Driving Without a License Versus Driving Without a License on Your Person in Albuquerque, NM

If you find yourself behind the wheel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, having a valid driver’s license is non-negotiable. It’s important to understand the distinction between two common offenses: driving without a license and driving without carrying your license on your person while operating a vehicle. 

Driving Without a License on Your Person

New Mexico law clearly states that any individual operating a vehicle should have their license in their possession. Law enforcement officers may request to see this document during traffic stops or at checkpoints.

Not carrying your driver’s license when driving isn’t the same as driving without a valid license – it is considered less serious – but it’s still against the law.  

Penalties for Violating this Law

Violating this rule generally results in a defendant being charged with a misdemeanor and could lead to fines or even up to 90 days in jail. It’s unlikely that you would be sentenced to jail time if you are guilty one time of simply not having your license physically on your person, but it is possible. 

However, if you go to court and can provide proof that you held a valid driver’s license at the time of your stop, these charges are generally dropped.  

Driving While Unlicensed 

Driving while unlicensed is generally treated more severely. This offense refers to instances where you are operating a vehicle without ever having obtained a license in the first place or driving when your current license has been revoked or suspended for some reason.

Difference Between Revocation and Suspension 

Under New Mexico law, both suspension and revocation of driving privileges have serious implications, although they are slightly different.

License Suspension

A suspended driver’s license means your driving privileges are temporarily withdrawn. Under the sanctions imposed by the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), individuals could face various requirements, such as completion of a defensive driving course or payment of outstanding traffic tickets, before their status can be restored. You may be required to retake the driver’s license test in some cases.

License Revocation

In contrast to a suspension, revocation constitutes a complete cancellation of your driving privileges. Once the term of revocation has elapsed, you’re required to completely reapply for and pass all examinations before receiving another license.

Driving With a Suspended License in New Mexico

Driving with a suspended license in New Mexico is considered a serious offense. The reasons leading to suspension are varied, but examples include DUI convictions or having too many points on your license from moving violations.

If you’re caught driving while on a suspended license, you face up to a $1,000 fine and up to 90 days of jail time.

Driving With a Revoked License in New Mexico

Similar to driving on a suspended license, operating a vehicle with a revoked driver’s license is considered a serious offense in New Mexico. Revocation can stem from several reasons, such as DUI convictions and felonies committed with a motor vehicle. 

If caught driving while you have lost your privileges due to revocation, you face up to a $1,000 fine and imprisonment that can last up to 364 days.

Generally, if you’re caught driving after suspensions and revocations, your vehicle can be immobilized as well. Additionally, if your license is suspended or revoked based on driving under the influence convictions, your penalties, including minimum jail time, will be more severe. 

You Can Still File a Personal Injury Lawsuit if You Were Driving Without a License 

If you’ve been injured in an accident while driving without a license, you might wonder about your legal rights. The key point to remember is that being unlicensed doesn’t automatically deem you liable for the accident. If another driver was negligent and that negligence caused your injury, you may still be able to obtain compensation. 

If you have any questions about these laws or need help with a personal injury claim, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney

Contact the New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyers at Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers Today

If you were injured in an accident in Albuquerque, NM, and need legal help, contact our Albuquerque personal injury attorneys at Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review today.

Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers
400 Gold Avenue SW, Suite 650
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 594-3621