Proactive policing: Do officers need probable cause to run license plates?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions.

News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

This week's question comes from Christiana, of Sanford, who asked, “Can your license plate be ran, at will, without probable cause?”

A lot of people know what I’m going to say: Driving is not a right, it's a privilege.

So, yes, your license plate can be randomly checked by law enforcement.

With that said, there are a lot of thing things that happen in order to keep that privilege safe. As a law enforcement officer, I can tell you from experience that I have run thousands of license plates throughout my career and you’d be surprised how proactive policing removes a lot of vehicles and drivers off the road who have no business being there. From stolen cars, expired tags, suspended drivers and even wanted criminals, simply running a license plate and doing a routine check gets these things off the road that may never be noticed.

[ASK TROOPER STEVE: Send safety question to Trooper Steve]

Now, some people may have an issue with this, but think about it, if you have all your paperwork up to speed and you’re a responsible vehicle owner, you will have nothing to worry about.

If you have a traffic question for Trooper Steve, submit it here.


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