Craig P. Tiller, Esq. PLLC

Local police have help identifying drivers without ID

To drive in the state of Virginia you must have a valid driver's license, and it should be with you whenever you get behind the wheel of an automobile. Of course, mistakes happen and sometimes a person will forget his or her license. This is normally just a minor inconvenience ... unless you are pulled over by law enforcement. Luckily for Lynchburg residents, local law enforcement now have a new way of proving who you are and that you are indeed a licensed driver.

The Lynchburg Police Department has had the Mobile Concepts Technology (MCT) program for a while, but just recently the link to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles was been added. Now, when an officer pulls a driver over and the driver doesn't have a license with him or her, the officer can use several different pieces of information to verify the driver's identity.

Using a driver's name and birthday, social security number, driver's license number or license plate number, the officer can pull up the driver's photo from the license. This will enable the officer to determine if the driver carries a valid license.

Although this is a good thing for those driving legally, it's not so good for those who might be trying to pass along false information. Some use a family member's name and personal information to try and avoid a ticket, to avoid arrest for other violations or hide the fact they don't have a license. For those people, that safety net has been taken away, and officers have an additional tool to apprehend those who have outstanding warrants. However, it is important to note that an officer has to have a legitimate reason to manually pull up a driver's information.

It is important that everyone carry their driver's license when they drive. First, it is illegal to drive without proof that you can do so legally, and also in the unfortunate event a person becomes a car accident victim, the person can be identified. Identification can also be important in the event that an injured party decides to seek compensation for losses incurred in an accident, since it means the police report will be accurate. This information, combined with the guidance of an experienced legal professional can help victims receive the compensation to which they are entitled.

Source: WSET.com, "Program Helps LPD Officers Combat Forgotten Drivers Licenses" Carleigh Griffeth, Oct. 28, 2013

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