it is an offence to use another person's driver's licence

Use of another person’s driver’s licence

There can be any number of reasons why a police officer might pull a driver over. After doing so they may also become suspicious that the driver is driving while prohibited and use of another person’s driver’s licence.

Driving while prohibited or while your licence is suspended is an offence here in BC under Section 102 of the Motor Vehicle Act. Anyone who commits an offence under this section and is liable, on a first conviction, to a fine of up to $2,000, a maximum of six months in prison, or both. A subsequent conviction could result in another $2,000 fine, jail for up to a year, or both.

If you are charged with driving while prohibited you may also have your vehicle impounded. The charge will remain on your permanent driving
record and could lead to you receiving a longer suspension in the future as well as increased insurance premiums.

if they suspect you of driving while prohibited they might want to pursue some additional charges.

Being banned from the road or having their licence suspended will not stop some people from driving. Often they will use the licence of someone with a similar appearance and build to them, such as a sibling, in the event they get pulled over by a cop.

Police officers employ a number of methods to establish the driver’s identity at the roadside. Not only is proving ID is an essential element of most traffic tickets, if they suspect you of driving while prohibited they might want to pursue some additional charges.

Is it illegal to use another person’s driver’s licence?

Under Section 70 of BC’s Motor Vehicle Act it is also an offence to use another person’s driver’s licence or fail to allow a police officer to
inspect a licence. Anyone found guilty under this section is liable to a fine of up to $20,000 – yes $20,000 – or a maximum of six months in jail, or both.

How police detect possible impersonation Police officers are issued with a Quick Reference Guide which contains a list of suggestions on how to detect possible impersonation. Officers use this advice to assist
them in telling when someone is lying about their identity.

Here is the list of what police are instructed to do if they suspect you are not the licence holder, in no particular order:

  1. Request registration
  2. Ask questions about address
  3. Ask whose vehicle it is
  4. Ask the registered owner’s address
  5. Ask for driver’s full name
  6. Get telephone number. Ask a dispatcher to call the number and ask for him/her or if they know the person stopped (sometimes the person stopped gives a false name and the actual person will answer the phone)
  7. Check the information given on system
  8. If the vehicle’s registered owner is not the same as person stopped, run it on the system
  9. Make a detailed physical description, e.g., tattoos, marks, scars
  10. Keep extensive notes either in notebook, or better, on the ticket’s officer note portion
  11. Query driver’s licence newer 10-27 (driver’s licence check) have a description of them
  12. Ask for place of birth
  13. Ask for driver’s record, recent tickets etc.
  14. Obtain driver licence history
  15. Follow up with registered owner to identify
  16. Get the offender to sign the ticket
  17. Keep in mind your gut feeling
  18. If a camera is available, photograph driver for evidentiary purposes

What to do if you have been charged with driving while prohibited
If you have been pulled over by a police officer and you think they might suspect you of
driving while prohibited, bear in mind you are not obliged to answer all of their
questions. 

you may politely say your lawyer told you not to answer any of their questions bar those in the Schryvers Test.

This case established that there is a burden of proof on the driver, to a certain extent, to identify themselves to an officer at the roadside. It also established a checklist officers use, known as the Schryvers Test, to assist in properly identifying the driver.

In order to fulfill your obligations under the Motor Vehicle Act, you must do three things correctly:

● Present your driver’s licence
● State your name
● State your address

If you do these three things, you have fulfilled your obligations under the Motor Vehicle Act. The Courts have interpreted that this should be sufficient for the officer to identify you and check you are not impersonating another driver. So if you are nervous about answering all of the police officer’s questions, you may politely say your lawyer told you not to answer any of their questions bar those in the Schryvers Test.

Get help from a lawyer

If you have been charged with driving while prohibited, you should contact a driving lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer knows the complex legal issues and arguments that are involved in defending a driving while prohibited charge. You should learn about your rights and your
options.

At BC Driving Lawyers, we have experience of defending these types of cases and we know precisely what police should have done in order to identify you at the roadside. We love to drive and we know how important it is to protect your driving privileges. If you are charged with Drive While Prohibited, we are the law office for you.

Call us today for a free consultation on 604-608-
1200.

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