Suspension Credit Law

Below is the law relating to surrender of your drivers license for suspension credit. Please see §1540 §§4. Upon surrender of the license or acknowledgment, the department shall issue a receipt showing the date that it received the license or acknowledgment. 

Make sure the department has your correct address and you get this receipt to make sure your suspension credit has started!

§ 1540. Surrender of license.

(a) Conviction of offense.–Upon a conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction for any offense which calls for mandatory suspension in accordance with section 1532 (relating to suspension of operating privilege), the court or the district attorney shall require the surrender of any driver’s license then held by the defendant and shall forward the driver’s license together with a record of the conviction to the department. The suspension shall be effective upon a date determined by the court or district attorney or upon the date of surrender of the license to the court or district attorney, whichever shall first occur.

(b) Suspension, revocation or disqualification of operating privilege.–

(1) Upon the suspension or revocation of the operating privilege or the disqualification of the commercial operating privilege of any person by the department, the department shall forthwith notify the person in writing at the address of record to surrender his driver’s license to the department for the term of suspension, revocation or disqualification.

(2) The department shall include with the written notice of suspension, revocation or disqualification a form for acknowledging the suspension, revocation or disqualification, which form shall be filed with the department if the person has no license to surrender.

(3) The suspension, revocation or disqualification shall be effective upon the earlier of:

(i) a date determined by the department; or

(ii) the date of filing or mailing of the license or acknowledgment to the department, if that date is subsequent to the department’s notice to surrender the license.

(4) Upon surrender of the license or acknowledgment, the department shall issue a receipt showing the date that it received the license or acknowledgment.

(c) Seizure of revoked, suspended, canceled or disqualified licenses.–

(1) The department may delegate authority to the following persons to seize the driver’s license of any person whose driver’s license has been ordered to be surrendered by a court or district attorney or by the department:

(i) A designated Commonwealth employee.

(ii) Members of the Pennsylvania State Police.

(iii) Local police officers.

(iv) Sheriffs or deputy sheriffs.

(v) Constables or deputy constables. If constables and deputy constables are delegated authority to seize drivers’ licenses under this subsection, they shall be compensated by the department at the rate of $15 for each driver’s license seized, plus mileage. The department shall pay a constable or deputy constable within 30 days after a documented request is submitted to it.

(2) The department shall, by regulation, prescribe the manner of selecting those persons who are delegated authority under this subsection to seize the drivers’ licenses.

§ 1541. Period of disqualification, revocation or suspension of operating privilege.

(a) Commencement of period.–The period of disqualification, revocation or suspension of the operating privilege or the disqualification of the commercial operating privilege shall commence as provided for in section 1540 (relating to surrender of license). No credit toward the revocation, suspension or disqualification shall be earned until the driver’s license is surrendered to the department, a court or a district attorney, as the case may be. A nonresident licensed driver or an unlicensed individual, including a driver whose license has expired, shall submit an acknowledgment of suspension or revocation to the department in lieu of a driver’s license, except for the suspension of the operating privilege of an unlicensed individual under 16 years of age, in which case the suspension shall commence automatically upon the individual’s 16th birthday for the specified period if an acknowledgment is received any time prior to the individual’s 16th birthday. If a licensed driver is not in possession of his driver’s license, no credit toward the disqualification, revocation or suspension shall be earned until a sworn affidavit or a form prescribed by the department is surrendered to the department swearing that the driver is not in possession of his driver’s license. Such credit shall be rescinded if it is later determined that the driver was untruthful in the affidavit. Credit shall also be revoked if a person surrenders a duplicate license and it is later determined that the person was still in possession of an earlier issued, unexpired license. The department may, upon request of the person whose license is suspended or disqualified, delay the commencement of the period of suspension or disqualification for a period not exceeding six months whenever the department determines that failure to grant the extension will result in hardship to the person whose license has been suspended or disqualified.

(a.1) Credit toward serving period of suspension for certain violations.–Credit toward serving the period of suspension or revocation imposed for sections

1543(b)(1.1) (relating to driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked),
3732 (relating to homicide by vehicle),
3735 (relating to homicide by vehicle while driving under influence),
3735.1 (relating to aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence),
3742 (relating to accidents involving death or personal injury),
3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) and
3808(a)(2) (relating to illegally operating a motor vehicle not equipped with ignition interlock) shall not commence until the date of the person’s release from prison.

(b) Eligibility for restoration of operating privilege.–Any person whose operating privilege has been revoked or suspended shall not be eligible for the restoration of the operating privilege until the expiration of the period of revocation or suspension.

(c) Restoration of revoked operating privilege.–Any person whose operating privilege has been revoked pursuant to section 1542 (relating to revocation of habitual offender’s license) or 1543 is not entitled to automatic restoration of the operating privilege. Such person may apply for a learner’s permit, if permitted under the provisions of this chapter, upon expiration of the revocation.

(d) Continued suspension of operating privilege.–A defendant ordered by the court under section 3816 (relating to requirements for driving under influence offenders), as the result of a conviction or Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition of a violation of section 3802 to attend a treatment program for alcohol or drug addiction must successfully complete all requirements of the treatment program ordered by the court before the defendant’s operating privilege may be restored. Successful completion of a treatment program includes the payment of all court-imposed fines and costs, as well as fees to be paid to the treatment program by the defendant. For the purposes of restoring a suspended license, being current on a payment plan shall be considered as a part of a successfully completed program. If a defendant fails to successfully complete the requirements of a treatment program, the suspension shall remain in effect until the defendant completes the program and is otherwise eligible for restoration of his operating privilege. The treatment agency shall immediately notify the court of successful completion of the treatment program. The final decision as to whether a defendant has successfully completed the treatment program rests with the court.

(e) Request for hearing.–A person whose operating privilege has been suspended or revoked may request at any time during the suspension or revocation, and the department shall provide, a hearing if the person believes that credit toward the person’s suspension or revocation has not been given by the department under section 1540. The department shall issue its final ruling within 60 days following the hearing or the submission of any posthearing filings.

(Dec. 11, 1986, P.L.1530, No.166, eff. 60 days; July 11, 1990, P.L.513, No.122, eff. Dec. 1, 1990; Dec. 7, 1994, P.L.820, No.115, eff. imd.; Dec. 12, 1994, P.L.1048, No.143, eff. 9 months; Dec. 21, 1998, P.L.1126, No.151, eff. 1 year; Oct. 4, 2002, P.L.845, No.123, eff. 60 days; Sept. 30, 2003, P.L.120, No.24, eff. Feb. 1, 2004; May 11, 2006, P.L.159, No.37, eff. 60 days; May 11, 2006, P.L.164, No.40, eff. 60 days; Oct. 27, 2006, P.L.1182, No.122, eff. 60 days)

2006 Amendments. Act 37 amended subsec. (d), Act 40 amended subsec. (a.1) and Act 122 added subsec. (e). 2003 Amendment. Act 24 amended subsecs. (a.1), (c) and (d).
2002 Amendment. Act 123 amended the section heading and subsec. (a).
Cross References. Section 1541 is referred to in section 3815 of this title.


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