What happens when you Drive without a License?

Driving with a license is nothing short of honor in the United States, where one cannot easily get a driving license. You have to pass driving tests, get your vision tested, submit all documents which show that you are clear in your records and eligible for the license, and you have to pay high fees as well to get your driving license. However, after all these exercises people do take risks and engage themselves in misdemeanors that cost them their driving licenses. If you have been caught behaving badly after forgetting your driving license or for any other reason while driving, this may cause you serious penalties and can even lead to termination of your driving license.

What Penalties you can get for Driving without a Driving License?


Failing in providing the license when demanded by an officer can cost you different penalties. If you get caught driving without a license, the penalty will be up to $50 in most of the states, but the actual fine varies from state to state depending why you have been stopped in the first place. Penalty charges are of two types: willful violations and correctable offenses.

Willful Violations

Penalties for the violations such as driving with a canceled or suspended license can be serious and could result in arrest or heavy penalties. If you willfully came on the road with a revoked license, then keep in mind that states usually suspend a driver’s license for DUI offenses and a misdemeanor with the traffic rules. Thus, willful violations can land you in trouble.

Correctable Offenses

When you simply forget to take your driving license along will lead to “fix-it-ticket”.  If you are caught again for the same offense, you must show proof that you’ve fixed the violated law in order to dismiss the traffic infraction by the court. Failure to present the evidence will often lead to penalties or fines.

What are the Consequences of Driving without a License?

Normally, driving without a license does not cost you as much as it would when you drive with a revoked or suspended license. You will be warned and expected to get a ticket for a simple traffic violation not for a misdemeanor if you have a valid license that you simply forgot to keep in your pocket. But you must show your valid license to the court to get your ticket dismissed, however, you might have to go through a small fine as well.

Is it a serious offense to drive without a license?

In most states, your first offense is a misdemeanor, not a violation of traffic laws, but if you have been caught for the same offense multiple times, you may land on a felony territory. If you get caught multiple times for neglecting traffic laws and driving without a license, then it will be considered as Class B Misdemeanor and possibly lead to imprisonment of 180 days or more.

The exact penalties differ depending on the states, but mainly following penalties will apply with little variations:

First Offense:  Imprisonment of at least 60 days or a fine of $500, referred as 2nd Degree Misdemeanor.

Second Offense: Imprisonment of at least 1 whole year or a fine of $1,000, referred as 1st Degree/Class B Misdemeanor.

Subsequent Offense: Imprisonment of at least 5 years, or a fine of $5,000, referred as a 3rd Degree felony with an immediate vehicle impoundment.

Is it possible to get car insurance without a driving license?

It can be tough to get insurance without a driving license. Although, it is necessary for a car holder to have a car insurance policy.  If you have a suspended license or does not have a license, you still need insurance for your car for multiple reasons:

  • Most of the insurance companies do not give insurance coverage to an underage driver. If you have someone who is under the age of 18 in your family, then you must take an auto insurance policy for them to drive the car safely.
  • If you are no longer able to drive your car because of any injury or unavailability in the home town, then a caregiver or a personal driver will be driving your car on your behalf. In these scenarios, you may need your car to be safe and insured.

It is your responsibility to tell your insurance company about your suspended or revoked license. It is also mentioned in almost every insurance policy that you must inform your insurer about the license suspension in the period of 30 to 60 days.

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