Baldwin was stopped Wednesday by officers in Santa Monica who saw him in a white GMC Yukon reported stolen in neighboring Orange County, authorities said.
The actor was taken to jail and booked for investigation of grand theft auto. Bail was set at $20,000. Baldwin was later released on his own recognizance, said Sgt. Alan Phillips of the Orange County sheriff's department.
"The car belongs to an acquaintance of Mr. Baldwin, but he had no permission to take it," said sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.
An after-hours call to Baldwin's attorney was not immediately returned.
The 46-year-old actor made news in July when he drove a rented car at more than 80 mph through Los Angeles traffic and crashed into two parked vehicles. In April, he was arrested for investigation of cocaine possession, although prosecutors declined to file felony charges.
Baldwin, brother of actors Alec, Stephen and William, has appeared in the television series "Homicide: Life on the Street" and the movie "Car 54, Where Are You?"