An estimated 11 million Americans currently have a suspended license. Unpaid tickets, DWIs, and multiple traffic citations can lead to situations where drivers have their licenses revoked.

The penalty for driving with a suspended license varies from state to state, but there are several common consequences to the infraction. Read on to learn what can happen if you get behind the wheel with a suspended driver’s license.


One of the most common penalties for driving with a suspended license is a hefty fine. The fine amount varies from state to state.

In Alabama, fines for first-time offenders range from $100 to $500. Fines in Iowa range from $250 to $1,500 for first offenses. Many states couple other penalties like jail time with fines, especially for repeat offenders.

Revoked License

Although the terms suspended and revoked are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a significant difference. Suspensions are temporary. Being pulled over for wreckless endangerment may land you with a six-month suspension, for example.

Revoking means that your driving privileges have been terminated. If you have a suspended license and choose to drive, state authorities may revoke your license altogether.

Reinstating your driver’s license can be a lengthy and complicated process. If you are worried about having your license revoked, click here to connect with a qualified traffic ticket attorney.

Increased Insurance Rates

Fines and license revocation aren’t the only woes you may have to worry about if you drive without a valid license. Your insurance company may take notice if you are charged with the offense of driving without a valid license. Rate increases of 25 to 30% are not uncommon.

You can try changing providers, but that driving history will likely follow you.

Being Arrested 

Many states include mandatory jail time for this offense. First-time offenders may get away with no jail time or minimal time in jail, but multiple offenders can face mandatory minimums. In Kentucky, third-time offenders face a minimum of one year in jail.

Community Service 

Depending on which state you live in, community service may be required to regain the use of a valid driver’s license. Community service requirements range from a few dozen hours to 60 or more.

Other Penalties

Beyond the penalties listed in this article, violators of driver’s license laws may have their car impounded. Retrieving your vehicle from a car impound requires paying steep fees.

Several states will seize or destroy your license plate. This makes it all but impossible for violators to access their vehicles.

Cops can impound license plates. Cops return impounded plates once you complete certain steps.

Learn More About the Penalty for Driving with a Suspended License

No matter where you live, driving with a suspended license is a serious offense. License laws should be taken seriously. Each subsequent violation can result in a significantly harsher sentence.

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