For best results, it’s a good idea not to let your license expire.
But these things happen, and you need a plan of action in the event you let your driver's license lapse. So, here's what you need to consider:
You Have 10-30 Days To Renew
If you want to keep your current car insurance policy, you have up to a month to renew your license, depending on your insurer. Some insurers will only give you ten days. The sooner you can get to the DMV, the better.
Can I Drive To The DMV With An Expired License?
You probably shouldn't do this.
Driving with an expired license is a fairly minor infraction, but it's still illegal. It probably won't land you in jail, as driving with a suspended license would. But it will at least have you paying fines, or possibly doing community service. It's not worth the risk.
Do I Have To Retake A Driving Test?
In most states, you have up to three years to renew your license without retaking a driving test. Trips to the DMV are never fun. But if you make an appointment, this one should be relatively painless.
What If I Don't Want To Renew My License?
If you don't need to drive, then you don't need a driver's license. But it might be a good idea to at least pick up a state ID if you don't have any other valid photo identification.
You will also want to sell your car or put it in storage. And you'll want to call your auto insurance agent to cancel the policy. You could just let it lapse. But if you ever want to buy another policy, calling your agent to cancel looks a lot better on your record than simply not paying and hoping they get the hint.
An expired license isn't all that big a deal to an insurer — so long as you're working to correct the situation. In fact, if you are driving without a license and you are involved in an accident, that doesn't really affect the insurance claim. If it's your fault, your insurance pays, if it's their fault, their insurance pays. You might get in trouble when the police report is filed, but an expired license doesn't instantly invalidate your insurance. You have time to get the problem taken care of. But you do need to get the problem taken care of.
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