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Suspended license in Pennsylvania

You might face fees or restricted driving until you can reinstate your license.

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In Pennsylvania, the consequences of a license suspension depends on the severity of the offense. If it’s a matter of unpaid fees, usually paying the fee can get you our driving privileges back. But a suspension for something as serious as a DUI could land you steep fines and even jail time.

How do I find out if my license is suspended in Pennsylvania?

If you need details about your license suspension, you can wait for notification, or there are a couple of ways to contact the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation:

  • Wait for a suspension notification in the mail. You’ll receive a written notice of your suspension with a date specifying when the suspension begins.
  • Check your online driving record. To find out ahead of time, you can purchase and print your driving record online through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) website.
  • Mail a driving record request. If you prefer to request records by mail, you can fill out a Driving Record Request Form, located on PennDOT’s Driver Information page on its website.
  • Call customer service. For questions about getting your driving record, contact the PennDOT customer care center at 800-932-4600.

Reasons your license might be suspended

You can receive a suspended license in Pennsylvania for many of the same reasons as other states, including:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Additional offenses of driving under suspension
  • Faulted for a fatal accident
  • Felonies that involve a vehicle
  • Fleeing a police officer
  • Hit-and-runs
  • Not appearing in court or paying fines
  • Not stopping for a school bus or railroad crossing
  • Reckless driving
  • Too many points on driving record

What happens if you get a suspended license in Pennsylvania?

If you get a suspended license, PennDOT sends you written notice of your suspension. You’ll need to surrender your license to the Bureau of Driver Licensing by the effective date listed, or police will be notified to retrieve your license.

In addition, Pennsylvania enforces strict penalties for license suspensions. The exact consequences vary based on the reason for the suspension, but they can include fines for the violation, suspension for several months or years, jail time or a license reinstatement fee.

For example, a first-time DUI offense may incur a $300 fine, six-month probation, alcohol driver safety training and treatment, if deemed necessary.

Can I drive with a suspended license in Pennsylvania?

Not until you meet the requirements of your suspension, unless you qualify for a Pennsylvania limited license.

Pennsylvania offers three ways to get a limited license and each one requires PennDOT approval via an application.

  • Ignition interlock limited license. Certain drivers with a DUI suspension may qualify to drive with an ignition interlock system, which gives drivers an alcohol breath test before they can operate a vehicle.
  • Occupational limited license. This license lets you drive for work, study or medical treatment, and drivers must meet other requirements outlined in the restoration requirements letter.
  • Probationary license. This license allows you to drive between 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. But you can be excluded from driving motorcycles, mopeds and commercial vehicles.

How to reinstate a suspended license in Pennsylvania

To get your license back in the Commonwealth State, you’ll need to meet all the requirements and pay your reinstatement fee. Follow these steps to reinstate your license:

  1. Complete your suspension period.
  2. Get your restoration requirements letter. You can either wait for the letter in the mail or print the letter online.
  3. Follow all instructions from your restoration letter.
  4. Pay any fines or fees. The reinstatement fee is $25 for most suspended licenses but could be $50 for driving uninsured or for excessive unpaid parking violations.
  5. Renew your vehicle registration, if applicable.

How do I find out what I need to do to restore my license?

PennDOT will automatically send a restoration requirements letter, but you can also get a head start on meeting the requirements:

  • Online. Go to the PennDOT driver services page and log in to view and print your letter.
  • By phone. If you have trouble printing your letter or have questions, contact the customer care center at 717-412-5300 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.
  • By mail. Your restoration requirements letter will be mailed out 30 days before your eligibility to the address on the DMV’s file.

Important note: If you print the letter online, PennDOT won’t send a mailed copy. You’ll need to contact the customer call center if there are any issues with printing.

How to get car insurance with a suspended license in Pennsylvania

Your suspension will show up on your driving record with at least five points. That record may drive up your insurance risk, which in turn drives up your premium.

To get car insurance with a suspended license:

  • Identify insurers. Look for companies who cover suspended drivers. However, you don’t need SR-22 coverage in Pennsylvania.
  • Compare value. Consider which national or local company offers the best coverage and cost for your high-risk status.
  • Apply for insurance. Most insurers have an online quote system that can get you a new policy. Otherwise, contact a representative.
  • Receive proof of insurance. You’re required to let the state know about your new policy, which you can do on the PennDOT website, through the Proof of Insurance page.

If you forgo insurance, you’ll need to surrender your vehicle’s registration and registration card to PennDOT within 30 days of canceling insurance to avoid penalties. Forgoing insurance means the car can’t be driven legally on public roads.

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Bottom line

While a suspended license isn’t your ideal scenario, you can get your license back by following your specific requirements. Even better, you could qualify for one of three different programs that lets you drive with restrictions during your suspension.

Whether you need minimal insurance or full coverage for restricted driving, you can shop the best insurers for your situation.

Frequently asked questions about suspended licenses in Pennsylvania.

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