What Happens If You Drive Without a License on You?

March 15, 2018

It’s never a good idea to hop behind the wheel of a car without your driver’s license on you. But sometimes we can be forgetful and end up misplacing a wallet or accidentally leaving it behind while running out for a quick errand.

In a stroke of bad luck, that one time you forget your license at home is probably also the one time that you end up getting pulled over by the police.

The officer pulling you over will always ask for your driver’s license and proof of insurance, and it can be a heart sinking feeling to reach for your wallet or into your purse and realize that it isn’t on you.

Unfortunately, absentmindedness won’t get you out of being cited for the infraction of not having it in your possession.

This infraction will be in addition to whatever the officer stopped you for in the first place, whether that was running a red light or excessive speeding.

The good news, however, is that in most cases the infraction for driving without a license will be dismissed in court, should you bring the license with you and demonstrate that it was valid at the time of being issued a ticket.

The potentially greater problem is the fact that the officer stopping you may not be able to identify you in order to issue the original citation due to the lack of a driver’s license.

In these instances, it is always best to fully cooperate with the police. The officer can usually run the license plate to get information on the registered owner, and compare that to the name, address, date of birth, and physical descriptors present in the Department of Motor Vehicle description.

Even if you legitimately forgot your license and offer truthful information to the officer about your name, address, and so forth, the officer still may have no way of knowing that you are telling the truth. Depending on the city or county, an officer may only be left with the option of arresting you and bringing you into the local jail to be booked, photographed, and fingerprinted.

The vehicle would also be subsequently towed and impounded, and now a simple slip of the mind has mounted into a whole new set of problems.

If, on the other hand, you have no license whatsoever and are operating a motor vehicle, then that is a much more serious offense and will result in the charge of a misdemeanor. First time offenders can expect a fine, along with other possible fees, including a surcharge of $100 per year for three years in order to obtain a license, along with possible other restrictions imposed on the driver. Driving without a license is different from driving with a revoked or suspended license, which is a much more serious offense with more penalties.

Ultimately, the fines and consequences associated with driving without a license is largely up to the judge presiding over the case.

If you’ve had a run in with the law and were driving without a license, then you may need the help of an experienced attorney like those at Fears Nachawati. Our team handles all manner of automobile cases, ranging from auto accidents, drunk driving, and much more. It’s important to ensure that the law is working for you, which is why you need an experienced team on your side.

For your free, no obligation legal consultation, please call Fears Nachawati at (866) 705-7584 or visit one of the offices located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.

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