Driving without a valid driver's license is against the law in Georgia, as in every other state in the US.
Driving with an expired driver's license is a violation of Code Ann. 68B-201 (a) (OCGA 40-5-20 (a)). The Official Code of Georgia (OCGA) makes such a violation a misdemeanor. Since misdemeanors may be punished by a fine as high as $1,000 (Code Ann. 27-2506 (OCGA 17-10-3)), the fine for driving with an expired driver's license could run this high. However from what we have read regarding the normal fines for this type of offense, they usually run under $100. It will differ according to the jurisdiction in which the citation was given.
Getting your license renewed before your court date may help you. You can call the court to see if getting your expired driver's license renewed will allow you to dismiss the ticket completely. Sometimes this is possible, but it may also depend upon how long your licensed had been expired for.
In GA to renew a driver's license that has been expired more than two years, you must pass a knowledge exam consisting of a road signs test and a road rules test, an actual driving test and a vision test, if applicable. Additional testing will be required to obtain a Class M, B, or A license.
To read about the law requiring a driver's license to be renewed see below:
40-5-32. Expiration and renewal of licenses; reexamination required
(a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, every driver's license shall expire on the licensee's birthday in the fifth year following the issuance of such license. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any commercial license that contains an H or X endorsement as defined in subsection (c) of Code Section 40-5-150 shall expire on the date of expiration of the licensee's security threat assessment conducted by the Transportation Security Administration of the United States Department of Homeland Security. An applicant for a Class A, B, C, or M noncommercial driver's license who is under age 60 shall at the applicant's option apply for a license which shall expire on the licensee's birthday in the fifth or tenth year following the issuance of such license. Every such license shall be renewed on or before its expiration upon application, payment of the required fee, and, if applicable, satisfactory completion of the examination required or authorized by subsection (c) of this Code section.
40-5-20. License required; surrender of prior licenses; local licenses prohibited
(a) No person, except those expressly exempted in this chapter, shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has a valid driver's license under this chapter for the type or class of vehicle being driven.
If you have an expired Georgia driver's license it is not worth the risk of being stopped and ticketed for driving without a valid license and receiving a fine. Contact the GA Department of Driver Services (DDS) to find out what steps you will need to take to renew your license.