On August 24, 1999, the following provisions became effective for all 16-
and 17-year-old drivers:
Those with learnerís permits or junior driverís licenses are restricted from driving between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or spouse who is a licensed driver and is at least 18 years of age.
For all drivers under age 18, the number of passengers must not exceed
the number of seat belts in a vehicle.
Other requirements became effective on December 22, 1999.
Learner's Permit holders are required to complete a six-month skill-
building period before taking the on-road skills test.
A parent or guardian must certify that his or her young driver has
completed at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice supervised by
adult(s) age 21 or older (or a parent, guardian, person officially
designated in loco parentis or spouse at least 18 years of age). All 50
hours need not be supervised by the same adult.
All permit holders must be supervised by an adult 21 years old or older
(or a parent, guardian, person officially designated in loco parentis or
spouse at least 18 years of age).
Any permit holder under age 18 is subject to a mandatory 90-day
license suspension if he or she accumulates six or more points or is
convicted of a single high-speed violation (driving 26 miles per hour or
more over the speed limit).
No, out-of-state learner's permits are not transferable. Drivers must
successfully complete a physical examination, vision screening and
knowledge test in this state before they can be issued a Pennsylvania
learner's permit. Any licensing requirements in place at that time must then
be met before a road test can be taken.
What is the process for parents/guardians to certify that their
young driver completed at least 50 hours of adult-supervised time
behind the wheel? What if the young driver has taken driver's
When young drivers are issued a learner's permit, they will also receive a
Parent/Guardian Certification Form (DL-180C), which is a form that
documents the 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice. Young drivers must
bring the completed certification form with them when they return to take
the road portion of the driver licensing test (six months or more after
obtaining their permit). Even if a young driver does not return to the driver
license center for the road test but instead takes an end-of-course skills
test with his or her driver's education teacher, the young driver must still
provide a completed Parent/Guardian Certification form to the teacher
before a road test can be administered.
Every young driver who applies for a permit at a PennDOT Driver License
Center will also receive a copy of our tutor's guide, "How to Steer Them to
Safe Driving." This guide tutors in organizing time spent supervising young
drivers during their 50 hours of on-road practice. A driving log is included
in the guide to help track all driving activity and to help parents and
guardians determine when they can certify that their young driver has
completed the minimum 50 adult-supervised hours on the road.
If a young driver has taken a PennDOT-approved driver's education
course, part of the class may have included at least six hours of behind-
the-wheel practice supervised by an instructor. These six hours can be
credited toward the 50-hour requirement; however, driver's education in
the classroom is not a substitute for supervised behind-the-wheel
experience and does not count toward the required 50 hours. A young
driver needs significant practice time to become a safe, skilled driver. The
Young Driver Law provides for this crucial training time in the form of 50
on-road practice hours accumulated over at least a six-month period.
Once a 16- or 17-year-old gets a learner's permit, can he or she
practice driving with a 21-year-old friend, relative or neighbor?
Yes, but ultimately the parent or guardian of the young driver is still
responsible for assuring 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice has taken
place under the direct supervision of responsible, experienced driver(s)
age 21 or older.
Can a young driver get a motorcycle license (as opposed to an
automobile/passenger vehicle license) without having to hold the
permit for six months or complete 50 hours of adult-supervised on-
No. The six-month waiting period and the 50 hours of skill-building
practice still apply. Please note that the six-months/50 hours of skill
building are required for each type of permit a young driver acquires, even
if he or she has already met those requirements for another type of
Under what circumstances will PennDOT waive the 50-hour
For drivers under the age of 18, there are no circumstances where the 50
hours of practice can be waived. Young drivers need at least 50 hours of
skill building to develop even the most basic, safe driving skills.
Can a sibling under 21 supervise a young driver's on-road practice?
No. The supervising adult must be at least 21 years of age. The only rare
exception is that young drivers may also be supervised by a parent,
guardian, person officially designated in loco parentis or spouse at least 18
years of age.
How will young drivers who are issued a permit know when they
are eligible to take the on-road skills test?
Because 16- and 17-year-old permit holders are required to
complete 50 hours of adult-supervised practice, what guidance is
available to the supervising adults to ensure that they are covering
a wide variety of driving situations and conditions that will prepare
the young driver for safe, independent driving in the future?
Every young driver who applies for a permit at a PennDOT Driver License
Center will receive a copy of our tutor's guide, "How to Steer Them to Safe
Driving." This publication guides tutors in organizing time spent
supervising young drivers during their 50 hours of on-road practice. It is a
collection of lesson plans designed to run the gamut of driving
experiences. This guide is not a replacement for the Pennsylvania Driver's
Manual, but a companion piece that references the chapter in the Driver's
Manual central to each lesson. A driving log is also included in the tutor's
guide to help track all driving activity.
How do I schedule an appointment to take the skills portion of my
The following requirements apply to all 16- and 17-year-old junior license
All junior driverís license holders are restricted from driving between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or spouse who is a licensed driver and is at least 18 years of age.
Second, there are mandatory sanctions against all high-risk drivers
under the age of 18, regardless of whether they hold a permit, a junior
license or an unrestricted license. A junior license holder's operating
privileges will be suspended for 90 days if he or she accumulates six
points or is convicted of a single high speed violation (26 miles per hour
or more over the speed limit).
Third, all drivers under 18, regardless of the type of license they hold,
must ensure the number of passengers in their vehicle does not exceed
the number of seat belts.
Can junior license holders drive after 11 p.m. if they have a job
that requires them to travel or return home after that hour?
Yes, provided the junior driver has a certificate of authorization or affidavit
from his or her employer documenting the work schedule. Junior drivers
should keep this documentation with them at all times. This exception to
the nighttime driving restriction also applies to teens involved in fire
fighting or volunteer, charitable service, who must also carry the same
type of documentation.
Is a junior license holder able to obtain his/her full, unrestricted
license before the age of 18?
Yes. The earliest age that young drivers can qualify is 17 Ĺ. These
drivers must have held a junior driver's license for at least one full year,
remained crash- and conviction-free, and completed a state-approved
driver's education course to qualify for an unrestricted license before the
age of 18.
Does everyone under the age of 18 have to get parent or guardian
consent to get a license? Can only a parent give consent to drive?
Although the requirements do not apply to drivers 18 and older, PennDOT
encourages all new drivers to acquire as much behind-the-wheel
experience as possible. This is paramount to safety. Research shows the
most competent and safest drivers are those who have practiced
extensively in a wide variety of driving and traffic conditions. It would be
advisable to wait to take your road test until your driving skills are well
developed and you have had extensive exposure to diverse situations.
While not required for those 18 and over, completing six months of skill
building and gaining at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel experience
before taking the road test is a good rule of thumb for any new driver to
Can 16 year olds having a Class C (non-commercial) junior license
apply for a learner's permit for a motorcycle license?
Yes. Please keep in mind, however, that although six months and 50 hours
of skill building have been completed for the Class C junior license, an
additional six months and 50 hours of skill building on the motorcycle
permit must be completed prior to taking the road test for a motorcycle
What are the requirements for emancipated minors? Does an adult
still have to certify that the 50-hour skill-building requirement?
Emancipated minors must fulfill the same requirements that other young
drivers under the age of 18 are required to meet. Emancipated minors are
subject to the same provisions of the law affecting permit and junior
license holders and must meet the same eligibility requirements for
obtaining a full, unrestricted license before age 18.
What is the penalty for driving after 11 p.m. on a junior license?
Upon conviction of violating the nighttime driving restriction, junior drivers
are subject to a $25 fine and could receive two points on his or her driving
record. The young driver would be responsible for paying this fine plus
associated costs and fees. Also please keep in mind that,
under the law, a junior driver is not eligible for an unrestricted license until
he or she either:
completes a state-approved driver's education course
and maintains a crash-and conviction-free driving record for one year, or
reaches the age of 18, whichever comes first. Therefore, being
convicted of violating the nighttime driving restriction would severely limit
a young driver's opportunity for obtaining a full, unrestricted license before
his or her 18th birthday.
What is the penalty for a driver under 18 carrying more passengers
than seatbelts available in the vehicle?
Upon conviction, these drivers would be subject to a $10 fine. The young
driver would be responsible for paying this fine plus associated costs and
fees. Also please keep in mind that, under the law, a junior driver is not
eligible for an unrestricted license until he or she either: 1) completes a
state-approved driver's education course and maintains a crash- and
conviction-free driving record for one year, or 2) reaches the age of 18,
whichever comes first. Therefore, being convicted of violating the
passenger restriction would severely limit a young driver's opportunity for
obtaining a full, unrestricted license before his or her 18th birthday and
may, in fact, make it impossible.
How does the Young Driver Law affect the End-of-Course Skills
Yes. PennDOT has developed an entertaining and educational web site
called Crossroads. The site engages young drivers by providing driving
situations that are familiar to teens and highlights factors that contribute
to the problems that novice drivers face such as: driving rules, safe and
unsafe driving practices, consequences of poor decision-making and
carelessness. The home page provides users with a quick introduction to
the characters that will lead them into situations with unique story lines,
and a quiz accompanies each story to challenge the user's driving