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Penalty for driving with expired license in Illinois


Question: Illinois expired license: What is the penalty for driving with it in this state?

Answer: In Illinois, drivers can renew their licenses up to one year before a four-year or two-year license expires, or six months before a one-year license expires. If you fail to renew your license then you can be cited by police for driving without a license.

Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) states that it is illegal to drive without a valid driver's license (625 ILCS 5/6-101). You are in violation whether your license is expired or you never had a drivers' license.

If you are convicted of driving on an expired license, the Illinois Secretary of State will suspend your drivers' license per 625 ILCS 5/6-206. The general penalty for violating the licensing laws of Illinois (which is considered a petty offense) is a fine of up to $500. However, if your driver's license is expired and if the period of expiration is greater than one year, it is considered a Class B misdemeanor. A Class B misdemeanor comes with possible penalties of being sentenced to up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $1500.

The police may tow a person's vehicle if the driver did not have a valid license and also did not have proof of insurance. If a car is towed for this reason then the police will release the car only with proof of insurance covering the vehicle and the written consent of the owner. 

If you were ticketed by police for driving with an expired driver's license, check with the IL court listed on your citation to find out about the penalties typically handed out by the court for this offense. You may want to see if getting your license renewed before your court date could help you get your ticket reduced.


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