Permitting an Unauthorized Person to Drive in Florida

If a driver allows an unauthorized person to operate their vehicle, they will receive a criminal charge on their record as well as the penalties that come with it.

Under Florida Statute Florida Statute 322.36 the law states,

“A person may not authorize or knowingly permit a motor vehicle owned by him or her or under his or her dominion or control to be operated upon any highway or public street except by a person who is duly authorized to operate a motor vehicle.”

What Constitutes an Unauthorized Driver?

A person is unauthorized to drive a vehicle if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • They do not have a driver’s license
  • License is suspended- Their driving privileges have been temporary put on hold for a given period of time
  • License is expired- Their driver’s license had not been renewed by the given renewal date
  • License is revoked- Their driving privileges have been permanently taken away
  • License is canceled- Their driver’s license has been deemed void and is no longer usable
  • The individual has been charged as a habitual driving offender

The Penalties for an Individual to allow an Unauthorized Person to operatetheir Vehicle

If an individual allows an unauthorized person to drive their vehicle, it will be marked as a second degree misdemeanor on their criminal record. In addition, since this is a criminal offense, the other penalties for committing this crime are:

  • Up to a $500 fine
  • Up to 60 days in jail
  • Up to six months of probation

Moreover, since the charge is also a traffic violation as well as a criminal violation, it will cause the accused individual’s insurance rates to increase and could ultimately lead to a license suspension.


The main defense for an individual who was charged for permitting an unauthorized person to drive their vehicle is that, under Florida law, the person must KNOW that the individual operating their vehicle is not authorized to do so. In many cases, the unauthorized person driving the vehicle may not even be aware that their license has been suspended; therefore the owner of the vehicle would not know either. It is also possible the unauthorized driver simply lied to the owner and told the owner of the vehicle that they were authorized to drive.

In any case the owner of the vehicle should not be prosecuted for a crime that they did not know they were committing.

Contact Us Today

Here at Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins, we have defended people against criminal traffic violations for over 30 years and we have the experience it takes to win your case. We have staff members and attorneys available 24 hours a day to help you in your time of need. We know how stressful these criminal traffic violations can be and we know how to get you quick results. If you have been charged with permitting an unauthorized person to drive your vehicle, contact us today and tell us about it. We will help you figure out your best move. Call us at 1-800-FIGHT-IT (1-800-344-4848).

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