Unlicensed Drivers

Protecting your rights to compensation if you were hit by an unlicensed or invalidly licensed driver

Driving is a privilege, not a right. Iowa expects motorists to pass a driving test and a written exam to earn the privilege. These measures ensure that each driver has the requisite skills, eyesight and judgment to drive a car safely and that the person knows the rules of the road. A driver who does not have a license may not be equipped to operate a vehicle on Iowa’s roadways. In addition, the state has the authority to suspend or revoke the license of an unsafe driver for such reasons as operating while intoxicated (OWI) and committing too many moving violations. Unlicensed driver cases present special challenges, especially since the driver is also likely to be uninsured.

The Hope Law Firm, PLC strategizes solutions for complex issues. We take steps to secure your right to compensation even if the driver is unlicensed and uninsured. Our team investigates whether a distracted driver, drunk driver or other negligent driver caused your auto accident and we hold that person responsible. We may also pursue third-party claims if the driver is uninsured. For instance, we may sue the bar at which the drunk driver became inebriated. Our outside-the-box approach is just one of the reasons we are able to seek maximum compensation. You deserve justice, and Hope fights to help you obtain it.

The problem of unlicensed and invalidly licensed drivers

In November 2011, The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published the report “Unlicensed to Kill,” which analyzed the driver license status of motorists involved in fatal traffic accidents. The following categories were used:

Valid licenseUnlicensedSuspended or revoked licenseLicense expired, canceled or denied

The researchers concluded that 18.2 percent of fatal car accidents between 2007 and 2009 involved a driver who was either invalidly licensed or unlicensed. The report also detailed the driver license status of vehicle operators involved in fatal car crashes in individual states between 1990 and 2009, showing that the percentage of unlicensed drivers involved in these wrecks steadily increased over the 18-year period. The percentage of drivers whose licenses were suspended or revoked consistently declined before climbing back up to the 1990 levels by 2009.

Driver’s license suspension and revocation

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) suspends a motorist’s driver’s license if the person accumulates too many points, typically for one year following six moving violations within a two-year period. Certain serious violations, such as OWI, driving while barred and vehicular manslaughter, can lead to longer revocation periods. Unfortunately, many of these unlicensed drivers ignore their suspensions and revocations and continue to operate their vehicles on Iowa’s roads.

Unlicensed drivers often do not have auto insurance or the resources to pay damages. Our car accident lawyers can negotiate with your insurance company for compensation through your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. We can also investigate whether a third party was at fault. For instance, our attorneys may discover that a drinking establishment over-served the drunk driver who hit you and can cite dram shop statutes in your case. Or we may be able to sue a construction company for leaving road debris behind or the city of Des Moines for allowing the poor road conditions that contributed to your accident.

Hold an unlicensed or invalidly licensed Des Moines driver responsible for your injuries

Driving without a license is illegal. If you sustained injuries in a car crash with an unlicensed or invalidly licensed driver, The Hope Law Firm, PLC can help you recover damages. Call (515) 298-5056 or contact us online to schedule your free appointment at our Des Moines or Ankeny law office.