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Your rights in the car

If immigration agents or the police signal you to stop your car, you should do so.

Immigration officials and the police can ask for your name, driver's license, registration, and insurance. You should show these documents if you have them.

You have the right to remain silent.

  • If they stop you while you are driving, you must give your name. You do not have to answer any other question. 
  • If an official questions a passenger, that person has the right not to answer. But you might want to give your name or it will seem suspicious.

You can refuse consent to search your car.

  • If an official wants to search your car, you have the right to give or refuse permission, but you should not interfere with their actions.
  • You can ask if you are free to go or if you are under arrest. If they tell you that you are under arrest, remember you always have the right to remain silent.


Always carry a valid photo ID from the U.S. with you, even if you are not eligible for a driver's license, such as:

  • A student ID.
  • A bank card.
  • A Costco card, etc.
  • Some cities have begun issuing IDs to residents regardless of legal status. If you have such a document, carry it with you.

Do not carry false identifications with you!

None of the information in this resource should be considered legal advice. Please speak to an immigration attorney or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representative about your particular case.

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