It is illegal in every state to drive without a valid license, but most states have different rules for driving without a valid license, driving your vehicle without proof of your license, or failing to have your driver’s license in your possession when you are pulled over. While it is frowned upon to not have your license in your possession, you probably will not be arrested just for failing to grab your wallet before heading out the door. However, knowing that your license is invalid and getting behind the wheel is a much more serious offense.

Types of Driver’s License Violations

Some of the most common driver’s license violations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Failure to apply for your driver’s license after a change of address within the time allowed. In most cases, if you have a change of address, you must update your driver’s license within 30 days of the date of your move.
  • Driving with a license that is expired.
  • Driving with a license that is temporarily suspended.
  • Driving with a license that has been revoked.
  • Failure to show proof of your valid license when driving. This means that you have a license, but you have failed to have it in your possession. This charge will likely be dismissed once you prove that you possessed a license.

Penalties for Driving Without a Valid License

The penalties for driving without a valid license can vary greatly depending on the severity of the offense. When a police officer asks you to produce your license, the charges typically fall into one of the following two categories – willful violations and correctable offenses.

A correctable offense is when you simply forget to have your driver’s license in your possession while driving. This often leads to a ticket that will be dismissed once you prove that you had a valid license at the time the citation was issued. Failure to provide proof will typically lead to further fines or penalties.

Willful violations are much more serious and include tickets for driving while your license is revoked or suspended. Licenses are often suspended for driving under the influence and other such charges and the state takes these offenses and penalties very seriously. The penalties for these violations may include fines up to $1,000 and time in jail.

Fighting a Violation

Fighting a violation for driving without a valid driver’s license can be difficult if it was a willful violation. Correctable offenses are much easier to prove, but you will still have the burden of proof to show that your license was valid at the time of the offense. Depending on your situation, you may benefit from having experienced legal representation on your side.

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