DMV Point System in Pennsylvania
In order to monitor dangerous drivers and improve road safety, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) adheres to a point system. Most moving traffic violations carry points, and when you accumulate too many points, the state begins imposing hard-line penalties that whack your wallet and limit your mobility.
Drivers younger than 18 years old who accumulate 6 points or are nabbed exceeding the speed limit by 26 MPH or more face license suspension for 90 days, and they'll be required to pass a written test dealing mainly with road safety issues.
An additional offense will earn you a suspension of 120 days.
A first-time accumulation of 6 points means you'll have to pass a a special written exam based on safe driving practices, department sanctions, and related safety issues.
If you do not pass this exam within 30 days, your license will be suspended until you pass the test. If you do pass this test within the designated 30 days, 2 points will be removed from your driving record.
A second-time accumulation of 6 points means you'll have to attend a PennDOT department hearing. Don't test this ultimatum. Failing to appear will result in an immediate suspension for 60 days. At the hearing, an examiner will review your driving record.
Based on his or her decision, you may be give a suspension of 15 days and be required to pass a special on-road driving examination. 2 points will be removed from your driving record if you pass the test within 30 days or after you serve your suspension.
A third- or subsequent accumulation of 6 points means you'll be notified of a mandatory PennDOT department hearing. A hearing examiner will review your record and decide whether or not to impose a suspension of 30 days. Failure to appear will result in an immediate suspension that won't be lifted until you attend a hearing.
Should you get pulled over for excessive speeding (exceeding the posted speed limit by 31 MPH or more) you will be alerted of a mandatory hearing. Don’t treat this as optional. Failure to attend warrants an immediate suspension of 60 days.
At the hearing a department examiner will either recommend a suspension of 15 days or a special on-road test. Suspension will result in a burden of 5 points on your license with no “good behavior” opportunities to remove it.
No hearings on this one. An immediate license suspension is mandatory when you accumulate 11 points or more. The duration will be based on your past suspension record:
- 1st suspension: 5 days per 1 point
- 2nd suspensions: 10 days per 1 point
- 3rd suspensions: 15 days per 1 point
- 4th and Subsequent suspensions: 1 year
As an incentive of sorts, the state will grant point removal from your record for safe driving habits. For each 12 months you drive without getting a violation that results in points, a suspension, or a revocation, the state will trim 3 points from your record. If you can cut it down to zero points and keep it at zero for 12 consecutive months, the state will reward your conscientious ways by treating any subsequent point totals like they are your first.
The following are examples of offenses that will lead to points in Pennsylvania:
- Illegal passing.
- Failure to stop at stop signs.
Read the DMV's fact sheet for a comprehensive list of offenses and point assignments.
If you need or want to check the status of your driver’s license, you might want to order a driving record report.
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