Alabama bill seeks to deter unlicensed driving

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 12/17/2012

One Alabama state lawmaker wants to boost the punishment for anyone caught driving in the state without a license. A separate effort would extend the state’s license renewal period.

Alabama law now authorizes fines between $100 and $500 for anyone driving with a canceled, denied, suspended or revoked driver’s license. Offenders also face up to six months in jail.

The same punishment is applied to anyone driving without first obtaining a driver’s license.

Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, has filed a bill for consideration early next year that would double the minimum fine amount for all offenders to $200.

Alabama state troopers have issued more than 40,000 citations for license violations during the past two years, according to state figures.

Ward posted on Twitter that the state “leads south in drivers who are on roadway w/out ever getting a license. Time for us to crackdown.”

His bill – SB26 – would also extend the license revocation period for anyone found in violation for another six months.

In addition, illegal driving that result in a traffic accident would make the offender negligent. As a result, they could be responsible for paying restitution.

Another licensing bill would extend the renewal period for Alabama drivers.

State law now allows drivers to renew licenses up to 30 days before and until three years after the expiration date.

Sponsored by Rep. Joe Faust, R-Baldwin, HB25 would allow Alabama drivers to renew their licenses as early as six months before the expiration date.

The bills can be considered during the session that begins Feb. 5.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Alabama, click here.

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