Law enforcement officers issue traffic violation tickets in the State of Virginia for a number of reasons that include driving without a license. The citations typically display the code number of the violation, discuss how, when and where to pay the fine. Failure to pay the fine or appear in court results in an arrest warrant and the possibility of having the license revoked.
Driving Without a License in Virginia
Driving without a license, or Virginia Code § 46.2-300, applies to people who have been driving without a license because:
- The individual failed to apply for a license.
- Someone may not have passed some or all of the required tests needed to obtain a driver’s license.
- A person may never have had a license.
Virginia legislation states that no one may legally operate a motor vehicle on any roadway unless that individual has obtained a valid license. A valid license requires that an individual applies for the license, passes the written and driving tests, and passes the visual exam.
Driving in the Commonwealth of Virginia without a license is considered a criminal offense that is categorized as either a Class 1 or a Class 2 misdemeanor. The severity of the fines or other penalties issued depend on whether the individual is cited for a first or subsequent offense. In any instance, the court may elect to suspend a driver’s privilege to drive for a period of 90 days. A conviction also stays on the public criminal record of the individual for life.
Class 2 Offense
In the case of a Class 2 offense, a first time conviction may result in up to six months in jail and a possible $1,000 fine. A subsequent offense is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor violation and may result in a jail term of up to 12 months and up to $2,500 in fines.
There are instances when an individual or a vehicle may be exempted from having to have a valid driver’s license. These situations include:
- Employees engaged in road maintenance or road construction while under the supervision of the Department of Transportation.
- A non-resident who possesses a driver’s license from another state
- An individual who recently moved to the state and possesses a valid driver’s license from that state
- Someone driving backhoes, tractors or other farm vehicles
- Someone driving any type of vehicle for agricultural purposes
Someone having a valid driver’s license from another state and operating harvesting equipment
An individual operating vessels commonly used by commercial fishermen
Individuals having a valid international driver’s license are legally allowed to drive in the country for a pre-determined amount of time before requirements include getting a valid State of Virginia license. New residents must make themselves aware of the statutes of acquiring a driver’s license when a current license expires or becomes invalid.
Receiving a traffic citation for driving without a license does not necessarily require that that person must appear in court if the individual pays the fine. Tickets are payable to the General District Court. Juveniles must submit payment to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Offenders have the option of paying the fine by mail, in person or online. In order to pay a fine by mail or in person, individuals need merely find the address of the court in the county in which the violation occurred.
How we can help you
If you are charged with driving without a license in Virginia, hiring an experienced traffic defense attorney can save you time and money.
Have You Been Charged With A Traffic Violation In Virginia, Maryland or Washington D.C.?
If you've been charged with a traffic violation you need to speak with an experienced traffic defense lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Vienna, Virgnia office directly at 703.991.7978 or our Rockville, Maryland office at 301.637.5392 to schedule your case consultation.