2The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Driving is not a right but a privilege, granted and revocable at any time.
3The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Learn how to handle your car properly and safely so you can drive for a long time!Few things are as important to us as our driver's license. Driving may be a great privilege, but did you know it is also an important responsibility? This program is here to help you get your Pennsylvania driver's license while you learn how to be a safe driver. But consider this only as a first step of many that you will take, since you will not be doing any actual driving here. Learning traffic laws and proper driving techniques may not seem like the most exciting thing in the world at times; however, it’s necessary to become a responsible driver. Driving is a complicated skill that requires you to perform a variety of tasks at the same time. While some people can learn to control their vehicles quickly, there are no "natural" drivers. Add distractions to the mix, and driving is even more complicated!
4The Pennsylvania Driver’s License As with most things in life, getting good at something takes practice, so don’t get discouraged. The more you learn and the more driving experience you accumulate, the better prepared you will be for the road. Keep in mind that the most important part of driver's education is learning how to be a safe driver. Because we do not provide behind-the-wheel training as this is a theory class, we recommend that you obtain driver training with an instructor. You are also required to practice with an experienced, licensed driver such as a parent so you can fully benefit from our course. After all, how fun is it if you have to worry about keeping your car steered straight? How fun is it if you crash, if it means you won't be driving for a while, and perhaps get hurt in the process? Learn how to handle your car properly and safely so you can drive for a long time!
5Chapter 1-Journal 1We'll start with making lists. In your Journal, list five benefits of driving. For example: it lets you have fun with your friends.You will be learning about safe driving, so let's see what you know already. In your Journal, list five things you think every driver should do while driving.Then, list five things you think every driver should NOT do while driving.
6The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Anyone who operates a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must have a driver's license (or learner's permit). The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) oversees all licensing of motor vehicles. You must have a driver's license or learner's permit issued by PennDOT to drive on any public road, street, highway, or property, and the license must be correct for the class of vehicle driven. You may apply for a Pennsylvania driver's license at any PennDOT Driver’s License Center near you. Driving is a privilege that the state grants when someone meets the prescribed criteria. Thus there is no right to drive. As a holder of a Pennsylvania driver's license, you are merely exercising a privilege granted to you. As a conscientious driver, you should make every attempt to keep up to date on new construction, potential hazards, and changes to Pennsylvania driving laws, and anything else that may affect you on the road. Furthermore, you should always try to keep a positive attitude when behind the wheel!
7The Pennsylvania Driver’s License CLASSES & DESCRIPTIONSThere are different types of vehicles that you can drive in Pennsylvania, and they may also require different skills. As a result, they may have different age requirements. Pennsylvania offers different licenses that allow you to drive specific types of vehicles. Most drivers will be issued a Class C driver’s license, which is what you will get once you successfully complete your road test. Below is a summary of the different classes of licenses, the vehicles the license allows you to drive, and the minimum age required to apply:
8The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Class A (minimum age 18) - Combination vehicles with a gross combination weight rating over 26,000 pounds, where the vehicle(s) being towed is/are over 10,000 pounds.Class B (minimum age 18) - A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating over 26,000 pounds.Class C (minimum age 16) - This is the most common class of license. You may operate a car, van, pickup truck, motorized pedal cycle(motor-driven cycle), three-wheeled vehicle with an enclosed cab, or any other vehicle not requiring a Class A, B or M license. Any holder of this license who is a firefighter or member of a rescue or emergency squad and has a certificate of authorization from a fire chief or head of the rescue or emergency squad may operate any fire or emergency vehicle registered to that fire department, rescue or emergency squad, or municipality for emergency use only.Class M (minimum age 16) - This classification allows you to operate a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle. If you drive a motorcycle that is less than 50 CCs, your license will have an “8” restriction (license restrictions will be discussed later in this module).
9The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Commercial Driver's License (CDL)To receive a Pennsylvania commercial driver's license, an applicant must meet strict licensing requirements. This includes passing additional knowledge and skills tests. If you want more information on commercial driver licensing programs and licensing requirements, you should refer to the Pennsylvania Commercial Driver’s Manual.Becoming an Organ DonorWhen you apply for your driver’s license, you can choose to give the gift of life by becoming an organ donor. To become an organ donor, you will need to complete the Request for Organ Donor Designation form (DL-8611). If you are under 18, you must have the consent of a parent, guardian, person in loco parentis or spouse who is 18 years of age or older. As a donor, your driver’s license will have an Organ Donor designation. In the event of a life-altering or fatal collision, your eyes, tissue and other organs may be used to help save lives.
10Any Pennsylvania resident who wishes to legally drive upon Pennsylvania public roads must have a driver's license.
11The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Driver’s License FormatsPennsylvania driver's licenses come in two formats, depending on the age of the driver. There is one main difference between the regular license and the Under 21 license (including the junior driver’s license). That would be the vertical orientation of the Under 21 license where the card is longer from top to bottom. For those under 18, the statement "Under 18 Until" is in yellow and shows the date you turn 18. Why the differences? In places with age restrictions, they make it much easier for a person to know if you are underage. As a teenager, you will receive the Under 21 license, and if you are under 18, your license will have the yellow "Under 18 Until" statement.
13The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Applying for a Pennsylvania Driver's LicenseIf applying for a Pennsylvania driver's license for the first time, you must first obtain a learner’s permit. You will need to complete the following steps (you cannot apply for your permit until your 16th birthday):
14The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Complete the front of the Non-Commercial Learner's Permit Application (DL-180). Be sure to print clearly in black or blue ink. You can find this form in the front of a current Pennsylvania Driver's Manual.Your medical provider must complete the back of your DL-180 application no earlier than six (6) months prior to your 16th birthday. All information on the application must be completed. The person completing this portion of your application must be one of the following:Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.)Medical Doctor (M.D.)Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (C.R.N.P.)Physician's Assistant (P.A.)Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.)
15The Pennsylvania Driver’s License If the Driver’s License Center examiner cannot determine whether the information on your DL-180 application meets medical standards, you may be required to undergo additional medical tests. This will delay the issuance of your learner's permit. If you have a condition that seriously impairs your ability to drive (more on that later), PennDOT may require you to get a dual control learner's permit and learn to drive with a certified instructor.If you are under 18 years of age, your parent, guardian, person in loco parentis or spouse who is 18 years of age or older will need to complete the Parent or Guardian consent form (DL-180TD), which can also be found with your DL-180 application in the front of the manual. This is important: if your parent or guardian cannot accompany you to the Driver’s License Center, the parent or guardian must sign the DL-180TD form in the presence of a notary. You must have proper identification; if last names are different, you will need the proper forms to verify the relationship. If you are 18 years of age or older, you must present two (2) proofs of residency (see Residency Requirements below).
16The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Who must be licensed?Anyone 16 years of age or older who lives in Pennsylvania and wants to drive anywhere in the state.Anyone who just moved to Pennsylvania to establish residency in the state. An applicant who holds a valid driver’s license from another state or Canada must get a Pennsylvania driver’s license within 60 days and surrender the out-of-state driver’s license. A new resident must take a vision screening test, complete an Application for Pennsylvania Non-Commercial Driver’s License By Out-of-State Non-CDL Driver (DL-180R), and show proof of identity and residency as well as Social Security card. PennDOT will not require a knowledge test. However, if the license has been expired for more than six (6) months, the applicant must first obtain a learner’s permit. PennDOT does not accept transfers of out-of-state learner’s permits.Anyone in the U.S. armed forces (including reserves stationed in Pennsylvania) with a legal address in Pennsylvania, if they plan to operate non-military vehicles.Foreign driver’s license holders. Pennsylvania honors a valid foreign driver’s license with an international driving permit for up to one (1) year. If that license or the permit expires in less than a year, an individual must apply for a Pennsylvania learner’s permit to continue to drive in the state. Pennsylvania requires all foreign drivers’ license holders to apply for a learner’s permit if they want a Pennsylvania driver’s license. Those with a valid non-commercial driver’s license from France or Germany can transfer it to Pennsylvania and will only be required to have their vision tested; the knowledge and road tests are waived. However, the transfer cannot be completed on the same day.
17The Pennsylvania Driver’s License IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS YOU NEEDWhen you are ready to apply for your permit and take the knowledge test, you will need to bring the items from the list below to the Driver’s License Center:You’re completed Non-Commercial Learner's Permit Application (DL-180) and, if you are under 18, the completed Parent or Guardian consent form (DL-180TD). Do not mail these forms.Proof of date of birth and identity (your name). You can find a list of acceptable documents below (as well as on the back of the DL-180 application). Any documents you present must be originals, not photocopies (which will not be accepted).Your Social Security card (which must be signed).Your check or money order for the correct amount, made payable to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT); fees are listed on the DL-180 application. PennDOT will not accept cash, credit or debit cards, so be prepared.Your Social Security card must not be laminated when you present it with your application. Any documents you present must be original, except where noted below. The documents you need to present depend on your age and whether you are a U.S. citizen.
18The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Acceptable documents for proof of identity (U.S. citizens; Social Security card and one form required):A birth certificate with raised seal issued by a state or local office of public health, vital records or vital statistics or an equivalent office in the United States, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory(PennDOT will not accept a hospital-issued or non-U.S. birth certificate)A U.S. passport (must be valid and unexpired)A certificate of U.S. citizenship (Form N-560)A certificate of naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
19A valid U.S. passport may be used as proof of U.S. citizenship.
20Chapter 1-Journal 2WHAT DO YOU HAVE? To apply for a learner’s permit or driver's license, you need to bring proof of your identity, your Social Security card, proof of any name changes, and proof of Pennsylvania residency (if 18 or older only), for a minimum total of two documents, not including applications. Look at the documents you do have and list below what you can bring with you to establish your identity.
21The Pennsylvania Driver’s License TESTING FOR YOUR LICENSEThe Vision TestTo qualify for your Pennsylvania driver's license, you must pass three tests: a vision screening, a knowledge test, and a road test (you must pass the vision screening and knowledge test to qualify for your learner’s permit). The vision test determines if you can see well enough to drive safely. If you wear contact lenses or glasses, wear them for the test. If you fail to meet the vision standards, you may be required to wear corrective lenses, be restricted to daytime driving, or be limited to driving only vehicles with side mirrors. The examiner in this case will give you a Report of Eye Examination form (DL-102). Have an optometrist, ophthalmologist, or family physician test your vision and complete the form. You can then take it back to the Driver’s License Center to continue testing
22The Pennsylvania Driver’s License TESTING FOR YOUR LICENSEThe Knowledge TestThe second exam you must take is a knowledge test.The second exam you must take is a knowledge test, which measures your knowledge of Pennsylvania’s traffic laws, safe driving methods, and awareness of highway signs and markings. The test consists of 18 multiple choice questions and you must answer 15 correctly to pass. You are allowed to request an oral exam, which is available in both English and Spanish. If you need an interpreter, you must make an appointment at least two weeks in advance and give at least three dates you are able to take the test. This is necessary to give PennDOT time to hire an appropriate interpreter. PennDOT will then confirm a test date with you.
23The Pennsylvania Driver’s License If you fail the knowledge test, the examiner will return your learner’s permit application and parent/guardian consent form to you. You will be permitted to retake the knowledge test the next business day; be sure to bring back your application and parent/guardian consent form.
24The Pennsylvania Driver’s License The Road TestThe third exam you must take is the road test, which determines your ability to operate your vehicle in a variety of situations. You must make an appointment to take the road test. If you are under 18, you will be issued your learner’s permit after you have passed both the vision and knowledge tests. There is a mandatory waiting period of six (6) months before you can take the road test. During this time, you can complete the mandatory 65 hours of behind-the-wheel training. When you are ready to take the road test, schedule the test online at the Driver and Vehicle Service website or by telephone at (or if you need an interpreter).When you come in for your road test, you must bring the following documents (all must be original and valid) or you will not be allowed to take the test:Your learner’s permitThe completed Parent or Guardian Certification form (DL-180C) for the 65 hours of behind-the-wheel training (not required if you are 18 or older)The registration card for the vehicle you are driving for the road testProof that the vehicle is currently insuredThe driver’s license of the person accompanying you to the Driver’s License Center (must be 21 years of age or older or a parent, guardian or spouse 18 years of age or older)
25The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Before the test, the examiner will check your vehicle to make sure it has a valid registration card, current insurance, valid state inspection sticker, and if required, a valid emissions sticker. The examiner will also check to make sure the vehicle is in safe working condition and that it has all the necessary equipment (lights, horn, brakes, windshield wipers, turn signals, mirrors, doors, seats and tires) operating properly and safely. If any part of your vehicle is unsafe or does not meet state inspection requirements, the examiner will not allow you to take the Road Test. You also need seat belts that are clean and ready to use as you and the examiner must wear them during the road test.During the road test, passengers other than the examiner are not allowed in the vehicle. You will not be asked to violate any traffic laws while taking the exam.
26The Pennsylvania Driver’s License You will fail the road test automatically if you do any of the following:If you drive dangerously.If you violate a traffic law.If you cause a crash.If you refuse to drive as the examiner asks.If you make too many driving errors.The following are things the examiner may ask you to operate prior to the road test:Horn.Vehicle lights (i.e. parking lights, high and low beam headlights, turn signals).Windshield wipers.Parking (emergency) brake.Four-way flashers (hazard lights).Defroster.Any other vehicle controls requested.The examiner will fail you if you are unable to properly operate any of the vehicle controls. You will also be asked to parallel park midway within a space 24 feet long and eight (8) feet wide between two uprights. You must bring the entire vehicle within the space without making contact with either upright or going up onto or over the curb. The examiner will give you three (3) attempts to Parallel Park. If your vehicle is equipped with an advanced parking guidance system (i.e. it is a self-parking vehicle), you must turn off the system during the road test.During the road test, the examiner will tell you where to drive and what maneuvers to make.
27The Pennsylvania Driver’s License The examiner will be looking for good driving skills such as:The examiner will be looking at your speed while driving.How you approach and obey warning signs, stop signs and traffic lights.How you control your vehicle.How you use turn signals to communicate with other drivers.How you use other vehicle controls when they become necessary during the test.Remember, the examiner is there to test you, so it is a good idea not to ask questions while taking the test. If you have any questions about what you did wrong, ask after the road test. Once you pass the road test, you will be issued a temporary Pennsylvania driver's license. The license will be valid for 15 days and can be used as identification like a permanent driver’s license. PennDOT will mail you your permanent driver’s license within 15 days. By the time you receive the permanent license, you need to destroy the temporary license.
28The Pennsylvania Driver’s License What if I fail the road test?If you are under 18 and fail the road test, you must wait at least seven (7) days to retake the road test. During this time, you should practice to improve your driving skills. You have three (3) chances with your learner’s permit to pass the road test before it expires. If you fail a third time or your permit expires, you must reapply to extend your learner’s permit. You will need to submit an Application to Add/Extend/Replace/Change/Correct Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit (DL-31). If you are still unable to take or pass the road test within three (3) years of your physical examination date, you will be required to start the entire process over.
29The Pennsylvania Driver’s License GRADUATED DRIVERS LICENSING FOR DRIVERS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE
30The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Driving is an important responsibility. As a minor applying for a Pennsylvania learner’s permit, you must have a parent, guardian, person in loco parentis who is at least 21 years of age, or spouse who is 18 years of age or older complete the Parent or Guardian consent form (DL-180TD), as stated earlier in this module. Pennsylvania’s graduated driver’s license program puts young drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 through a three-step process to help them gain some valuable experience behind the wheel. If you think about some of your favorite games, consider that you had to learn how to play before you became good at them. It’s similar with driving.
31The Pennsylvania Driver’s License 1. Junior Learner’s PermitYour learner’s permit will be valid for one (1) year from the time it is issued, and you must carry it with you anytime you are operating a motor vehicle. If you are under 18 years of age, you will have the following restrictions on your driving privilege:You may drive only while under the supervision of a licensed driver sitting in the front passenger seat. This person must be a parent, guardian or person in loco parentis at least 21 years of age or a spouse at least 18 years of age.You may not drive between 11 p.m. or 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is your spouse (if at least 18 years of age), parent or guardian.You may not have more passengers than seat belts available in the vehicle you are driving.After you have held your learner’s permit for six (6) months, when you are at least 16 ½ years of age, you are eligible to take the road test for your junior driver’s license. Again, you will need to have completed a minimum of 65 hours of behind-the-wheel training, which must be documented on the Parent or Guardian Certification form (DL-180C). You will get this form when PennDOT issues you your learner’s permit. Be sure to have the appropriate person document your behind-the-wheel experience.
32The Pennsylvania Driver’s License 2. Junior Driver's LicenseYour junior driver's license is valid for four (4) years from the time it is issued, and like the junior learner’s permit, you must carry this with you anytime you are operating a motor vehicle. If you are under 18 years of age, you will have the following restrictions on your driving privilege:You may drive only while accompanied by a licensed driver who is your spouse (if at least 18 years of age), a person in loco parentis (if at least 21 years of age), a parent or a guardian. The exception to this is if you are involved in a public service, a member of a volunteer fire company, or employed during those hours. If you qualify for this exception, you must have a notarized affidavit or certificate of authorization from your employer, supervisor or fire chief indicating your probable schedule. You must carry this form with you.You may not have more passengers than seat belts available in the vehicle you are driving..
33The Pennsylvania Driver’s License You must complete at least 65 hours of supervised driving practice to get a license at 17 ½.
34The Pennsylvania Driver’s License 3. Regular Driver’s LicenseAfter you have held your junior driver’s license for one (1) year, when you are at least 17 ½ years of age, you are eligible for a regular driver’s license if you can meet the following conditions:You have passed a driver training course approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.You have NOT been involved in a crash for which you are partially or fully responsible for one (1) year.You have NOT been convicted of any violation of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code for one (1) year.You have the consent of your parent, guardian, person in loco parentis 21 or older, or spouse 18 or older.To apply for a regular driver’s license, obtain, complete and submit the Application for Change from a Junior Driver’s License to a Regular Non-Commercial Driver’s License (DL-59). Alternatively, you can simply wait until you turn 18, when the junior driver’s license automatically becomes a regular driver’s license.
35The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Suspensions for Drivers Under 18Your junior learner’s permit or junior driver’s license may be suspended until you turn 18 years of age or for up to 90 days, in addition to any fines, penalties and points a regular driver would receive if you:Get involved in an accident for which you are partially or fully responsible, orCommit certain moving violations.Your permit or license will also be suspended if you accumulate six (6) or more points or are convicted of driving at least 26 miles over the posted speed limit. The initial suspension will be for 90 days and any additional suspensions will be for 120 days. The suspension is in addition to the requirements under the point system (see Pennsylvania Point System later in this module).
36The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Risk FactorsWhat makes driving so hazardous for young drivers? Most traffic safety experts point to their limited experience behind the wheel, as well as their lack of maturity. Teens also take more risks, including behind the wheel. In addition, the younger a driver is, the higher the risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers involved in fatal crashes who were 16 years of age were more likely to have crashed due to driver error. In 2004, 78% of the fatal crashes in which they were involved were due to driver error, compared to 69% for those between 17 and 19. Older drivers, of course, do make mistakes; 55% of the crashes involving drivers between 20 and 49 were due to driver error.According to NHTSA, the problems that teen drivers face include the following:Driver error: Teen drivers crash more often due to driver error.Speeding: Teens have a higher rate of crashing when excessive speed is involved.Single-vehicle crashes: A higher percentage of fatal crashes involving teens are single-vehicle crashes, usually due to high speed causing loss of control.Passengers: Fatal crashes are more likely to occur when teen drivers have teen passengers. The risk of crashing increases with each additional passenger.Night driving: The fatal crash rate for drivers 16 years of age is about twice as high as it is during the day.Seat belt use: Teens are less likely to wear their seat belts than adults.Alcohol: Alcohol affects teens differently than adults, so although they may appear to tolerate alcohol better, they may drink more, which causes problems. However, their involvement with alcohol is lower than for other age groups as they appear to heed the warnings regarding drinking and driving.Distractions: Teen drivers are more susceptible to distractions. While passengers are the top source of distractions, there are others such as cell phones and other portable electronic devices.
37Chapter 1-Journal 3 WHAT DO YOU THINK? Many traffic safety experts believe that the licensing process for young drivers (known as "graduated licensing") should consist of three stages: a supervised learner's stage (learner’s permit), intermediate stage (junior driver’s license), and a graduated stage where the young driver gets full driving privileges. Young Pennsylvanians do have to go through three stages before getting full privileges (at 17 ½). However, these experts propose a more restrictive process than the one currently in place in Pennsylvania. For example, although the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates Pennsylvania as having a good system, it recommends the following additional limitations:Minors should be at least 18 before they have full driving privileges. In Pennsylvania, minors must be at least 17 years 6 months old, although they must have completed a driver’s education course and hold a junior driver’s license for at least one (1) year or wait until they turn 18.Nighttime driving restrictions should start at 9 or 10 p.m. In Pennsylvania, nighttime driving restrictions start at 11 p.m.While some provisions of Pennsylvania's teen licensing law meet or exceed the minimum levels recommended by IIHS, the above shows that it falls short in others. Consider the pros and cons of having a more restrictive teen licensing process. Should teen drivers in Pennsylvania have more restrictions placed on them, or fewer? Briefly explain your reasons below.
38The Pennsylvania Driver’s License MOTORCYCLE LICENSINGIf you want to get a Pennsylvania motorcycle license, you must first obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit.
39The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Before you can get a Pennsylvania motorcycle license (Class M), you must first obtain a Class M motorcycle learner’s permit. If you are also applying for your Class C learner’s permit, you will need to add a Class M motorcycle learner’s permit. In order to apply for a Pennsylvania motorcycle learner’s permit, you will need to:Be at least 16 years old.Complete a motorcycle learner’s permit application (DL-5).Pass a motorcycle knowledge test.Pass a vision screening.The permit you receive will be valid for one year from the date it is issued. This permit allows you to practice your motorcycle riding skills while under the immediate supervision of a licensed motorcycle operator. If you are under 18 years of age, you must hold your motorcycle learner’s permit for a minimum of six (6) months and have at least 65 hours of practical driving experience before you can test for a motorcycle license (same as for a Class C license).
40The Pennsylvania Driver’s License When you hold a motorcycle learner’s permit, the following restrictions will apply:You may only drive during daylight hours (defined as the hours between sunrise and sunset).You must ride under the immediate supervision of a licensed motorcycle operator if you do not currently have another Class of license (for example, a Class C).You may not carry any passenger other than an instructor properly licensed to operate a motorcycle.You must wear a helmet.To be eligible for a Pennsylvania motorcycle driver's license (Class M), you need to:Be at least 16 years 6 months old.Pass the motorcycle skills test. When you come in for your skills test, you must bring the following:Your valid motorcycle learner’s permit.Your valid driver’s license or, if you don’t have one, a licensed motorcycle operator.A valid inspection sticker for the motorcycle you will be using for the test.A valid registration card for the motorcycle.Proof that the motorcycle is insured.
41The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Similar to the regular driver's license test, you will have a pre-trip inspection before taking your motorcycle-driving test. You will need to know how to use your motorcycle's controls and equipment. You will be tested on using the choke, gearshift, brakes, throttle, starter, ignition, signals, lights, horn, and clutch. The examiner will then test you on normal starts and stops, quick stops, turns and other maneuvers. If you fail the motorcycle skills test three times, you must reapply for a motorcycle learner’s permit. The knowledge test will be waived as long as you have taken and passed the knowledge test within the last 12 months.Note: Always wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. You should also wear a face shield or goggles if your motorcycle does not have a windshield or screen.
42Chapter 1-Journal 4 WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you ride a motorcycle? Do you plan on getting a motorcycle license some day? What are some of the differences between operating a motorcycle and driving a car?
43The Pennsylvania Driver’s License ACTIONS AGAINST THE DRIVER'S LICENSE
44The Pennsylvania Driver’s License As previously mentioned, driving is a privilege granted to you by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In order to keep that privilege, you must continue to drive safely, obey traffic laws, and respect the driving rights of other motorists. If you do not, PennDOT can suspend, revoke or cancel your driving privilege. Suspension - When your license or permit is suspended, your privilege to drive is withdrawn for a definite period of time. The length depends on the severity of the violation. The more serious violations usually call for a longer suspension. You will be required to surrender your driver’s license or learner’s permit, and you can get your driving privilege back only after you serve your suspension. But you must meet certain conditions before PennDOT reinstates, or returns, your license. These include paying a reinstatement fee and possibly taking a special driver’s examination or attending a driver improvement school.
45The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Revocation - In some cases, PennDOT may instead revoke your license or permit. Similar to a suspension, you will not be able to drive for a certain amount of time. However, a revocation does not withdraw your driving privilege but terminates it. If you want to drive again, you must apply for a new license or permit after the end of your revocation period. You also must pay additional fees.Cancellation - The parent, guardian, person in loco parentis or spouse who signed the Parent or Guardian consent form (DL-180TD) when you applied for your permit can request its cancellation for any reason. He or she only needs to forward a completed Request for Cancellation of Driver’s License or Learner’s Permit to PennDOT. PennDOT can also cancel your driver’s license if you voluntarily surrender it. You can reapply to restore your driving privilege once you turn 18 (for a junior permit or license) or after 6 months have passed if you voluntarily surrendered your license. However, you cannot use that time for credit toward any outstanding suspension or revocation of your driving privilege.
46The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Delayed Issuance - Sometimes a suspension or revocation does not work because a person is a juvenile who is not yet eligible for a driver's license. In certain cases, PennDOT simply may not allow you to apply for a license for a certain period of time once you become eligible for one, thus delaying your driving career. For example, if you make it a habit to miss school and a judge subsequently determines that you need to be supervised, PennDOT will not allow you to apply for a learner’s permit for the first 90 days after you turn 16.License Restoration - Once your suspension or revocation period is over, your driving privilege is not automatically reinstated. You are required to reapply for a license at a Driver’s License Center. You will also need to pay any required restoration fees. Before you go in to reapply, make sure you meet the requirements for reinstatement. Since the actions PennDOT takes against you are separate from your court case, you must go through these procedures even if your criminal charges are dismissed or reduced.
47The Pennsylvania Driver’s License THE PENNSYLVANIA POINT SYSTEMThe Commonwealth of Pennsylvania uses the Point System to keep track of motorist accidents and moving violations. The purpose of the point system is to ensure safe driving and to improve driving habits when needed. Traffic accidents and violations become part of your record, even ones that take place in other states. Every moving violation and DUI-related conviction has a pre-assigned point value. PennDOT is notified by the court of the conviction, and the points are then entered on your record.
48The Pennsylvania Driver’s License Mandatory Suspensions and RevocationsUnder certain circumstances you may lose your Pennsylvania driving privilege and your license without being assigned points. This is most often done with major traffic offenses, but you can lose your license for non-traffic offenses. The following are some reasons why PennDOT may suspend or revoke your driving privilege automatically:When PennDOT sends you a written notice of suspension or revocation, you must surrender your driver’s license or learner’s permit by returning it to the Bureau of Driver Licensing by the effective date of the suspension or revocation. If you do not surrender your license or permit as directed, PennDOT will send the state and local police to pick it up. You will get no credit toward your suspension or revocation until you surrender the license or permit.Upon the restoration of your driving privilege, your driving record will show five (5) points regardless of how many points you had before the suspension except in the following cases:Underage drinkingA 15-day suspension resulting from a hearing for your second accumulation of six (6) pointsSuspension for failing to respond to a citation
49The Pennsylvania Driver’s License OFFICERS WORKING FOR PUBLIC SAFETYOfficers of the law are there to protect and serve the public. Respecting their presence and heeding their commands can only make the roads safer for everyone. Below are various types of officers you may encounter:Traffic Officer - Traffic officers are primarily in charge of traffic safety, with their primary focus on maintaining clear and safe roadways.Motorcycle Officer - Motorcycle officers are similar to traffic officers, but they operate on motorcycles.Patrol Officer - Patrol officers are primarily patrolling and providing for public safety. Traffic matters are not their main focus.Undercover Officer - Undercover officers are normally engaged in non-traffic activities, but they can also write tickets and make arrests.Pennsylvania State Trooper - These officers primarily patrol highways and freeways, with the majority of their citations written for excessive speed violations. Remember: Speed leads to collisions, which leads to fatalities.Transit Police Officer - Transit police have full police powers to arrest and ticket, but normally patrol only certain areas where the rapid transit agencies they are affiliated with operate.College Police Officer - College/University police have full police powers to arrest and ticket, but normally stay within areas specific to their College or University campus.School Police Officer - These officers have full power to arrest and ticket drivers within school property. If the local school district superintendent authorizes it, school police may also issue traffic citations on streets that are adjacent to school property.Security Private Patrol Officers - Security or private patrol officers may only make a citizens' arrest. They are not typically affiliated with any police agency.