No one likes getting pulled over for a traffic stop, but it is one of the easiest ways for law enforcement to keep an eye on the community, do their job enforcing laws, and catch problems before they become worse in terms of crime. So traffic stops aren’t likely to disappear or go away anytime soon. Given that fact, one of the best ways that Virginia drivers can anticipate the issue and resolve it as quickly as possible at a stop is to have one’s documentation fully in order and available to provide an officer on request.
Under Virginia state law, the following documents should always be on hand and ready to provide to a traffic officer when stopped:
- A personal driver’s license that is up to date and valid (i.e. not expired).
- A copy of the vehicle registration for the car or truck the person is actually driving at the time.
- Documentation of an approved disability placard permit if using such symbols for the purpose of driving or parking at the time.
- Proof of valid auto insurance coverage for the vehicle being driven at the time of the stop.
The above short list seems easy to keep together, but more often than not people find themselves missing something at the time of a stop. If that’s the case, don’t panic and don’t act jumpy or erratic. Simply explain to the officer you thought you had the paperwork and it was left at home. Try to remember as much as possible which insurance company or your driver’s license number if those are missing. They can be looked up by the officer based on the information provided. You may still get a ticket for not having the paperwork on hand, but you won’t get arrested if valid. For those in Buena Vista, VA your local insurance agent can help explain the details of the above.