When you lose your driver’s license, time is of the essence. Start by retracing your steps. Think about where you were when you last remember having your license with you, who was with you and what you were doing. This will help you remember if you dropped your driver’s license when you were at the bar on Friday night, left it at the ATM or you have simply misplaced it.

Next, revisit where you were when you believe you lost your driver’s license and attempt to locate it. Once you determine that you cannot find your license, however, you need to be proactive. Regardless of how you lost your license, avoiding identity theft and replacing it are your main priorities.

Do your research to find out how to report a lost license and how to obtain a new one. As a Florida resident, this begins with contacting the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If you’re an out-of-state college student, currently living in a different state than your registered home state, you will begin by contacting the motor vehicles department in your state. Bear in mind, as an out-of-state college student, it may take weeks for your new license to be delivered by regular mail.

While millions of Americans of all ages choose not to have a license, if you plan to drive a vehicle then you must have a valid driver’s license. It is technically illegal in all fifty states to drive without a license. Yet, driving without a driver’s license to show to the police is different from not having a driver’s license at all. In this specific instance, driving without a physical driver’s license will most likely result in your receiving a traffic citation.

If you choose to drive and do not have a valid driver’s license, however, the penalties can be more severe. In these instances, when you lose your license you may be unable to replace it. For example, your license may have been suspended, revoked or cancelled, or you may have never applied for a valid driver’s license after your license expired.

We know losing your driver’s license is a frustrating experience but it is not the end of the world. You do need to take action as quickly as possible to replace it. In any of these instances, we are here to help you with your driver’s license issues and any resulting charges or citations. We are your Tallahassee criminal defense law firm. Do not hesitate to contact us for help on this, or any other, issue you face.