Driver's Education in Pennsylvania
Most new drivers in Pennsylvania are required to successfully complete a State-approved driver's education program in order to obtain a Pennsylvania driver's license. In fact, for many applicants, the driver's education certificate of completion is part of the actual driver's license application.
WHO MUST TAKE DRIVER'S EDUCATION
WHERE TO TAKE DRIVER'S EDUCATION
Driver's education courses are offered through both public and private school programs, all of which must be approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Driving schools, licensed by the Department of Transportation, cover the same course content.
WHAT'S COVERED IN A DRIVER'S EDUCATION COURSE
While driver's education courses vary from one school to another, all licensed programs must include the following components:
- Classroom periods, focusing on issues including alcohol safety and drug abuse awareness, defensive driving, motorcycle awareness and organ and tissue donation.
- In-car instruction sessions, divided into periods of actual driving and periods of observation time.
After the successful completion of the driver's education course, your driving school will a send a copy of the completion certificate to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, after which you may be issued a permanent driver's license. Drivers under the age of 18 must have their certificate signed and authorized by a parent or legal guardian, who must certify that the student has had at least 50 hours of driving practice.
In addition to the core requirements of a driver's education course, many driving schools in Pennsylvania offer optional programs that focus on particular aspects of driver education. Specialized courses include Auto Insurance Discount Courses or Defensive Driving courses, either of which may qualify students for a discount on auto insurance. These and other courses may also enable students to reduce points on their license, and/or get their license back sooner after a suspension. See our section on Pennsylvania driving schools for more information.