Traveling w/prescription medications

Is carrying photos of my many prescriptions on my phone valid during a traffic stop?
Carrying all of our prescription medications in their bottles, on the road, increases the risk of losing one and could put us in a serious medical situation!


You should also consider a printout from the Dr. or Pharmacy as proof of prescription.
If you take pics make sure you have a pill in front of the bottle to prove the identity.
Even tho you are supposed to travel with them in the original bottle I can understand your concern over losing one. :slightly_smiling_face:


I have no idea if that would be good enough for LEOs.

Probably depends on the where and the particular LEO. Some of the departments practicing Civil Asset Forfeiture (more appropriately described as armed theft by uniformed officers, with threat of kidnapping for non compliance. Not to mention all the Constitutional violations due to zero due process) might look at loose pills as an invitation to take all your cash and maybe your vehicle as well.

But having photos seems reasonable to me. Better than what I did after my heart attack when they had me on a bazillion pills. I just threw them all in one ziplock and wrote the names of everything in there on the bag. Not at all suspicious looking;)


What I/we do, is keep at least one old bottle, like the last month’s/last quarter’s bottle. Put the amount needed for travel (and a few extra) into one bottle, leave the other bottle at home.


That works well if you don’t have a dozen bottles. I am off all but one of my prescription medications now but am taking a bunch of specialized supplements trying to help prevent any future returns to the hospital. Would be a royal pain to travel with all those bottles. But guess I probably should in the age of guilty until proven innocent:(


My non-lawyer not-legal-advice opinion…if you have prescription medications that you are apparently legally required to have in their original container…it’s worth the effort to have them all in their original container.

In your case I don’t think supplements (OTC stuff) has to be in the original container although I could see where it might be useful to be so anyway.


Just some options…

They sell pill boxes with am/pm and/or day of the week listed on the tops. You can find small ones and just place the week or two that you need for your trip in there. This seems pretty self explanatory for someone seeing it. You can also tape a print out of the medication/prescriptions and tape it to the bottom of the pill box.

You can also have your doctor write you a travel note that explains that you need the medications (this used to be common practice on airlines flights, especially if the medication required intravenous administration). You would need to get the note from either a primary care physician or the specialist that prescribed the medication. I wouldn’t go to an urgent care to get the letter as their protocol might not allow it.

Another thing I do for pills I take infrequently but want with me is to grab those small zip-lock bags from the sewing/crafts department at Walmart and use a permanent black marker to label the pills. For me it’s Allegra or Sudafed and Vitamin B Complex pills.

Lastly, instead of carrying the current prescription bottles, you could save the old bottles for a travel set, and fill them with however many of each corresponding prescription you need for travel. I have the medication bottles for my father in a large zip-lock bag for easy carry and identification through the clear sides.


The war on drugs … the gift that keeps on giving and puts law abiding individuals constantly looking over their shoulder for fear that they will be arrested for having prescription medicine and not being able to prove to some low level government employee that it is, indeed, a legitimate prescription.

I use an on-line pharmacy which allows for “proof” of a prescription from one’s phone and access to the pharmacy’s web site. Beats tracking pieces of paper.

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