Obtaining a driver’s license is a right of passage for most Americans. A driver’s license is an essential tool that allows us to commute to and from work. For some people is it an essential tool for work. As important as having a driver’s license is to most people, in Pennsylvania driving is a privilege not a right.
In Pennsylvania you must have a valid driver’s license and have it with you in order to legally drive. If you never had a license, or you fail to have it with you while you are driving, or your license is expired and you didn’t get it renewed, and you are stopped by the police while driving you can face charges. The charge which applies to all of the above is under section 1501 of the Vehicle Code, “Drivers Required to be Licensed”. There is a defense to the charge if you can produce proof that you had a valid license at the time you were stopped, as long as you provide that proof within 15 days of the date you were stopped.
This offense is a summary traffic violation with a mandatory $200 fine for a first offense. If your violation was due to an expired license the fine will be reduced to $25 if your license was not expired for more than one year and you get your license renewed before going to court. If this is a second or subsequent offense within 7 years you will face a fine of between $200 and $1000 OR imprisonment of up to 6 months OR both.