Non-Valid Driver’s License
To operate a vehicle, you would need to have a driver’s license that is valid and up to date. When a license is not valid it means that your license is no longer active due to expiring or their driving privileges are put on hold. It is illegal to operate a vehicle without or license or having an expired license. If you are pulled over and are discovered to have been driving without a license, you can penalized and criminally charged.
Driving with an expired license
In Florida, your driver’s license is valid for 8 years. The earliest you can renew your license is 18 months before it expires. To renew your license, the fee is $48. After your license expires, you have 12 months to apply for renewal. If you are caught driving with an expired license you can either be fined or face jail time. Depending on how long it has been since your license has expired, you can be fined between $30 – $500.
Penalties for driving without a valid license
Whether your license has been suspended, revoked or expired, the penalties are the same. The only difference is that an expired license may have a smaller fine depending on how long it’s been since the expiration. If it’s been past six months since the expiration date, then the penalties will be similar to those of a suspended or revoked license. For a first-time conviction, you can be charged for a second-degree misdemeanor. You can be charged a fine of up to $500 and a maximum jail sentence for 60 days. For a second conviction you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. The fine increases to up to $1,000 and the maximum jail sentence is one year.
Once you are convicted for the third time of driving with a suspended license then it becomes a third-degree felony. The maximum fine is $5,000 and the maximum prison sentence is five years. After three convictions you will be labeled as a habitual traffic offender. This can lead to your license being revoked for up to up to five years.
No valid driver’s license VS. suspended license
A suspended license and an invalid license are two separate offenses. If your license is invalid that means that your license has expired and you failed to renew it. When you are convicted of driving without a valid license, there is no evidence of proof that the driver knew their license is suspended. If your license is suspended then there is the element of proof of knowledge.
There are multiple reasons why a license may no longer be valid. If you rack up enough points on your license, then it could lead to suspension. After being convicted three times for driving without a license then your license will be revoked. DUI offenses can also lead to you losing your license. If you have an approved hardship license, you may have to prove that your reason for operating a vehicle is valid under the stipulations of the license.
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, this is how many points are needed for your license to be suspended.
12 points within 12 months – 30-day suspension
18 points within 18 months – 90-day suspension
24 points within 36 months –1-year suspension
If you have been caught driving without a valid license, don’t hesitate to contact Smith & Eulo, we are here ready to serve you 24/7. We also have offices in Jacksonville, Tampa, Ocala, Kissimmee, Lakeland and Daytona Beach.