in a parking lot, dumping garbage from his car into a dumpster, showed an officer his license. When the officer went to run the license for the man's info, he refused. He said he's a lawyer and knows his rights and the officer may not run his background, that he's only required to identify himself to prove he lives there and can dump. My friend now believes that if pulled over in his vehicle, upon submitting his license, the officer may not go back to the squad car and "run" his license, without his permission. I believe he's wrong about this. Who is correct?

2 Lawyer Answers
Michael  Mayoral
Michael Mayoral
  • Coral Gables, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Yes, you have to show your license, and yes the police officer can run your DL in their system. The statute is below. Pro-tip: don't pick up an arrest trying this theory out.

322.15 License to be carried and exhibited on demand; fingerprint to be imprinted upon a citation.—

(1) Every licensee shall have his or her driver license, which must be fully legible with no portion of such license faded, altered, mutilated, or defaced, in his or her immediate possession at all times when operating a motor vehicle and shall present or submit the same upon the demand of a law enforcement officer or an authorized representative of the department. A licensee may present or submit a digital proof of driver license as provided in s. 322.032 in lieu of a physical driver license.

Terrence H Thorgaard agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You are correct. If the officer is shown a license, he may "run" it.

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