Common Law No ID Required

Do you need to present ID when asked by police (vs peace officer)?

In short….

It depends.

Are you a regulated person in a regulated activity? (not common law)

Then usually yes.

If you are not a regulated person, not in a regulated activity, and there is no first hand witness declaring they saw you commit a common law crime (harm or threat of harm to person or property) then you have no obligation to provide ID if requested… (common law)

NOTE: do you need a license to drive a motor vehicle (commercial). Yes. Do you need a license to travel in an automobile? (private) No, and there is lots of USA research on that, with far less Canadian info available, with many losing in court trying that position, but the people successful with it never have “winning” decision as the case never gets to the point of decision for the record. Research well FIRST, and expect resistance, if you intend to go the private route.

DOWNLOAD PDF excerpt – Police Manual-ID-search-arrest-seize


A member passed along some more info and it’s worth checking out his website on motor vehicle speeding offences and how to deal with them (not common law info but helpful info):

Just some comment on the Common Law No ID Required article that you can add to it if you want:

I wrote this article a couple years ago and had it vetted by a lawyer here in Ontario:

In the article I state:
– When you are doing something that requires a license (like hunting or driving) then you MUST produce that license when asked for it. When driving you must also produce your registration and insurance as well, if asked. But you still do NOT have to answer any other questions and do NOT have to give them any other information.

– When being charged with an offence then you MUST identify yourself by giving them your Name, Address and Date of Birth. But you still do NOT have to answer any other questions and do NOT have to give them any other information. Note that you do NOT have to provide any kind of id card, but you DO need to verbally id yourself.

So there is no requirement in Canada to provide any form of identification, but there is requirement to at least verbally identify yourself when being charged.

Jeff Sherk

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