Published On: Sun, Sep 22nd, 2019

Can You Drive Without a License on You in California?

Driving without a license in California can carry a number of possible charges, depending on why you don’t have your license. If you’re pulled over and charged for driving without a license, you may want to consult a traffic ticket attorney to find out what your options are for fighting the charge.

California Law

According to California law, all California drivers (with very few exceptions) must drive with a valid driver’s license. If you are found violating this law, you could be criminally prosecuted, which would result in a conviction on your record. In order to prosecute you under California Vehicle Code Section 12500 VC, a prosecutor must be able to prove that you drove on a highway without holding a valid California driver’s license and you were not legally excused from holding a valid driver’s license while driving. According to California Vehicle Code 12501, only three groups of people are not required to hold a driver’s license while driving:

  1. Anyone operating or driving implements of husbandry (vehicles designed solely for agricultural use) incidentally moved over or operated on a highway, with some exceptions
  2. An employee or officer of the United States who is operating a United States vehicle while on business for the United States
  3. Anyone operating an off-highway motor vehicle (defined in Section 38012) while driving said vehicle in according with Section 28035

If you don’t fit into any of the above categories, you could be charged with an infraction, fines or jail time if you’re caught driving without a license. Some of these penalties may dismissed if you know how to fight them. Consulting with a Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney is a wise choice if you’re unfamiliar with California law and want to defend yourself against charges of driving without a license.

Driving With a Suspended License

Driving with a suspended license is a more serious offense than driving without a license and carries a potential punishment of jail time and fines. Your traffic attorney can help you understand your legal defenses if you’re caught driving with a suspended license.

About the Author