ASK A COP — Is a copy or proof of driver’s license acceptable when driving? – Port Arthur News

ASK A COP — Is a copy or proof of driver’s license acceptable when driving?

Posted at 12:02 a.m. on Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Dan de Beaumont asks: My wife has a bad habit of only taking her debit card and not her wallet or purse because she has been the victim of a stolen purse before. She is therefore not comfortable taking anything other than her cash or debit card for her purchases. She had her life in the stolen purse, and it took an act of Congress to replace all of her identifying information, such as driver’s license, social security card, passport, and multiple credit cards. My wife has a valid driver’s license. If she does not bring it with her when driving a vehicle, will she be able to give law enforcement her name and will law enforcement be able to search for it? Is it illegal not to have a license even though we have it?

Answer: I’m sorry your wife had her purse stolen. I think every reader can certainly sympathize. But in the state of Texas, we must show our license when requested by a law enforcement officer when we are driving and stopped by a police officer. There is a law in the Texas Transportation Code that states that motorists must present the hard copy of their driver’s license when required by a police officer. I have come across many motorists who wish to produce a photo copy of their license as they do NOT have the card for any reason, but this action is also illegal as a copy of your driver’s license issued by the State is not a state of Texas -issued document. The best advice I can give you is to have your wife take her driver’s license, as well as her credit card, because driving a motor vehicle in the state of Texas without the driver’s license card in her possession is ILLEGAL. Yes, law enforcement officers can look up driver’s license status from a copy or photo, but that doesn’t mean you won’t receive a citation for such a violation. Always carry your license and leave your Social Security card in a safe place at home.

Officer Rickey Antoine

Cal from Port Neches asks: My cousin has a car that he makes some really cool modifications to. One of the changes he made was to turn off his taillights, and I kinda remember you mentioning that I was NOT cool in my driving course. It’s been three years, so excuse me if I forgot, but because of your presentation and the impact it had on me, I was not arrested by the police. He said he would change the back curfews, it’s illegal. Is it legal to have smoked (dark) taillights in Texas?

Answer: Purchasing a vehicle is one of the biggest material items we invest in. Most people after purchasing the said vehicle like to improve the appearance and place aftermarket items on the vehicle. According to federal regulations, the taillight lens is the darkness that it can legally be when the vehicle left the factory brand new. The lights, front and rear, are manufactured by the manufacturer to meet this safety standard. Alternate or additional material, especially something dark, would detract from its effectiveness. The problem does not come when we install these illegal parts on our vehicle, but rather when we use our vehicle with the aftermarket parts on the roads of Texas. Remember, your cousin is fine with turning off his taillights, as long as he’s not driving this vehicle on Texas roads. Any device impairing the required efficiency of the headlights, rear lights, reflectors, etc. forbidden

Harvey from Port Arthur asks: You advised to use the hazard warning lights if you are driving below the speed limit in bad weather. I recently cruised through a heavy rainstorm and was extremely frustrated that every car in every lane, regardless of speed, had its flashing lights on (it didn’t). I couldn’t tell who was stopped or who was stopping, and who was just using turn signals because it was raining. My recollection from driver training in another (possibly faulty) state is that the hazard warning lights were only to be used when stationary. The Texas Driver Handbook simply says they are used to “warn others that the vehicle is a hazard.” Please clarify if I should be more patient with all drivers using turn signals in the rain, but I still think it’s harder to tell who is actually stopped if visibility is poor.

Answer: As cooler temperatures approach, we can definitely expect adverse weather conditions. In the weather conditions you have described, you and ALL other motorists should exercise patience. In bad weather, you will either practice patience or be forced to be patient. That is to say, if the road is congested, you will only have to bide your time, whether or not you agree with the current driving behavior of other motorists! There’s no law that says you can or can’t turn on your hazard warning lights when you’re stopped on the side of the road. Keep in mind that it is important to warn anyone approaching from the back and front to be careful of my vehicle. You are more than welcome to activate your hazard warning lights whether you are moving or stationary.

Join me, Officer Rickey Antoine and CREW: Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” I Washington & Tejas “Lil Man” Morning Star for Ask A Cop LIVE, on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and beyond. Listen as we discuss “Ask A Cop” in detail. You can log in at ksapthebreeze.org. Call your question live at 409-982-0247. Submit a comment or question via TEXT at 409-748-6106. Email [email protected] or call 409-983-8673 and leave a voicemail. Send them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you see me in public, feel free to “Ask a cop!”

Milton S. Rodgers