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  1. #1

    Default Driving Without a License on Your Person

    My question involves a driver's license issued by the State of: GA

    I was riding my Harley after doing some work on it as a test ride and was stopped within a few hundred yards of my driveway. Might add I live in the country with the nearest neighbor about a mile away. The officer said he stopped because my tag light was out, it was two in the afternoon so how could he tell? I did not have my wallet on me so no license to show him. He ran the number I gave him and it came back valid with no tickets and as a CDL class A with Double/Triple, HAZMAT, Tanker and motorcycle endorsements. He then placed me under arrest for driving without LICENSE ON PERSON and had my bike towed. I had to wait at the station for 6 hours for someone to pick me up and all the while my house and shop were open and my wallet laying on the workbench with nearly $1000 dollars in it. Right now my bike is in impound, laying on the ground since they did not put the kickstand down, and I have been fined $550 for NO LICENSE ON PERSON. My wrecker bill is $350 and the impound fee is $60 per day for 61 days but there is over $2000 damage to the bike. I was not allowed to pick up the bike until the ticket was payed so it's been there until I got a court date. I have not had a ticket in 35 years and then it was for 56 in a 50 MPH zone. What can I do? This is a custom bike worth, before they towed it, over $59K. I am at a loss.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Driving Without Licenses on Person

    The reason you may have been arrested is because the law requires CDL holders to have a license in their possession when operating CMV's. You were not operating a CMV so you likely can get the charge dropped since it was not a commercial vehicle. To be sure what code were you cited under?

    40-5-146 - Operation of commercial motor vehicle without valid license or driving privilege, is erroneous as it was not a CMV.

    40-5-20 - License required; surrender of prior licenses; local licenses prohibited, would be pushing it for an arrest as he could have looked up the license in the computer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,867

    Default Re: Driving Without Licenses on Person

    what is the specific code section charged?

    I'm betting it is this:


    40-5-29. License to be carried and exhibited on demand


    (a) Every licensee shall have his driver's license in his immediate possession at all times when operating a motor vehicle.

    (b) Every licensee shall display his license upon the demand of a law enforcement officer. A refusal to comply with such demand not only shall constitute a violation of this subsection but shall also give rise to a presumption of a violation of subsection (a) of this Code section and of Code Section 40-5-20.

    (c) A person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be fined no more than $10.00 if he produces in court a license theretofore issued to him and valid at the time of his arrest.

    HISTORY: Ga. L. 1937, p. 322, art. 4, 7; Ga. L. 1951, p. 598, 4; Code 1933, 68B-210, enacted by Ga. L. 1975, p. 1008, 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, 4.


    so, apparently an arrest is proper hence the last part of section (c).


    I agree that it is pushing it though. I would question the validity of the stop itself. As you stated, how does one determine a license plate light is not functioning at 2 in the afternoon.


    Given the damages involved and what it may do to your CDL, I would contact a lawyer. Even given the right to arrest, damaging a motor vehicle is not acceptable.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Driving Without Licenses on Person

    I was charged under 40-5-146. I gave him my license # and he looked it up in the computer then smiled and said "you are now in real trouble". Went downhill from there. No other tickets but this one is enough. Cops obviously don't like Harley's here. I have two custom Corvettes and a Viper and never get stopped in them even though one of the Vetts is loud.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Driving Without Licenses on Person

    You were not driving a CMV and therefore are not guilty. ABF, YRC or Fed Ex (curious)?


    40-5-146. Operation of commercial motor vehicle without valid license or driving privilege


    (a) Except when driving under a commercial driver's instruction permit and accompanied by the holder of a commercial driver's license valid for the vehicle being driven, no person may operate a commercial motor vehicle unless the person has been issued and is in immediate possession of a commercial driver's license valid for the vehicle he or she is driving.

    (b) (1) No person may drive a commercial motor vehicle while his or her driving privilege is suspended, revoked, or canceled, or while subject to a disqualification.

    (2) No person may drive a commercial motor vehicle in violation of an out of service order.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Driving Without Licenses on Person

    You may not be guilty of the 146 charge but you are clearly guilty of the section I provided. Unless GA is different than most other states, the charge can be amended to the proper section and prosecuted.


    its obvious you are not short on money so if this will affect your CDL negatively, you should get a lawyer involved now. If you were not actually guilty of any charge your journey would be easier but given you are guilty of not having your license on you, they can easily amend the charge which will defeat most any claim you have against them now.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Driving Without Licenses on Person

    I am not a professional driver personally since I am engineer and self employed. I do own 12 OTR Tractors and keep them leased and sometimes will drive for a few days to give a driver time off.

    The light was functional. I have hired an attorney and we are trying to get a court date but he says it may be difficult since I have already paid the fine and retrieved the bike from impound. He did say do not make repairs to the bike as he wants to use the damage in court.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    38,867

    Default Re: Driving Without Licenses on Person

    Thanks for the added info.

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