As in other states, it is unlawful to drive without a license in Alabama. This article explains what constitutes driving without a license and the penalties for a violation.
Generally, every person who operates a motor vehicle on Alabama highways must possess and be able to display a valid driver's license.
License not in possession. Failure to display a valid license upon request of an officer doesn't have to result in a conviction. If the driver is able to produce, in court or at the police station, a driver's license that was valid at the time of the officer's request, the charge is supposed to be dismissed. However, a driver who is convicted faces a fine of up to $100.
Driving without a valid license. A first-time conviction for driving without a license in Alabama is a misdemeanor, which carries a fine of $10 to $100 as well as a $50 traffic fund penalty.
A person who operates a vehicle while on a suspended, restricted, or revoked license will be subject to jail time, fines, and vehicle impoundment.
Fines. Typically, the fine for a driving-while-suspended-or-restricted violation is $100 to $500, as well a $50 traffic fund penalty.
Jail. For a first driving-while-suspended-or-restricted offense, the driver can be subject to a jail sentence of up to 180 days.
Revocation. At the discretion of the Director of Public Safety, the driver's license can also be revoked for an additional six months.
Impoundment. After citing a driver for driving while suspended, the officer is supposed to immediately have the driver's vehicle towed and impounded. The vehicle owner can retrieve the vehicle after all towing costs are paid.
It should be noted that a license is not automatically reinstated once the suspension or restriction period has passed. Generally, a reinstatement fee is required before a driver's license can become valid again.