According to the Pennsylvania Senate website there is a proposed bill to modify the Probationary License application requirements and shorten the minimum wait times before a suspended driver can access the restricted license through PennDOT. Reducing the time that must be served will grant a very restrictive license to someone who has shown they are working toward recovery of their valid driving privilege This restricted license limits the hours and allows PennDOT to monitor the driver to ensure that only registered and insured vehicles may be operated. If even some minor violations occur during the Probationary License period the license can be revoked. This would require the driver to complete their full suspension term with no access to even the Probationary License again.
The Department of Transportation makes a probationary license available to a habitual offender whose driving privileges have been revoked or to a person with an accumulation of suspensions or revocations of five years or more.
Currently, in order to receive a probationary license, a person with one to seven offenses must serve at least three years of suspension or revocation, a person with eight to 14 offenses must serve at least four years of suspension or revocation, a person with 15 to 21 offenses must serve at least five years of suspension or revocation, and a person with 22 or more offenses must serve at least six years of suspension or revocation.
My legislation reduces each of these time periods by half. A person with one to seven offenses must serve at least one and one-half years of suspension or revocation instead of three, a person with eight to 14 offenses must serve at least two years instead of four, a person with 15 to 21 offenses must serve at least two and one-half years instead of five, and a person with 22 or more offenses must serve at least three years instead of six.
Under current law, a probationary license can only be issued once in a lifetime. Should a person’s probationary license be suspended, they would no longer have the ability to secure such a license in the future. My proposal would provide that an individual could apply for another probationary license after five years. This would mirror the rules for an occupational limited license.
In applying for a probationary license, the person must prove to the department’s satisfaction that he has not driven a motor vehicle during the minimum period of suspension or revocation. My measure would provide that the applicant’s driving history shall be sufficient documentation for the department to determine whether the applicant is eligible for a probationary license. Even though the department indicates that they look at the driving record, I believe it is important to make clear in the law that “proof to the department’s satisfaction” means the person’s driving record.
In order to be eligible for a regular driver’s license, a person must successfully drive with a probationary license for six consecutive years. My legislation would reduce that period in half to three years. I believe this represents a fair and reasonable time period before a person can apply for restoration of their regular driver’s license.
This would reduce the amount of wait time an offender needs to serve, and would help the rehabilitation process. This would allow Pennsylvania residents to get back on their feet and end the cycle of repetitive suspensions that sometimes occur because of the need to provide for themselves and their families through reliable transportation and gainful employment.
I commend Senator Greenleaf who serves Bucks and Montgomery Counties as well as the co-sponsors
- Senator Shirley M. Kitchen serving Philadelphia County (part)
- Senator James R. Brewster serving Allegheny (part) and Westmoreland (part) Counties
- Senator Jim Ferlo serving Allegheny (part), Armstrong (part) and Westmoreland (part) Counties
- Senator Christine M. Tartaglione serving Philadelphia County (part)
As you can imagine this would go a long way in our efforts to assist everyone who is fighting lengthy suspensions. Increased access to these restricted licenses can help stop the license suspension “death spiral” and increase employment rates for Pennsylvania residents.