March 11, 2022 | Car Accidents
In Oklahoma, driving a motor vehicle on a public road is a privilege, not a right. If the police catch you driving without a license in Oklahoma, you could face a range of penalties ranging from a minor fine to significant jail time. Keep your license up-to-date, always carry it on your person while driving, and never ignore a citation for driving without a license.
Different Types of “Driving Without a License” in Oklahoma
You can face various consequences for driving without a license, depending on the situation. Similar penalties apply for operating a motorcycle without a license.
No State Has Ever Issued You a Driver’s License, or You Allowed Your License to Expire
If the police pull you over with an expired driver’s license, or if you have never held a driver’s license, Oklahoma can fine you anywhere from $50 to $300 for a first offense. if you simply let your driver’s license expire and you renew it before your court date, the court might waive your fine. Don’t count on this, though. If you have never been issued a driver’s license, a court can also sentence you to 30 days in jail.
The State Canceled, Suspended, or Revoked Your License Before the Police Pulled You Over
Suppose the police catch you driving on a license that Oklahoma has canceled, suspended, or revoked. In that case, you are in more serious trouble than you would be if you simply allowed your driver’s license to expire without renewing it. The penalties include:
- A fine of between $100 and $500 for your first offense;
- A fine of between $200 and $750 for your second offense; and
- A fine up between $300 and $1,000 for third or further offenses.
The State Canceled, Suspended, or Revoked Your Driver’s License Because of an Alcohol-Related Offense
If the police catch you driving on a license that was suspended, canceled, or revoked because of certain alcohol-related offenses, the penalties are significantly more serious. Penalties can be still more serious if your driving history includes a car accident related to DUI.
Moving to Oklahoma From Out of State
When you first come to Oklahoma from another state, you probably carry that previous state’s driver’s license. You must obtain an Oklahoma driver’s license as soon as you become an Oklahoma resident. You become a resident of Oklahoma by living in Oklahoma continuously for the past 12 months with the intent to remain indefinitely.
Your best bet is to seek an Oklahoma driver’s license as soon as possible after moving into the state. Don’t go by the expiration date on your out-of-state license. Speak to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) if you have any questions about your residency status.
You are a Resident of Another State and Your Home State License is Invalid
Suppose that you’re driving through Oklahoma on an Illinois driver’s license. If that license is invalid for any reason, Oklahoma will treat you the same way it would treat an Oklahoma driver under the same circumstances, except that it has no authority to revoke an Illinois driver’s license.
It is unlikely that you will be able to conceal the invalid status of your driver’s license. Oklahoma will probably discover your invalid status based on interstate information sharing arrangements under the Driver License Compact and similar resources.
Driving Without a License in Your Possession
Suppose that you hold a valid Oklahoma driver’s license, but you forget to bring it with you while driving. If the police pull you over, they will cite you for driving without a license in your possession. The fine can range from $5 to $500, and the court can sentence you to six months in jail.
Fortunately, Oklahoma will probably dismiss your charge if you present a valid license before your court date. Your license must have been valid at the time the police pulled you over. In that case, the state will waive your fine, and you won’t have to go to court. All it will cost you is a trip downtown to present your license.
Don’t Risk It
Do not take the risk of driving without a license in Oklahoma. If the police catch you driving without a valid license, you will need a lawyer. This is especially true if the state suspended, revoked, or canceled your license for certain alcohol-related offenses. You might not need a lawyer if you have a valid license that you simply forgot to bring with you.
Contact the Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyers at McGuire Law Firm Today for Free Consultation
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