What is the worst that can happen if you get caught driving without your license?

How much trouble can you really get in if you don't have a license when driving? I lost my license about five years ago and nothing has happened to me. My friends think I can get in big trouble, but I don't think so. Something would have happened to me by now.

Answer
“How much trouble you can get in will depend on your state’s rules, the police officer’s discretion, and if the status of your driver’s license.
Five years is a long time and your driver’s license may not be valid anymore.
In most cases, if you tell the officer that you forgot your license at home, you will be issued a fix-it ticket. This allows you to appear in court with your driver’s license to prove that you indeed had an active driver’s license when you were stopped. At this point the ticket may be dismissed or reduced.
This is the best-case scenario.
If it is found that your license is invalid, it would be a whole different situation. Depending on your state you can:
  • Get a ticket anywhere from $100 to $2,500
  • Face possible jail time
  • Suspension of your license
  • Forced license plate surrender
It would be in your best interest to get a replacement driver’s license as soon as possible. The police can locate you in their database as long as you know your driver’s license number.
If you tend to lose or forget your driver’s license a lot, consider keeping a picture of it in your phone. A great option is to store a picture of your license in a secure, car-based app like Jerry. Storing a picture in a secure app on your phone could save you money and a headache with the law enforcement in your new home town.”
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Shannon Martin
Answered on Aug 25, 2021
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