What You Need to Know About Driving Without a License or Drive Without a Valid Driver’s License

driving-without a license-penalty

Driving without a license is illegal in all states. In most states, there is a difference between driving a vehicle without a valid driver’s license and driving a vehicle without proof of a driver’s license (cases when the driver doesn’t physically carry their valid driver’s license). If you fail to get your wallet with your license inside, you won’t be arrested. However, it’s a serious offense to drive with the knowledge that your license is invalid or suspended.

But can you forget how to drive without your license? Sure, it’s possible, but failing to give the license when an officer stops you lead to penalties from fix-it tickets to vehicle impoundment, and sometimes even jail time.

If this has happened to you, make sure you seek a Boston car accident attorney.

Types of Driver Licensing Violations

As a driver, you may violate a driver’s license requirement in various ways.

It could be an honest mistake (to forget it at home). In some cases, drivers still choose to drive even if their license was suspended because of driving under the influence.

The following are the most common types of violations when it comes to driver’s licenses:

  • Driving with an expired license
  • Not applying for a state-issued driver’s license within the right time
  • Driving with a temporarily suspended license
  • Driving with a permanently revoked license
  • Not showing proof of a valid license when driving a vehicle.

Forgetting to Carry Your License While Driving

This can happen to anyone, but you can be sure that you won’t be taken to the police station simply because you forgot to take your driver’s license. In most cases, these people have valid licenses but they must prove valid licensure after they get the ticket.

Drivers who don’t have their driver’s licenses with them, may get cited and get a warning, or even a ticket, it will depend mainly on the circumstances. If you get a ticket, you may be afforded to later prove that you have a license to avoid the fine. These are commonly known as “fix-it tickets” because you can fix the problem to avoid the fine.

If the officer cites you for driving without a license, you (or your attorney) will have to go to the court on the scheduled date to defend against it. This is a minor offense, but in most states, it’s a misdemeanor and you could expect a conviction on your criminal record.

Penalties for Driving Without a License

Not producing a valid driver’s license when a police officer asks you can lead to various penalties. It will depend mainly on the circumstances.

The charges will typically fall into two categories:

  • correctable offenses
  • willful violations.

Correctable Offenses

Forgetting to take your driver’s license while driving your vehicle typically leads to a “fix-it ticket”. You later must show proof that you have fixed this violation so the citation can be dismissed by the traffic court.

If you don’t do this, will lead to fines and other penalties.

Willful Violations

In this case, the penalties are far more serious. If you decide to drive even though your license was suspended for let’s say, DUI violations, you may be arrested, cited, and charged with a misdemeanor offense.

The penalties for driving without a license vary from state to state. If you’re a first-time offender you can get a smaller fine. However, drivers who have multiple offenses may face higher amounts. You may expect an increase in your insurance costs.

Do You Need Help From an Attorney

Carrying a valid driver’s license when you drive is important and you should never forget to have it when you drive. However, if you get pulled over and you don’t have the license with you, you may face some penalties. And while most people get “fix-it penalties” some may face a harsher penalty.

If you fear that this would be your case, or maybe you drove while your license was suspended, it’s best if you seek legal help from an experienced and skilled car accident attorney.

Every case is different and you shouldn’t assume that your case would be the same.

Your attorney will advise you on the possible outcomes and will represent you in court if that is necessary.

Our team in Soto Law is here to offer you a free consultation and help you with your case. Let us take care of everything and help you get out of the situation with the mildest fine possible. We’re expecting your call.


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