PENNSYLVANIA DRIVER’S LICENSE POINT SYSTEM
If you are a current resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania you more than likely drive with a Pennsylvania license. According to Pennsylvania, “driving is a privilege and NOT a right.”
The Pennsylvania department which is responsible for maintaining driving records, license suspensions, and maintaining a point system is that of PennDOT or more formally known as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
If you are pulled over by either a local police officer or a Pennsylvania State Trooper for any alleged traffic violation you likely will incur points onto your PA driver’s license if you plead guilty or are convicted of the offense. As one continues to incur additional points licensed drivers to risk the possibility of increased car insurance rates, fines, penalties, license suspensions and even the possibility of jail time!
According to the PennDOT, “the purpose of the point system is to help to improve driving habits and to ensure safe driving. PennDOT will require Pennsylvania Licensed Drivers to begin to take corrective actions when a driving record reaches 6 or more points.”
What Happens after I reach 6 or more points on my Pennsylvania Driver’s License?
- First Accumulation of 6 Points
- Second Accumulation of 6 Points
- Third of More Accumulation of 6 Points
- Excessive Speeding
- Accumulation of 11 Points or More
- Point Removal for Safe Driving
- License Suspension and Restoration
- Under the Age of 18
- Bread and Butter Licenses: Occupational Limited License &PennDOT Form
- Bread and Butter Licenses: Suspended License & PennDOT Form
- The Pennsylvania Point System: Violations and Corresponding Points
A.) First Accumulation of 6 Points
- Subsequent to reaching 6 or more points for the first time, the driver will receive a written notice to take a special written point examination. The examination will include:
- Knowledge of Safe Driving Practices;
- Knowledge of Department Sanctions; and
- Knowledge of Related Safety Issues.
- The driver then has 30 days to successfully pass the exam or else the license will be suspended until the exam is passed. If the exam is passed within the 30 day period, 2 points will be removed from the driving record.
B.) Second Accumulation of 6 Points
- When any driving record is reduced below 6 points and then for a second time reaches 6 or more points, the driver will have to attend a Department hearing. The driver will receive a written notice of the specific time and location or the required hearing.
- At the hearing, a hearing examiner will review the driver’s record. After the hearing, Pittsburgh traffic court may recommend one or more:
- Order a 15 Day License Suspension;
- Order the Driver to Take a Special On-Road Driver’s Examination; and
- Take no action.
- If a person’s driving privilege is suspended or a special driver’s exam is recommended, 2 points will be removed from the driving record if the driver passes the exam within 30 days or 2 points will be removed once the 15-day suspension has been served. No points are removed from the driving record if the Department does not initiate a sanction.
- FAILURE TO ATTEND THIS DEPARTMENTAL HEARING WILL RESULT IN A 60 DAY LICENSE SUSPENSION.
C.) Third of More Accumulation of 6 Points
- When any driving record is reduced below 6 points and for the third or subsequent time reaches 6 or more points, the driver will have to attend a Pittsburgh traffic court hearing. The hearing examiner will review the driving record. The department will then determine if a 30 day license suspension will be initiated.
- FAILURE TO ATTEND THIS DEPARTMENTAL HEARING WILL RESULT IN THE SUSPENSION OF THE DRIVER’S LICENSE UNTIL THE DRIVER ATTENDS THE HEARING.
D.) Excessive Speeding
- When a driver is convicted for speeding 31 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit, the driver will have to attend a Departmental hearing.
- PennDOT will notify the driver by a written notice of the specific time and location of the hearing. The hearing examiner will review the driving record. Upon the Department’s review of the hearing file, one or both the following will be initiated:
- 15 Day License Suspension
- Special On-Road Driver’s Examination.
- If a 15-day suspension is initiated, the driving record will show 5 points upon restoration. No points are removed if a special driver’s examination is initiated and completed.
- FAILURE TO ATTEND THIS DEPARTMENTAL HEARING WILL RESULT IN A 60 DAY LICENSE SUSPENSION.
E.) Accumulation of 11 Points or More
- When any driving record reaches 11 or more points, the driver’s license will automatically be suspended!
- The length of suspension depends on how many times the license was suspended in the past. The suspensions schedule is as follows:
- First Suspension – 5 Days
- Second Suspension – 10 Days per point
- Third Suspension – 15 Days per point
- Subsequent Suspensions – One Year
F.) Point Removal for Safe Driving
- Three (3) points removed from a driving record for every 12 consecutive months a person drives (from the date of the last violation) without a violation which results in points, license suspension, and/or revocation.
- Once a driving record is reduced to zero points (0) for 12 consecutive months, any further accumulation of points is treated as the first accumulation of points.
G.) License Suspension and Restoration
- If a persons’ driving privilege is to be suspended, a written notice will be mailed to the driver listing the date when the suspension will begin. The driver may appeal the suspension to his or her county’s Court of Common Pleas.
- THE APPEAL MUST BE MADE WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER THE MAILING DATE OF THE NOTICE.
- The most recent product (ie, license, permit(s), and/or camera card) must be returned to the Bureau of Driver Licensing by the effective date of the suspension listed on the notice or the State Police, local police, or other authorities that have been delegated by the Department will be notified to pick up the license.
- In addition to serving the suspension or revocation, the appropriate restoration fee must be paid before the license will be returned. After the driving privilege is restored, the driving record will show 5 points, regardless of the number of points which appeared on the record before the license was suspended (except in the case of a 15 day suspension resulting from a hearing for the second accumulation of 6 points.)
H.) Under the Age of 18
- The driving privilege of a person under the age of 18 will be suspended if that person accumulates six (6) or more points or is convicted of driving 26 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit.
- The first suspension will be for a period of 90 days. Any additional occurrences will result in a suspension of 120 days.
- THIS SUSPENSION IS IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE POINT SYSTEM AS STATED ABOVE.
I.) Bread & Butter Licenses: Occupations Limited License & Form
- The term Bread & Butter License refers to receiving a limited license from PennDOT that will allow you to drive to and from work and therefore allow for you to make your “bread and butter.” Please be advised that this occupational limited license is only granted by PennDOT on a case by case basis and is not available to everyone or every situation. However, this still is an option which very few Pennsylvania Licensed Drivers who have had their license suspended take advantage of, therefore, if you are interested in applying for this limited license please contact AAAL – Allegheny Attorneys At Law for more information!
- What is an Occupational Limited License?
- An Occupational Limited License (OLL) is a driver’s license issued to a driver whose Pennsylvania driving privilege has been, or will be, suspended.
- An OLL authorizes driving a designated motor vehicle, under certain conditions, when it is necessary for the driver’s occupation, work, trade, medical treatment or study. Based on your driving record and violations, the PA Department of Transportation will evaluate whether or not you are eligible for an OLL. But first, you must apply by completing the attached Occupational Limited License Petition (form DL-15).
- Requirements of an Occupational Limited License:
- To have continuous driving privileges, you must send your completed OLL Petition, check or money order, and Proof of Insurance(s) by certified mail to the PA Department of Transportation at least 20 days before your suspension begins.
- Within 20 days of receiving your Petition, the Department will inform you in writing whether or not you qualify for an OLL.
- If your Petition is not received and approved before your suspension starts, you must return your current driver’s license to the Department and pay a restoration fee before an OLL will be issued.
- If your Petition is received and approved, but the OLL has not been issued before your suspension begins, the Department will delay the start of your suspension for 15 days. They will issue an approval letter and a temporary license that is valid until the new suspension start date. Credit toward your suspension will begin upon the new effective date or later.
- During this 15 day delay, you need to send your current driver’s license, by certified mail, to the address shown on the bottom of the Petition.
- If you are already under suspension and do not have a valid license, complete and send the attached Petition with a check or money order made payable to PA Department of Transportation, and Proof of Insurance(s) by certified mail to the address shown at the bottom of the Petition. Within 20 days of receiving your Petition, the Department will inform you in writing whether or not you are eligible for an OLL.
- Individuals NOT eligible for an Occupational Limited License: If you are currently, or about to be suspended for any of these violations, you are not eligible for an OLL:
- 3345 – Passing a school bus
- 1533 or 6146 – Failure to respond to a citation
- 3367 – Racing on highways
- 1543 – Driving while suspended (possible exceptions)
- 3732 – Homicide by Vehicle
- 1547 – Refusal to submit to chemical testing (possible exceptions)
- 3733 – Fleeing a Police Officer
- 1786 – Failure to maintain financial responsibility
- 3734 – Driving without lights
- ARD ordered suspension for DUI
- 3735 – Homicide by Vehicle/DUI Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act Violations
- 3736 – Reckless Driving Underage alcohol violations (possible exceptions)
- 3742 – Accidents involving death or injury Any serious traffic offense
- 3743 – Leaving scene of an accident. Any violations relating to accidents and accident reports
- 3802 – Driving under the influence (possible exceptions)
- NOTE: You may be issued only one (1) OLL every five (5) years
- APPLICATION FOR OCCUPATIONAL LIMITED LICENSE
J.) Bread and Butter Licenses: Suspended License & PennDOT Form
- WHAT IS A PROBATIONARY LICENSE?
- A Probationary License (PL) is a Class C (Non-Commercial) driver’s license issued to an individual whose Pennsylvania driving privilege has been suspended or revoked for five or more years. b.) A PL authorizes driving a non-commercial vehicle between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. The Department will consider additional hours upon request. Under no circumstances will a PL be given to drive a commercial vehicle, motorcycle or moped.
- Qualifications to a Probationary License:
- To qualify for a Probationary License you must have completed a portion of your suspension time period, based on your driving record. The minimum period from three to six (3-6) years is determined by the number of violations that caused the current suspension/revocation of your driving privilege. In addition, any outstanding citations, judgments, examinations or hearings must be satisfied. If you are not licensed to drive in this or any other state, you must apply for a class C Probationary learner’s permit. Thirty days after the issuance of the learner’s permit you will be eligible to test for a driver’s license. Upon successfully passing all exams, the Department will issue a PL.
- Who is NOT eligible for a Probationary License:
- If you have been convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), granted ARD for DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle with DUI, driving under suspension with DUI, suspended for refusal to submit to chemical testing, or offense for death or personal injury without a license within the preceding seven (7) years, you are not eligible for a PL until seven (7) years have passed.
- If you have ever been convicted of Homicide by Vehicle or Homicide by Vehicle while DUI, you are permanently prohibited from obtaining a PL.
- The PA Department of Transportation will evaluate whether or not you are eligible for a PL. You must first complete the subsequent Probationary License Petition (form DL-20).
- PROBATIONARY LICENSE PETITION
K.) The Pennsylvania Point System: Violations and Corresponding Points
||Number of Points
||Violation of restriction on Driver’s License – wearing glasses, etc.
||Violation concerning license
||Failure to obey policeman or authorized person
|3112(a)(3)(I) or (ii)
||Failure to stop for a red light
||Failure to stop for a flashing red light
||Failure to yield half of the roadway to oncoming vehicle
||Improper passing, overtaken driver to maintain speed; passing driver to pull in at a safe distance
||Improper passing on the right
||Improper passing on the left, clear distance ahead
||Improper passing on a hill
||Improper passing at a railroad crossing or intersection
||Improper passing at a bridge or tunnel
||Improper passing in a no-passing zone
||Following too closely
||Failure to yield to the driver on the right at an intersection
||Failure to yield to oncoming driver when making a left turn
||Failure to stop for Stop sign
||Failure to yield at a yield sign
||Failure to yield when entering or crossing roadway between intersections
||Improper turning around – illegal U-Turn(s)
||Failure to obey signal indicating the approach of a train
||Failure to comply with crossing gate or barrier
||4 & 30 Day license suspension
|3342(b) or (e)
||Failure to stop at railroad crossings
||Failure to stop when entering from alley, driveway, or building
||Failure to stop for school bus with flashing red lights
||5 & 30 Day license suspension
||Driving too fast for conditions
||Exceeding maximum speed: 6 – 10 miles over the speed limit
||Exceeding maximum speed: 11 – 15 miles over the speed limit
||Exceeding maximum speed: 16 – 25 miles over the speed limit
||Exceeding maximum speed: 26 – 30 miles over the speed limit
||Exceeding maximum speed: 31 – and up miles over the speed limit
||5 & Departmental Hearing and Sanctions provided under Section 1538(d)
||Exceeding special speed limit in the school zone
||Exceeding special speed limit for trucks on downgrades
||Failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk
||Failure to yield to a pedestrian on a sidewalk when entering from a driveway or alley
||Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage only
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: AAAL – ALLEGHENY ATTORNEYS AT LAW BY PHONE: 412.426-3321 OR BY E-MAIL: MARC@ALLEGHENYATTORNEYS.COM