Driving Without a License in Louisiana

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 Louisiana?

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). Louisiana Revised Statutes § 32:52 states that "No person shall drive or operate any vehicle upon any highway within this state unless and until he has been issued a license to so do …" Violators may be subject to a fine of up to $500.
  • Your license was cancelled, revoked or suspended by the authorities. According to LRS §32:415 a driver with a Class D (chauffeur) or E license (personal) may be subject to up to a $500 fine and maximum six months in jail. Drivers with Class A, B or C (commercial) licenses may be subject to a $5,000 fine and no more than six months in jail. Repeat offenders are subject to stiffer penalties.

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 Louisiana?

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

 

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