Ask a Douglasville Auto Accident Lawyer: Will Insurance Cover My Crash If My License Was Expired?

This question tends to come up a lot in a Douglasville auto accident lawyer’s offices. With many unexpected struggles in 2020, many people only realize that their license has expired after a crash or traffic incident.  Many have forgotten their license was due to expire this year, weren’t sure if the DDS would be open, or simply didn’t know how to renew their license with all the covid-19 restrictions in place. So will Insurance help you if your crash happened while you were driving with an expired license?

Getting into a crash with an expired license and doesn’t inherently put you at fault or at risk for losing compensation. But it does bring up a number of concerns in resolving the crash and handling the future of your insurance coverage.

Concerns with the Pandemic – is the DDS Open?

One of the biggest issue that we’ve heard and recently is that the DDS isn’t even open. Now, between social media and news reports, there is an overwhelming amount of misinformation and sometimes outright disinformation. Drivers have reported feeling as though they don’t have a service center, but the Georgia Department of Driver Services is open. They do have periodic day is where they are closed in those days are announced well in advance on their website.

The Georgia Department of Driver Services as part of their covid-19 response does require that anyone who needs an in-person service make an appointment ahead of time. People can schedule an appointment on the DDS 2 go app or through DDS online services. So, if you showed up a few weeks or days before your license expired and were turned away, it wasn’t because the DDS was closed, it was because they were required an appointment.

Georgia Laws on Keeping Up Your License

The state of Georgia seems to understand that driving with an expired license is criminal but does not call for jail time. If you ask any Douglasville auto accident lawyer, they’ll advise you similarly. If your license has expired for fewer than two years, then you can renew your license normally without having to take another test. so it’s likely if your license lapsed for a short period you’re not actually in any trouble.

Now, at the crash scene, you’ll likely be given a Fix-It ticket for driving with an expired license or a moving violation ticket for driving with an expired license. In the event that the ticket is just for correction you can update your license and then show that the update took place and have the ticket waived with only a miniscule fee. If you received a moving violation ticket for driving with an expired license, then you’ll have a small fee to pay and you’ll have to renew your license.

Will Your Expired License Impact Your Claim?

Your expired license may, but should not, in fact your claim.  We’ll start with the notion that you were in a crash with 0% fault.  Someone hit you from behind or slammed into your car in a way that was unavoidable and that you did not contribute to the accident. In this case, the at-fault driver’s insurance provider should have no grounds to deny your claim or reduce the value of your claim because your license was expired.

Collision and UIM/UM Claims

The trouble that people face with an expired license comes with Collision and UIM or UM claims. Having an expired license is one of the reasons that your car insurance provider could drop your policy without any notice. That means if they decide to not continue your policy they may not have to pay out on an uninsured motorist, or Collision claim if your license has expired.

Explore Your Options with a Douglasville Auto Accident Lawyer

After your auto accident, you should consider involving an attorney in the crash resolution.  With an expired license it’s likely that both insurance providers involved will try to devalue the claim and even undermine your ability to access compensation for the crash. A skilled Douglasville auto accident lawyer can stand on your side. If you weren’t at fault for the accident and there’s no reason that you should miss out on compensation. Driving with an expired license can certainly lead to issues in keeping your insurance policy active. That is something you will have to handle with your insurance provider.

For support in negotiating a fair settlement, presenting all of your evidence for review, and striving to accomplish a fast resolution, call John B. Jackson. At the John B. Jackson law offices of Douglasville we look at the fault involved in the crash and the evidence available the fight for the ideal resolution through the insurance policies or by taking the case to court.