Driving Without a License

Driving Without a License

While driving can be fun, it is also a highly regulated through statutes in the Commonwealth. Driving without a proper license is a criminal offense in Massachusetts.

How I Help

If you have operated a vehicle without being licensed or unknowingly let your license expire and have been charged with this offense, please call my office for a free consultation, and to learn how I can help.

Who can be charged with this offense?

To be guilty of this offense, the individual must operate a motor vehicle on a road which is dedicated to public use, as a highway, private roads under statutory authority, or park road.

Basically this means any operation of a motor vehicle by someone unlicensed, no matter where it takes place in the Commonwealth, can result in a charge of this crime. An owner of a vehicle who allows an unlicensed driver to operate their vehicle can also be held liable under this statute. The government does not have to show that the offender “knowingly” committed this offense.

The simple fact that you cannot produce your license upon being stopped does not give the government sufficient reason to charge you with this offense. Usually the government will look into the Registry of Motor Vehicle records prior to making a charge.

Exceptions to operating a vehicle without a license

There are 7 exceptions to a charge of operating a vehicle without a license:

  1. Those who are licensed in other states and have been given a temporary license in the Commonwealth;
    1. This generally includes students who are attending a school within the Commonwealth and those who are simply passing through from another state.
  2. Person’s with valid Commonwealth learner’s permits;
  3. Person licensed in another state and is accompanying a member of the armed forces who is licensed in Massachusetts;
  4. Members of the armed forces who are on active duty and have a license elsewhere;
  5. Members of the armed forces returning from active duty, who are licensed in a foreign country (must be within 45 days of his/her return);
  6. Non-resident who is licensed in the state where the vehicle is registered (for no more than 30 consecutive days);
    1. If you remain in the Commonwealth for more than 30 days without a Massachusetts license you can be charged under this offense.
  7. Individuals who are licensed in states that will provide reciprocity to Massachusetts’ citizens (not for more than 30 days annually, unless he/she has a valid place of business in Massachusetts and is Massachusetts liability insurance rules are met).

The consequence of operating without a license

There is little defense for unknowingly allowing your license to expire. The offense is criminal in nature and those who choose to operate without a license could face fines of $500 up to $1000 and/or, in some states, potential jai.

The Importance of Fighting This Charge

Being found guilty of unlicensed operation can have a number of negative consequences. Besides the potential of jail and a fine, a guilty finding for this offense can result in a loss of license, insurance surcharge, and points towards becoming a habitual traffic offender with the potential or a long loss of license. If you are cited for this offense, appeal the citation, contact me to learn more about the options that may be taken.

Attorney Paul M. King has helped hundreds of clients fight these charges. If you have been cited or already arraigned for these charges, contact The Law Office of Paul M. King, P.C. for an experienced Middlesex County Operating Without Being Licensed Attorney to fight for your rights and help preserve your drivers license.

How Can I Help?