Justin M. Crozier March 28, 2016

You hear the blare of the siren behind you and you glance into your rear-view mirror.  Lights are flashing and you swallow down your nerves as you pull over on to the shoulder of I-70.

The officer steps up to your window and makes a simple request that you know will end badly.  "License and registration please."  Your license was suspended two months ago and you haven't had a minute to get it fixed yet.  

He shakes his head at you and hands you a ticket. . . Or worse yet, takes you into custody, the cold steel of the handcuffs pinching your wrists because he closed them too tight and you duck your head to keep from getting hit as you take your spot in his back seat.

This isn't the kind of situation you want to be in.  However, with the way that traffic tickets and fine works, if you get caught here this might put you into a spiral where you can't get to work to pay off your ticket and get your license back, or even get to Court.  The best way to deal with this is to make sure that you don't get in this position in the first place.  Is it easy?  Well, no, but at least you can live your life and get things taken care of.

Can you get a Permit?

If it is your first offence, then you might be able to get some of your driving privileges back.  While you may not be able to drive late at night or out with your friends, it's better than calling a can every time you want to go to work.  It isn't a sure thing, but there is a possibility it could work.

The Court will take a few things into consideration when it is deciding if you can get a permit.

You have a job.  If you have a job, the Court knows that you have to make money, especially if you ever want to move on in life.  If it keeps you from having to be in their court-room again, then they will likely be happy to work with you on this.

You are enrolled in school.  Much like work, this shows that you are working to improve your life.  While you may have made a mistake in losing your license, this shows you are doing your best with the hand you are dealt.  The Court likes it when people are going to school, it means that you want to contribute to society and that you want to make your life better.

The Court has ordered you to do things or go places.  If the Court tells you that you have to go to a driving class, or if you have to go to some other kind of training or class, then they will likely work to make sure that you can do it.  This is especially true if you don't have a lot of cash on hand.

Don't Break the Rules

That includes the rule on not driving.  Please, whatever you do DON'T DRIVE.  If you don't have a permit, then please don't drive.  I know it is a hard situation, but if you are caught then your world can take a very dramatic turn FOR THE WORSE.  I know it is tempting to try and get to work, but if you get pulled over then things can get more expensive and much harder.

You also want to make sure that you follow whatever rules the court has in place for getting your license back.  It isn't an easy thing, but if you get that stuff done quickly, then you won't have to deal with this problem any more.  Make it a priority.  You will probably have to put in some extra work, you might have to become very familiar with bus schedules or find a cab driver who is willing to give you a cheap fare, if you travel regularly.  

Life Without a Car

When you don't have a license, all of the things in life that are normal and regular (going out at night, seeing a friend, going out for groceries, etc.) all become hard.  It is almost a luxury to just drive yourself from place to place.

The first thing you want to do is get a bus pass.  While Kansas City doesn't have the best public transportation, you can work with it if you have to. You can get to downtown and the courts. You can get a few blocks (well, or maybe a mile) away from where you work.  It takes time, it is not convenient, and you don't want to have to do it if you don't have to, especially if you don't live in Kansas City proper.  However, it will keep you from being locked up, never getting your license back, or losing your chance at getting out of the trap of the Courts.  Make it part of your life.

If there isn't a bus available, make sure you have a cab company or an Uber driver you can talk to.  I know a few, and there are people that are willing to at least help you out if they need to.  Again, this isn't cheap, but it will keep from losing everything else in life.

Lastly, don't focus on the fact that you "lost your license." You can live your life without one. You can get where you need to be and you can still enjoy all of the stuff that life has to offer. Work to get your license back, make sure you don't cheat the law, and you will be back on the road in no time.

Good luck out there.