Driving With a Revoked License in North Carolina

There are many ways to drive without a license in North Carolina. However, the most serious infraction is driving when your license has been revoked, especially if it was revoked following a conviction for driving while impaired (DWI).

Driving With a Revoked License in North Carolina

The law in North Carolina prohibits people from driving a motor vehicle on a public roadway, knowing that their drivers' license has been revoked. This law is embodied in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-28(a). Importantly, “driving” in North Carolina means “having physical control” of a motor vehicle – this includes when the vehicle is moving or even if it is stationary, but the engine is running.

Generally, a conviction for driving with a revoked license in North Carolina is a Class 3 misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of a $200 fine and up to 20 days in jail.

However, these penalties increase substantially if your license was revoked after a conviction for DWI.

License Revocations After a DWI Conviction

If you get convicted for drunk or drugged driving, part of the DWI conviction includes a license suspension or revocation. If you are then caught driving before the period of the suspension has passed, or if you have restored your license but are found to be driving without proof of insurance, you could face additional repercussions under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-28(a1).

Under this provision, driving with a license that has been revoked for DWI is no longer a Class 3 misdemeanor. Instead, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a discretionary fine, as well as up to 45 days in jail for first-time offenders.

Perhaps worse, getting caught while driving on a license that has been revoked by a DWI conviction impacts your driving rights, as well: A conviction for driving with a revoked license adds an additional year to the existing revocation for the first offense. A second offense adds two years to the revocation, while a subsequent conviction leads to a permanent license revocation.

Additionally, if you get convicted for driving with a license that is under revocation from a DWI, the court has the ability to mandate a 90-day alcohol monitoring system as a part of probation.

North Carolina DWI-Defense Attorneys at Caulder & Valentine

A conviction for driving with a revoked license is serious, even when the revocation was not due to a DWI. The legal penalties are significant, can make your car insurance premiums skyrocket, and can make it even more difficult to get to and from work on time. When the underlying revocation came from a DWI, the problems are even worse.

That is why the DWI-defense attorneys at Caulder and Valentine work vigorously to represent people charged with driving on a revoked license. By fighting for your rights and interests both inside and outside of the courtroom, we can protect your driving rights and make sure you can live your life the way you want to. Contact us online or call our law office at (704) 470-2440 for the legal help you need.


Shelby Office
303 West Marion Street
Shelby, NC 28150
704.754.8401 (fax)
Gastonia Office
316 S Chester St
Gastonia, NC 28052
704.754.8401 (fax)