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Unveiling the Consequences of Driving Without a License

  • Driver's License
  • Nova Kainen
  • 6 minutes

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At least there are a few people who might find it exciting to act in a way that is against the rules. This includes getting behind the wheel without a license and trying to outrun the police. Some youngsters enjoy it so much because they think it might give them bragging rights among their peers. Remember that the purpose of rules is not to create problems but to prevent them. If you are someone who wants to keep yourself informed about the consequences of driving without a license, keep on reading. 

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Why is a driving license necessary?

Being a safe and responsible driver involves more than just knowing how to operate a vehicle once you get behind the wheel. A careful motorist will pay attention to his vehicle and all others on the road. To ensure both your safety and that of others, there are certain laws that all drivers should follow. 

Those who strictly adhere to these guidelines are the only ones who will be issued a license to drive. It’s illegal to drive without a valid license, and hence you should have a valid driver’s license.   

What happens when you get caught driving without a license?

Will you go to jail for driving without a license? This is a common doubt. The severity of penalties for driving without a license varies based on the following situations: 

  • Driving even if you have never obtained a license or with a license that has expired

If you are driving with a license that has expired or have never obtained a license, the severity of punishment will be less, and the crime will be considered a misdemeanor. 

  • Driving with a license that got revoked due to a serious offense or DUI 

When a person drives with a suspended or revoked license, the penalties that he/she has to face will be more severe. The punishments can include jail time, an extension in the license suspension period, and fines. Based on the situation, there will be an increase in jail time, suspension periods, and the fines you must pay. 

  • The location where you are driving 

If you are driving through remote areas or on private roads, the punishment you will have to face will be less than that when you drive through busy public roads. 

  • Driving without carrying the license which you already have 

There can be instances when you already have a valid license but forgot to take it while driving. In this case, you will be given a warning or ticket and usually a chance to produce your license later. But not all states follow this procedure. In certain states, failure to produce a license is considered equal to not having a valid license. If you fall into such a situation, to avoid a criminal charge, you are obliged to produce a license to the court.   

Also read: Driving with a Permit in the US: Is It Illegal? 

Does driving without a license have any effect on car insurance?

If you have auto insurance and you are driving without a license, you should be aware that there are chances that there can be an increase in car insurance premiums. In such instances, your car insurance providers will raise your insurance rates. Also, most insurance companies will not be ready to offer insurance to illegal drivers.  

How does a driver’s license get revoked?

Your driver’s license can get revoked due to various reasons. Some of these are: 

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol 
  • Multiple violations of traffic rules 
  • Causing accidents and not having insurance to cover the damage 
Also read: Buying a Car without a License?

How much is a ticket if you drive without a license?

You will get a ticket when you get caught driving without a license. The penalty amount you will be charged varies from state to state. You will be charged a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $5000 based on the type of offense. In certain states like Illinois and Indiana, the rates can go as high as $10000 or $25000.  

In addition to these fines, there will be other charges like vehicle impoundment, court, and lawyer fees. 

Find out: Can I get car insurance without a license?‘ 

Is driving without a license a felony?

Most states consider the first offense a misdemeanor. But with an increase in the number of offenses, you are more likely to be charged with a felony.  

For example, in Missouri, the first offense is considered as a Class D misdemeanor with a fine that can go up to a maximum of $500 with a maximum jail time of 1 year. Here, the second offense is considered a Class A felony with a maximum fine of $2,000 and jail time for between 6 months and 1 year. 

Hence it is the state a person is in and the number of offenses that he/she makes which decides whether he/she should be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. 

Bottom line

Without a license, there is always a chance that you will get charged with a traffic violation and get a ticket. If you forget to carry your driving license, be honest and polite with the police officer. There are chances that they will find you innocent. The traffic ticket lawyer will guide you on how you should handle the situation. After reading this article, you now know the consequences of driving without a license. So, you should not be the one who gets pulled over by the cops for a traffic violation.  

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