Search
Search & Choose State
  • Location:

  • Drivers Permits in Pennsylvania

    Getting Your Learner’s Permit in Pennsylvania

    To reduce the amount of accidents involving teen drivers, many states—including Pennsylvania—have implemented a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program. As part of the PA GDL program, one of the first steps on your path to your driver’s license is to obtain your PA learner’s permit. Below you will find everything you need to know, from taking the DOT written exam to your learner’s permit driving restrictions.

    New to Pennsylvania?

    If you’re new to the state, you must obtain a learner’s permit if:

    • You’re a first-time teen driver.
    • You are a new PA resident who has an out-of-state driver’s license that has been expired for more than 6 months.

    It’s important to note that out-of-state learner’s permits cannot be transferred to Pennsylvania. You must apply for a Pennsylvania driver’s permit and complete all applicable knowledge and skills tests in order to get a Pennsylvania driver’s license.

    Applying for Your PA Learner’s Permit

    If you want to get a Pennsylvania learner’s permit, you must be at least 16 years old. Before heading down to a driver license center, it’s a good idea to make an appointment.

    When you apply, you’ll need to present:

    • A completed Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application (Form DL-180)
      • If you’re under 18 years old, the DL-180 form must be completed by a parent, guardian, or spouse who is at least 18 years old or older.
    • A completed Parent or Guardian Consent Form (Form DL-180TD). This form must also be signed by your parent or guardian.
    • Proof of identity (e.g. original U.S. birth certificate, certificate of U.S. citizenship, valid U.S. passport). A full list of documents is located on the reverse side of the application.
      • If you are changing your name, you must present original documents supporting name changes (e.g. a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order).
    • Proof of residency documents, if you are 18 years old or older (e.g. bank statement, W-2, lease or mortgage). Acceptable documents are listed on reverse side of the application.
      • Proof of residency is not required if you’re under 18 years old.
    • Your Social Security card.
    • A check or money order payable to PennDOT for $34.50.

    You will also be required to pass a vision screening and a written knowledge exam (see below). Once you pass both of these, you’ll receive your Pennsylvania learner’s permit, which is valid for 1 year.

    Taking the DMV Written Exam

    Once you have all the documents mentioned above, it’s time to take your knowledge exam at a driver license center. The exam is based on information about Pennsylvania traffic laws, road signs, and safe driving techniques contained in the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual.

    Pass Your Test with DMV Cheat Sheets

    Get answers, save time and pass your driving written test the first time around. DMV Cheat Sheets also offers:

    • Steps to getting your license
    • 50 essential study-guide questions
    • Traffic signs and signals

    Simply print and pass or your money back guaranteed.

    PA Permit Behind-the-Wheel Requirements

    With your learner’s permit in your possession, it’s time to polish your driving skills with behind-the-wheel practice. This practice may only be completed with a licensed driver 21 years old or older.

    During this phase of the GDL, you must:

    • Log 65 hours of supervised driving with a licensed driver.
      • 10 hours must be at night.
      • 5 hours must be during inclement weather.

    Once all 65 hours have been completed, a parent must sign a Parent or Guardian Certification form (Form DL-180C), which you will turn in when you apply for your junior driver’s license and take your road test.

    You must hold your learner’s permit for a minimum of 6 months before you can take your road test for your junior driver’s license. For details on the steps to take to get your junior license, please visit our PA Teen Licensing page.

    Learner’s Permit Driving Restrictions in PA

    During your permit phase, you may drive only:

    • With a licensed driver 21 years old or older.
    • While properly wearing a seat belt at all times.

    You may NOT drive:

    • With any passengers other than immediate family (brother, sister, parent, etc.).

    Driving Violations with a PA Permit

    Drivers under 18 years old risk a 90-day permit suspension if:

    • You receive 6 points or more on your driving record (points can be accumulated by breaking any of the above conditions, as well as any other PA traffic & safety laws).
    • You receive a single traffic ticket for driving 26 MPH or faster over the speed limit.

    Replacing a Lost or Expired PA Driver Permit

    Lost PA Learner’s Permit

    If you lose your learner's permit, you can apply for a replacement either in person or by mail. The replacement license will be valid for the time remaining on your original.

    In Person

    Your duplicate Pennsylvania learner’s permit will be handed to you over the counter.

    By Mail

    Mail your payment and application to:

    PennDOT
    P.O. Box 68272
    Harrisburg, PA 17106-8272

    You should receive your duplicate PA learner’s permit within 7 to 10 business days after processing.

    Expired PA Learner’s Permit

    You can apply for an extension to your learner's permit if it expires, or if you need more time to practice. You can also apply for an extension if you fail the road test 3 times. Extensions are valid for up to 1 year from the date it was issued.

    To apply for an extension, go to your local driver’s license center and:

    If you are unable to go to a driver’s license center in person, you may send the application and the fee (check or money order made payable to “PennDOT”) to:

    PennDOT
    P.O. Box 68272
    Harrisburg, PA 17106-8272

    True or False

    Doctors don’t work with the same urgency to save your life if they know you’re an organ donor.

    True False

    False

    Every doctors first priority is to save your life regardless of your organ donation status.

    More about Organ Donation ▸ Become an Organ Donor ▸