Picture this: You’re driving down the road, heading home from work. You stare down the street and see blue lights flashing ahead.

It’s a checkpoint. Whether it’s a sobriety or border checkpoint doesn’t matter. You struggle to remember your rights at a police roadblock, then realize something terrible: Your driver’s license is invalid.

Whether it’s expired, suspended, revoked, or you never got one in the first place, you don’t have a valid license. And now, the cop’s shining a flashlight in your face asking for your license and registration.

If you don’t produce them, what could happen? Here’s what you need to know.

What Does Not Having a Valid License Mean?

An invalid license can mean any number of things. It could mean that you let your driver’s license expire. It could also mean you’ve had your driving privileges suspended or revoked due to a DUI or traffic violation.

Alternatively, it could mean that you were never issued a license or were caught driving solo on a learner’s permit. Or perhaps you do have a license but don’t have it on you when pressed by the officer.

No matter the circumstances, you don’t want to get caught without a valid license on the road.

What Are the Consequences of Driving Without a Valid License?

The exact consequences for driving without a valid license vary depending on why your license is invalid. Police officers are likelier to let you off with a minor ticket fine between $25 and $250 if you forgot your license, don’t have one, or let yours expire by accident.

They’re less likely to offer leniency if you’re driving with a revoked or suspended license. This action can result in jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, and even felony charges depending on the severity of the violation.

What Should You Do When Pulled Over?

So, when you get pulled over without a valid license on you, what should you do? First and foremost, remain calm and respectful in your behavior with the police officer. You’re already in trouble, so don’t do anything to make it worse for yourself.

Second, make sure you have a traffic attorney you can contact if you get unfairly cited or given an overly harsh sentence. You can learn more about what a traffic attorney can do for you from a specialized attorney’s website.

Let’s Review What to Expect When You Drive Without a Valid License

So, if you drive without a valid license, what does that mean for your future? Well, depending on the severity of the offense, you can expect anything from minor fines to jail time. That’s why ensuring that your license is up-to-date and all traffic offenses have been handled appropriately is essential.

For more information on traffic law and other legal matters, check out the Legal section of our blog for more articles like this one. And remember, drive safe out there!