Driving without a license is a punishable offense in all 50 states. In Georgia, it is a misdemeanor crime. You can receive a “driving without a license” charge for either not having a driver’s license at all or letting your license expire.
Driving is legally considered to be a privilege one must apply to have. Therefore, having a driver’s license means following all responsibilities and rules that come with driving on local roads. If someone is found to be driving without a license, they will face consequences in every state, including Georgia.
The repercussions for driving without a license vary depending on location and the situation surrounding the offense.
Common Driving Without a License Violations
There are a few main ways a driver may receive a driving without a license charge. Those include:
- Having an expired license
- Never having applied for a driver’s license at all
- Driving with a license that is temporarily or permanently suspended or revoked
- Not applying for a state-issued license within a certain amount of time
- Failing to provide proof of a driver’s license when driving
Georgia drivers have a legal responsibility to renew their driver’s license with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before it expires. They must also apply for a new license within 30 days if they move from another state to Georgia or establish residency as a non-US citizen.
Military personnel driving military vehicles and farmers driving tractors are exempt from these license requirements, as are non-Georgia residents driving with a valid license from their own state or country.
A driver’s license might be suspended or revoked because of a past crime, such as drunk driving.
Georgia Penalties for Driving Without a License
Driving without a valid license in Georgia is a misdemeanor crime. This includes any driver with an out-of-state license who didn’t apply for a Georgia license within 30 days of moving to the state.
The maximum penalties for driving without a valid license are one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
If the driver has had their license revoked, suspended, or restricted, they can face two days to 12 months in jail, $500-$1000 in fines, and a six-month extended suspension on their license. That’s for a first offense; the penalties increase with subsequent offenses. If you’re convicted of driving without license second or third offense within five years, it’s considered and high and aggravated misdemeanor. After a fourth conviction within five years, it’s a felony.
What if You Have a Valid License But Forget it at Home?
If someone has a valid driver’s license but gets behind the wheel without it, the consequences are typically not as serious—as long as the driver can prove they indeed have a valid license.
The driver who doesn’t possess their license will usually receive a warning or citation for not being able to show it, then they’ll have the chance to produce it in court. The license must have been valid at the time the driver was pulled over. If that is the case, they will just have to pay a maximum fine of $10.
Hit-and-run accidents sometimes result from a driver who has an expired or suspended license—or no license at all. If you were affected by this or any type of personal injury accident, John Foy & Associates can help. Call us today for a FREE consultation at 404-400-4000 or complete the form on this page to get started.