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How Long Can You Drive With an Expired License?

  • Driving Tips
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 5 minutes

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How long can you drive with an expired license? Some states may give you a short grace period to renew your license. But you can no longer drive once your license has expired.

Your driver’s license is only good for a certain amount of time. Depending on the laws in your state, you may need to renew your driver’s license every 4 to 6 years, usually on your birthday.

To avoid getting fined, you should renew your driver’s license before it expires. But what if you need to remember to get your license renewed? If you keep driving after your license has expired, you could get fines, tickets, or even jail time, and your car insurance company could deny any claims you make.

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How long can you drive with an expired driver’s license?

Every state has its own rules and laws about licenses that have expired. 

Remember that if your license has expired, you are no longer legally allowed to drive, so you need to renew it as soon as possible. Technically, you can drive with an expired license if you want to. Doing so can lead to unpleasant consequences.

In every state, you must renew your license before it expires, or you could face the consequences. This means you can’t drive for any time without renewing your license.

If you get pulled over or into an accident with an expired license, you could be fined and get points on your record. When it comes to car insurance, if you don’t have a valid license, your provider could refuse to cover you or even charge you a higher premium, giving you more trouble than before.

Can you drive if your license has expired?

Legally, no. It is against the law to drive with a license that has expired. This is because the state needs to ensure that you can still drive safely and that the information the DMV has about you as a driver is correct.

Some states give you a short grace period, usually less than 30 days, after your license has expired, during which you can renew it without paying a fee. If you let your license expire for too long without renewing it, you may have to pay a big fee or even take a new driving test before your state’s DMV or a similar agency lets you renew it.

What happens if you drive around with an expired license?

If your license has recently expired and you get pulled over, you might get a warning and be told to go to the DMV as soon as possible. But if the police officer who pulled you over is not in a charitable mood that day or your license has expired for a while, not renewing it could lead to serious problems.

It is against the law to drive around with an expired license. Depending on your state, if you are caught driving with an expired license, you could get a ticket, pay a fine, get points on your license, or even go to jail.

What happens to my insurance after my license expires?

You can no longer legally drive when your driver’s license expires. If you get into an accident, your car insurance company may not cover you. But this depends on several factors, such as the details of your insurance policy and the road rules in your state.

Some car insurance companies may still cover you if your state gives drivers with expired licenses a grace period. This isn’t always the case, so drivers who still need to renew their licenses should be ready to pay for an accident out of their pockets. This is another good reason to keep your license current: if you cause an accident and your license is outdated, you could pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Most states give you three ways to renew your driver's license: online, in person, or by mail. Only some states have the same options. So you should look up the rules in your state before you renew your license.

Steps to Renew Your Car License

Most states give you three ways to renew your driver’s license: online, in person, or by mail. Only some states have the same options. So you should look up the rules in your state before you renew your license.

Renew via Online

Most states let drivers renew their licenses online, but sometimes exceptions exist. 

Get it done in person

In-person is the only way to renew a driver’s license in every state. Check the DMV website for your state. This will ensure you have everything you need to renew your license.

Send a letter to renew

Most states will let you renew your driver’s license by mail if you meet certain requirements. Check the DMV website for your state for more details.

Why do driving licenses have expiration dates?

States ask you to renew your driver’s license often for several reasons, such as:

  • The eye exam can prove you can drive.
  • To update your state’s DMV or other agency’s records with your current address, photo, and other information.
  • Steps of Fraud Prevention.¬†

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