Most states require drivers to carry their license at all times when driving a vehicle. The reasons for this range from determing if a driver is eligble to informing officers if someone is not abiding by driving restrictions. What is the law, however, if a driver happens to not have their license on them when they are stopped by an officer? Are you punished if you have a license, but simply left it at home?
KSA 8-244 is the law in Kansas requiring drivers to have their license at all times when operating a vehicle. As we examine this statute, however, we can also see that even if a person is charged with this offense, there is to be no conviction if the driver produces a license, that was valid at the time of the stop, in Court. This allows forgiveness if a license is simply misplaced, but the inconvenience of going to Court is something to consider.
Prosecutors might disagree with the forgivenss part of this statute as I am sure there is motivation to make sure all drivers have their license with them at all times for their law enforcement officers. The legislature, however, does not seem to want to take it so far as to punish drivers for memory issues in forgetting their license at home.
For the defense, one factor to watch out for is the language of the license needing to be valid at the time of the stop. If a driver does not have a license and thinks they can get one before Court, prosecutors will check to make sure the license was valid at the time of the stop and not on the day of Court.
The easiest way to avoid the inconvenience and hassle of going to Court to show a valid license is to simply make sure you license is with you at all times.
Until next time, drive safe!