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.
Generally, every person who operates a motor vehicle on a Connecticut highway must possess and be able to display a valid driver's license.
License not in possession. 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.
Driving without a valid license. Driving without a valid license is a traffic infraction and carries a $75 to $90 fine. Subsequent offenses are misdemeanors and carry a $250 to $300 fine, 90-day license suspension, and possibly up to 30 days in jail. Violators under the age of 18 years old will also be precluded from obtaining a license for one year.
Exceptions. 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. Connecticut law also permits undocumented immigrants to obtain a valid driver's license. Non-resident drivers should consult with a licensed attorney regarding specific exemption requirements prior to driving.
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.
Non-DUI/OUI. 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.
DUI-related. Driving-while-suspended carries increased penalties if the suspension was related to a DUI/OUI offense. Convicted persons will be sentenced to:
Driving outside of age restrictions, driving while suspended for failure to pay fine, and other similar violations will have similar penalties.