Denise asked: Is identification required on a person when bicycling?
There is no statute that requires possession of identification while riding a bicycle, or when doing other normal activities other that do not require a drivers’ license, such as walking. Of course, when driving a motor vehicle or moped, possession of a valid drivers’ license is required.
s. 322.03 – Drivers Must be Licensed; Penalties
(1) Except as otherwise authorized in this chapter, a person may not drive any motor vehicle …. unless such person has a valid driver’s license ….
A bicycle is not a motor vehicle, and a driver’s license is not required.
Florida has a “Stop and Frisk” law that allows a police officer to stop someone under certain circumstances.
s. 901.151 – Stop and Frisk Law
(1) This section may be known and cited as the “Florida Stop and Frisk Law.”
(2) Whenever any law enforcement officer of this state encounters any person under circumstances which reasonably indicate that such person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a violation of the criminal laws of this state or the criminal ordinances of any municipality or county, the officer may temporarily detain such person for the purpose of ascertaining the identity of the person temporarily detained and the circumstances surrounding the person’s presence abroad which led the officer to believe that the person had committed, was committing, or was about to commit a criminal offense.
(3) No person shall be temporarily detained under the provisions of subsection (2) longer than is reasonably necessary to effect the purposes of that subsection. Such temporary detention shall not extend beyond the place where it was first effected or the immediate vicinity thereof.
(4) If at any time after the onset of the temporary detention authorized by subsection (2), probable cause for arrest of person shall appear, the person shall be arrested. If, after an inquiry into the circumstances which prompted the temporary detention, no probable cause for the arrest of the person shall appear, the person shall be released.
(5) Whenever any law enforcement officer authorized to detain temporarily any person under the provisions of subsection (2) has probable cause to believe that any person whom the officer has temporarily detained, or is about to detain temporarily, is armed with a dangerous weapon and therefore offers a threat to the safety of the officer or any other person, the officer may search such person so temporarily detained only to the extent necessary to disclose, and for the purpose of disclosing, the presence of such weapon. If such a search discloses such a weapon or any evidence of a criminal offense it may be seized.
(6) No evidence seized by a law enforcement officer in any search under this section shall be admissible against any person in any court of this state or political subdivision thereof unless the search which disclosed its existence was authorized by and conducted in compliance with the provisions of subsections (2)-(5).
This law is not necessarily applicable to traffic offenses. Note that the statute applies to reasonable suspicion of possible criminal offenses. Just walking down the street or riding a bicycle cannot in any way be construed as a possible criminal offense. Additionally, most traffic violations are civil in nature and not criminal offenses.
Note that the statute does not specifically require identification, just that the person may be detained until the person’s identity is determined. Obviously, if the person is carrying identification, that would be facilitated. Possession of identification while cycling, whether it is a driver’s license or other, is highly recommended. If, for some other reason than simply riding the bicycle, you may be required to verify your identity. If you are involved in an incident such as a crash or a citation, having your identification on your person will facilitate that.
But I repeat, a driver’s license or other identification is not required to ride a bicycle.