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Stop and Identify States

Each state in the United States has its laws surrounding crime. Whether it is whether or not marijuana is legal or the maximum penalties for committing a particular crime, state laws vary. In some states, local governments have enacted "stop and identify" statutes.

What does "stop and identify" mean? It's a simple concept. In states where this statute is enacted, a person suspected of committing a crime is legally obligated to identify themselves to authorities.

Even in states with this statute, a person is not required to provide identification without a reasonable belief that:

  • A crime has been committed
  • A crime is currently being committed
  • A crime was committed

Suppose any of the above conditions are met. In that case, a police officer may temporarily detain the suspect and conduct a patdown if it is believed that the suspect is carrying a weapon. However, unreasonable searches and seizures are banned, and a warrant must be issued after showing probable cause to conduct searches of vehicles, homes, or other property.

Twenty-three U.S. states have "stop and identify laws. These states are listed in the table below. Any states that are not on this list are not required to show their ID to police officers.

Even though all of these states have some form of "stop and identify" laws, they vary by state. In some states, name, address, and what a person is doing is all that needs to be disclosed. In other states, such as Indiana, a date of birth is required. According to Nevada's laws, all that is required to be disclosed is a person's full name. In seven of these states, there is a criminal penalty imposed for anyone that does not comply with identifying themselves under "stop and identify" laws.

Stop and Identify States

State 2021 Pop.
Alabama4,934,193
Arizona7,520,103
Arkansas3,033,946
Colorado5,893,634
Delaware990,334
Florida21,944,577
Georgia10,830,007
Illinois12,569,321
Indiana6,805,663
Kansas2,917,224
Louisiana4,627,002
Missouri6,169,038
Montana1,085,004
Nebraska1,951,996
Nevada3,185,786
New Hampshire1,372,203
New Mexico2,105,005
North Dakota770,026
Ohio11,714,618
Rhode Island1,061,509
Utah3,310,774
Vermont623,251
Wisconsin5,852,490

Stop and Identify States