Pennsylvania License Suspension and Revocation
Suspension or revocation of a drivers license is a means of maintaining order and safety on Pennsylvania roads. It serves as a reminder for drivers to always practice safe driving habits. While generally, similar laws and regulations are applied throughout the country, there are minor variations from one state to another. The criteria for having your Pennsylvania license or Pennsylvania learners permit taken away is something that you should be aware of when you start driving.
License Suspension vs. Revocation
A license may be suspended or revoked due to similar reasons, but generally for different levels of severity. A suspension will prohibit you from driving for a specific period of time, which is determined at the time of the suspension by a suspension hearing officer. Your license will be given back to you after you have waiting the allotted amount of time and fulfilled any other requirements made by the court.
Revocation, on the other hand, officially and totally voids your license to drive. This usually happens after you have committed a serious driving offense such as fleeing the scene of an accident or driving under the influence of alcohol. Your license can also be revoked if you continue to make relatively minor driving violations without improvement over many years. To get another license, you will need to wait out a certain revocation period and start the drivers license application process all over again like a brand new driver for the very first time.
How Many Points Does it Take to Have My Pennsylvania License Suspended?
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation updates and maintains all the driving records of every licensed driver through a point system. Points are added to the record for every violation committed. Your license will be suspended for 90 days the first time you accumulate six points or more. Every additional time you reach six points on your record will result in a suspension of 120 days.
Most minor violations are worth just two or three points, though the more serious ones can be worth up to five. Here are some examples of the most common driving violations and their point values:
- Disobeying a traffic signal – 3 points
- Improper passing – 4 points
- Failing to stop for a school bus with flashing light – 5 points
- Exceeding maximum speed limit – between 2 and 5 points, depending on severity
You can learn more about the point system by reading the Pennsylvania Point System Fact Sheet.
How Do I Get My Pennsylvania License Reinstated?
For drivers over 18, your first 6-point accumulation will require you to take a special written point examination that will address the following: knowledge of safe driving practices, departmental sanctions, and related safety issues. Once you pass the exam within the required 30-day period, two points will be deducted from the accumulated total.
Your second 6-point accumulation will require you to attend a departmental hearing. The hearing examiner will review your record and recommend either a 15-day license suspension or a special on-road driver’s examination, and two points will be deducted. Your third and additional accumulations will result in a 30-day suspension depending on the hearing examiner.
An accumulation of 11 points or more will introduce you to the following suspension schedule:
- First suspension – 5 days per point
- Second suspension – 10 days per point
- Third suspension – 15 days per point
- Subsequent suspensions – 1 year
Pennsylvania can be very strict about how it handles driving violations, and will not hesitate to remove what it perceives as dangerous drivers from the road through license suspensions and revocations. The financial repercussions go beyond paying fines – a license suspension can cause your Pennsylvania insurance rates to skyrocket. You can help prevent this from ever happening to you by understanding how the system works ahead of time and never accumulating any points to begin with.