ASK A COP — Can photo of a driver’s license serve pulled over?

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Manuel from Orange asks: My wife had her purse stolen, and she is without her driver’s license. Now, I’m aware we can display insurance information via our cellphone, can she provide a picture of her driver’s license on her phone, as well, to law enforcement officers when requested?

Answer: First off, we’re sorry to hear that your wife is a victim of theft crime. I know it seems displaying a picture of your driver’s license should be legal, but operating a motor vehicle without a state-issued driver’s license in your possession is a crime in the state of Texas. It’s not whether you have been issued a driver’s license. In the state of Texas, you must be able to display when demanded by law enforcement officers. Presenting a photo of a driver’s license may work for some businesses, but that will NOT work with law enforcement as a legitimate form of identification when demanded. It’s true, Texas has allowed motorist to use cellphone to show proof of liability insurance coverage, but that doesn’t work for identification cards or driver’s licenses. I’m not saying, don’t take a photo of your state issued identification card. An identification card photo is a good tool to have if you’re without identification to present to law enforcement. We deal with so many citizens who are being investigated that will LIE about their identity.

Betty from Groves asks: I recently visited my cousin who is not a resident of Southeast Texas. He lives up north from us in Texas. I rode with him to the store and he was using hand signals to turn. I asked him, did his bulb blow out and he advised “yes, about two months ago.” I advised that he should get it replaced. He told me he wasn’t financially able to repair what’s broken, so he uses hand signals until he can. Can he continue this behavior? I thought all signal lights were supposed to be in working order to drive on the roadway.

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Answer: This is one of those questions that a motorist can circumvent the law. You are correct. State law says ALL manufactured outside lamps provided on your vehicle need to be functioning correctly. But the state of Texas also allows motorists to use hand signals to notify intended movement that their vehicle is stopping or turning right or left. There is no time limit in the transportation code that states what period of time a motorist can operate a vehicle using hand signals. I can only guess the time limit will expire when your cousin needs a state inspection. Hand signals won’t suffice there. If the vehicle signal system is not working properly, that agency will NOT pass the vehicle and in turn the registration/inspection ONE STICKER system will block his vehicle from obtaining a current registration. If his vehicle isn’t currently registered, he can receive a citation for that, even if he is using hand signals.

Calvin from the Port Arthur asks: Could you please explain what violations police officers do and don’t enforce on private property? I was involved in a private property wreck and denied a wreck report.

Answer: There is a lot of confusion of what a Texas police officer WILL and WILL NOT investigate on private property. Here is a list of what a police officer WILL enforce on private property: Fire zone violation, disabled parking violation, reckless driving violation and driving while intoxicated violation. Police Officers in Texas will NOT investigate on private property: Stop sign violations, bad parking violations (taking up multiple lanes), driving the wrong way down a lane, no seat belt violations, no driver’s license violation, expired registration sticker, failing to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk violation and minor fender bender crashes where NO ONE is injured. Calvin, you are welcome to call a police officer to the scene if you are involved in a crash, but the MOST they will do for you, if no one is injured, is assist in exchanging information.

Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and the CREW: Stephen Buzzard Boots Mosley, Lelo mouth of Hwy 69/73 Washington and Tejas Lil Man Morning Star for Ask A Cop live,on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. as they discuss the “Ask A Cop” column. Call in your question live at 409-982-0247 or make a text comment at 409-748-6106. Email your questions to rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 and leave a voice mail or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always approach and “Ask A Cop!”