Many things can happen if you are charged with a misdemeanor. You might face time in jail, you might be fined, and in some cases, your license may be suspended or revoked.
Not having a driver’s license is a big deal for a lot of people. Driving a vehicle is how they get to work every day and how they run errands. Without a license, it’s easy to feel like your world is crashing down around you.
Although you may feel hopeless, the truth is there’s a lot you can do to make sure your life is disrupted as little as possible, while getting back behind the wheel as quickly as possible.
Know What You Can and Can’t Drive
It’s obvious that you shouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car if you don’t have a driver’s license, but what about other kinds of vehicles?
There are surprisingly some vehicles that you can operate without a license. Some you may even be able to ride on the road, depending on where you live. For example, golf carts are legal on many streets, as long as the posted speed limit is below 35 miles per hour.
Segways can be operated without a license, as can jet skis in many areas. Many ebikes can also be operated if you don’t have a license.
It’s important to know what you can and cannot drive so you don’t get caught driving a vehicle that you aren’t legally able to operate.
Get a Non-Driver’s ID
The primary use of a driver’s license may be to operate a vehicle, but it comes in handy for a lot of other things. There are many situations you may find yourself in that require a photo ID including:
- Purchasing alcohol and cigarettes
- Opening a bank account
- Applying for government programs, like food stamps
- Applying for unemployment
- Renting or buying a house
- Getting on an airplane
- Renting a hotel room
Save yourself the trouble and get a non-driver’s ID while you’re waiting for your driver’s license to be reinstated.
Take the Steps Necessary to Get Your License Back
In some cases, you may simply have to wait it out. Many suspended licenses can only be reinstated after a certain period of time has passed. However, there are cases where you can get your license reinstated faster, or ensure it is reinstated when it is supposed to be reinstated.
If you owe fees for your misdemeanor, make sure you pay them. You may not get your license back if you don’t pay at least a portion of what you owe.
Taking a driving course can show that you’re serious about getting your license back. You should get the right insurance, so the state is aware of the activities surrounding your vehicle, and make sure you get the paperwork for reinstatement going early. It can take up to 14 days to receive word that your license has been reinstated.
Be Open to Alternate Forms of Transportation
Getting around without a car isn’t fun, but it isn’t impossible. There are many alternatives to owning a vehicle. Some people give up their vehicles, even though they don’t have to, because there are actually benefits to not owning and driving a car!
Different forms of transportation to consider include:
- Riding a bicycle or an ebike
- Taking the bus
- Taking a cab
- Using Uber or Lyft
Depending on where you live, you may have access to other forms of transportation too. Large cities have trains. It won’t be long until self-driving cars may be an option too!
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Asking for help can be hard. Especially if you screwed up and had your license taken away. However, knowing how to ask for help is important.
Demonstrate to the people around you that you’re doing everything you can to get your license back and they will be more willing to help you. Ask for a ride to work in a pinch or ask if they can accompany you to an appointment.
It’s not a good idea to rely on the kindness of others all the time. You don’t want them to feel like you’re taking advantage of them, but you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
You aren’t doomed to live a lonely life at home just because your driver’s license was suspended or revoked. Live the life you always have, even without a license, with the tips on this list.