Driving Without a License in Connecticut
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 Connecticut?
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 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 Connecticut is located at Connecticut General Statutes § 14-36. It states, “no person shall operate a motor vehicle on any public highway of this state or private road on which a speed limit has been until such person has obtained a motor vehicle operator's license.” The penalty is typically charged as a Class B traffic infraction and penalties range from $15 to $100 (and you must also get a valid license). Subsequent offenses may result in jail time.
- Your license was cancelled, revoked or suspended by the authorities. This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor. For a first offense, you may be fined between $150 and $200 and jailed for a maximum of 90 days. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-215(b).) For subsequent offenses, you may be fined between $200 and $600 and jailed for a maximum of one year. (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-215(b).)
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 Connecticut?
Commencing January 2, 2015, undocumented aliens can obtain a “DRIVE ONLY” driver’s license in Connecticut.