Protecting the lives, property, and constitutional rights of people in Idaho since 1919.


Flashing LightbarWhat to do when you're pulled over

How will the officer let me know I should stop?

An officer will signal you with flashing lights and/or siren.

If you question whether the person is actually an officer, pull over anyway and ask for identification when the person approaches you. If he or she does not produce official identification, you may leave.

What do I do when I'm being stopped?

Traffic Stop - winterImmediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to, the nearest edge or curb of the highway lawful for parking and clear of any intersection when signaled with flashing lights and/or sirens. If the officer wants you to move to a different location, he or she will ask you to move. The officer will find a safe place for you to stop. (Idaho Code § 49-625)

Stay in your car

Do not get out and approach the officer to meet the officer. The officer willTrafficstop2

come to you. He or she may approach your vehicle on either side, depending on which side is safer.

Sit quietly with your hands visible

Keeping your hands on the steering wheel can easily do this. Don't start looking through your car for paperwork you expect the officer to request. The officer will give you time to get any items requested.

Follow the officer's directions

The officer will probably ask you to roll down your window or may direct you to a different location.

Have your paperwork within reach

All current registration, insurance, and driver's license information should be within reach and accessible. It must also be current. You can be cited for not having this information available and current.

RadioTalkWhat will the officer be doing while I am waiting?

After pulling to the side of the roadway behind you, the officer will notify dispatch personnel of the traffic stop, the location of the stop, and request registration information on your vehicle.

The officer will approach your vehicle while looking for signs of anything that might indicate criminal activity or a threat to the officer or citizen safety. Criminals are located and arrested during simple traffic stops every day.

The officer will discuss the violation with you and ask for your insurance, registration, and driver's license. The officer will take the information back to the patrol car to check the status of your driver's license and for any outstanding warrants. The officer will then write out the appropriate citation or warning. It may take a few minutes.

Writing Citation - PhotoThe officer will explain the citation and return your paperwork to you. The officer may ask you to sign the citation. Your signature only indicates that you received the citation, not that you agree with it. When the officer is finished with the traffic stop, he or she will tell you that you may go. You should carefully pull back out into traffic.

What do I do if I have a gun in my vehicle?

It is much safer for you and the officer if you tell the officer about the weapon immediately, then follow the officer's directions. Don't reach toward it.

What if I didn't do it or I don't like the way the officer treated me?

The time to argue about your guilt or innocence is in court.

Instructions on how to plead guilty or not guilty are printed on the back of the citation.

If you feel that you were treated poorly by an Idaho State Police (ISP) officer
, ask for the officer's business card or note the officer's name on his or her nametag. Then contact the nearest ISP office and ask for the officer's supervisor.

Here is a link to the ISP Complaints procedure.

Each complaint will be investigated. If you feel that you were treated
poorly by a local agency officer, contact the local agency.


District 1 - Coeur D' Alene - (208) 772-6055

District 2 - Lewiston - (208) 799-5151

District 3 - Boise - (208) 334-3731

District 4 - Jerome - (208) 324-6000

District 5 - Pocatello - (208) 236-6466

District 6 - Idaho Falls - (208) 525-7377

ISP Headquarters - Meridian - (208) 884-7200

If you call after hours, please leave a message with your name, the reason for your call, and a contact phone number so we can reach you.

Idaho State Police Headquarters
700 S. Stratford Drive, Meridian, ID 83642