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Can I get a ticket if I get pulled over and do not have my licence?

12 Sep 17
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If I am driving my wallet and I get pulled over, will I be charged for driving without a license? I thought I had been allowed to make it within 24 hours. Can I save a photo of my license in my iPhone, just in case? — Dorothy, Oshawa, Ont.

Authorities have licence to bill you — or maybe not — if you are driving without yours. However, a photograph on your phone will not help you — at least not yet.

“It is up to the officer’s discretion — you might get lucky,” said Sergeant Kerry Schmidt of the Ontario Provincial Police. “You should surrender your licence when asked to, and a picture wouldn’t satisfy an officer since it may or might not be valid”

Of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act states all drivers need to carry a license at all times while “in control of a motor vehicle or street car.” There is an $85 set fine. Or, if you are convicted, a judge can choose a fine of anywhere from $60 to $500.

There is nothing in the law which states you’ve got 24 hours to make it. Still, an officer may choose not to charge you, but you need to give your name and address to identify yourself.

Authorities in Ontario can look it up on the spot to find out if you look like your driver’s license photograph on file, Schmidt said.

Still, you are supposed to be carrying your true licence. And you are supposed to hand it over when requested.

“The ministry doesn’t currently accept photographs of licences instead of the actual card,” Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation said in an email announcement. “Therefore, drivers need to carry a drivers license card.”

Selfie control?

And everywhere else in Canada? We checked — every state requires you to carry your license with you. And nobody has a law which lets you use an image of your licence.

But in a few states, including British Columbia and Quebec, authorities might not have the ability to see your driver’s license photograph in their system.

“Will we take a photograph on your phone? Photoshop is a terrific thing, so, no,” said Constable Jason Doucette, spokesman for the Vancouver Police Department. “The most important thing, you need to carry your card. But if the officer wanted to use discretion, [we] could use another photo ID in addition to the police database to identify you.”

The fines vary. As an example, it has $30 and fees in Quebec, $81 in British Columbia and $172 in Alberta.

“You are supposed to have your permit with you,” said Sergeant Audrey-Anne Bilodeau, Sûreté du Québec spokeswoman. “However, it really depends upon the circumstance. Maybe if you’re in a little town the officer might allow you to go home to get it, but there is nothing in the law which states they must.”

And if an officer is not convinced that you are who you say you’re — if you do not understand your zodiac sign, postal code or previous address, say — you might be arrested until you can prove it. “But from my experience on the street, that is really unusual unless it is a criminal matter,” Bilodeau said.

An app for it?

Just how close are we to a driver’s license that would appear on your smartphone’s wallet, like a credit card or concert ticket?

Nobody has one yet. Iowa and Have been in a hurry to be the first American state to provide digital licences.

Following a trial run last year with 100 state employees, Iowa To offer you a licence app statewide prior to the end of 2018.

“We definitely have to have the ability to accept this as evidence of identity and driving privilege where necessary,” Mark Lowe, Iowa interim department of transportation manager, told the Des Moines Register. “Our law enforcement ought to have the ability to interact with it and we need to be able to use it to rent a car, get a hotel room, buy cigarettes, buy alcohol — matters where you’re typically expected to supply some evidence of identity.”

The program shows a licence rotating picture that programmers call the “Harry Potter feature{}” Users upload a selfie that’s verified from their official driver’s license photograph on file.

There are potential problems, though. What if your battery dies? Or, more seriously, what if a crook hacks to the machine and steals your identity? And would you be comfortable handing your phone to authorities?

Idaho, Colorado, Maryland, Wyoming and Washington, D.C. — are a part of a , while many other states are looking into them, along with , in Australia, the Netherlands and Brazil.

And here at home? We checked with every state, and there is nothing formally in the works. “Alberta is open to exploring options for upgraded ways to display a driver’s licence and will consider this as part of future modernization efforts,” Cheryl Tkalcic, Service Alberta spokeswoman, said in an email.

Renewed hope?

Nonetheless, there are several nods to the current here.

Ontario and Newfoundland enable drivers to renew licences online, though you’ve got to appear in person if you will need a new picture. And the licences continue to be sent via the mail.

Both states require renewals every five decades and new photos every 10 years.

Ontario’s 2017 budget announced the acceptance of digital proof of insurance — that can be found in most American states — but no official launch date was set.

There haven’t been statements from any other states, though most say they are considering it.

While they may not replace paper completely, a pink slip in your telephone would mean you would not have to rifle through a nest of newspapers on your glove box if you get pulled over for speeding.

And they are updated automatically each time you renew, make a change to your coverage or proceed.

“Insurance companies are supportive of this because it provides consumers with some choice and convenience — not everyone goes and checks their mailbox on a daily basis,” stated Pete Karageorgos, manager of Ontario consumer and business relations with the Insurance Bureau of Canada. “But we must develop methods that are fraud-proof and protected.”

Have a compelling question? Send it to . Canada’s a big place, so please let us know where you are so we can get the answer for your town and state.

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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