Question: Say I have forgotten my wallet at home, with my driver's license in it. Is it illegal to drive? What could or would a police officer do if I am pulled over?
Answer: Yes, it is illegal to drive without your license. As far as what an officer could or would do, that will vary by officer.
Officers will frequently hear from someone that they "left their license at home," only to find out that they are suspended or have never been licensed. It is also difficult to know who you have stopped if they don't have the picture ID that the license provides.
Officers' professional discretion allows them the ability to ask you to remember your license next time (verbal warning), to write you a warning notice to bring your valid license in to a police agency to show that you have one (written warning) or issue the notice of infraction for driving without your license.
Q: On the corner of Smith Road and Guide Meridian I'm waiting at the traffic light to make a left turn. If there is no traffic coming, can I turn left if the traffic light is still red?
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Rules of the Road is an online forum with questions and answers on road laws, safe driving habits and general police practices. To ask a question, use this form.
David Wright is a retired officer from the Bellingham Police Department who is now on the Whatcom County Traffic Safety Task Force.