Either a passion or a necessity, driving is a privilege that people hold dear. Some will even engage in dangerous conduct such as driving without a license because of their fascination about driving. But this is something you should not do as you would end up getting sanctioned.
Driving without a license is prohibited in all 50 states and the District of Colombia. This is something you should have learned in your drivers education course.
So, it is important that you have your license with you whenever you drive. In fact, when you get your license, you have to treat it as one of the essential items you take with you when you leave your house. To avoid misplacing or losing it, put it in the wallet or pouch that you always carry with you.
Penalties of Driving Without a License in the United States
Driving a motor vehicle without your license, regardless of the reason, is illegal. However, the penalties for this dangerous act vary per state. The circumstances also can affect the punishment.
Basically, the penalties may include traffic citation, fines, vehicle impoundment and incarceration.
There is this notion that not having your license when you are driving means jailtime. This is not entirely true as you won’t get imprisoned if your record is clear. But if you are a habitual offender, you might get jail time of up to five years.
What if you simply forgot your license? In most cases, ‘failing to produce’ is an infraction that can be fixed if you show proof of license. It may also merit a fine which may range from $50 (Oklahoma or Wisconsin) to nearly $1,000 or more (Illinois, Utah and Maine, to name a few).
Again, aside from the state, the amount varies depending on the offense (driving with a suspended or revoked license) and the number of acquired offenses.
How about if you never had a driving license? If it was your first offense, it is going to be considered a misdemeanor and may include fines. The same goes for driving with an expired license – a very common offense because most people tend to forget to check their license’s validity date.
It is different though if you were caught with a revoked license. The length of the license suspension might be extended to two months or two years, depending on the number of acquired offenses. This can also result in the confiscation of your license or the impoundment of your vehicle.
Repeatedly driving without a license can lead to felony charges which usually result in jail time. As a habitual offender, you may also be required to do community service. Lastly, the charge stays on your permanent driving record.
Driving Without a License – Never an Option
As a responsible citizen and driver, you should never drive without having your license with you. Regardless of where you are in the US – be it in California, Georgia or New York, this act is considered a crime with serious consequences.
So, make sure that you always have your driver’s license with you before getting behind the wheel. In case you do not have one yet, apply for a driver’s license if you already meet the minimum driving age.
If you are still underage, please do not drive no matter how curious or excited you are to try it. Driving is a serious task – one that can potentially injure or kill someone when it’s not done properly.
The best thing you can do if you are underage is to study and prepare for your driver’s license application. You can start by learning about the rules of the road and other driving techniques by enrolling in a drivers ed online course.
Meanwhile, if you already have a license, take note of the validity date. As mentioned earlier, most people do not pay attention to this information which is why they end up driving with an expired license.
Lastly, if your license has been revoked, wait for it to be reinstated. Don’t attempt to drive as this can prolong the suspension and lead to hefty fines.
To summarize, driving without a license bears legal consequences. So, don’t risk it if you don’t want to pay fines, have a permanent record or go to jail.
Want to prepare for your driver’s license application? Or applying already and need to complete a drivers education course? Enroll in our sought-after drivers ed online course! Visit our website or call us at (877) 786-5969 to learn more about our courses.