What Happens If You Drive Without A License?


Driving an automobile is a privilege in the United States. Yet, some individuals will still push the limits and engage in bad behavior that will cost them their license. One of these acts of bad behavior is intentionally driving without a license. If you are caught doing this, you may end up paying some stiff penalties.

Driving Without A License Penalties

If you get pulled over by a police officer and you don’t have a license to drive, iin most cases, you won’t be carted off to jail. However, you may end up with a misdemeanor on your record, which could be there for life. This will vary based on the state where you get caught.

In addition to receiving a misdemeanor, you’ll probably have to pay a fine or perform some type of community service — rarely will you have to serve any time in jail, unless you are found guilty of other crimes in addition to driving without a license.

The fines for driving without a license vary from state to state. You may get off easy by paying just $100 or get stuck with a fine that’s equal to $1000 or more.

First Time Offenders

If you are a first-time offender who decided not to follow the law and get a driver’s license, it’s likely that police officers will not just let you off with a warning as you blatantly decided to perform an illegal act. Of course, if you forget to carry your license with you and a police officer pulls you over, you will probably just receive a ticket as you weren’t intentionally driving without a license. In these type of cases, you may be able to reduce the fee for the penalty if you contest the ticket and show proof that you currently have a license.

Lowering Penalties

In some cases, the penalties for driving without a license will be reduced. These situations would include scenarios where you recently moved from another state or failed to renew a license that expired. If you remedy the situation by quickly getting a valid license soon after receiving the infraction, you may receive a reduction in penalties.

If you are facing serious penalties, you may want to consider talking to an attorney to get legal advice regarding the situation. An attorney may be able to help you get the charges dismissed or reduced.

Suspended Or Revoked License

If you decide to drive an automobile after having your license suspended or revoked, you may be facing some serious consequences. Typically, you will be arrested, and the vehicle that you are driving will be impounded. In addition, the chances are high that you will receive a longer time frame for suspension of your license, not to mention the high fees or jail time that you could possibly receive.