Is it a crime to use another person’s license?  What if you lend your license to another person to use?  In Kansas, these questions are answered under K.S.A. 8-260.

This statute makes it a misdemeanor to display or have a fictitious license, lend a license to another to use, or display any license not issued to you by the State.  Other variables are also criminalized in this statute relating to presenting a license that is fraudulent or fictitious.  It can even be a felony to use a fictitious name in applying for a license.  Clearly, the legislature wants to deter any activity where an officer or business might not be able to rely on a license presented by a person.  Even if the action of lending or showing an incorrect license might seem harmless, the legislature wants to make sure that any action relating to use of a false license or lending a license is criminalized.

For the defense, this seems to be another strict liability offense as you read this statute.  There does not seem to be any requirement of an intent to possess a false license or allowance of a defense one could argue in possessing a false license or lending your license to another to use.  Given that licenses are State issued, there does not seem to be any argument why a person would have a license made or issued by any other person or agency.  Even if one wanted to argue that a person did not know they had or were using a false license, this statute does not seem to allow any type of defense of ignorance.

For prosecutors, this is another strict liability statute that makes the offense easier to prove.  Mostly, if a license was false or a person lent their license to another, that would be all the evidence needed.  Most trials could potentially even go off a simple driving record showing whether the person was ever issued a license by the State.  Prosecutors could, however, use discretion in arguing for a lesser sentence if a person was to correct the license issue or show some other method of restitution.

Overall, driver’s need to be very careful about license use as well as who they may lend a license to, if any person at all.  Until next time, drive safe!