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No Valid Driver’s License

If you’ve never had a driver’s license, then you can be charged with “no valid driver’s license.” Under Florida Statute Section 322.03(1), the crime of “no valid driver’s license” prohibits operating a motor vehicle on a public highway without being licensed by an appropriate governmental authority.

The crime of driving with “No Valid Driver’s License” is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. 

Attorney for No Valid License in Tallahassee

On of the most commonly issued criminal citations for a traffic offense issued in Leon County, FL, is for not having a valid driver’s license under Florida Statute Section 322.03(1). This criminal charge comes with criminal penalties. 

Parents should keep in mind that if a juvenile is cited for driving without a valid license, then the case will be prosecuted a misdemeanor in county court instead of as a delinquent act in juvenile courtState v. Jones, 899 So. 2d 1280 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th Dist. 2005).

Call us to discuss your case at (850) 681-7777. We can help clients resolve any problems with their driving record so that they can obtain a Florida driver’s license. 


Definitions for No Valid Driver’s License

The statutory scheme for driving on a valid license contains several definitions including: 

  • The term “driver’s license” is defined under Section 322.01(17) to mean a certificate that, subject to all other requirements of law, authorizes a person to drive a motor vehicle and denotes an operator’s license as defined in 49 U.S.C. 30301.
  • The term “operator’s license” is defined in 49 U.S.C. 30301 to mean a license issued by a State authorizing an individual to operate a motor vehicle on public streets, roads, or highways.

Crimes under Florida Statute § 322.03

Florida Statute § 322.03 provides for several different types of offenses including: 

  • Unless otherwise authorized by law, Florida Statute .§ 322.03(1), prohibits a person from driving any motor vehicle upon a highway in Florida without a valid driver’s license.
  • Under Florida Statute Section § 322.03(4), when operating a motorcycle, the driver must hold a driver’s license that authorizes such operation. 
  • Other related criminal traffic offenses including operating a motor vehicle on the Florida highways whose driver’s license has been expired for more than four months. § 322.03(5), Fla. Stat.
  • If you are caught driving while your driver’s license has been expired for four months or less, then the officer can issue a civil infraction which is subject to a civil penalty. See § 322.065 and § 318.18.

Different Between “No Valid” and “Driving While License Suspended”

After being charged with “no valid driver’s license,” a second offense can be charged as “driving while license suspended.” If you enter a plea of guilty or no contest to three charges for driving while license suspended (either with or without knowledge) within five years, then your driver’s license can be revoked for five years as a habitual traffic offender.

In some cases, your attorney will fight to get a charge of “driving while license suspended” amended to “no valid driver’s license” so that the person can avoid a habitual traffic offender revocation. Although a conviction for “no valid” will not lead to a habitual traffic offender revocation, it is still a criminal offense that comes with criminal consequences. 

The offense of operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license is not a lesser offense included within the offense of operating a vehicle while the driver’s license is under suspension. Lanier v. State, 226 So. 2d 37 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1st Dist. 1969).


Exemptions to the Driver’s License Requirement in Florida

Florida Statute Section 322.04 provides for several types of individuals who are exempt from obtaining a driver’s license including: 

  • Golf cart operators as defined and permitted by statute;
  • Non-residents at least 18 years of age who have in their immediate possession a valid non-commercial license issued from their home state or country who operate a non-commercial vehicle;
  • Non-residents at least 16 years of age who have in their immediate possession a valid non-commercial driver’s license from their home state or country who operate a vehicle requiring a Class E driver’s license;
  • Operators of tractors, road machines, and farm-related machinery;

Defenses to Crimes for No Valid Driver’s License

Florida law provides for many defenses available to contest a charge of No Valid Driver’s License including:

  • evidence must be suppressed because of an unlawful traffic stop;
  • evidence must be suppressed because of an unlawful or prolonged detention;
  • the person accused actually has a valid driver’s license; and
  • a non-Florida resident had a valid driver’s license from a foreign country. 

Finding a Tallahassee Attorney for “No Valid Driver’s License” 

If you were charged with “No Valid Driver’s License” then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Pumphrey Law. We can begin your defense today. Our attorneys are experienced in fighting criminal traffic offenses including no valid driver’s license, driving while license revoked or suspended, and driving while a habitual traffic offender. 

If you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer who discovers that you do not have a valid license, the officer has the discretion to either arrest you or to issue you a notice to appear in court on the criminal charges.

After a charge for “No Valid Driver’s License” in Tallahassee or Leon County, FL, call a criminal defense attorney at Pumphrey Law. Let us put our experience to work for you. 


This article was last updated on Friday, August 13, 2016.