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What To Do If You Get Pulled Over Without A License

If you get pulled over without a license, but you have valid license that just isn’t on you, then the officer may write you summons for No License. There will be a court date that you’ll be required to attend. If you do not have a valid license or your license is suspended when you are pulled over, the officer could cite you for Driving Under Suspension. Whatever you do, do not just go to court and plead guilty to this. The conviction will result in a one-year suspension of your license. You need to hire a lawyer to work a deal with the prosecutor to try to avoid a conviction. It will be worth it in the long-term.

Pulled over without a license is explanined.

If you are ready to learn what to do if you get pulled over without a license, grab your computer and settle down, and let’s get started!

Scenarios For Getting Pulled Over Driving Without A License

When you get pulled over without a license, if it is a first offense it’s likely it will be a misdemeanor. However, if this is your second offense or beyond, it can be a felony charge. Read on to learn specifics.

You Forgot Your License By Accident

This is the best-case scenario for getting pulled over without a license on you, as there will probably be at least once in your lifetime you forget your license. That is just part of human nature, and you will not be severely punished for it, though in most cases, it is an arrestable offense. For this reason, make sure you cooperate with the police officer to have the best chance of moving on quickly. 

When you get pulled over, and you find you have forgotten your license be completely honest with the officer who pulled you over. Tell them you have forgotten your license, but you do own a valid driver’s license in your name. You will probably be asked for personally-identifying information such as full name, address, and date of birth. If you are asked anything else, always give honest answers to the officer. 

Typically you will be issued a minor traffic citation for forgetting your driver’s license. If you show up at the courthouse within a certain period of time with your driver’s license, you can typically get the citation dismissed. This makes it a minor offense, but staying calm and honest will be your most considerable help here. 

If you have a valid license, you could avoid the possibility of getting a License Required charge by downloading the app from your state’s DMV that has your license on it. These days, people may leave their house without their license, but they probably won’t leave without their phone. These apps can be very beneficial and end up saving you a criminal charge.

PRO TIP: Wanna know what to do if you’re pulled over with a gun? Read on that subject here!

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Driving Without a License or Suspended License

You Are Willfully Driving Without A Driver’s License

This is typically the most severe violation you can perform when driving without a driver’s license. This offense means you are fully aware you are breaking the law, and you are doing it anyways. Typically, a driving under suspension charge comes from you having a suspended or revoked license, and while you may want to drive, you are not allowed to under any circumstance in most states.

You must deal with the reasons why your license was suspended or revoked before you get behind the wheel again. If you are caught while driving with a non-valid driver’s license, you run the risk of having your driving suspension increased. In some cases, your license can be provoked permanently in the extreme cases of not obeying your suspension. 

Not only that, but driving with a non-valid license is also an arrestable offense, so there is not much you can do in this case. You are driving without a valid license, fully aware of it, so all you can do is be honest and polite to the officer making the arrest and hope your punishment is not too great. 

PRO TIP: If you’re interested in learning about a first DWI in Louisiana, read this post!

Your Vehicle May Be Towed If You Are Driving Without A Driver’s License

This is not the case for every state, though if you live in a state like Louisiana, you will want to make sure you are checking up on the local laws. In some states, though, if you are pulled over without a driver’s license, you could have your vehicle towed and impounded, and you could find yourself in jail. 

This can happen even if you just happened to forget your driver’s license, so it is important you keep that in mind. Most states will not be too harsh if you forget your driver’s license, but other states may arrest you and impound your car, so always try to keep your driver’s license on you whenever you are going out to drive. 

You Are Driving With No License At All

This also tends to be a reasonably extreme offense. If you are caught driving without a license, such as a minor, you can find yourself arrested and typically charged a fine. You will probably receive a misdemeanor on your record, and you usually have your ability to acquire a license revoked for several years at the minimum.

It is an extreme punishment, but it is essential to remember to stay calm and polite and accept the penalty. You chose to drive without a license, and thus the only thing you can do is accept that. 


Getting pulled over without a license is never a fun experience, and depending on why you have no license, the severity of the punishment will differ. If you have to go to court be sure to hire a reputable lawyer to defend your case.

Always try to have your license on you whenever you go driving, and research the laws for your area. You now know what to do if you get pulled over without a license in Louisiana.


Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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