Legal Guides

What Happens If You Drive Without A License And Get Into An Accident?

| December 11, 2021

Driving has long been thought of as a rite of passage when a teen goes through their transition to the adult world. Once a driver gets his license, they not only have the freedom but also gain independence.

However, along with the freedom and independence that comes with having a license comes great responsibility. As the often-quoted line from Spider-Man – “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Driving, of course, is not a right but a privilege. If you are not careful enough and follow the rules, your right to drive can be denied and taken away by the states.

However, to drive a motor vehicle, you need a license. But what happens if you drive without a license and get into an accident? – Well, it will be seen as an illegal act, and you might have to pay a fine.

Who Drives Without A License?

Who Drives Without A License

Every day millions of Americans drive cars without a valid driving license. Now the big question is:

  • Who are these unlicensed drivers?
  • What happens if you drive without a license and get into an accident?

The answer to these questions might vary depending on which state and country you live in.

Unlicensed drivers include those who have never taken any driving test or individuals who had their licenses revoked or canceled due to a gamut of possible causes.

The possible causes can be:

  • DUI conviction.
  • Failure to maintain adequate vehicle paperwork.
  • Accumulation of too many road violations.
  • Conviction of a certain criminal offense.

In addition, some people make a bad decision to drive a vehicle without having a license because:

  • They are teenagers.
  • Older adults.
  • License revoked due to medical condition.

Dangers Of Unlicensed Drivers

Dangers Of Unlicensed Drivers

Why do unlicensed drivers pose a safety threat in public?

The most obvious reason is that unlicensed people are unlicensed for a reason. Their license has been revoked or canceled due to their negligence towards road safety.

– So, exactly just how much do these unlicensed drivers pose a threat?

– Sadly, the answer is immeasurable.

According to a report made by AAA Foundation, nearly one in five (18.2%) fatal car accidents involved unlicensed or invalidly licensed drivers.

Unlicensed Driver Liability LAW

Unlicensed Driver Liability LAW

According to federal law, the status of the license doesn’t affect the determination of the fault. As such, if a car accident happens between a licensed and unlicensed driver, it will be handled just like any other car accident. That means the liability of the fault lies to the person who is responsible for the accident.

For instance, if an unlicensed driver is at fault and is insecure, they are liable to pay the cost of the damage from their pocket. However, the problem here is that most of the unlicensed drivers cannot cover the damages. In such cases, you can only hope to secure the cost of damages from your own insurance company.

Hiring a personal injury attorney after a car crash with an unlicensed driver can help you assess your potential option to recover damage compensation.

Steps To Take After An Accident With An Unlicensed Driver

Steps To Take After An Accident With An Unlicensed Driver

While getting into a car accident can be a devastating and frightening experience, you must take strategic action immediately to stand at an advantage point in your lawsuit, especially when the driver is unlicensed.

Step1: Call The Police

Involving the cops will ensure that you get an official document on the accident. The police report will serve as crucial evidence in your case.

Step 2: Seek Medical Attention

Car accidents can result in many long-term injuries. Even if you think that you are not injured, ensure that you visit a doctor, just in case. In addition, the medical record is important evidence that further revamp your case.

Step 3: Take Pictures

Once you have secured the accident place, take a picture of the accident scene, including the damages that have been done to your car.

Step 4: Take Contact Details

Now that you have called for the police and taken photos, instead of waiting for the police to come, collect the contact details of the other driver. If their license is revoked or expired, you can go ahead and note down the license number.

Step 5: Finally, Call Your Lawyer!

Once everything is taken care of, call your lawyer and explain everything that has happened. Your lawyer can help you claim compensation.

What Happens If You Drive Without A License And Get Into An Accident?

No matter which corner of the world you live in, you need a driver’s license. If the person chooses to drive a vehicle without a license or license that has been revoked might fall into serious trouble.

Driving without a license or invalid license can be seen by the law enforcement officer as a criminal, non-criminal, or misdemeanor crime, depending on its severity.

Getting into a car without a valid license will get you a ticket from the officers. However, not having a license will not affect how a car accident is handled.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. Can I Go To Jail For Not having My License?

A person driving without a valid license can be charged with a misdemeanor. Not having a license means you either don’t have a license or were unable to renew it for some reason. If the person is caught driving with an invalid license, they might be charged a maximum of $500 or a jail time of upto six months.

However, if you are driving a commercial vehicle with an invalid license, the fine can reach upto $5000. It can get even worse if you are charged with a DWI.

Q2. Will Insurance Cover An Unlicensed Driver?

Well, it totally depends on the facts surrounding the driver. Insurance companies need a valid license to offer insurance coverage. In fact, some of the insurance companies have exclusion of the non-coverage if the driver is driving with a suspended license.

However, if the car was borrowed, the insurance will typically follow the vehicle. That means if a person with a valid driver’s license was driving the car and met with an accident with an unlicensed driver, the car’s insurance company will cover all damages.

Q3. What Happens If You Go Beyond The Permitted Area?

What happens if you drive without a license and get into an accident beyond the permitted area? 

If that were to happen, your insurance company might decline to cover the damages. Meanwhile, even if the driver has his own insurance, it might not be covered either. This is because, once they are out of their permitted area, the insurance stops working.

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Sandip Sah is a content writer and a content editor for &, who has set sail to venture all the writing industry secrets. His passion for technology and ambition to express his thoughts through words has been the driving force in his journey. He is also a valuable guest blogger for sites like TheLegalGuide, SmartBusinessDaily, TopPrefference, and EmblemWealth. Sandip specializes in writing warm, humorous, engaging, and SEO-friendly content.


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