What Are the Penalties for Driving Without a License?

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In most states, the penalties for driving without a license include a misdemeanor charge punishable with community service, fines ranging from $100 to $5,000 or possibly serving jail time, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The severity of the charge depends highly on the circumstances surrounding the offense.

The penalties for driving without a license vary widely from state to state. All 50 states, however, consider it a more serious offense than a moving violation, as stated by FindLaw. The site also explains that many states differentiate driving violations between driving unlicensed or failing to present a proof of a valid driver's license. Driving unlicensed includes a nonexistent, revoked or suspended license and falls under willful violations, while simply forgetting to carry a license may be considered as a correctable offense.