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
- You never
applied for a license (or your license expired). W. Va Code §17B-2-1 states that, "No
person … may drive any motor vehicle upon a street or highway in this state or
upon any subdivision street used by the public generally unless the person has
a valid driver's license." Violation is a misdemeanor.
license was cancelled, revoked or suspended by the authorities. For first and
second-time offenders, this offense is punishable by a fine of between $100 and
Va Code §17B-4-3.)
Who doesn’t have to have a valid West Virginia driver’s license?
West Virginia exempts the following persons from having to
possess a valid West Virginia license:
- Any person operating a motor vehicle in the
armed services of the United States in the performance of official duties.
- A nonresident who is at least 16 years old and
has a valid driver's license from another state or country (limited to 90 days
in a calendar year).
- A nonresident who is attending a West Virginia
college or university and has a valid license from another state.
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 West Virginia?
An undocumented immigrant is not permitted to obtain a driver's
license in West Virginia.