In the state of Texas, getting caught driving without a license is a serious offense under Section 521.025 of the Texas Transportation Code. This law stipulates that every motorist must have a valid driver’s license while operating a motor vehicle.
To obtain a Texas driver’s license, an individual must first pass a written exam that covers road rules, traffic signs, and driving safety. Following this, a driving skills test must be successfully completed under the supervision of an examiner.
The application process also requires providing:
Any Texas resident who plans to operate a motor vehicle must have a valid driver’s license. This includes both adult drivers and teenagers under the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program. Non-residents who have moved to Texas have 90 days to convert their out-of-state license to a Texas driver’s license. Ignoring this requirement and driving without a license can lead to severe penalties, as stipulated in Section 521.025 of the Tex. Trans. Code.
Driving without a license can range from an administrative offense to a Class A misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances and number of violations within a 12-month period. For a first offense, the maximum fine is $200. In cases where an unlicensed driver causes an accident resulting in injury or death, the maximum fine increases to $4,000, and they may face up to one year of imprisonment.
The penalties for violation vary depending on the circumstances.
Texas has the authority to either suspend or revoke a driver’s license through a variety of legal or administrative procedures, as detailed in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (TDPS) Driver License Enforcement Actions. Some examples of suspension or revocation actions include:
In Texas, not everyone is eligible for a driver’s license. Certain circumstances or violations may lead to the denial of a driver license application. Here are a few notable instances:
It’s important to understand these guidelines to avoid any complications when applying for a driver license in Texas.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an unlicensed driver, do not hesitate to reach out to Thompson Law. Our team of experienced legal professionals is dedicated to supporting you through this challenging time.
Understanding your rights and the complexities of legal proceedings can be overwhelming, particularly when dealing with the aftermath of an accident. That’s why we provide FREE CONSULTATIONS to help you navigate your situation and explore your legal options. Contact us today and let us guide you towards the justice you deserve.
Yes. In Texas, the law distinguishes two primary offenses concerning unlicensed driving:
If you have a valid Texas driver’s license but happen to leave it at home, you may still face penalties under Texas traffic laws. Legally, you are required to have your driver’s license in your possession while operating a motor vehicle.
If stopped by law enforcement and you cannot produce a driver’s license, you can be cited for “Driving Without a License on Person,” which is a Class C misdemeanor and usually comes with a fine. However, if you can later provide proof to the court that you had a valid license at the time of the stop, the judge has the discretion to dismiss the charge after you pay a $10 administrative fee.
If your license expired and you forgot to renew it, it is still considered illegal to drive without a valid license in Texas. The penalties for this offense are the same as those listed above. However, if you renew your expired license and provide proof to the court, there may be leniency and the charges could be reduced or even dismissed.
If you find yourself in any of the following situations, be aware of the penalties involved:
If you are an unlicensed driver in a car accident but are not at-fault, the situation can be complex. Even though you didn’t cause the accident, driving without a valid license is still illegal in Texas. In such a case, the fault may be assigned to the other driver for the accident, but you can still face the legal consequences of driving without a license (as detailed above).
It is also worth noting that your insurance company may deny your claim for damages to your vehicle due to your violation of the law by driving without a license. These complications illustrate why it is crucial to always maintain a valid driver’s license when operating a vehicle.
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State law limits the time you have to file a claim after an auto accident. If you have been injured in an accident, call now to get the help you need.