According to Florida Statutes, Section 322.03(1), driving without a license is a punishable offense. Any individual found violating the rules will incur a jail term and fines depending on the particular circumstances. This law applies to any person who controls a motor vehicle and drives the said vehicles on a public area authorized for driving, such as a road, street, or freeway. If the driver does not have a license from any state authorizing them to drive, they can incur penalties. Here are some added details about the law.
Any Person Driving a Vehicle Should Display a Valid Driver’s License When Asked
Any individual should provide their license when asked. Failure to produce this document in Florida can incur a second-degree misdemeanor charge and penalties such as:
- Not having the license at present can get a driving-without-a-license citation. However, you’re not likely to get a sentence. You must visit the court and display the permit that was valid at the time of the citation. The court clerk will collect a dismissal fee of up to $10 from you and dismiss the ticket. If the charge cannot be dismissed, you’ll get a fine of $30.
- Not having a valid license at the time of the citation can get you a sentence of up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. However, Florida laws permit you to obtain a license and get a dismissal by paying the $25 fee for court assessment. This waiver is only allowed once every 12 months.
Getting into a Car Accident When Driving Without a License
If you’ve been driving without a license in Florida and get involved in a car accident, the situation becomes more complicated. Florida is a No-Fault insurance state, and the law expects that their insurance coverage providers should cover any damages suffered by the people in the accident. However, before providing insurance, companies expect to see a valid driver’s license.
If you don’t have a license, you probably don’t have auto insurance. In that case, you’ll get damages compensated by way of Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. However, if you’re driving someone else’s car, not having a driver’s license will not impact your ability to get compensated. The insurance company covering the vehicle will pay the expenses for repairing the car, and any medical costs you might have.
One of the first things you would want to do is get a license immediately after the crash. You’ll have a better chance at recovering damages from the insurance carrier though they might argue that you were driving without a valid license.
Getting into a Car Accident When Driving on a Suspended License
Driving While License is Suspended (DWLS) is a serious crime, and getting into an accident can get you arrested. In case of an accident, police officers at the scene will run your license through their records. At this point, when the permit comes up as suspended, you’ll get cited and arrested right away. In case you’re at fault, expect to get a ticket for additional traffic violations.
The first offense earns you a maximum of 60 days’ jail time and a $500 fine. A second offense gets offenders a maximum one-year jail term and $1,000 in penalty. Any further crimes is a felony and incur up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Three violations within a five-year time frame result in a habitual violator charge, license revocation for five years, and added prison terms and fines.
Considering the complications that can arise because of driving without a license, it is advisable to get the necessary permits before getting into the driving seat of a car.