The Consequences of Driving Without a Valid License in Florida
Driving without a valid license in the state of Florida is an offense that happens for a variety of reasons, such as neglecting to renew an expired driver's license or a more severe violation such as purposefully operating a vehicle with a license that has been invalidated due to suspension or revocation for a driving under the influence charge. In addition, other offenses such as a failure to pay child support, can also lead to a suspension of a Florida license.
The minimum fine for being caught driving with an invalid license is $63 and it comes with a penalty of two points on your driving record, but in some cases, if you are stopped by a law enforcement officer in Florida, you may be lucky enough to be given a warning and let go without additional charges. There are a number of tests you may have to take in order to be issued a new license, depending on how long your license was expired at the time, including a written test, a vision test, and even another driving test.
The consequences are significantly more severe for being stopped by an officer while driving without a valid license due to suspension or revocation for driving under the influence, with up to 60 days of jail time and a fine of no less than $500. In addition, your suspension period will reset and start over.
For example, if you have completed six months of a one year suspension, those six months would be disregarded. Also it should be noted that if you are required to serve any jail time your new 1-year suspension period will not begin until you have served your jail sentence.
Furthermore, being stopped for driving with a license suspended for an offense like driving under the influence can also be penalized by vehicle impoundment. The responsibility of covering the fees and charges involved falls on you.
Your insurance rates can also increase if you are caught driving without a valid license. Insurance providers go over your driver record each year to determine what your premiums will be for the coming year. In most cases, insurance companies will increase your insurance rates due to the increase in points on your driving record, the penalty for driving without a valid license in the state of Florida, instead of just for having an expired license.
If you have a valid license, you can still have your license suspended if you do not pay your insurance premiums in a timely manner. The insurance company will contact the DMV, who will suspend your license for failing to maintain the proper insurance coverage. Once your license has been suspended, the DMV will promptly send you a Notice of Suspension letter. In this situation, maintenance of a 3-year Florida SR22 insurance filing with the DMV will be required of you.
If your license is close to its expiration date, the Florida DMV will mail a driver's license renewal notice to licensed drivers around 45 days before that expiration date. However, under this system, persons who have changed their residence since they last renewed their Florida driver's license may experience issues receiving their driver's license renewal notice at their new address and having the opportunity to renew their license in a timely manner.