You must have a motor vehicle license in Georgia, which should be with you whenever you are behind the wheel. The penalties for driving without a license and driving without a license on your person vary, depending on several factors.

An Atlanta car accident lawyer at Rafi Law Firm can help you understand your responsibilities as a driver in Georgia and assist you if you have been involved in an accident with an unlicensed driver.

driving without a license

What are Georgia’s laws regarding driver’s licenses?

Georgia law requires all drivers in the state to have a valid driver’s license. Any resident of Georgia for 30 days must obtain a driver’s license through the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). Driving without acquiring a driver’s license carries specific penalties.

The law also requires every driver in Georgia to have their license in their immediate possession while operating a motor vehicle. If a driver is pulled over by law enforcement, they must present their driver’s license upon request. Refusing to comply with such a demand allows an officer to presume the driver is unlicensed and charge them with a crime.

Why might a driver in Georgia drive without a license?

Common reasons drivers do not present a license upon request by law enforcement officers include the following:

  • They have never obtained one.
  • They need to carry it on their person.
  • Their license has expired.
  • Their license has been suspended or revoked.

What are the penalties for driving without a license in Georgia?

Regardless of the reason, there are penalties for driving without a license in Georgia. These penalties vary based on the individual’s number of prior violations. Below is a general overview of Georgia’s penalties for driving without a license:

  • First offense: Misdemeanor charge, punishable by a fine between $500 and $1,000, two days to one year of  imprisonment, and license suspension
  • Second and third offenses within five years: High and aggravated misdemeanor charge, punishable by a fine of $1,000 to $2,500, ten days to one year of imprisonment, and license suspension
  • Fourth and subsequent offenses within five years: Felony charge, punishable by a fine of $2,500 to $5,000, one year to five years imprisonment, and license suspension

Convictions for driving without a license will also go on the driver’s criminal record, and their fingerprints will be sent to the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) for future reference. Habitual violators in Georgia may have their licenses revoked. Once a driver’s license is revoked, specific steps are required to obtain a new license at the end of the revocation period.

Can you be penalized for driving without a license on your person in Georgia?

Because it is the law to carry your license on your person while driving in Georgia, you can technically be penalized for failing to comply. Violators can be fined up to $10 if they present their driver’s license in court, showing it was valid at the time of their arrest. While driving without a license on your person is less serious than driving without a license, it is still considered a crime and carries a misdemeanor charge until it is cleared up in court.

Why are drivers without a license in Atlanta a risk?

Drivers in Atlanta who operate their vehicles without a license are often considered dangerous drivers. They have frequently individuals who have lost their licenses for driving under the influence or excessive driving violations. In some cases, an unlicensed driver may flee the scene of an accident if they are trying to avoid criminal charges, which makes establishing liability in a personal injury claim difficult.

A driver without a license also risks not having motor vehicle insurance, which makes it difficult for victims to obtain compensation for the damages they suffer in a car accident.

If a driver has hit you without a license, you have options for financial recovery even if they have fled the scene. We can help you claim uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage with your insurance company. Consult with us before you state any insurance adjuster.

What should you do in an accident with an unlicensed driver?

If you are in a car accident caused by an unlicensed driver, you should call the police immediately and consult a car accident attorney in Atlanta. At Rafi Law Firm, we can protect your rights, hold the liable party accountable, and negotiate favorable compensation with the insurance company.

Call us today at (404) 800-9933 for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you after your motor vehicle accident.

If you have been injured by another party and need representation by a legal team that will fight hard for you, call Rafi Law Firm today for a free consultation at 404-800-9933.