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When can police ask a person's name and address?

A police officer may ask a person to state their name and address if the officer believes on reasonable grounds that the person:

  • has committed, or is about to commit an offence (both summary and indictable), or
  • may be able to help police with the investigation of an indictable offence.

Police may also require a person who was the owner of motor vehicle to give them information about a person who was the driver of that motor vehicle.

See s. 456AA—Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

What the person must be told

The police officer must tell the person the grounds for his belief using enough detail so that the person understands the nature of the offence that they are suspected of committing.

Police must give their details if asked

If police ask a person to give their name and address, that person can request the officer's name, rank and place of duty. They can ask for this to be written down. It is an offence for an officer to refuse to comply with the person's request.

See s. 456AA(4),(5)—Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

More information

Police 'move on' powers

Legislation

Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)

  • s. 456AA—requirement to give name and address

See Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)

  • s. 59—general duty of a driver or person in charge of a motor vehicle to give name and address
  • s. 76(1)—power to arrest a person without a warrant if police suspect they have committed an offence and they refuse to give their name and address
  • s. 88(7)—a person must not refuse to state their name and address when being given a traffic infringement notice

See Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Updated