Do you have to show ID to police in Texas?  We all see the Utube videos of people interacting with police, free travelers, or even people who are getting arrested.  They always refuse to provide identification.  So, when can you refuse to show ID and not be charged a crime for it?

Driving A Vehicle

If you are the driver of a vehicle you must have your driver’s license with you.  You must display your license upon the demand of a magistrate, court officer, or peace officer.  This means that if you must provide your driver’s license to a police officer when you are pulled over.

Passenger in A Vehicle

A police officer can request identification from the passengers.  But if there was no reason for them to confront you, it is not required that you provide your information.  

Problems arise when the officer has an alternative reason to request your identification.  For instance, they may claim that you fit the description of wanted person.

Public or Private Location

What if the police request your identification in a public or private place?  If they just approach you, there is no duty to identify yourself. 

The same is true if you are being detained.  You do not have to identify yourself.  But do not give them a false name.  It is a crime to give the police false information as to your identity.

If you are being arrested, you must provide identification.  This means that you must provide your name, birth date, and address.  There is no requirement that you provide a specific form of identification.  Again, do not provide false information.


If you have been arrested for failing to provide identification, contact your criminal law attorney right away.  The sooner the charges can be investigated, the more likely we will be able to find the evidence to support your defense.