Driving Without a License in Vermont

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

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

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). Title 23, § 601 of Vermont Statutes states that, “Except as otherwise provided by law, a resident shall not operate a motor vehicle on a highway in Vermont unless he or she holds a valid license issued by the State of Vermont.”
  • Your license was cancelled, revoked or suspended by the authorities. For first time offenders, Vermont law provides that this offense is punishable by a fine of up to $5000. If the suspension is for a DUI or grossly negligent driving, it is a criminal charge and a first offense has a minimum fine of $300 or 40 hours of community service.

Who doesn’t have to have a valid Vermont driver’s license?

Vermont law provides that “a person may operate a farm tractor upon a public highway in going to and from different parts of the farm of the owner of the farm tractor without obtaining a license.”

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 have 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 Vermont?

An undocumented immigrant can obtain an operator’s privilege card or state ID card provided the individual can establish name, date and place of birth. Foreign passports, consular IDs, and various documents proving Vermont residence accepted.


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