4510.12 Operating a motor vehicle without a valid license.

(A)

(1) No person, except those expressly exempted under sections 4507.03 , 4507.04 , and 4507.05 of the Revised Code, shall operate any motor vehicle upon a public road or highway or any public or private property used by the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking in this state unless the person has a valid driver's license issued under Chapter 4507. of the Revised Code or a commercial driver's license issued under Chapter 4506. of the Revised Code.

(2) No person, except a person expressly exempted under sections 4507.03 , 4507.04 , and 4507.05 of the Revised Code, shall operate any motorcycle upon a public road or highway or any public or private property used by the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking in this state unless the person has a valid license as a motorcycle operator that was issued upon application by the registrar of motor vehicles under Chapter 4507. of the Revised Code. The license shall be in the form of an endorsement, as determined by the registrar, upon a driver's or commercial driver's license, if the person has a valid license to operate a motor vehicle or commercial motor vehicle, or in the form of a restricted license as provided in section 4507.14 of the Revised Code, if the person does not have a valid license to operate a motor vehicle or commercial motor vehicle.

(B) Upon the request or motion of the prosecuting authority, a noncertified copy of the law enforcement automated data system report or a noncertified copy of a record of the registrar of motor vehicles that shows the name, date of birth, and social security number of a person charged with a violation of division (A)(1) or (2) of this section may be admitted into evidence as prima-facie evidence that the person did not have either a valid driver's or commercial driver's license at the time of the alleged violation of division (A)(1) of this section or a valid license as a motorcycle operator either in the form of an endorsement upon a driver's or commercial driver's license or a restricted license at the time of the alleged violation of division (A)(2) of this section. The person charged with a violation of division (A)(1) or (2) of this section may offer evidence to rebut this prima-facie evidence.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of operating a motor vehicle or motorcycle without a valid license and shall be punished as follows:

(1) If the trier of fact finds that the offender never has held a valid driver's or commercial driver's license issued by this state or any other jurisdiction, or, in a case involving the operation of a motorcycle by the offender, if the offender has never held a valid license as a motorcycle operator, either in the form of an endorsement upon a driver's or commercial driver's license or in the form of a restricted license, except as otherwise provided in this division, the offense is an unclassified misdemeanor. When the offense is an unclassified misdemeanor, the offender shall be sentenced pursuant to sections 2929.21 to 2929.28 of the Revised Code, except that the offender shall not be sentenced to a jail term; the offender shall not be sentenced to a community residential sanction pursuant to section 2929.26 of the Revised Code; notwithstanding division (A)(2)(a) of section 2929.28 of the Revised Code, the offender may be fined up to one thousand dollars; and, notwithstanding division (A)(3) of section 2929.27 of the Revised Code, the offender may be ordered pursuant to division (C) of that section to serve a term of community service of up to five hundred hours. The failure of an offender to complete a term of community service imposed by the court may be punished as indirect criminal contempt under division (A) of section 2705.02 of the Revised Code that may be filed in the underlying case. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any violation of this section or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, the offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(2) If the offender's driver's or commercial driver's license or permit or, in a case involving the operation of a motorcycle by the offender, the offender's driver's or commercial driver's license bearing the motorcycle endorsement or the offender's restricted license was expired at the time of the offense, except as otherwise provided in this division, the offense is a minor misdemeanor. If, within three years of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to two or more violations of this section or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, the offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(D) The court shall not impose a license suspension for a first violation of this section or if more than three years have passed since the offender's last violation of this section or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance.

(E) If the offender is sentenced under division (C)(2) of this section, if within three years of the offense the offender previously was convicted of or pleaded guilty to one or more violations of this section or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, and if the offender's license was expired for more than six months at the time of the offense, the court may impose a class seven suspension of the offender's driver's license, commercial driver's license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license, or nonresident operating privilege from the range specified in division (A)(7) of section 4510.02 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.25, HB 5, §1, eff. 9/23/2011.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.52, HB 338, §1, eff. 9/17/2010.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004; 06-01-2004