Possession of Drivers' Licenses
We have received questions regarding the law as it applies to carrying one’s driver’s license while operating a motor vehicle. Some people are under the impression that they don’t need to have their license with them as long as it is valid. The State Statute below addresses this issue. The Statute clearly states that the license “shall” be in the driver’s immediate possession. This Statute pertains to both drivers’ and commercial drivers’ licenses.
Section 302.181 (3) states, “ the license issued shall be carried at all times by the holder thereof while driving a motor vehicle, and shall be displayed upon demand of any officer of the highway patrol, or any police officer or peace officer, or any other duly authorized person, for inspection when demand is made therefore. Failure of any operator of a motor vehicle to exhibit his or her license to any duly authorized officer shall be presumptive evidence that such person is not a duly licensed operator.”
In short, if you intend to operate a motor vehicle, the law requires you to have your license with you. If you are contacted by the police while operating a motor vehicle, and you can’t produce a valid license, you “could” be issued a summons.
Remember, always drive safely and obey all traffic laws.