Driving Without a License Versus Driving Without a License on Person in Clearwater

It is against the law to drive without a valid driver’s license or drive without your license in your possession in Florida. Both offenses can result in fines and other penalties. 

Driving Without a License in Florida

Florida Statute §322.03 states that a person cannot drive a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license. Reasons for someone not having a valid Florida driver’s license include:

  • They never applied for a driver’s license
  • They failed the tests or did not meet the requirements for a driver’s license
  • The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles  revoked or suspended a person’s driving privileges
  • They did not renew their driver’s license when it expired

A suspended or revoked driver’s license might result from a DUI accident, excessive speeding, or other traffic violations. 

Driving without a valid driver’s license is a second-degree misdemeanor. Convictions may be punished by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. 

Will I Be Arrested if I Forget My Driver’s License?

Driving without a driver’s license on your person is a lesser charge than driving without a valid driver’s license. This traffic offense generally does not result in an arrest if you have a valid driver’s license. You can receive a traffic ticket, but it is a “correctable” traffic offense.

Before the time of your hearing or court appearance, you can present a valid driver’s license to the Clerk of Court. The driver’s license must have been valid when you received the traffic ticket. If so, the Clerk of Court may assess a $5 fee and dismiss your case according to §322.03(6) of the Florida Statutes. 

What Happens if You Cause a Car Accident and Do Not Have a Driver’s License?

The police officer responding to the car accident will request your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. If you do not have your driver’s license, the police officer may issue you a traffic ticket. The resolution of the traffic offense depends on whether you have a valid driver’s license or you merely do not have your license with you.

Failing to have a driver’s license on your person should not impact your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance claim. Under Florida law, all drivers must have no-fault insurance. You can file a claim with your PIP carrier regardless of who caused the accident. You can receive reimbursement for up to 80 percent of your medical bills. 

If you sustain serious injuries, you could pursue a claim against the at-fault driver. Damages could include lost wages, medical bills, pain & suffering, and out-of-pocket costs. You should discuss your claim with a car accident lawyer during a free consultation.

However, driving under suspension, with a revoked license, or without a valid driver’s license could negatively impact your insurance claim. Your PIP insurance company could deny your claim. If the other driver was at fault, the insurance company might investigate the cause of the accident more aggressively if you have a history of negligent driving behaviors. 

What Happens if the Driver Who Caused My Car Accident Did Not Have a Valid Driver’s License?

It does not affect your right to pursue damage against an at-fault driver for serious injuries if the driver did not have a valid driver’s license. You may still pursue insurance claims and file a personal injury lawsuit.

However, many people who do not have a valid driver’s license do not have liability car insurance coverage. Additionally, they may not have sufficient assets to pay a personal judgment if you sued them and received an award for damages.

If the at-fault driver does not have insurance coverage, you might recover compensation for damages by filing a claim with your insurance company. Uninsured motorist insurance (UMI) coverage compensates you for damages caused by an uninsured driver. 

If you have UMI coverage, you could receive compensation for your:

  • Past and future medical expenses 
  • Past and future lost wages and benefits
  • Decreases in future earning potential
  • Pain and suffering caused by emotional distress, physical injuries, and mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Permanent impairments, disfigurement, and disability
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Ongoing personal care and long-term nursing care

The amount you receive for your economic and non-economic damages depends on the facts of the case, the severity of your injuries, and the limits of your insurance policy. You must prove that the uninsured driver caused the accident to receive compensation. 

Contact the Pinellas County Car Accident Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help

For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg car accident law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in Pinellas County, and its surrounding areas:

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
United States
727-796-8282

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,
United States
727-344-4242