Driving Without a License in Arizona

What does it mean to drive while your license is expired, revoked, suspended or cancelled?

What does it mean to “drive without a license” in Arizona?

Driving without a license can refer to three scenarios. You’re stopped for an offense and:

  • You have a license but it’s not in your possession. In other words, you were licensed to drive but lacked proof, an infraction in Arizona that may be dismissed once you can prove that you possessed a valid license at the time of the incident. (Note: you may have to pay a fine.)
  • You never applied for a license (or your license expired). The law requiring a valid license in Arizona is located at Arizona Revised Statutes  § 28-3151. It states, “Unless exempt pursuant to this chapter, a person shall not drive a motor vehicle or vehicle combination on a highway without a valid driver license and proper endorsement as prescribed by this chapter.”; or
  • Your license was cancelled, revoked or suspended by the authorities. The driver is guilty of a class 1 or Class 2 misdemeanor, with the possibility of jail time. A Class 1 Misdemeanor in the state of Arizona carries a maximum penalty of a $2,500 fine and 6 months in jail. You may be charged witha felony (under A.R.S. § 28-1383) if arrested for a DUI while driving on a suspended license and the suspension were for DUI.

How do you fight the charge?

Fighting a “driving without a license charge” can be difficult.  Once the district attorney or prosecutor alleges that you drove without a valid license, the burden of proof is on you to prove that you did possess a valid driver’s license at the time of your offense. If you don’t evidence of a license, you lose! Depending on your circumstances, you may benefit from the advice or negotiating skills of an attorney.

Can an undocumented immigrant obtain a driver’s license in Arizona?

An undocumented immigrant is not permitted to obtain a driver's license in Arizona.

How do you fight the charge?

Fighting a “driving without a license charge” can be difficult.  That’s because once the district attorney or prosecutor alleges that you drove without a valid license, the burden of proof is on you to prove that you did possess a valid driver’s license at the time of your offense. 

 

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