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

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

Nevada prohibits driving without a license, whether suspended, revoked, canceled, or never issued. This article explains how these violations are defined, the possible penalties of a violation, and who is exempt from the normal licensing requirements.

Driving Without a License

Generally, every person who operates a motor vehicle on a Nevada highway must possess and be able to display a valid driver’s license.

License not in possession. Licensed drivers who do not have a license in their immediate possession (or who refuse to display a license to a requesting officer) can be cited for a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, and possible community service (in lieu of any part of the sentence). However, a person can’t be convicted of the offense if he or she had a license that was valid at the time of the citation and can produce evidence of such in court or at the police station.

Driving without a valid license. Unlicensed driving is a misdemeanor. A Nevada misdemeanor conviction can result in up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. The court can order community service in lieu of any part of the sentence. The court will also require the driver to either obtain a driver’s license or notice of disqualification from the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles.

Exceptions. Non-resident drivers (including stationed military) with valid driver’s licenses from their home state or country can drive in the state without a Nevada license, as long as not in violation of Nevada’s age restrictions. Farmers driving tractors, military personnel driving military vehicles, and road workers driving road machinery are also exempt.

Driving While Suspended or Revoked

A person who operates a vehicle during a license suspension, revocation, or cancellation will be subject to jail time, fines, and extended driver’s license sanctions.

Driving while suspended, revoked, or canceled is a misdemeanor. A conviction will result in a fine of up to $1,000, a maximum six months jail, or both. The court can order community service in lieu of any part of the sentence.

Drivers who were suspended due to a DWI (driving while intoxicated) will be sentenced to a minimum 30 days in jail and a minimum $500 fine. No part of the minimum sentence may be waived, plead down, suspended, or dismissed.

License penalties. Additionally, all persons convicted of driving on a suspended, revoked, or canceled license will face additional driver’s license sanctions. If the driver’s license was suspended, the license will be suspended for an additional like period of time. If the driver’s license was revoked, the license will be revoked for an additional year. And if the driver’s license was canceled, the driver will be ineligible to apply for a license for six months (12 months for second and subsequent offenses). Finally, any suspended or revoked driver who possessed a restricted license will have the restricted license revoked and the driver’s license revoked for an additional year.

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