Oklahoma law prohibits driving without a valid license—whether the license was suspended, revoked, or never issued. 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 an Oklahoma highway or turnpike must have a valid driver’s license in his or her immediate possession.
License not in possession. A driver who has been issued a license but does not have it in his or her possession can be charged with a misdemeanor. A conviction results in a fine of $5 to $500 and/or up to six months in jail. Drivers who can present a then-valid license prior to the court date will have the charge dismissed.
Driving without a valid license. Unlicensed driving is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $50 to $300.
Exceptions. Subject to Oklahoma age restrictions, a non-resident driver with a valid driver’s license from his or her state or country of legal residence can drive in Oklahoma without an Oklahoma license. Road workers operating certain machinery and military personnel in military vehicles are also exempt from licensing requirements.
A person who operates a vehicle while his or her license is suspended or revoked will face possible jail time, fines, and an extended driver’s license suspension.
Suspended. Driving while suspended is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of $100 to $500, or both. The fine range for a second offense increases to $200 to $750. The fine range for a third or subsequent conviction is $300 to $1,000. The driver’s license suspension or revocation will be extended for three months.
DUI-related. Violators whose license was revoked due to a DUI are guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of $500 to $1,000, or both. A second offense fine ranges from $1,000 to $2,000, and a third or subsequent offense fine ranges from $2,000 to $5,000. The driver’s license will be revoked for an additional four months.
Accident. Persons who cause a traffic accident without a valid license are subject to separate charges and penalties as well as a 12-month license suspension.
Causing an injury accident without a license is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a maximum $2,000 fine. Causing an accident involving great bodily harm without a valid license is a misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in jail and/or up to $3,000 in fines.
Suspended, revoked, or otherwise unlicensed drivers who cause a fatality accident are guilty of a felony. Convicted persons face up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.