Kibbey Wagner, PLLC | August 30, 2022 | Car Accidents
All drivers in Florida must have a valid driver’s license in their possession. If not, they can be charged with one or more offenses. The specific charge depends on whether you forgot your driver’s license or you do not have a driver’s license.
What Does It Mean To Drive Without a License in Florida?
Driving without a license is prohibited under Florida Statute §322.03. Every person must have a valid driver’s license to operate any motor vehicle on a highway. A highway includes any public road.
Therefore, you can be charged in Florida for driving without a license. Reasons why someone would not have a driver’s license include:
- The person did not renew their driver’s license after it expired
- The individual never applied for a driver’s license
- A person failed the driving test or the written test to obtain a driver’s license
The charge for driving without a license under this section is a violation.
However, you can avoid a conviction for the violation if you appear in person and show the clerk of court your valid driver’s license that was in effect on the date you received the traffic ticket. The clerk of court can dismiss the charges for a $5 fee.
The offense is generally referred to as “driving without a license on person.” In other words, you had a valid driver’s license but did not have the license with you. For the charge to be dismissed, you must provide the license to the clerk of court before your hearing date.
However, the charge is different if your driver’s license was suspended or revoked. Reasons someone’s driving privileges could be revoked or suspended include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Driving without the required automobile insurance
- License revoked because of a medical or mental incapacity
- Revocation or suspension of driver’s license for excessive speeding and other traffic violations
Florida Statute §322.34 makes it a moving violation to drive with a suspended or revoked license unless the driver is designated as a habitual traffic offender. Depending on the circumstances, the person may also be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense under the same statute. A conviction for driving without a license could result in fines and/or jail time.
What Happens if I Am in a Car Accident Without a Valid Driver’s License?
Police officers request specific documentation at the accident scene. For example, they will want to see your driver’s license, insurance information, and vehicle registration. If you do not have a driver’s license on your person, the police officer checks to see if you have a valid license.
The officer could charge you with driving without a license on your person if you have a valid driver’s license but do not have it with you. Otherwise, the police officer could charge you with a criminal offense if your license was suspended or revoked.
You can file a no-fault insurance claim if you have PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance. PIP insurance reimburses you for up to 80% of the covered medical bills and up to 60% of your lost wages. However, driving on a suspended or revoked license could cause your PIP provider to deny your claim.
Driving without a driver’s license could also affect a claim against the at-fault driver. Florida insurance laws allow you to sue the at-fault driver for damages if you sustain serious injuries. However, you must prove the driver caused the accident.
Suppose you do not have a driver’s license. In that case, the insurance company may investigate the cause of the accident more aggressively, especially if you have a history of driving infractions or accidents. The insurance company may try to blame you for the accident to decrease your compensation under Florida’s comparative fault laws.
What Damages Can I Receive for an Accident Without a Driver License?
You might be able to receive PIP benefits, so some of your medical bills and lost wages would be covered. However, PIP does not compensate you for all losses.
If the other driver caused the car crash, you might receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Damages you could receive include:
- Reimbursement for medical bills and expenses
- Reimbursement for loss of income
- Pain and suffering because of physical injuries, emotional distress, and mental anguish
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Diminished earning potential
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- In-home and long-term nursing care
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Personal care and household services
- Rehabilitation, occupational, and physical therapy
The first step in recovering compensation for a car accident is proving negligence by the other driver. A car accident lawyer investigates the cause of the crash to gather evidence proving causation, fault, and liability.
Contact the Car Accident Law Firm of Kibbey Wagner, PLLC in South Florida For Help Today
For more information, please contact the Stuart, Port St. Lucie, or Palm Beach Gardens car accident law firm of Kibbey Wagner, PLLC, at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We proudly serve Martin County, St. Lucie County, Palm Beach County, and its surrounding areas:
Kibbey Wagner, PLLC – Stuart
73 SW Flagler Ave
Stuart, FL 34994
Kibbey Wagner, PLLC – Port St. Lucie
1100 SW St. Lucie West Blvd. Ste 202
Port St Lucie, FL 34986
Kibbey Wagner, PLLC – Palm Beach Gardens
300 Avenue of the Champions Ste 220
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418