Is it legal for the police to run a tag and stop a vehicle with a valid license plate and tag registration because of an expired license?

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Is it legal for the police to run a tag and stop a vehicle with a valid license plate and tag registration because of an expired license?

Does this give police probable cause or reasonable suspicion? The driver did not commit any type of moving violation such as speeding or swerving.

Asked on February 25, 2013 under Criminal Law, Alabama

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Police can run tags because that is public. If the police run it and find that you have an expired license, there is probable cause to stop. No moving violation is needed at that point; the fact you were driving with an expired license is sufficient probable cause to stop you.


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