Ask a cop: Must I carry my license?

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Carol from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, if I am a licensed driver, do I have to have my license in my possession while driving a motor vehicle? My friend was dropping her daughter off to school because she missed the school bus, and she was stopped by you and you gave her a ticket because she didn’t have her license on her. If you can determine if I have a license, why would I get a ticket if you know I have a license? I don’t understand this one! Please help me!

Answer: Good question, Carol! Help is on the way! In the state of Texas Transportation Code 521.025, it states that a driver MUST present a valid Driver License when demanded by a police officer. Carol, even if the Officer checks the status of the name you have given him and the officer has determined that you are a state license holder, you still have to be able to produce the license when demanded to a police officer. Carol, it’s so serious about having a license in your possession that a police officer can stop ANY vehicle he/she desires without a traffic violation being committed just to check if the driver has a valid license in their possession, and if you left the license at home, you just committed an offense! If you receive a citation from ANY Port Arthur police officer for “Failing to display drivers license”, the total fine in the Municipal Court of Port Arthur is $271. Carol, always carry your license because if you are involved in a crash and because of your injuries you are unable to communicate to first responders, how are we going to know who is in the vehicle or what family members to contact?

Mary from Groves asks: Officer Antoine, thanks for all of the help you give to us motorists, helping us to be safer on the roadway. As we came from a New Year’s party, my sister decided to take the children on a trip and she had more children than seat belts in her vehicle. So she decided to put two kids in the same seat belt. I objected to this and she told me that it was legal, because she spoke to her attorney about it. I told her I was going to ask Officer Antoine. She is confident and I’m not sure but it doesn’t look right, Officer Antoine!

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Answer: Good question, Mary! You have perfect vision, Mary, because not only does it not look right, it’s not LEGAL! Seat belts are designed and tested for that safety of one passenger, not for two passengers to be protected by the same belt. Mary, actually you VOID the safety protection of a seat belt if you don’t correctly wear it. This also includes seat belts are NOT to be worn under your arm because the strap rubs on your neck. If you don’t wear it correctly, we consider that it’s not on at all.

Caller from The Breeze Radio asks: Officer Antoine, a few of my friends and I were discussing Commercial Driver License (CDL), whether or not the state permits a CDL holder to take a defensive drivers course if they received a citation in their personal vehicle? I am aware that defensive driving will not be afforded to ANY CDL holder if the violation is committed in the Commercial Truck, but what about if I’m driving my personal vehicle like a Honda Accord, can I take defensive driving then?

Answer: Good question, Caller! There is a huge incentive for having an advance Driver License like a Commercial Driver License in the state of Texas. Along with that comes the inability of take a defensive driving course in the unfortunate event of receiving a citation for a moving violation. Caller, not only can’t CDL holders take a defensive driving course for a violation that occurred in their work Commercial Truck, but the state of Texas holds them just as responsible while driving ANY vehicle. It doesn’t matter what vehicle you are driving, NO CDL holder will be allowed to take a defensive driving course. Now caller, I personally don’t think that’s fair, but I’m not a LAW MAKER, I’m a LAW ENFORCER and if you are NOT a LAW BREAKER, you don’t have anything to worry about!

Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop live, on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze radio station, every Tuesday for an hour beginning at 1 p.m. You can also tune in via internet at Feel free to call in and ask your question live to Officer Antoine at (409) 982-0247. Remember to email your questions to, or call 409-984-8541 and leave a voice mail question, or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can Ask A Cop!