No Operator’s License
If you are charged with driving without a driver’s license, then you are charged with violating North Carolina General Statute 20-7. The law begins by saying, “To drive a motor vehicle on a highway, a person must be licensed by the Division under this Article or Article 2C of this Chapter to drive the vehicle and must carry the license while driving the vehicle.” The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles issues drivers licenses to residents of this state. Obviously, if you are from another state, and are licensed in that state, you can drive in North Carolina, so long as your North Carolina driving privileges have not been suspended. The law states that you must be licensed to drive the type of vehicle that you are driving, or else you will be considered to be driving without an operator’s license.
If you do have a driver’s license from another state, and you move to North Carolina, you have a duty to change your state of licensure. North Carolina law reads, “Any other new resident of North Carolina who has a drivers license issued by another jurisdiction must obtain a license from the Division within 60 days after becoming a resident.” If you don’t get a new license from the state of North Carolina within about 2 months of moving here, you are technically driving with no operator’s license. If you are a commercial driver, you are supposed to get your CDL in North Carolina within 30 days of moving into the state. Many people fail to do this, because they have so many other things going on with their moving process that their license goes on the back burner.
As you can see, there are several ways to get a charge of operating a vehicle with no operator’s license (NOL). Let’s quickly recap. Obviously, if you do not have a valid drivers license with you when you are driving, you can be charged with NOL. But there are other, less obvious ways. If you drive a type of motor vehicle that you are not licensed to operate, you can face a charge of NOL. For example, if you have a Class C license, but are driving a commercial vehicle that requires a Class B or Class A license, you could be charged with no operator’s license. Another potential way that a person could get this charge is if they move to North Carolina from another state. If you have been a resident of this state for 60 days, you are supposed to get a North Carolina drivers license. Finally, if you drive with an expired license, you are driving NOL. As you can see, a charge of “no operator’s license” can occur in numerous types of ways.
If you are convicted of NOL, what sort of penalties can you expect? In addition to a fine, a conviction for NOL will lead to 3 points on your drivers license. If you accumulate 7 points on your license, you could be required to take a driver education class. Successful completion of the class will result in 3 points being taken off of your license. If 12 or more points are accumulated within 3 years, your license is suspended. If you accumulate 8 points in the 3 years following when your license is reinstated then you will lose your license again. Further, if you are caught driving when your licensed is revoked or suspended, you will be charged with driving while license revoked (DWLR). As you can see, these points can have serious effects if they are allowed to accumulate.
A conviction for NOL can also have an impact on your automobile insurance premiums. Since it is considered a “moving violation,” it is one insurance point, which means that your insurance premiums can go up as much as 30 percent. Hopefully, this will not occur, but there are no guarantees. A further impact of a conviction for NOL is that it will be on your record. This may affect you in the future if you have another charge. When your record is filled with convictions, the Assistant District Attorney may be less willing to work with you on future traffic violations. If, on the other hand, your record is relatively clean, you may end up with less harsh punishment and a greater likelihood that the prosecutor will be willing to negotiate your case.
As you can see, a conviction for NOL can have numerous effects on your life. Don’t treat this like a nuisance that will go away on its own. You either need to answer the charge on your own, or hire an attorney to handle it for you. If you have any questions about your case, please feel free to give us a call. We would be glad to help you with your case.