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Counterfeit or Fake Licenses

Beware of anyone, other than the Department of Motor Vehicles, trying to sell you a driver's license.

Beginning July 1, 2006, Virginia law makes it illegal for anyone to distribute documents represented as a license to operate a motor vehicle. The new law makes it a violation for anyone to sell, give or distribute any document purporting to be a license to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth. Only the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is legally authorized to issue driver's licenses. The offense is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of not more than $2,500. DMV encourages anyone with information about this type of fraudulent activity to contact local law enforcement.

Residents and non-residents are required to hold a valid driver's license before operating a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth. Driving using a counterfeit or fake license is the same as driving without a license. Driving without a license is a Class 2 misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Depending on the circumstances, mere possession of a counterfeit or fake license could be a Class 1 misdemeanor.

False Information

There are also serious penalties for attempting to obtain a driver's license under false pretenses. Virginia law prohibits a person from using false information to obtain a driver's license from DMV. These types of violations are a Class 6 felony, carrying a penalty of not less than one and no more than five years in jail, or at the court's discretion, a jail term of not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.