Byers v. California

In Byers v. California, 402 U.S. 424 (1971) the United States Supreme Court addressed the closely related issue of whether it violates the privilege against compulsory self-incrimination to require motorists to produce identification at the scene of an accident. The Court noted that "even if we were to view the statutory reporting requirement as incriminating in the traditional sense, in our view it would be the 'extravagant' extension of the privilege Justice Holmes warned against to hold that it is testimonial in the Fifth Amendment sense." The disclosure of the driver's name and address is "an essentially neutral act" and "whatever the collateral consequences ... the statutory purpose is to implement the state police power to regulate use of motor vehicles." Moreover, "a name, linked with a motor vehicle, is no more incriminating than the tax return, linked with the disclosure of income ... . It identifies but does not by itself implicate anyone in criminal conduct."