|If I Carry an ID, Do I Have to Identify Myself?||
Last updated: August 2015
The following questions were submitted to John Roska, an attorney/writer whose weekly newspaper column, "Q&A: The Law," runs in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Illinois Edition) and the Champaign News Gazette. This article was published on August 20, 2008.
Q: You said there’s no law that requires you to carry any kind of ID card with you. I do carry an ID. Do I have to show it if the police ask for it? If I don’t have to show an ID, can I refuse to identify myself?
A: You cannot be forced to show an ID. There is no state or domestic passport law.
You can be required to identify yourself only if:
The police can suspect you of any crime. The crime can be a past, present, or future offense.
The police can ask for the following:
You have to give only your name. You can provide more information and show an ID. Many say that is best. Things may go more smoothly. Others say it is a breach of privacy.
You can refuse to give your name when:
Remember: it’s different if you’re driving. Drivers must carry a license. They must show it upon request.
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