Drivers Ed in Pennsylvania
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Driver's Education in Pennsylvania
Driver's education courses help prepare young drivers to be safe and responsible behind the wheel.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation requires you to complete Driver's Ed in order to obtain your PA driver's license before you turn 18 years old.
Read below to learn more about PA Driver's Ed courses, including:
- Enrollment requirements.
- Course providers.
- Course curriculum.
You can take Driver's Ed after receiving your junior driver's license to be eligible for your full driver's license when you turn 17 1/2 years old.
Before you can take a PA Driver's Ed course, you must first hold a learner's permit then apply for your junior Pennsylvania driver's license.
NOTE: If you took Driver's Ed in another state, you will not have to take Driver's Ed again if your course is approved by PennDOT. Be prepared to show proof that you passed the course, such as a course completion certificate.
Apply for a Learner's Permit
To apply for your PA learner's permit, you must:
- Be at least 16 years old.
- Pass the knowledge test.
For more detailed information about getting your PA learner's permit, see our Driver Permits in Pennsylvania page.
Apply for a Junior Driver's License
You can apply for your junior license once you:
- Have had your PA learner's permit for at least 6 months.
- Completed 65 hours of practice driving, including:
- 10 hours at night.
- 5 hours in bad weather.
- Pass the driving skills test.
For more information about applying for your junior driver's license, visit our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Pennsylvania page.
To apply for your PA driver's license before you turn 18 years old, you must successfully complete a Driver's Ed course consisting of both in-classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction.
Pennsylvania Driver's Ed classes must cover certain topics in order to meet PennDOT and state education requirements.
You'll learn about PA traffic laws and regulations and learn practical skills and information, such as:
- Operating and inspecting a vehicle.
- Recognizing aggressive drivers.
- Driving distractions.
- Handling roadside emergencies.
- The effects of alcohol and drugs on driving.
The course ensures that you have all of the information and skills necessary to be a safe, knowledgeable, and courteous driver.
Classroom & Behind-the-Wheel Hours
PA driver's education has two parts, consisting of at least:
- 30 hours of theory instruction in the classroom (or online).
- 6 hours of training behind the wheel of a car.
You must complete both parts to get your PA driver's license.
NOTE: Not all programs offer both parts of driver's education, but you will still need to complete both to qualify for early licensing.
Approved Pennsylvania Driver's Ed classes are offered by a variety of providers throughout the state, including:
- PA school districts.
- Private and charter schools.
- Vocational and technical schools.
- Community colleges and universities.
- Private driver's training schools.
The list of approved courses includes correspondence and online courses.
Course fees vary, so check with your driving school for more information about cost.
NOTE: Pay attention to the type of instruction a program offers. Some programs only provide classroom OR behind-the-wheel training, not both.
Driver's Ed gets you one step closer to your PA driver's license, but it isn't the only requirement you have to meet.
To apply for an unrestricted driver's license at 17 1/2 years old, you must:
- Have successfully completed an approved driver's education course.
- Have held your junior driver's license for at least 1 year.
- Have no at-fault accidents for at least 1 year.
- Have no violations for at least 1 year.
- Get your parent or guardian's permission.
- Complete the Application for Change from a Junior Driver's License to a Regular Non-Commercial License (Form DL-59).
If you do not meet these requirements, your junior driver's license will become a regular driver's license automatically when you turn 18 years old.
For more information, visit our page on Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Pennsylvania.