It is illegal to drive a vehicle on a street or highway without a valid driver's license. The right to drive an automobile on public roads is a privilege and not a right. The right to operate a motor vehicle is granted by the state, and its use depends upon the motorist complying with the conditions prescribed in granting the license.
Driving with a valid driver's license is more than just a minor traffic violation; it is a serious criminal offense and the penalties can be severe. In many states driving without a valid driver's license will result in a misdemeanor charge. For example, in New York the charge is considered a misdemeanor that can result in fines of up to $500 and imprisonment of up to 30 days. In other states, including Illinois, your license and ability to apply for a license can be revoked for driving without a license.
In addition, moving to a new state and failing to apply for a license in that state could result in a violation of driving without a valid driver's license. The timeframe allowed to apply for a new license varies by state, but after a reasonable amount of time your old license from your previous state of residence can be considered void.
If you have been charged with driving without a valid driver's license it is a good idea to contact an experienced attorney. An attorney can provide you with good legal advice and advise you on how to proceed in order to best protect your legal rights.
Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.