Cranston, RI asked in Civil Rights for Rhode Island

Q: During a traffic stop, is the passenger in a car legally COMPELLED to give their ID to an officer if asked?

I'm under the impression that the only time one is required to give ID during a traffic stop is if you're the driver, OR if the police officer has a reasonable, articulable suspicion that you've committed a crime, or are in the process of committing a crime.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas Briody
Thomas Briody
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Providence, RI
  • Licensed in Rhode Island

A: In general you are correct. But an officer doesn’t have to furnish you with a reason when he/she/they ask for your ID. Whether the officer has an articulable suspicion is usually evaluated after the fact by a judge or jury. Nothing prevents you from asking why the officer wants ID. But use common sense. If the officer appears stressed or angry— it’s not a good idea to challenge a request. I hope you find this answer helpful.

Neville Bedford agrees with this answer

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