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C.G.S. § 14-36 - Operating Without a License

Driving Without a License

Caution Police Strip and Car Behind Dealing with the DMV can be a real headache. If you move to Connecticut from another state, you are required to obtain a Connecticut driver's license within 30 days. If your license expires, you have to renew it in person. Failure to follow these requirements can result in getting a ticket for violation of C.G.S.§ 14-36 driving without a license.

For many undocumented aliens, the process of obtaining a driver's license is an endless journey. There is a great temptation to drive without a license to get to work. Driving without a license, many seem like a trivial matter, but a second conviction can result in up to thirty days in jail, and a third or subsequent conviction can subject you to a mandatory minimum 90 days in prison.

The most common reasons for getting a ticket for C.G.S. § 14-36 are:

  • The operator never had a license
  • The operator's license expired
  • The operator moved to Connecticut and never got a Connecticut driver's license
Driving While Under Suspension is Generally More Serious

Driving without a license as a first offender is only an infraction and is less severe than operation under suspension. In Connecticut, the DMV maintains a separate database of operator's privileges. In many situations, people who have no license and mail in their first ticket with a guilty plea are placed on the suspended list. Therefore, it is possible to get arrested for operating under suspension and driving without a license.

Elements of the Crime That Must be Proved by the State's Attorney

To win a conviction for a violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 14-36, the state's attorney must prove the following elements of the offense:

  1. The accused operated a motor vehicle upon any public highway or public road upon which a speed limit has been established;
  2. Without a Connecticut driver's license;
  3. And without the application of a recognized exception from the requirement to have a Connecticut driver's license.

A man has a driver's license but forgets to renew it. The license is past its expiration date, and the man continues to drive. A police officer pulls the man over for speeding and discovers that his license is expired. The man could be charged with a violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 14-36 operation without a license because his license was expired.

An undocumented alien is in the process of obtaining his driver's license and has an appointment for his driver's test in 8 months. The man drives even though he has not yet been issued a license. A police officer pulls him over for having a broken taillight and discovers that the man has no driver's license. The man could be given a ticket for a violation of C.G.S. § 14-36 driving without a license because he had no driver's license.

Related Offenses

Connecticut General Statutes § 14-215 - Operation under Suspension

Connecticut General Statutes § 14-12(a) - Operating Unregistered Vehicle

Connecticut General Statutes § 14-13 - Failure to Carry Registration or Insurance

Defenses to Driving Without a License 

A skilled Connecticut criminal defense attorney can often convince a state's attorney to drop this charge, which will result in a suspension of your operating privilege, if you have obtained your Connecticut driver's license. Often your lawyer can postpone the case long enough for you to obtain your driver's license and then get the case dropped.

In some situations, out of state, residents are charged with operation without a license even though they have a valid out of state license. In those situations, it may be possible to prove that these individuals never permanently moved to Connecticut and maintained a residence in another state.

Some clients may have a Connecticut driver's license and may have just forgot to bring it with them when they were stopped by the police.

Someone who is facing a third offense driving without a license charge could be eligible for the accelerated rehabilitation program, which is a diversionary program that could lead to the dismissal of the charges against you.


Driving without a license as a first offender in violation of C.G.S. § 14-36 is an infraction for which you can pay a fine for up to $90.

A second offense is a misdemeanor for which you can serve up to thirty days in jail and a fine of up to $350.

A third offense for any combination of C.G.S. § 14-36 and/or C.G.S. § 14-215 operation under suspension is a Class A misdemeanor for which you can face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Ninety days of this sentence is a mandatory minimum.

Also, any conviction for operation without a license will result in a suspension or your operation privilege.

Contact us for More Information!

For questions about Connecticut General Statutes § 14-36 operation without a license, or to discuss your case confidentially with Attorney Allan F. Friedman, do not hesitate to call us at (203) 357-5555, or you can contact us online for a prompt response. We have offices conveniently located in Stamford and Norwalk.

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