Can a Policeman Take Your Driving License When He is Not In Uniform?

The primary duty of traffic police is to maintain the smooth movement of traffic. Therefore, they conduct regular checks to know whether people are following motor vehicle laws or not. So, instead of panicking or getting frustrated, you should cooperate with the officers.

Also you must know about your rights as a responsible citizen when you stopped up by any traffic police officials.

If you stop by any traffic police officers, then he/she may ask for following documents. 

·                  Driving license.

·                  Registration Certificate (RC) to vehicle.

·                  Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate.

·                  Vehicle ownership documents.

·                  Certificate of Insurance.

Failing to produce any of the above documents is liable to attract a fine. Hence, it is important to carry all documents handy at the time of driving.

No Police Man can seize your Driving License except when in Uniform. A police officer should always be in his/her uniform. In case of suspicion, you can ask officials to show their identity card. If they are reluctant to do so then you can straightforwardly deny them to show your documents.

The High Court of Calcutta has recently passed a judgement in case titled as “Suryaneel Das v. State of West Bengal & Ors” wherein held that “A person is not obliged to hand over his driving licence on demand to a Police Officer, who is not in his uniform in view of Section 130 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

Section 130 (1) of Motor Vehicle Act: Duty to produce licence and certificate of registration:

(1) The driver of a motor vehicle in any public place shall “on demand by any police officer in uniform” produce his licence for examination: Provided that the driver may, if his licence has been submitted to, or has been seized by, any officer or authority under this or any other Act, produce in lieu of the licence a receipt or other acknowledgement issued by such officer or authority in respect thereof and thereafter produce the licence within such period, in such manner as the Central Government may prescribe to the police officer making the demand.

Recent amendment dated 2nd Nov 2018 of Rule 139 of the CMVR, 1989 – Production of licence and certificate of registration –

The driver or a conductor of a motor vehicle shall produce certificates in physical or electronic form, insurance, fitness and permit, the driving licence, certificate for pollution under check and any other relevant documents on demand by any police officer in uniform or any other officer authorised by the State Government in this behalf, and “if any or all of the documents are not in his possession”, he shall produce in person an extracts of documents duly attested by any police officer or by any other officer or send it to the officer who demanded the documents by registered post “within 15 days” from the date of demand.

As per section 4 of the IT Act 2000 i.e. Legal recognition of electronic records – ‘Where any law provides that information or any other matter shall be in writing or in the typewritten or printed form, then, notwithstanding anything contained in such law, such requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied if such information or mater is – (a) rendered or made available in an electronic form; and (b) accessible so as to be usable for a subsequent reference’.

If you feel being harassed by any traffic officials, you can file an official complaint about the same the Commissioner of Police or at the nearest police station with relevant details.


Founder, Joshi Law Associates (JLA)

Practicing in Delhi High Court & District Courts

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