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What Are the Penalties for Driving Without a Valid License in Illinois?

 Posted on December 19, 2019 in Traffic Violation

Will County traffic ticket defense attorney

It is an exciting right of passage for minors who are 15 years old to begin their journey to earn a driver’s license. All states require drivers to legally obtain a driver’s license or learner's permit before getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. A license is proof that a motorist completed the necessary coursework and tests for driving. It is also a useful tool for identification purposes. In case a driver is stopped by the police, he or she must show his or her license to the officer. However, if a license becomes invalid, or if a person decides to drive without the required identification, he or she can face misdemeanor punishments for a traffic violation

Why Is a License So Important?

It is an automatic penalty if anyone is pulled over and cannot produce a driver’s license. Even if a driver has a license, but it is not physically on him or her at the time of the traffic stop, he or she can be fined $500. This charge can be taken to court, and the fine can be dropped if the driver provides the license. In addition, drivers who refuse to produce a license at the time of a traffic stop will also be fined $500 and charged with a petty offense.

In the cases where a driver does not possess a valid license, he or she will be arrested and issued a Class A misdemeanor charge, which can possibly lead to:

  • Up to one year in jail

  • A fine of $25 to $2,500

  • License suspension of two months for the first offense

  • License suspension of four months for the second offense

  • License suspension of six months for the third offense

  • License suspension of 12 months for the fourth offense

Motorists can also be barred for life from reinstating their license if they have five or more violations of driving without a license. Illinois also allows out-of-state drivers to drive in the state with their home state licenses. However, those people who move into Illinois must obtain a valid Illinois license within 90 days of their relocation.

How to Obtain a License

Typically, a teenager receives a driver’s permit at the age of 15, which allows him or her to practice driving with a licensed driver in the passenger seat. During this time, the teen will be required to pass vision and written tests as well as enroll in a driver’s education program. He or she will receive hands-on lessons behind the wheel with a government-hired or school instructor. Teens can also practice with their parents or other adults to complete at least 50 hours of drive time.

Once the requirements are completed and a teenager turns 16 years old, he or she can take a driving test and earn a valid Illinois driver’s license. Adults who miss this milestone as a teen can still apply for a license after turning 18 years old. Their process for earning a license includes the following requirements:

  • Completing a six-hour driving course (in person or online)

  • Visiting a Secretary of State Driver Services Facility

  • Providing a state ID card and having a photo taken

  • Paying a required fee

  • Passing a written, vision, and behind-the-wheel exam

Contact a Joliet, IL Traffic Violations Attorney

It is not difficult to obtain a valid Illinois driver’s license if the proper procedures are followed. A license can then protect motorists from various traffic offenses. If you or someone you know is fighting a traffic ticket for driving without a license or for any other traffic violation, a skilled lawyer from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help. We will build a solid defense based on the circumstances of your case to make sure your rights were not violated during your traffic stop. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Will County criminal defense lawyers, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




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