“Driver’s license and vehicle papers” – if you can’t show anything with this sentence during the check, in the worst case you’ll end up at the police station. But anyone who, for whatever reason, does not want to carry the documents with them has a risk-free alternative.

Time and again, traffic law experts are asked whether it is better or even better to drive without a driver’s license or vehicle registration.

If you don’t have your driver’s license and vehicle registration (the correct term has been “registration certificate” for a long time) with you, you risk a warning fine of EUR 10. However, some people are of the opinion that there are advantages in not carrying the original documents with you .

Usually a case is constructed in which police officers confiscate the driver’s license (if an objection is raised against such a measure) or seize it (if no objection is made) and it later turns out that the original suspicion cannot be upheld.

However, one overlooks the fact that if an affected/accused person lives in the immediate vicinity of the location of the police checkpoint, a police patrol will certainly make a trip to the apartment of the person who claims to have no papers with him, in order to look for the documents there to leave or to search for yourself.

Another possibility for the police to determine the identity as well as the existence of a driver’s license: They simply take you to the police station.

A suspension can then be imposed there (limitation of a person’s freedom by the police for the purpose of determining personal data/identification). Such a suspension can last up to three hours without requiring a court order!

You should therefore consider that if you do not carry any papers with you, it will not be possible to determine who you are during an inspection – this can lead to the above consequences.

If you are afraid that original documents could be stolen together with the car, you can carry them on your body; both the driver’s license and the registration certificate are small enough for it.

If you still have doubts, you can consider having your driver’s license and registration certificate officially certified by your home municipality and taking these officially certified copies with you. They don’t protect you from the warning money, but at least they don’t leave the controlling officials in the dark about your own identity. I myself have been using this alternative for years and have had very good experiences with it.

Attorney Michael Winter studied law in Tübingen and has been working in the field of traffic law since 1989. As a lecturer at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, he also shares his experience in the academic field. The company he founded, “WHW Seminar

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