Don't Drive Without a License in Arizona – Here Are the Consequences

Posted by Impact Legal | Dec 30, 2022

Driving without a license is against the law, and if you get caught, you could suffer the consequences in Arizona. The penalties for driving without a license depend on the driver's circumstances. These four situations will dictate the level of consequences for no license while operating a vehicle:

  1. The driver never had a driver's license
  2. The driver doesn't have their license on them at the time they are pulled over or in an accident
  3. The driver has an expired license
  4. The driver's license has been suspended or revoked 

In this article, we'll discuss these situations and the consequences that apply when someone is cited for driving with no license in the state of Arizona.

If you've been in an accident, regardless of whether you had your license or not, you may still be entitled to financial compensation. To schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation and case review with our car accident lawyers at Impact Legal, call or text (602) 345-1818 or fill out our convenient and confidential online contact form here

Note that while driving with no license may carry criminal penalties, it does not automatically put you on the hook for the liability if you are in an accident. Call us today to find out if you have legal recourse in your car accident case.    

When You've Simply Forgotten Your License

If you are stopped or in a car accident, you will need to show your driver's license to the responding officer. In most cases, when people don't have their license in these situations, they've simply forgotten them at home or some other place. In this scenario, the officer will typically give you a citation for driving without your license resulting in a $120 fine. Generally, when you show up in court with proof of your license, the fine will be dismissed.       

When You've Let Your License Expire

In Arizona, driver's licenses don't expire until the holder is 65 years old. Seniors who have accidentally let their license expire may likely be able to get the court to lower their Class 2 Misdemeanor to a $120 fine. 

When You've Driven with a Suspended or Revoked License

Driving with a suspended or revoked license can lead to serious consequences. When a driver is found driving with a suspended, revoked, or canceled license, ARS 28-3473 outlines the violation and punishment. The penalty for violating this law may be a Class 1 misdemeanor, up to six months jail time, and a maximum fine of $2,500. Further, your suspended license will likely be extended or lead to a complete revocation of your license. 

28-3473. Driving on a suspended, revoked, or canceled license; violation; classification

  1. Except as provided in section 28-3482, a person may not operate a motor vehicle on a public highway if the person's privilege to drive a motor vehicle is suspended, revoked, canceled, or refused or if the person is disqualified from driving.
  2. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.

If your suspended or revoked license was the result of a DUI, your charges will likely be greater.

When You've Never Had a License  

If you're caught driving with no license and you've never obtained a license, you could be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor, pursuant to ARS 28-3151. The punishment for these charges includes a jail sentence of up to four months and/or a maximum fine of $750.

28-3151. Driver license requirement

  1. Unless exempt pursuant to this chapter, a person shall not drive a motor vehicle or vehicle combination on a highway without a valid driver's license and proper endorsement as prescribed by this chapter.
  2. A person who is licensed under this chapter is entitled to exercise the privilege granted by this chapter on highways and is not required to obtain another license to exercise the privilege by a county, municipal or local board or a body with authority to adopt local police regulations.

What If I Get into an Accident While Driving Without a License?

While driving without a license is illegal, if you're in an accident, it won't stop you from filing a claim to pay for damages. The fact that you had no license will be treated as a separate issue. The at-fault party or parties will still be responsible for the damages and injuries the wreck caused. Additionally, driving without a license doesn't automatically put you at fault for the accident, as it is treated as a separate issue. You should consult a car accident lawyer.  

Get a Trusted Lawyer on Your Side

Regardless of whether you were the unlicensed driver or the licensed driver in the accident, the at-fault party will be responsible for damages and injuries caused. Schedule a free consultation with our car accident lawyers at (602) 345-1818 or fill out our online form here. We're standing by to help you get the compensation you need and deserve so that you can recover and get back to your life. 

The information on our blog and website is for general informational purposes only, and it is not intended to serve as legal advice. For legal advice about your unique situation, call or text our car accident lawyers today. 

We are located in Arizona and New Mexico. We serve clients in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria, Maricopa, and the entire state of Arizona. We also serve clients in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Roswell, Farmington, Los Alamos, Las Cruces, and the entire state of New Mexico.

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