Driving on a suspended license is illegal in California, and there are steep penalties for breaking the law. Often, a driver's license suspension is meant to keep roads safer, not only for law-abiding drivers, but for the person whose license was taken away. A license can be suspended for an indeterminate amount of time, depending upon the severity of the offense. It is a crime for a driver to get behind the wheel before any applicable fees or fines are paid to the Department of Motor Vehicles or to the courts, and before the suspension period is over.
Offenses That Can Result in License Suspension
Both the DMV and California courts can issue a license suspension at any time. Too many moving violations, driving under the influence, negligence while driving, mental or physical impairment in operating a motor vehicle, failure to make a court appearance on a traffic ticket and a lack of insurance all can result in a license suspension.
A suspension usually has several fines or costs attached. DMV fees can range anywhere from $15 to $250, depending on the reason the license was suspended. In addition, the suspended driver must pay fees, fines or penalties as directed by the court.
Read More: How to Find Out if My CA License is Suspended
Reporting Someone Driving Without a License
To leave an anonymous tip about someone driving without a license, to report a road rage incident, or to report someone driving without insurance, visit the national tip line WeTip.com and click on Submit a Tip at the top of the page. On the next page, fill in as much information as you know regarding the incident. This includes the type of crime committed, the time, date and location of the incident and the number of suspects involved. The information entered will be sent to law enforcement in the applicable area.
To anonymously report someone driving on a suspended license by phone, call the We Tip hotline at 800-78-CRIME. An operator will take the necessary information regarding the crime, but will never ask for a callers' personal details.
How to Reach Local Authorities
Another way to reach authorities is to dial 3-1-1 or another nonemergency number for police in your area. Please, do not call 9-1-1 to report someone driving on a suspended license, unless it is a life-threatening emergency. While driving without a license is still a crime, it does not usually require an immediate response by police.
Michelle Nati is an associate editor and writer who has reported on legal, criminal and government news for PasadenaNow.com and Complex Media. She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.