Driving Without A Valid License
Last updated on
In Illinois, you must have a valid license or permit to drive a car. You can be stopped for driving without a license if your license has been expired for over a year, you were never issued a license or permit, or you were not eligible for a license or permit due to your age. Driving without a license can be charged as a Class B misdemeanor, which is a criminal charge.
This offense is different than driving on a suspended or revoked license. A person driving on a suspended or revoked license has had their driving privileges taken away from them by the Secretary of State. Driving without a valid license means you had the right to drive, but did not have a valid license given to you by the Secretary of State.
For this offense, you can face penalties of up to 180 days in jail or a maximum fine of $1,500. These are not the only consequences you will face if you receive a conviction for this offense. The Secretary of State will suspend your license, even if you have never had one. Basically, if you receive a conviction for driving without a license, the Secretary of State will not allow you to get a license for at least 2 months. The second conviction suspends your license for 4 months. The third suspends you for 6 months. The fourth suspends you for 1 year. If you receive a fifth conviction your license will be revoked. This means you will no longer be allowed the opportunity to go and get a license.
It is advisable to consult an attorney who can review your driving record and help you get a valid license before you attend court, because this can help your case. Most judges will not hear your case until you have hired legal representation.
If I don’t have a license, how can it be suspended?
The Secretary of State takes your right to get a license away from you when you receive a conviction for this offense. Basically, your right to drive has been suspended or taken away for a period of time.
Can I get a license and drive if I receive court supervision?
Yes, court supervision is not a conviction. Therefore, you can go to a Secretary of State facility and apply for a driver’s license.
Should I get a license before I go to court?
Yes, this helps your attorney show that you want to comply with the law and that you will not commit this offense again.
What if my parents were in the car with me, but I don’t have a permit?
In order to drive in Illinois, you must be issued a permit or a license. You must have a driver’s permit, even if your parents have a license and they are in the car with you.