Unlike the charge of driving while license suspended (DWLS), the State need not prove that your license was suspended at the time. It must prove that at the time you were arrested, you were operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license.
This is not like a traffic ticket for not having your driver's license with you. This may mean that you never applied for a driver's license but still drove, or that your driver's license has expired.
If you are convicted of NVDL, it will not count toward a habitual traffic offender status.
Regardless, it is a criminal offense that could result in jail time, probation, and certainly a mark on your criminal record.