Batman frequently drives his Batmobile on the public roads of Gotham. Is it unregistered? And does he actually have a license for it that he could show if Commissioner Gordon or another cop decided to pull him over? I mean, he can't very well show Bruce Wayne's license.

I wonder because at various times the Gotham City Police Department have not been on good terms with Batman. Even if he's in the clear on his vigilante activities, it seems like he could be arrested at any time should they want to actually enforce their driving laws.

So could Batman be arrested for driving an unregistered car without a license? Or are there special circumstances that legally allow him to do that?

I am most interested in mainstream DC Comics (e.g. Detective Comics), but other media would be interesting supplementary information to an answer that includes that.

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    I find it interesting that you're focused on Batman's drivers license when I'm willing to bet Bruce Wayne's fortune that the Batmobile is unregistered.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 0:25
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    Since Batman saves Gotham on a regular basis, I doubt that he'd ever be pulled over (except perhaps if driving very erratically). I doubt not having a license would be a ticketable offense. However, since Bruce Wayne/Batman is a law-abiding citizen, I wouldn't be surprised if there were two different licenses owned: one with Bruce Wayne's picture, and the other of Batman. Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 0:32
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    Because the title instantly made me think of the Adam West show, I'm going to share this tangentially-related tidbit: the Batmobile was once impounded for not having windshield wipers Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 0:33
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    @user14111 Well, he's got a Bat Credit Card, so maybe the credit agency gives him car insurance too! Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 1:08
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    @T-1000'sSon "Since Batman saves Gotham on a regular basis, I doubt that he'd ever be pulled over" Depending on which canon you follow, Batman is not liked by everyone. The Nolan movies very much stress the point that no one likes Batman, especially not the police (with the exceptions of Gordon and Blake) "However, since Bruce Wayne/Batman is a law-abiding citizen" He's a vigilante, and the Nolan movies again very much explore that Batman is on the run from the police who are (officially) required to chase him.
    – Flater
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 7:03

1 Answer 1


Absolutely! In New York state, which I'm guessing will have the most relevant laws, penalties for driving an unlicensed vehicle are these:

  • Can be forced to pay a fine ranging from $40-$300

  • Can incur an $88-$93 surcharge

  • Can face up to 15 days in jail

That's if you're 60 days or fewer out of compliance. If you've been driving an unregistered vehicle for longer, the fines and possible jail time add up.

All that said...

Penalties for being a vigilante and beating people up are probably a smidge higher. Priorities, man. ;D

Edit: Forgot to add about driving unlicensed. Bruce has a license, but Batman can't use it...

Driving without a license is a misdemeanor offense listed under Section 509 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Code (VTC). Violations will result in the following penalties:

A monetary fine not less than $75 and no greater than $300, OR Imprisonment for a time period not to exceed 15 days, OR Both the fine and jail time

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    "Bruce has a license, but Batman can't use it..." Well, Batman could. But he understandably wouldn't want to. Of course, if Batman was indeed taken into custody somehow, I don't think Batman's secret identity is going to all that secret anymore, so I'd assume the "driving without a license" aspect would be dropped.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 3:36
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    While I like this, I think the question author was looking for any in-universe thinking on the matter. Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 9:44
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    This is a good and detailed answer, however, the question was could Batman be arrested? Laws aside, in order to be arrested, the police would have to catch him first, and that's not such an easy task when we're talking about a guy who's car - in various continuities - has been known to spew smoke screens, drive up walls, jump rooftops and convert into a motorcycle on demand...
    – Steve-O
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 13:22
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    Why New York, when Gotham is clearly in New Jersey....
    – Skooba
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 14:08
  • @JeremyFrench I don't know if there's any canon on this kind of local law, but I think it's pretty much in-universe to say that the cops are at best ... conflicted about the Dark Knight. In the Dark Knight Returns, they make a big deal over the vigilante debate, and there is some pretty good distinction drawn between the Gordon and Yindel administrations. It takes a complete breakdown of order before Yindel realizes that she can't bring herself to stop him. "He's ... too big."
    – akaioi
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 14:46

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