Driving Without a License in Nevada

What does it mean to drive while your license is expired, revoked, suspended or cancelled in Nevada?

What does it mean to “drive without a license” in Nevada?

Driving without a license can refer to three scenarios. You’re stopped for an offense and:

  • You have a license but it’s not in your possession. In other words, you were licensed to drive but lacked proof, an infraction that may be dismissed once you can prove that you possessed a valid license at the time of the incident.   (Note: you may have to pay a fine.)
  • You never applied for a license (or your license expired). Nevada Revised Statutes § 483.230 states that “a person shall not drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this State unless such person has a valid license.” Violators are charged with a misdemeanor typically requiring payment of a fine up to $500.
  • Your license was cancelled, revoked or suspended by the authorities. For first time offenders, this offense is punishable as a misdemeanor with a fine of $500 to $1,000 and a maximum jail time of six months.

Who doesn’t have to have a valid Nevada driver’s license?

Nevada exempts the following persons from having to possess a valid Nevada license:

  • Any person while driving a motor vehicle in the service of the Armed Forces.
  • Any person while driving any road machine, farm tractor or implement of husbandry temporarily operated or moved on a highway.
  • A nonresident who is at least 16 years of age and who has in his or her immediate possession a valid license issued to the person in his or her home state or country may drive a motor vehicle in this State of the type or class the person may operate in that home state or country.
  • Any nonresident who is at least 18 years of age, whose home state or country does not require the licensing of drivers, may drive a motor vehicle for a period of not more than 90 days in any calendar year, if the motor vehicle driven is duly registered in the home state or country of such nonresident.
  • A nonresident on active duty in the Armed Forces who has a valid license issued by the person’s home state and such nonresident’s spouse or dependent child who has a valid license issued by such state.
  • Any person on active duty in the Armed Forces who has a valid license issued in a foreign country by the Armed Forces may drive a motor vehicle for a period of not more than 45 days from the date of his or her return to the United States.

How do you fight the charge?

Fighting a “driving without a license charge” can be difficult.   Once the district attorney or prosecutor alleges that you drove without a valid license, the burden of proof is on you to prove that you did possess a valid driver’s license at the time of your offense. If you don’t have evidence of a license, you lose! Depending on your circumstances, you may benefit from the advice or negotiating skills of an attorney.

Can an undocumented immigrant obtain a driver’s license in Nevada?

An undocumented immigrant can obtain a driver authorization for one-year periods provided the individual can present documents establishing proof of identity, age and residence.



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