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How Colorado handles drivers who don’t have licenses

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | Serious Traffic Tickets

Driving is not a basic right that every adult in Colorado has. Instead, the ability to lawfully operate a motor vehicle is a privilege for which someone requires a license. Colorado requires training and testing before someone can obtain a driver’s license.

Individual motorists also need to carry insurance on their vehicles and abide by state traffic laws. Those who violate traffic rules can get pulled over and ticketed. In some cases, police officers may arrest those who have not complied with all traffic statutes. The penalties for traffic offenses can include the loss of driving privileges. One common and relatively serious traffic infraction involves driving when someone does not have a current license.

Driving without a license is a serious traffic violation

Licensing rules exist to promote public safety. Those who drive without a license may put others at risk through ignorance or bad driving habits. There are multiple categories of unlicensed driving that have different levels of severity after a traffic stop. Driving without a license means that someone never applied for or received a Colorado driver’s license. Someone pulled over for driving without a license will face a Class A traffic infraction and may have to pay up to $100 in fines. If someone drives after the state’s revoked or suspended their license, they would face charges of driving under restraint, which can lead to up to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines.

Those who had a license and lost it for any reason could face arrest and prosecution if they get pulled over while driving while under restraint. If they lost their license for an intoxication-related offense, getting stopped could lead to jail time and a longer suspension of their license. In some cases, the person accused made a minor mistake, possibly by leaving their driver’s license at home. While that is still technically a violation of state law, the state might drop the charges against them if they take appropriate actions. Other times, someone may have not known that their license recently expired.

There are many scenarios in which someone could unintentionally drive without an active license and could potentially defend against the charges they face afterward. Seeking legal guidance and properly responding to allegations of serious traffic infractions may help people to preserve their driving privileges after a traffic stop.