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Those saying we all HAVE to carry 'papers' anyway...where does it say that?

U.S. law requires anyone to have an ID card, let alone carry one at all times. An ID can be required if you want to do certain things, like buy alcohol, but you’re never required to simply carry one with you.

Because driver’s licenses and passports are the rare government-issued documents with photos, for all practical purposes we treat them as ID cards. But officially, they’re not. A driver’s license proves you’re a legal driver, and a passport proves you’re a U.S. citizen, but neither one is officially a general ID card. Legally, each has a limited, specific purpose.

That goes for a Social Security card, too. You don’t have to have one, and it’s only supposed to be used by employers for Social Security deductions, or for tax purposes. (Kids need them only if their parents claim them as dependents.) The Amish, for example, typically resist getting SSNs.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:36 AM on May. 4, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Answers (46)
  • I agree. If it's a law to carry ID, then there must be some consequence (ticket, arrest, etc) for "breaking" this law by not carrying ID. What is the consequence?

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:39 AM on May. 4, 2010

  • There are general identification cards as I already stated. They look just like a license for those who don't have a license to still prove who they are for employment/school/whatever. You are required to carry a picture ID with you. Stop trying to twist words around to mean what you want it to and stop reposting same thing several times with different wording.

    Answer by flaggot13 at 10:40 AM on May. 4, 2010

  • And they can ticket you. There's your consequence. Just because it's not widely reprimanded doesn't mean it isn't a law.

    Answer by flaggot13 at 10:41 AM on May. 4, 2010

  • One Example: driving without your licence.... in MA it's $50 if you are driving without your licence in your possession!!


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:42 AM on May. 4, 2010

  • If you do not have ID on you, and are asked to prove your identity to law enforcement, they can legally detain you until they prove who you are. Is that what you'd rather go through, than to just have your "papers" ready?

    Answer by NightPhoenix at 10:43 AM on May. 4, 2010

  • States are free to make state laws, it doesn't have to e federal to be a law. So if AZ wants to make carrying ID a law, they can define what they will accept as and ID and the consequences for not having it if asked.

    So maybe we don't have to carry proof of citizenship where WE live (outside of AZ) on our person at all times, but if they want to make that a law, so be it. If you are a legal citizen, there is no reason you shouldn't be able to comply easily... just one more thing to put in your wallet.

    Answer by missbreezy214 at 10:44 AM on May. 4, 2010

  • flaggot13 - the fact that a plain id card is available is not proof that you are required to carry it. Where is the law/statute?

    Anon - if you read the question you'd see that while a DL can be used as ID that's not it's intended purpose nor is it required unless you are operating a motor vehicle.

    Next? I'm not denying what people are saying; I'm saying I haven't seen or found proof yet; can some one show me?


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:44 AM on May. 4, 2010

  • flaggot13 - source?

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:45 AM on May. 4, 2010

  • you CAN be ticketed for not having either a state ID or a drivers liscense on your person. source? I worked for the county sheriff.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:50 AM on May. 4, 2010

  • Anon 1050: Is that a city/county/state/or Federal ticket? The question is people say you already "by Federal Law" are required to carry id on your person at all times. I'm not even arguing that; all I want to know is where can I find the law?


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:55 AM on May. 4, 2010

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