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

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.

Driving While Restrained

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:

  • 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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