Driving a motor vehicle without a license is a serious crime in Missouri. In fact, subsequent convictions can even result in a felony charge. Learn more about the Missouri statute for operating a motor vehicle without a license below.
Operation of a Vehicle Without a Proper License – Traffic Violation Statute
Operation of motor vehicle without proper license prohibited, penalty — motorcycles — special license — protective headgear, failure to wear, fine, amount — no points to be assessed.
Citation: MO Rev Stat § 302.020 (2018)
- Unless otherwise provided for by law, it shall be unlawful for any person, except those expressly exempted by section 302.080, to:
(1) Operate any vehicle upon any highway in this state unless the person has a valid license;
(2) Operate a motorcycle or motor tricycle upon any highway of this state unless such person has a valid license that shows the person has successfully passed an examination for the operation of a motorcycle or motor tricycle as prescribed by the director. The director may indicate such upon a valid license issued to such person, or shall issue a license restricting the applicant to the operation of a motorcycle or motor tricycle if the actual demonstration, required by section 302.173, is conducted on such vehicle;
(3) Authorize or knowingly permit a motorcycle or motor tricycle owned by such person or under such person’s control to be driven upon any highway by any person whose license does not indicate that the person has passed the examination for the operation of a motorcycle or motor tricycle or has been issued an instruction permit therefor;
(4) Operate a motor vehicle with an instruction permit or license issued to another person.
- Every person operating or riding as a passenger on any motorcycle or motor tricycle, as defined in section 301.010, upon any highway of this state shall wear protective headgear at all times the vehicle is in motion. The protective headgear shall meet reasonable standards and specifications established by the director.
- Notwithstanding the provisions of section 302.340 any person convicted of violating subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection 1 of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. A first violation of subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection 1 of this section shall be punishable as a class D misdemeanor. A second violation of subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection 1 of this section shall be punishable as a class A misdemeanor. Any person convicted a third or subsequent time of violating subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection 1 of this section is guilty of a class E felony. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 302.340, violation of subdivisions (3) and (4) of subsection 1 of this section is a misdemeanor, the first violation punishable as a class D misdemeanor, a second or subsequent violation of this section punishable as a class C misdemeanor, and the penalty for failure to wear protective headgear as required by subsection 2 of this section is an infraction for which a fine not to exceed twenty-five dollars may be imposed. Notwithstanding all other provisions of law and court rules to the contrary, no court costs shall be imposed upon any person due to such violation. No points shall be assessed pursuant to section 302.302 for a failure to wear such protective headgear. Prior pleas of guilty and prior findings of guilty shall be pleaded and proven in the same manner as required by section 558.021.
Penalty of Conviction
If the accused is convicted of operation of a motor vehicle without a license, penalties begin as a class D misdemeanor and can increase up to a class E felony with subsequent infractions. Not only does a misdemeanor carry a fine, but it can include jail time. Class D misdemeanors demand a fine of up to $500. Class A misdemeanors demand up to one year of jail time and a fine that doesn’t exceed $2000. Finally, a class E felony can demand up to four years of jail time — not to mention the points added to your driving record. The degree of punishment is why it is so important to hire a defense team to represent your best interests. Trust an experienced team like MRD Lawyers.