Can You Drive With An Expired License

Can You Drive With An Expired License?

A driving license allows you to get behind the steering wheel on the road. But, if you think driving with an expired license, you have to think before doing so. 

First, you have to be assured of the question, “can you drive with an expired license?” You can’t get behind the wheel without a valid license; that’s totally illegal. The state needs to ensure you’re still fit to drive and won’t pose any danger on the road. Plus, a valid license also ensures that the info on your driving record is up-to-date with the DMV.

We’ll also cover everything from the process of updating your license to the penalties for riding with an expired one. So, keep reading to learn everything there is to know!

Is It Legal to Drive on an Expired License? 

Driving while in possession of an expired, even a suspended, or revoked license is clearly illegal.  Even though some states may provide you a brief window, typically 30 days, to update your permit without a cost, it’d be best not to push your luck. 

Plus, if you let your license expire for an extended period of time, you will be required to pay a sizable fine or possibly retake the driving test. Also, it’s a big NO to get caught riding a vehicle when your license has expired.

Is It Legal to Drive on an Expired License

Otherwise, you’ll receive a ticket, points on your driving license, a fine, or possibly wind yourself in jail based on your location. So before you get on the road, do yourself a favor by making sure that your license is valid.

What Are the Consequences of Driving With an Expired License? 

If you get caught while riding with an expired license, the consequences will vary based entirely on your home state’s laws. Some of the state’s penalties are shown in the table below. 

Can You Drive With An Expired License
StatePenaltyAdditional Consequences
Alabama$10 to $100 penalties and an extra $50 traffic fineMaximum 180 days in jail, instant car impoundment, and an additional 6 months of suspended license
Arizona6 months in jail maximumRisk of vehicle seizure
CaliforniaFine ranging from $300 to $1,000From 5 days to 6 months in jail
Connecticut$150 to $200 in finesA maximum of 3 months in jail
DelawareA fine of $500 to $1,000From 30 to 6 months in jail, with a maximum 90-day vehicle detention
FloridaFine of $500 at maximum60 days in jail, maximum
GeorgiaFor the initial violation, an extra charge of up to $500 is imposed.From 2 days to 1 year in jail
HawaiiA fine of $1,000, maximumA maximum of 30 days in jail
IdahoA fine of $1,000, maximumFro 2 days to 6 months in jail, Extending the suspension of an active license to 180 days
IllinoisA fine of $2,500, maximumA maximum of 1 year in jail
KansasA minimum of $100 fine A maximum of 5 days in jail
KentuckyA minimum of 90 days in jailCurrent suspension of license extended to 6 months
LouisianaA fine of $500, maximumA maximum of 6 months in jail
MichiganA fine of $500, maximumA maximum of 93 days in jail
MississippiFrom $200 to $500 fineFrom 2 days to 6 months in jail, Current suspension of license extended to 6 months, 
New YorkFrom $200 to $500A maximum of 30 days in jail
NebraskaA one-year suspension of the licenseDisallowed to drive any vehicle for a maximum of 2 years
TexasA fine of $500, maximumA maximum of 180 days in jail
VirginiaA fine of $2,500, maximumA maximum of 1 year in jail; the possibility of 90-day vehicle seizure
WashingtonA fine of $5,000, maximumA maximum of 364 days in jail
Washington, D.C.A fine of $2,500, maximumA maximum of 1 year in jail

You can also check the penalties of other states to stay on the safe side.

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Why Do You Need to Renew Driving Permit?

Well, the main factor is generally medical-related. You normally have to pass several exams when you update your permit in order to prove that you’re still qualified to drive safely.

Why Do You Need to Renew Driving Permit

Mostly, your hearing, blood pressure, and eyesight will be examined. Also, they’ll check to see if you have any disorders such —

  • Diabetes 
  • Arthritis 
  • Dementia 
  • Alzheimer’s 

Mainly, they want to ensure that you’re still in excellent condition before letting you back out on the road.

How to Renew A Car License? 

There are usually three options if you want to renew your driver’s license. Before moving on, it’s often a smart idea to confirm your state’s exact criteria, as these stages may differ based on which state you’re living in.

How to Renew A Car License

1. Online

This can be your first choice. Not all states, but a lot of them, let drivers update their licenses online. 

Having said that, you should only choose this option if you don’t need to change any of the info on the card. Besides, there’s a minor processing fee that varies from state to state.

This can be a helpful and time-saving choice if your state allows online renewals.

2. In-person

The second choice is to renew the license physically. In most states, this is the sole way to update a driving permit. 

It’d be best if you visit your state’s DMV(Department of Motor Vehicles) site. That way, you’ll be able to collect all the required information and paperwork before beginning this process.

How to Renew A Car License

3. Via Mail

Mailing in your license renewal is your third choice. If your state offers this choice, you might need to fulfill specific criteria in order to qualify. 

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It’s a great idea to check out more specific instructions on how this process works on your state’s DMV site for your particular state.

What Happens If You Forgot Driver’s License? 

If you’re unable to present a valid license, it’s considered an infraction. This could result in you being issued a fine as well as a “fix-it” ticket. Thus, you’ll need to provide proof of your license within a certain period.

What Happens If You Forgot Driver’s License

It’s worth recalling that when interacting with a policeman, it’s always favorable to be ready and have a backup form of identification on hand. As a consequence, it’ll turn the situation simple if you hold a state-issued government ID or a passport.

Sometimes, if luck shines on you, the police can show you some tolerance in such sorts of incidents. That’s why it’s needless to say that you better carry a backup ID to handle such scenarios while driving.

If your license has expired, it’s important to understand the legal implications and the potential risks of driving without a valid license. At MotorAdvices, we provide informative articles to help you navigate various driving situations. You may find our article on driving without rocker panels insightful, as it explores the significance of these structural components for vehicle safety and integrity. Additionally, our article on driving without a radiator cap discusses the role of this essential component in maintaining proper cooling system functionality. By exploring these resources, you can gain a better understanding of vehicle safety and make informed decisions while on the road.


Let’s go over some quick but important answers that can help you with your license.

1. Do I need to get a whole new license if I move to another state? 

For a brief while, you can continue to use your existing out-of-state license, but you must get a new one in your new state within a particular period of time. Depending on the state, the exact time range might be anything from 10 to 90 days once you gain residence.

Most of the time, you can simply “transfer” your existing license to the state where you’ll be living instead of passing another driving test.

2. What happens if I fail to make the ticket payments? 

If you don’t clear your ticket or appear in court, a warrant for your arrest will be issued. It’ll cost you extra in fees and fines, and you could end up jailed for a couple of hours or many days. Hence, simply pay the ticket and skip the whole fuss!


So, the simple explanation to the query “can you drive with an expired license?” is an emphatic no.

To avoid drastic consequences like jail time, always renew your license on time and refrain from driving with one that’s expired. 

And if you’re ever confused about the status of your license or the date of its renewal, contact the DMV in your state or a similar authority. So, be careful on the roads and be safe!

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