Driving With An Expired License

Driving With An Expired License

What Happens If You Get Into An Accident With An Expired License?

If a driver’s license is expired for more than one year, the offense is considered a Class B misdemeanor that has a $1, fine with a possible jail sentence of up to six months. Under some circumstances, the police can impound a driver’s vehicle if a person is driving with an expired license and without proof of car insurance.

What Happens If You Get Into an Accident With an Expired License?

Driving with an expired, revoked, or suspended license; Not having ever gotten a license; Failure to have your driver’s license on you while driving; Getting a DUI without a license. If you get a DUI without a license, the charges can be elevated to an aggravated DUI charge in some states. An aggravated DUI adds increased penalties.

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Keep these consequences in mind next time you feel like procrastinating that trip to the DMV. When Your License Expires Commonly, moving traffic violations are considered an infraction, which falls somewhere below a misdemeanor on the crime scale. Infractions, including common traffic infractions liked a busted taillight or failure to wear your seat belt, are usually punishable by fines rather than jail time. Along with the fines and other punitive measures that come with driving without a proper license, all states in the U.

That trial includes general driving and traffic law knowledge in addition to road and vision exams. Although the details and costs do vary quite a bit across all 50 states, there are some big-picture commonalities you can expect to find among those consequences. You may also have your vehicle impounded, which is the legal process by which the car is placed into an impoundment or tow lot and held there until it’s reclaimed by the owner, usually at a hefty cost. Over 40 states use this type of points-based demerit system for auto offenses, in which a weighted point value is assigned to various traffic violations.

Your local department of motor vehicles keeps a record of your points, and law enforcement agencies consider those points when doling out penalties for new infractions. As such, the severity of the punishment may relate to how many strikes you’ve accumulated. Punishments to Fit the Infraction At least one thing about rolling without a license should be pretty clear by now: The fines for driving with an expired license and the related discipline isn’t set in stone.

In addition to the points system and the variety of fines that can be found in different state laws, the penalty for driving with an expired license changes based on numerous ancillary factors. As a general rule, the punishment will be lighter for a first offense. On repeated offenses, the punishment will increase in severity. The same goes for exactly how far expired your license is at the time of the offense.

On the spot, it’s often up to the discretion of the officer giving the ticket to determine the fine. If you do have a valid license somewhere but not on your person at the time, you might get cited for a "failure to produce" and get what’s colloquially known as a fix-it ticket, which requires you to provide proof of license when paying your fine.

On the other hand, if your license is way out-of-date, expect the hammer to fall harder, with consequences that may even include jail time. Likewise, if you get charged for driving under the influence and you don’t have a license during that event, the charge can be elevated from a regular DUI to what’s called an aggravated DUI.

The latter comes with a permanent criminal record and possible jail time. But what if you really weren’t guilty? If you’re ticketed for driving with an expired license, but you have the documentation to prove that you had actually renewed your license at the time you were cited for the offense, you may be able to successfully argue your case in traffic court. This little legal victory may reduce your fines, waive the expired license ticket fee or avoid points on your record.

Unfortunately, you may still be liable for any associated impoundment costs — and those aren’t cheap. Serious Consequences for Expired License The consequences for driving with an outdated license don’t always end at the expired-license ticket. In serious cases, such as a repeated offense or a terribly out-of-date driver’s license, the officer may remove you from your vehicle as a way to prevent further continuation of the offense.

When this happens, you’re probably looking at towing and impoundment fees, too. You may save some pennies if you pay in cash. On a smaller scale, there’s always the matter of getting your license back on the legal up-and-up.

In some states, you have a roughly day grace period from the expiration date to renew your expired license without facing any additional fees from the department of motor vehicles. It’s not uncommon to have your license suspended, either. No specific laws for subsequent offenses. License suspension extended by two years or permanent license suspension for subsequent offenses. The Insurance Factor While law enforcement agencies consider the points on your permanent driving record as they scribble out that ticket, insurance companies often use their own bespoke points-based systems or a standard system based on guidelines from the Insurance Services Office to keep track of your vehicular violations.

Not only is it likely that your deductible and monthly payment will go up after the insurance company gets wind of your penalty for driving with an expired license, especially after multiple infractions, but once you hit a certain threshold of points, your insurance company may consider you a high-risk policy holder.

With that status comes an extra surcharge to account for the insurer’s financial risk. Additionally, insurance providers may be able to deny you any coverage at all if you get into an auto accident while driving with an expired license, since you were not legally operating your vehicle. When that happens, it’s up to you to pay for any damages to other vehicles — and that might be a deep financial hole to peer into.

Just bring a book this time. Tips Your driving record and the state you live in ultimately affect the penalties for driving with an expired license, but those penalties usually include ticket fines in the hundreds of dollars and points on your record.


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