Driving Without a Valid (or on a Suspended) License in Connecticut

Read about the penalties for driving without a valid license in Connecticut.

Like all other states, Connecticut prohibits driving without a license. This article explains what constitutes a violation, the possible penalties, and the exemptions to the rule.

Driving Without a License in Connecticut

Generally, every person who operates a motor vehicle on a Connecticut highway must possess and be able to display a valid driver's license. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-36.)

Penalties for Not Having a License in Your Possession in Connecticut

A driver who possessed a valid license but did not have it in his or her immediate possession can be cited for driving without a license.

However, the citation is supposed to be dismissed if the driver provides proof of having a license that was valid at the time of the violation to the court or sheriff.

Penalties for Driving Without a Valid Connecticut License

1st offense. Driving without a valid license is a traffic infraction and carries a $75 to $90 fine for a first offense.

2nd and subsequent offenses. Subsequent offenses are misdemeanors and carry a $250 to $300 fine, 90-day license suspension, and possibly up to 30 days in jail.

Underage violators. Violators under the age of 18 years old will also be precluded from obtaining a license for one year.

Situations Where You Can Drive Without a Connecticut License

Non-resident drivers with valid driver's licenses from their home state or country can drive in the state without a Connecticut license, subject to Connecticut age restrictions. Non-resident drivers should consult with a licensed attorney regarding specific exemption requirements prior to driving.

Undocumented Immigrants Can Obtain a Connecticut License

Connecticut law also permits undocumented immigrants to obtain a valid driver's license.

Driving While Suspended or Restricted in Connecticut

A person who operates a vehicle while on a suspended or restricted license may face jail time, fines, and an extended driver's license suspension. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-215.)

Penalties for Driving With a Suspended License in Connecticut

Driving while suspended is a misdemeanor if the suspension wasn't DUI-related. The convicted person can expect up to three months in jail and a fine of $150 to $200.

A second offense results in a $200 to $600 fine, up to one year in jail, a $500 fee and/or 100 hours community service. A third or subsequent offender faces the same penalties but must serve at least 90 days in jail before release.

Penalties for Driving During an OUI Suspension in Connecticut

Driving while suspended carries increased penalties if the suspension was related to a DUI/OUI offense. Convicted persons will be sentenced to:

  • 1st offense: 30 days to one year in jail, a possible fine of $500 to $1,000, and an additional one-year license suspension,
  • 2nd offense: 120 days to two years in jail, a possible fine of $500 to $1,000, and an additional two-year license suspension, and
  • 3rd offense: one to three years in jail, a $500 to $1,000 fine, and an additional two-year license suspension.

Driving outside of age restrictions, driving while suspended for failure to pay fine, and other similar violations will have similar penalties.

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