Sunday, April 5, 2009

Identity Checks

Ever wonder what your rights are in case of an identity check by the French police? I know that I've been contrôlé far more often in France than in the US, despite the fact that I've spent perhaps 3 years of my life in France vs. 59 in the US. Such is life. Anyway, here's a rundown, with practical advice: don't make waves, you'll lose. It doesn't say much about when a contrôle is legal and when it isn't, since the author's position is that it doesn't matter, you'd best comply in either case.


MYOS said...

The whole thing seems rather pointless. Seriously why do they even spend time and human resource on checking whether a person is who they say they are? Also, all readings indicate it's the #1 grief for "banlieue" inhabitants - being stopped for control all the time.
Many times it does seem the main goal of these control is to annoy people and teach them who's the boss.

Diomede said...

To be complete the custom officers ("les douanes") can also do such controls. And not neccessarily at the border. "La volante" can stop you pretty much anywhere.

They even have the right to do advanced searches if they have any suspicition on you. Meaning if they have any doubt about you or if they don't like your face, then they can tear apart your vehicule or have you take an x-ray.

Bottom line: always smile to the custom officers...