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Do PBA Cards Really Work?

Not All PBA Cards are Treated Equally

Many do not realize this, but not all PBA cards are treated the same. If the card a driver receives is a general PBA card that does not have an officer’s name or badge number on it, then it may not get him/her out of a ticket.

However, if the officer is very nice, he/she might ask the driver which officer issued the card, the jurisdiction he/she is from, and how the driver knows him or her. If the driver politely and cordially answers all of these questions, then it may help to get out of the ticket.

Regardless of whether the PBA card has the officer’s name or not, the closer the relationship between the driver and the card-issuing officer, the greater the chance one has of avoiding a ticket. Likewise, the more well-known an officer is among others on the force, the better the chance of getting out of a ticket. 

The best type of PBA card one can have is one that contains the name and badge number of an officer who is well-respected throughout the state. If an officer knows that a driver has a connection to a well-regarded officer, that driver can usually avoid receiving a traffic ticket.


Alleged Benefits Of A PBA Card

A PBA card can act as a form of “get out of jail free” card. This doesn’t mean that the card is a surefire guarantee. There is still a strong chance of getting a ticket if pulled over by an officer.

The chances of the card working depend on a few things. The violation that the person has committed. The type of card the person is carrying, and whether or not the officer has heard of the one printed on the card. The person’s demeanor also plays a huge part. If there are rudeness and negativity directed towards the officer, a ticket is almost guaranteed.

The benefits are complicated. Showing your PBA card to an officer may relax them if they see you have family and friends who are trusted officers. This may lower their suspicion in terms of searching the vehicle.

Using the card can be a slippery slope. While some officers may see it as a reason to issue only a warning, others may see it differently. Some officers may see the card as more of a reason to be suspicious. Or they may even suspect corruption.

Where You Can Get a PBA Card

So, you aren’t a politician with connections, nor do you have a cop in the family. You can still get a PBA card — and that’s become an issue for the NYPD. PBA cards are easily available on eBay (31 results for “NYPD PBA card” as of the date of this publication) and other eCommerce sites. They are often authentic cards, and therefore officers have no idea whether they are legitimately issued to someone connected with the police department or not. Nor do you have to have a card dated this year for it to potentially work. What’s more, selling the cards isn’t actually illegal; it’s just heavily frowned upon by police unions. 

Different Types of PBA Cards

There are many different types of PBA cards, especially as their issuance has become more common, and imitations abound. Many bear the image of a badge, a kneeling LEO, American flags, and other typical hyper-patriotic imagery. Some even come with a type of physical badge.

Any official PBA card is issued by an actual police union or “fraternal order” organization. It should, ideally, bear the symbol of the local municipal police department or relevant precinct. That way, the officer knows who issued it and what the actual connection to their line of work is.

Many cards bear a “Family Member” logo, and these are supposed to only be legitimately issued to the immediate family of member officers. Some organizations will also issue a silver card to honored non-law-enforcement citizens.

What is a police Gold Card?

First, there are tiers of cards. Silver cards are the highest honor given to citizens. It’s almost universally honored by officers, and can also help save money on insurance. Gold PBA cards are only given to police officers and their families. … A silver “family member” shield goes for $299.

What Should I Do If My PBA Card Didn’t Work?

As mentioned, sometimes a person can show a PBA card and get a ticket anyway. If this has happened to you or someone you love, contact an attorney for help fighting the charges. At Rosenblum Law we are experienced NY traffic ticket attorneys. Email or call 888-883-5529 for a free consultation about your case.