Many individuals are unaware that driving a motor vehicle without a license in Maryland is an arrestable traffic offense. This accusation is also significantly more severe than simply failing to provide your driver's license. In other words, driving without a valid driver's license is a far more serious infraction than leaving your license at home.
The consequences and punishment for this offense can be serious. For this reason, be sure to read this text to the end. In it, you will find all the possible penalties for those who drive a vehicle without a legal Maryland driver's license.
Driving without a license is against Maryland's vehicle law statute 16-101. This law prohibits anybody from even attempting to operate a motor vehicle unless they obtain a valid Maryland driver's license. Even in cases where an individual doesn't have a criminal record, it is still a jailable offense.
If someone does not have a physical license but possesses a valid driver's license issued by the state of Maryland, the charges are different and often less severe.
Below are the potential penalties that people who drive without a license can face.
A person who has been awarded a license but refuses or fails to show it to a uniformed police officer who requests it can be guilty of a traffic offense and fined $50.
A first offense could result in the following criminal penalties:
A second offense could result in:
If drivers are guilty of additional crimes or face a third offense, their penalties and costs will escalate.
Operating a motorcycle without a legal Class M license could result in a fine, suspension of your driver's license or driving privileges, the addition of points to your driving record, and the towing of your motorcycle.
By law in Maryland, every person driving on the road, including teenagers, must have a driver's license. Otherwise, they will have to face penalties.
Non-resident drivers having legal driver's licenses from their native state or country, subject to Maryland age requirements, can operate vehicles in the state without a Maryland license.
When acting on official business, U.S. officers, members of the United States Congress, and military members are also excluded.
Furthermore, under specific conditions, operators of agricultural tractors and road machinery may drive a vehicle without a license.
Driving without a license is a criminal misdemeanor in Maryland, not a felony.
Aside from the criminal penalties for driving without a license, there are also significant administrative penalties that can seriously harm a driver's driving record.
Administrative consequences for driving without a license or on a revoked driver's license may include the below MVA points:
Driving with a suspended license can result in a $1,000 fine, jail time (up to 1 year), and an individual's license being fully revoked. Driving while a person's license is revoked carries the same jail time and fines, as well as making it even more difficult to get their license reinstated.
Driving while suspended or revoked is usually punished by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. A second offense is punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to two years in prison. Driving while suspended results in a 12-point penalty on the driver's record.
If the suspension resulted from an alcohol-related accident, such as a DUI, the court might also impound the driver's car for up to 180 days.
Drivers who have had their licenses suspended for unpaid child support or traffic tickets face a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail. A second violation can result in up to a year in prison and a $500 fine.
As you could see from our article, driving without a license is punishable, and you can face serious penalties. In order to avoid them, we advise you to always keep in mind that it is necessary to have a legal and valid license in Maryland.
1. What happens if you get caught driving without a license in Maryland?
Driving without a license is punishable by a $500 fine and a maximum penalty of 60 days in prison. If you were guilty of this, you need an experienced lawyer to help you (a Maryland traffic defense lawyer could give you a free initial consultation).
2. Is driving without a license a felony in Maryland?
No, driving without a license is not a felony in MD.
3. Is driving without a license a misdemeanor in Maryland?
Yes, driving without a license is considered a misdemeanor in the state of Maryland.
4. Can you be arrested for driving without a license in Maryland?
Yes, you can.
5. Can you go to jail for driving without a license?
Yes, you can get jail time if you drive without a license in MD.