Driver's License and Testing Blog - Driven2Drive

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Driver's License and Testing Blog

Read articles from experienced drivers about proper driving procedures and techniques, the rules of the road, insights into testing methods, and tips on how to get your license in no time.
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PA Junior License Rules
Pennsylvania driving lawsPA Junior License RulesAre you wondering what the 'PA Cinderella License Curfew' is, or what happens if you get a ticket under 18? The team at Driven2Drive is here to answer all your questions, including the requirements to get a junior license, as well as specific rules that a junior license holder needs to follow. What Is a Junior License? A junior license may be obtained by those under the age of 18 who have completed 65 hours behind the wheel with a learner's permit (including 10 hours of night driving and 5 hours of bad-weather driving), as well as the skills test for a junior license. If you're over the age of 18, you do not need to complete the 65 hours of driving time, only the skills test. For drivers 18 and under who plan to obtain their graduated license before turning 18, a PennDOT approved driver's education course must be completed. If not, a junior license automatically becomes a graduated license upon turning 18. —Edgar Snyder & Associates The junior license comes between the learner's license and driver's license. It offers a way to be out on the road unsupervised (without another driver's license holder) before one has obtained a driver's license—as those under 18 are required to wait at least six months before scheduling the driver's license test after obtaining their learner's licenses. What Is a Provisional License in PA? When a driver has been stripped of his/her/their license owing to violations but has gone five years or more without committing further crimes, a probationary license (PL), a class C (non-commercial) limited driver's license, is issued. IMPORTANT NOTE: Drivers with a provisional license in Pennsylvania may not drive a moped, motorcycle, or commercial vehicle. Requirements for Obtaining a Pennsylvania Junior License Before obtaining one's license, potential drivers need to show the correct documentation, pass medical exams for safety reasons, and pass several other requirements. To get your driver's license in Pennsylvania, you must have the following: A completed application of form DL-180 (used for new drivers 18 or older) or form DL-180TD (for drivers under 18), or form DL-180R (for new Pennsylvania residents transferring an active license from another state). A passed medical exam (Forms DL-180 and DL-180TD must be signed by a medical professional). A passed eye exam A passed written knowledge testA passed behind-the-wheel driving test65 hours of driving practice (if you’re under 18)Proof of identity (original Social Security card, as well as a birth certificate, U.S. passport, Certificate of U.S. Citizenship, or Certificate of Naturalization).Proof of residence in the form of two documents (this could be tax records, mortgage documentation, lease agreements, an A W-2 form, a current weapons permit, or a current utility bill).A fee of $35 (to see all the different types, click here). Junior Licence Rules If you meet all the permit requirements and you've passed your road test, you may obtain a junior license. However, there are certain important rules to take note of: Rule One: Nighttime Driving Restriction Also known as the PA Cinderella License Curfew. Junior license holders may not be on the roads between 11 pm and 5 am, except for work purposes or volunteering services (in which case drivers will need to carry proof of this in the form of documentation). Rule Two: Passenger Limitation For the first six months that a young driver holds a junior license, they may not transport more than one non-immediate family member under the age of 18 with them in the car, unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. After six months, they may transport up to three non-immediate family members under the age of 18. Junior license holders who have committed a traffic violation or car crash in the last six months must abide by these restrictions until they turn 18. IMPORTANT NOTE: a driver may never have more passengers in their car than available seat belts (this applies to any kind of license or vehicle). Getting Your Hours of Practice Behind the Wheel The PA junior driver's license offers a well-structured format to enable young drivers to put in driving time on the road—while being restricted—before graduating with a driver's license. This builds up the driver's experience and confidence while ensuring they are off the road during the more dangerous road time (11 pm - 5 am, when there may be more reckless or drunk driving on the roads). By keeping the number of passengers in the vehicle low, fewer people are exposed to the risk of injury or death with these drivers (who are still becoming accustomed to the driving experience somewhat). Do you want to take the next step, and get your junior license, but need some more practice with the support of a professional first? Book your driving lesson with us today.
Tips for Driving in the Rain
Driving practiceTips for Driving in the RainAs a new or aspiring driver, one of the most important things you can do is prepare yourself for the possibility of driving in bad weather. Most new drivers don't realize that bad weather is a primary cause of vehicle accidents in the United States. According to the Department of Transportation, of the approximate 5,891,000 vehicle crashes each year, 1,235,000 (~21%) are weather-related—and of that, 70% are caused by rain or wet roads. This is why it's imperative to understand the things you can do before and during a journey to make driving in poor weather as safe as possible. How Can You Make Driving in the Rain Safer? Although driving in the rain will never really be safe, there are some things you can do to make it a lot safer. The more effort you put in, the safer it'll be, so be sure to implement all of the following tips as soon as it begins to rain: 1. Turn on Your Lights This tip cannot be stressed enough. The moment you notice the slightest hint of rain—or even if it's looking a little too overcast for your liking—flick those lights on. Aside from making it easier to see where you're going, it increases your visibility to other cars significantly. You'd be surprised how easy it is to not notice an unlit car if it's surrounded by rain and other cars with their lights on. Now, don't go overboard and turn on your high beams, as this could actually endanger you and other drivers. Your low beams are enough, but their importance is significant. 2. Drive Slower Really, it's that simple. You don't have to drive the maximum speed limit just because the law allows it. If it's raining heavily enough that you can barely see the 55mph—the acceptable speed in perfect weather conditions—signs on the side of the road, then you shouldn't be driving above 50. The faster you're going, the more force it takes to slow down, and the more likely it is that you'll skid in an emergency—especially if the roads are slicked up from the water. 3. Increase Your Following Distance Whether it's a legal requirement or not in the area that you're driving, you absolutely should increase your following distance to at least 5 seconds behind the car in front of you. Even if you have blackbelt reflexes, it's basically impossible to predict exactly how your wheels might respond on every road surface at every speed and under all amounts of rain. One extra second can mean the difference between a close call and an ambulance, so why take the chance? Safety Precautions You Can Take Before Driving in the Rain Aside from the things you can do during a rainstorm, there are also things you should be doing beforehand to make sure that you and your car are suitable and ready for the danger. 1. Check Your Tires In case you didn't already know this, there's a reason car tires have those grooves—called tire tread—all over them: friction and traction. It's the same reason your fingers get pruned up when you spend lots of time in water: so that you have better grip in wet and slippery conditions. Maintaining proper tread on your tires is crucial for them to be able to grip the roads properly for better turning, accelerating, and braking. Letting your tread wear down or become nonexistent isn't only dangerous, it's also illegal as your car will no longer be deemed roadworthy. 2. Check Your Wipers Another crucial step in ensuring your car is suitable for bad weather is checking your wipers, not just the mechanical turning, but that your wiper blades actually do a good job of clearing the water from your windshield. If you spend a few months without rainfall, you might not even realize that your wipers aren't working properly anymore. If you discover this during an unexpected rainstorm, then it's already too late. 3. Plan Long Trips Accordingly It's unrealistic to expect anyone to plan all their driving expeditions in sunny weather, especially when the rainy season hits. However, if you know you need to make an extended driving trip of an hour or longer, it could be beneficial to check the weather forecast for the day and make sure you aren't going to be doing it during an intense thunderstorm. Shifting your trip a few hours earlier or later could save you a world of trouble. Other Things to Check BlinkersHeadlightsBrakelightsMudflapsMirrorsSeatbelts The Best Way to Prepare for Bad Weather All of the tips above won't help you if you're not confident that you know what you're doing behind the wheel of a car, which is where we can help! Call in to book professional driving lessons or schedule a defensive driving course in your area.
7 Tips for Dealing With Road Rage and Aggressive Drivers
Driving practice7 Tips for Dealing With Road Rage and Aggressive DriversRoad rage—whether caused by or directed at you—is a prominent problem that all drivers will have to deal with at some stage in their lives. If handled poorly, road rage can lead to accidents and injuries, which is why having some strategies for reducing aggressive driving can save your life and your wallet. Read on to learn the best tips for dealing with your road rage and other dangerous and scary drivers. 3 Tips on Dealing With Your Own Road Rage Preventing your road rage from happening in the first place is far easier than having to follow some anger management techniques on the go. To ensure the best possible chance of preventing yourself from becoming angry, follow the steps below: Plan ahead Road rage often occurs during traffic jams or when you're running late for something important. Planning ahead and beginning your journey earlier can help minimize the chance of this situation occurring. Accept the situation If you find yourself in a situation where you're already late for something, stuck in a traffic jam, or anything else, being angry about the situation won't help. The best way to let go of emerging road rage is to accept what's already happened and start thinking of ways to deal with the consequences when you finally reach your destination. Consider the situations of others Angrily shouting at the slow driver in front of you won't make them drive faster and could escalate to a dangerous situation. Maybe they're old and anxious behind the wheel or lost and trying to find their way around—now imagine how you would feel if you were in the same situation. Take a deep breath and wait for a safe opportunity to pass them. 4 Tips on Dealing With Aggressive Behavior on the Roads Even if you're a meditative guru, you aren't immune to the potential for passive-aggressive drivers to direct their anger at you, and this is true while cycling as much as it is for driving a car. That being said, here's how to respond to signs of offensive driving before it progresses to full-on road rage between drivers. Practice defensive driving Driving defensively can help you avoid dangerous situations entirely. Concede and move aside If an aggressive truck driver is tailgating you, gesticulating, and swearing, it can be tempting to drive slower and make it more difficult for them to pass. However, doing so puts you at extreme risk. In such situations, the best thing you can do is move into a different lane or even pull over to let them pass. Sure, you might lose a few seconds of your journey, but is your pride really more important than your life? Defuse the situation In road rage situations, retaliation will never lead to a good result. Instead, you should do what you can to keep yourself and others calm. This could mean ignoring aggressive drivers, apologizing if you were in the wrong, or other such techniques. Review your own driving skills Although road rage is inevitable, it's not something that happens every day. If you're finding yourself dealing with road rage often, then there's a possibility that something about your driving is causing these situations. Maybe you've picked up some bad habits like texting while driving, or perhaps you're not following the rules of the road as you should. What if Someone Leaves Their Vehicle and Approaches Aggressively? Even after practicing all of the techniques listed above, you are still at risk of other drivers becoming so infuriated that they leave their vehicle and start making their way towards you. So what should you do when this situation arises? Above all else, DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR. You can never be sure of the intentions or behavior of others, despite how they may appear. They could be carrying concealed weapons or have every intention to cause damage to you or your car. If someone approaches aggressively, follow these steps: Remain in your vehicleRecord their aggressive behavior, or ask a passenger to do soDrive away if able to do so safelyTake note of their license plate numberCall the authorities
Car Accident With Your Learner's Permit in PA - What You Need to Know
Learner's permitCar Accident With Your Learner's Permit in PA - What You Need to KnowNo one wishes for a car accident. But unfortunately, even if it's not your fault, you don't exactly get to choose when they happen. Not knowing your rights when involved in this kind of situation can open you up to severe consequences. So, what exactly do you need to know when driving with a learner's permit in PA and dealing with car accidents? Learner's Permit Restrictions for When Driving in PA The first thing you can do as a learner's permit holder in PA is to learn the restrictions you have to adhere to, such as the following: Your permit is valid for one year After this period, you may choose to apply for another permit.You are not allowed to drive alone Learner's permit holders must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or spouse who is at least 18 years old with a valid driver's license or another licensed individual at least 21 years of age.You may not drive late at night Young drivers are not allowed to drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless it is for employment purposes.Passenger limitation You may only have one non-family member under the age of 18 in the car with you.Zero-tolerance law Any drivers under 21 years of age caught driving with alcohol in their system could face significant points on their license, fines, license suspension, or jail time. Is Insurance Required for Learner Permit Holders? No, unless you do your driver's test in your own car. The car used in the driving exam must have insurance cover. Car insurance is also compulsory for all driver's license holders, so you will need it as soon as you earn your license. Learn more in our driver insurance for learner drivers in Pennsylvania guide. Car Accidents With a Learner’s Permit in PA: Who Is Liable Determining who is liable in a car accident is difficult and usually involves police statements and, potentially, court appearances. However, if you are involved in a car accident with a learner's permit, you will be immediately held liable in any of the following circumstances: You are not following any of the restrictions listed aboveYou flee the scene without exchanging information with the other driverYou were caught performing any traffic violations (running a red light, not stopping at a stop street, texting while driving, etc.)You fail to make a police statementThe vehicle you were driving was not insured (read our guide to learner driver insurance in PA) Insurance Claims for Accidents With Learner's Permits Is PA an At-Fault State for Accidents? Proving fault is highly important for making insurance claims. Learner drivers are required to have some form of insurance, but that doesn't make it any easier to prove who was at fault. Pennsylvania is both a fault and no-fault state, which means that the at-fault driver will have to claim from their insurance to pay for the other driver's losses (damages, medical bills, etc.). However, in cases where both parties are at fault, you might be able to avoid full liability. If you can prove that the other driver was 40% at fault for the accident, then you will only have to pay for 60% of their losses, while they will have to pay for 40% of yours. In some accidents, it can be challenging to determine who was at fault if no immediate laws were broken, such as two drivers merging into the same lane simultaneously. In such instances, each party attempting to prove that they were not at fault will have to prove that they were not being negligent, which can be difficult. Ways that you can prove fault include: Valid police reportsPicturesVehicle damageMedical bills/injuriesWitnesses Lowering Your Insurance Costs With Driver's Ed Remember, you'll be able to bring down your insurance costs significantly by taking professional driving lessons at centers such as Driven2Drive. Insurance companies know that young drivers who have received professional training, especially in defensive driving, are much less likely to be involved in accidents. So, completing training is rewarded with lower premiums. Take a look at our guide to getting discounts on insurance with driver's ed to learn more. Book a driving lesson with one of Driven2Drive's expert instructors now to cut your insurance costs, lower your chance of an accident, and ace your driver's test the first time. Call us on 610 664 7400 or send us a message today.
Driver Insurance for Learner Drivers in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania driving lawsDriver Insurance for Learner Drivers in PennsylvaniaInsurance is mandatory for anyone with a drivers’ license in Pennsylvania. If you are a learner driver and the car owner is with you while driving, you do not need insurance, and you may then use that person’s car for your drivers’ test. Once you have passed your test, you must be added to their insurance policy or obtain your own. If you have your own car that you are using for the drivers’ test, you must get your own insurance policy beforehand, even as a learner driver. Insurance will also save you money on motor repairs and part replacements if you’re involved in an accident. The Basics of Learner Driver Insurance Learner driver insurance is an insurance policy that you can take out either as an individual or under your parents’ policy to illustrate that you take responsibility for the vehicle in the event of crashing during a driving test. Is Learner Driver Insurance a Requirement? If you own your own car, learner driver insurance is mandatory before and during your driver's test. Register and insure your vehicle with a permit and then bring proof of the vehicle’s insurance with you to your test. If you are driving your parents’ vehicle and they are in the car with you, then learner driver insurance is not mandatory. When you go for your drivers’ test, you must bring proof that the vehicle you are using is insured (along with all relevant documents). After passing your driver's test, if you continue driving their car, you will need to be added to their insurance policy. Before the drivers’ test, you may drive someone else’s car while they are in the car with you (only a person with a valid drivers’ license who has insurance on that vehicle). When you go for your drivers’ test, you must show proof of insurance on whatever vehicle you are driving. In other words - every vehicle must be insured and linked to whoever is driving it, except for the hour or so while you are doing your drivers’ test if you are using someone else’s car. Proof of insurance for that car must be shown. After your drivers’ test, you won’t be allowed to drive alone without an insurance policy - it is part of the law in most US states, including Pennsylvania. What Does It Cover? Learner car insurance, or coverage under your parents, usually covers your drivers’ test. In an accident, only the damage done to the car is covered. Motor insurance follows the car - enabling a vehicle to be covered no matter who is driving (as long as that person has a valid learners’ or drivers’ license). Policies for learner drivers in Pennsylvania start at about $2,031 per year (or about $169 per month) for full coverage and $473 per year (or about $39 per month) for minimum coverage. You can also look at a reliable comparison with car insurance under Bryn Mawr. Parents' Car Insurance Policy You do not have to add your children to your insurance policy. Once they have a learner driver's license, they can legally take out their own policy. However, you can add them if you wish. Most companies will allow you to add a teen with a learner’s permit onto your policy at no extra cost until they have their driver's license. After that, it will raise your insurance premium but will be worth the peace of mind! You’ll be offered a range of coverage depending on what you spend - speak to your broker about how to go about this, though expect to pay between $1200/year to about $2400/year. Other Insurance Options for Learner Drivers Some policies are tailored to specific types of young drivers and allow for good savings, such as for good drivers, students, military families, and some that are more forgiving should an accident occur). For high-risk young drivers, the Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan (PA ARP) is another good option, even though it is slightly more expensive. It covers the following: Bodily Injury (BI) - $15,000/person and $30,000/accidentProperty Damage (PD) - $5,000Medical Benefits (PIP) - $5,000 Costs will vary between individuals, so you will need to obtain a quote. There are usually two payment options for PA ARP coverage: Pay in full You can pay 30% down of the total estimated premium and the rest within 30 days of receiving the premium notice if you choose to pay annually in a lump sum. Pay in installments Pay 30% upfront, and then the rest in 5 installments over 5 months. There is a service charge for choosing the installment plan. Final Verdict If you’re a parent and the one paying, you’ll usually find that adding your teen onto your existing insurance policy will be the best, rather than having them take out one individually and then paying for it separately. If you take out your own policy as a teen, your premiums may be higher than they might be in a few years as an adult once you’ve shown a good driving record - whether you’re on your parent’s plan or your own. An option that makes great sense is an insurance company providing a discount to drivers who complete certified training courses - saving you money and preparing you for the road at the same time. Have a look at Driven2Drive’s great discounted offer to get you on the road to successful driving.
Scoring System on PA Driver’s Test Explained
Practical driving testScoring System on PA Driver’s Test ExplainedThe PA drivers' exam doesn't have to be stressful. With some training and good practice, you'll feel confident and have no trouble acing the test. Taking the driving test is the next step after you've secured your permit. You're going to be out on the road, so we've put together some information to help you get more comfortable. What to Know Before Taking Your Driving Test in PA You are required to make a booking by calling PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services. Certain third-party businesses such as Driven2Drive are also certified by PennDOT to administer the road test. Ensure you have all the relevant documents and that your car is up to the necessary requirements (roadworthy). Your vehicle must have working lights, brakes, windshield wipers, turn signals, mirrors, doors, and tires. You will be asked to show that these parts are in working order - make sure you know how to operate them. When you arrive at the DMV center, there is no need to drive inside; you can pull straight into the test area - someone will come out to meet you and check your documents. Scoring of a Driver's Test in PA To pass, you must have no more than 3 errors marked for Items 9-14 under Pre-Drive Checklist, no marks in the Critical Driving Error Section, and no more than 15 errors marked for the Scoring Maneuvers. Have a look at the score sheet sample here. Immediate Disqualifications (Critical Driving Error Section) Doing anything that means the instructor has to intervene for safety reasons Striking an object or curb Disobeying traffic signs or signalsDisobeying safety personnel or safety vehicles Any kind of dangerous maneuver Excessive speeding Auxillary equipment useLane violations Other things that will likely result in a failure: Failing to follow instructions given by the examinerNot using turn signalsCausing a crashInability to operate any vehicle controls What Is the Pass Requirement for Your Driving Test in PA? A driving performance evaluation score involves points added for mistakes in the test, so you want to get a low number. The PA driver's test point system means that errors add points based on severity. What You Can Expect From Your Driving Test PA Driver's Test Parallel Parking As defined by the DMV: Park your vehicle midway between two uprights in a space that is 24 feet long and 8 feet wide. Your entire vehicle must be completely inside the space, and you cannot make contact with any of the uprights to the rear or front of your vehicle, cross over the painted line, or go up onto or over the curb. You have one attempt to successfully park your vehicle using no more than three adjustments. You are not allowed to hit the curb while performing parallel parking. However, in some cases, if you touch the curb but don't roll over it, you might get some points added for not parallel parking correctly or for hitting the curb too forcefully, but you may still pass. If you have a self-parking vehicle, you may use it; the self-parking feature must be turned off while doing the test. 3 Point Turn A three-point turn is used when the road is too narrow for a U-turn. This is one of the turns you must perform in the test (the other two being a U-Turn and 2-point turn). Make sure you follow the advice of your instructor and get enough practice. This is the most common error in the test! NOTE: Be careful as you leave the parking lot! As you are leaving the DMV, you may come across a stop sign before exiting onto the road. You need to stop at this sign and not roll backward - if you roll, that is an automatic failure. Further on Road Tests A range of skills will be tested in the PA driver's exam, with special attention paid to the way you approach and obey traffic signs, stop lights, and intersections. The examiner will also note how you control the car and check that you're driving with the right posture. Safe Driving Is the Best Way to Pass Prepare well for all three sections of the observational practical driving test: knowing your way around the vehicle, performing parallel parking and turns, and driving well on the road. If you can follow the basics and have put in enough practice time, you won't have a problem passing your PA driver's exam with flying colors. Book your lessons and PA driver's exam with us now.
PA Driver's License Types Explained
Driver's licensePA Driver's License Types ExplainedThere are several licenses for different driving types available in Pennsylvania. We'll take a look at commercial vs. non-commercial licenses and classes A, B, C, D, and M. Classifications of Licenses in PA Non-Commercial You may only drive private vehicles (with some exceptions - including those for trucks, vans, and SUVs). Commercial For those driving vehicles for work purposes, such as trucks. Non-commercial License Classes in PA Class A A class A non-commercial driver's license is given to over 18's. It allows the operation of vehicles with a gross weight of 26,001lb or more, where the vehicle(s) being towed is/are in excess of 10,000 pounds. Example: Recreational Vehicle (RV), when the towing vehicle is rated at 11,000lb and the vehicle towed is rated at 15,500lb (total combined weight of 26,500lb). Example: Motor home, recreational vehicle Class B A class B non-commercial driver's license is given to over 18's. This is required to operate any single vehicle rated in excess of 26,000 pounds. Example: Motor homes or other vehicles rated at 26,001 pounds or over. Class C A class C on a non-commercial driver's license is given to over 16's. This is for vehicles that do not meet the criteria of Class A or Class B; emergency vehicles only (fire trucks or ambulances) as or when authorized by the head of that department. If you hold a Class C license, you are also authorized to drive a motor-driven cycle with an automatic transmission and cylinder capacity of 50 CCs or less, a 3-wheeled motorcycle with an enclosed cab, or an autocycle. Example: A firetruck, ambulance, scooter, or regular 4-door sedan Class M A class M non-commercial is given to over 16's. This license is for motorcycle or motor-driven cycle vehicles only. Endorsements and Restrictions Sometimes non-commercial vehicle use needs to be authorized or restricted for certain situations. If you test on a motor-driven cycle, an "8" restriction will appear on your driver's license that prohibits you from operating a motorcycle. If you test on a 3-wheeled motorcycle, a "9" restriction will appear on your driver's license that prohibits you from operating a 2-wheeled motorcycle. PennDOT might apply certain restrictions to the license's ability, as well as to restrict the addition of mechanical parts or special equipment to the vehicle, to assure safe operation as they deem fit. If you have any kind of medical condition, you should also note the driving restrictions listed here. Commercial License Classes in PA Commercial licenses are for large vehicles involved in commerce, such as goods transportation. You must be 21 years of age or older to operate a commercial motor vehicle interstate (all classes). Class A A class A commercial driver's license is given to over 18's. As defined by the DMV: The driver must demonstrate their qualifications and ability to operate any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001lb or more, provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle or vehicles being towed is in excess of 10,000lb Owners of this license also have permission to operate Class B and Class C vehicles. Sometimes, endorsements must be given. Example: A truck with a GCWR of 28,000 Class B A class B commercial driver's license is given to over 18's. As defined by the DMV: Drivers who have demonstrated their qualifications to operate any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001lb or more or any such vehicle towing a vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating of not more than 10,000lb If you have a Class B Commerical License, you may also operate Class C vehicles. Sometimes, endorsements must be given. Class C A class C commercial driver's license is given to over 18's. The class C weight limit is 26,000 pounds. This is for: Any combination of vehicles, except combination vehicles involving motorcycles, that does not meet the definition of a Class A or Class B vehicle. Where required, appropriate endorsements must be obtained. Commercial Driver's License Specialized Restrictions for Safety L Restricts the driver to vehicles NOT equipped with air brakes B/M Restricts the driver from a class A bus C/N Restricts the driver from a class A or B bus E Restricts the driver from driving manual transmission commercial vehicles O Restricts a driver from driving a truck tractor/semi-trailer combination Z Restricts a driver from driving a full air-brake equipped vehicle The Correct License in PA for You Ensure you qualify for the kind of vehicle you'd like to drive, whether that be a commercial vehicle for a career choice or a standard license to make travel easier. If you're wondering how to get a non-commercial Class A license in PA or any other kind, call us now on +1 610-664-7400. We'd like to make our PA driving experience as easy as possible and help you pass that driver's test.
​Guide to Pennsylvania’s Point System
Pennsylvania driving laws​Guide to Pennsylvania’s Point SystemIn the PennDOT point system, points are added to your personal driving record (which can be accessed by the department of transportation at any time) for traffic violations. The most common reason for adding points to your record is a speeding ticket. This article looks at the different ways you can accrue points on your license, their penalties, and what you can do to remove them. Purpose of PA Point System The PennDOT points system was created to ensure drivers engage in safe-conduct on the roads. This is a carefully thought out and well-structured way to manage traffic violation offenders. How Do You Get Points on Your License? There are several ways in which you can accumulate points in the Pennsylvania Driving Point System. High Offenses High-point-incurring offenses include: Speeding 2 points if 10mph over the limit 3 points and a 15-day license suspension if 11-15mph over the limit 4 points and a 15-day license suspension if 16-25mph over the limit 5 points and a 15-day license suspension if 26-30mph over the limit Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in property damage 4 points Failure to stop at railroad crossings 4 points Low Offenses Lower-point-incurring offenses include: Driving through a red light (3 points) Making an illegal U-turn 3 points Careless driving 3 points Tailgaiting/how many points is following too closely? 3 points Not obeying traffic officials 2 points Immediate Suspensions There are also numerous offenses for which your license will be suspended immediately, such as: Failure to stop for a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop arm extended 60-day suspension Failure to comply with a railroad crossing gate or barrier 30-day suspension DUI'S: Your license may also be suspended if you fail a DUI (driving under the influence) test, though you may be given jail time or a fine instead. How long does a DUI stay on your driving record in PA? DUI conviction stays on your record for life in Pennsylvania unless it is expunged. It will reflect in credit records, criminal background searches, and any insurance claims or applications. You may be able to get a DUI expunged if you apply, are accepted into, and successfully complete Pennsylvania's Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. Can You Remove Points From Your License? For every year that you drive without committing any traffic violations, three points are removed. Then, PennDOT will treat your next accumulation of points as if it were your 1st accruement if you have 0 points on your record for one year. This means all previous license suspensions are forgiven. Maximum Number of Points a PA Issued License Can Have You can accrue 6 points on your license, at which time you will accrue additional penalties, such as a suspended license or increased insurance premiums. If you go to the Department of Transportation (DOT) website, you can check how many points you have. You may also get a copy of your driving record from the website or the department office (this will cost you $11). The first time you have accumulated 6 points, your license may be suspended for 5 days; further accumulations of 6 points are treated slightly differently - refer to the 'Over 18' section of this article for further details about suspensions. Maximum Speed Limit Charge in PA Points Driving too fast for conditions (if a violation occurs in an active work zone and in conjunction with an accident, 15-day suspension): 2 points Exceeding maximum speed: 6- 10 miles over Speed Limit: 2 points 11 to 15 miles over the speed limit (if a violation occurs in an active work zone, 15-day suspension): 3 points 6 to 25 miles over the speed limit (if a violation occurs in an active work zone, 15-day suspension): 4 points 26 to 30 miles over the speed limit (if a violation occurs in an active work zone, 15-day suspension): 5 points 31 or more miles over the speed limit: Departmental Hearing and Sanctions provided under Section 1538(d)(if a violation occurs in an active work zone, 15-day suspension) and 5 points Exceeding the special speed limit in a school zone: 3 points Exceeding special speed limit for trucks on downgrades: 3 points Relevance of Age to the PA Point System Under 18 Suspension Laws If you are under the age of 18 and accumulate six or more points, or if you are found driving 26mph or more over the speed limit, your license will be suspended for 90 days the first time and 120 days thereafter. Over 18 Suspension Laws The first time you reach six points, you'll receive a written notification that your license has been suspended; the second time, you will need to attend a departmental hearing. A third or further accumulation will result in another hearing, at which you may have your driver's license suspended. If you do not attend the hearing, your license will be suspended until you do. The structure for suspensions is usually as follows: First Suspension: 5 days per pointSecond Suspension: 10 days per pointThird Suspension: 15 days per pointSubsequent Suspensions: One year Alternatives to Suspension of License Alternatives to the suspension of a driver's license may include fines or jail time at the judge's discretion at your hearing. In some cases, a driver whose license has been suspended may apply for an Occupational Limited License. This allows the person to drive under special circumstances, such as for medical treatment, study, work, or trade. It's important to note that if your driving privilege has been revoked, disqualified, canceled, or recalled, you are not eligible for an Occupational Limited License. Promoting Safe Driving in PA The Pennsylvania driving point system is quite forgiving, in allowing drivers to redeem themselves over time, and it rewards safe driving. Keep a note of any points you've accrued. Stay alert, use your defensive driving techniques, and respect the law - this will keep you in good standing for keeping your license and your name clear, allowing you to continue enjoying all the freedoms a driver's license allows. Driven2Drive offers the best defensive driving courses in PA - book yours now.
How to Pass the PA DMV Vision Test
Driver's licenseHow to Pass the PA DMV Vision TestThe PA DMV vision test is a necessity for anyone wanting to receive or renew their driver's license. Good vision is key to driver and road safety, especially when driving in difficult conditions like driving through heavy rain or driving at night. In most states, as in Pennsylvania, it is quite straightforward—the test may only take a few minutes (depending on your vision). There's no need to feel nervous or stressed about it. It follows a similar process to having your vision checked during the physical exam for your learner's permit. A new amendment was made in 2021 for visually impaired drivers—read on to find out more. What to Expect at the PA Eye Test PennDOT Vision Test (Chart) The DOT vision test is called the Report of Eye Examination and involves reading letters (by instruction) on a Snellen eye test chart or a "Tumbling E" eye exam chart. It must be done at a PennDOT Driver License Center and cannot be done online. The person doing the test will be an optometrist, ophthalmologist, physician assistant, or certified registered nurse practitioner. Other parts of the vision test you may need to do, include: Visual field testDistance vision testColor blindness test Visual Field Test You may also be asked to do a visual field test in some cases. This test checks your central and peripheral vision, making sure there are no problems caused by stroke, brain tumors, glaucoma, and other neurological problems. You'll look straight ahead and watch for lights to the sides of your central field of view. The DMV eye test machines are used to tell how well you can see cars and lights from the side. All drivers, even those with excellent vision, should always take extra precautionary measures in avoiding blind spots in the periphery, as there will always be certain things out of vision. Distance Vision Test If you struggle with the eye exam chart, the examiner might ask you to do distance vision tests on a testing machine. In some cases, they will also ask you to do a visual field test. You may also need to complete a short color blindness test, which is explained below. Color Blindness Test Testing for color blindness is very rare. However, the examiner may feel that it is necessary to test for colorblindness if the driver struggles to identify color elsewhere or has mentioned having problems. The only truly accurate way to assess this is through specific cards for the driver to select, signaling red, green, or amber. This is of particular relevance to drivers, as people who are colorblind will need to take certain precautions, like knowing the position of the red, green, and amber lights of a traffic light. Those with color blindness are largely prohibited from driving in other countries. However, in the United States, it is regarded as a minor issue, and those with the condition can still drive legally. Preparing for the PA Vision Test It is unlikely you will have any problems passing the test unless you have already noticed visual impairment issues prior. The test shouldn't make you stressed, as it is not necessarily something you can prepare for, and there is no way you can cheat. There are several examples of the eye test chart for driver's licenses you can find online to use for practice. Are Glasses Allowed for the Visually Impaired? If you use contacts or glasses that you will require for driving, you may do the test while wearing these. Remember, if you only use glasses for reading, you won't need them for driving. It is not necessary to bring your reading glasses to the test, and it may muddle the process and lead to distracted driving, so we advise against it. In 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that visually-impaired Pennsylvania residents can now use bioptic telescope lenses to obtain a learner's license or driver's license. PennDOT Eye Exam Without Glasses Don't change your glasses or contact lens prescription before going for your DOT Vision Test! You will probably be changing them for nothing. In fact, doing the test with whatever aid you currently have will be a helpful assessment in general and should show (if your eye doctor was good) that your vision is functional with the glasses or contacts you're currently using. What Is Needed to Pass the PA Vision Test? PA Vision Acuity Minimum The DMV vision standard is 20/20 vision minimum with or without glasses or contact lenses. To be deemed fit to drive, a person must have a visual acuity of at least 20/100 combined and a horizontal field of view of at least 120°; or visual acuity of 20/40 or better. If you can read the sixth line of the DOT vision test at a distance of six meters (the distance the machine will be set from you), often referred to as 6/6, you qualify as having 20/20 vision. Failing the DMV Vision Test Some readers may be wondering what will happen if they fail the PA DMV vision test. If this happens, don't worry—you may retake the test once you have corrected your vision. You will be given a form called Report of Vision Examination (DL-62) to take to an eye doctor. Once you have your new glasses or contact lenses, wear them when you return to the DMV to take your vision exam. Passing the PA Vision Test The DOT vision test is not designed to make you fail, and the average person has good enough vision to pass. Relax, take your glasses or contact lenses if you need them for long and peripheral vision, and enjoy this step to getting closer to your adventures on the road.

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