Drive without a license and you could see penalties and even jail time. If you simply have forgotten your license and get pulled over the odds are that it will be a simple infraction that gets dismissed by the courts. Now if you are driving without a license because your driving license was suspended then that is a different story and it will be a much more severe penalty.
What Happens if you drive without a license? This is illegal in any state within the United States and you will most likely result in a ticket or worst depending on why you don’t have a license.
Drive without a License Intentionally
There are people who drive without a license intentionally because they had their license revoked at some point. When this happens and you get pulled over the consequences will be much harsh for simply having a license in good standing but you forgot to have it with you. Types of intentional driving without a license:
- Driving during a period when your license has been suspended by the courts. An example would be for driving drunk.
- Driving with an expired license. Your driving license has expired because you never renewed it.
- Revoked license
- Just never applied for a license but you drive anyways.
The above are serious offenses where you as a driver know you are breaking the law by deliberately driving without a license.
You forgot your license
While driving without a license even if you honestly forgot it will still be an infraction. In most states, drivers are always required to carry their licenses with them if they get pulled over. Keep in mind that these types of infractions are much less in terms of driving with either a suspended license, revoked or any other type of intentional driving without a license.
A lot of times an officer will simply write a ticket letting the person prove that they have a license with proof of insurance to court.
What fines can you see if you drive without a license?
Each state will have its own laws in terms of traffic infractions and when a penalty happens for driving without a license it will depend on what state the offense was committed. The below is an example of what driving without a license in Florida looks like. While each state is different this gives you an idea of what the fines and consequences may look like.
Driving without a license
License is not on you while driving: If you get pulled over and are requested to show your license will most likely result in driving without a license citation. The fine will be $30.00. However, if the driver can show proof that he or she had a valid license at the time of the citation the clerk of courts can dismiss the ticket and just collect a dismissal fee up to $10.00.
Driving without a valid license: This is a misdemeanor in Florida and if you are found guilty you can see a fine up to $500.00 and jail time of up to 60 days.
Driving while on a revoked or suspended
Get caught driving while on a suspended or revoked license and you can see jail time, impoundment of vehicle, and fines. First offenses typically can see maximum fines of $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
Second offenses: one year in jail and a maximum of a $1,000 fine and car impoundment.
Third offense: Maximum of five-year in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. If three offenses take place in a five year period this can be considered a habitual violator and it could be a five-year license revocation.
Seek legal help if you get caught driving without a license
If you get caught driving without a license you should seek professional help by enlisting a criminal attorney who knows the ins and outs of driving laws and regulation in your state. An attorney can help reduce fines, reduce jail time, and more.
Related questions to what happens if you drive without a license
Penalty for driving without a license under 18 years old
May people call this joyriding or when a minor is caught driving without a license. Keep in mind that this can be a serious offense that can result in fines and even jail time. Legal consequences will vary by state.