The Pennsylvania driver point system is set by the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to improve driving habits and ensure safety of all traffic participants. Drivers will accrue a certain amount of penalty points once the DOT registers a specific moving violation on their driving record. The number of assigned demerit points in PA generally depends on the severity of the committed offense. Under the set point system, motorists who amass a certain number of negative points on their report will be required to meet specific requirements, including taking a point examination. Failure to comply with the DOT requirements may result in harsher penalties, such as license suspensions. To learn more about the PA DMV point system, as well as different driving record point removal methods, read the below sections:
- Moving violations and points in Pennsylvania
- Penalties in Pennsylvania
- How to fix a Pennsylvania driving record
- Disputing a Pennsylvania moving violation charge
Moving Violations and Points in Pennsylvania
The amount of PA driver violation points that motorists accrue on their driving transcript usually varies depending on the seriousness of the committed infraction. The Department of Transportation assigns moving violation points according to the guidelines of the set point schedule. Some of the most common driving infractions and their corresponding penalty points in PA are included in the following list:
- Failure to obey authorized persons directing traffic - 2 points.
- Failure to stop for a red light - 3 moving violation points.
- Failure to yield - 3 points.
- Illegal U-turns - 3 points.
- Careless driving - 3 careless driving points.
When calculating speeding ticket points in Pennsylvania, the DOT usually takes into consideration the speed at which the motorist was driving when he or she violated the law. Five points for speeding will be placed against the offender's record for driving 26 to 30 miles over the posted speed limit. The same number of Pennsylvania driving points will be assessed for speeding 31 and more miles over the limit, though in this case other penalties may apply as well. Finally, four car accident points will be added on a report for leaving the site of a crash involving property damage.
Penalties in Pennsylvania
The traffic violation penalties in Pennsylvania resulting from an excess of demerit points vary depending on the number of accumulated points, as well as previous offenses on your driving record. The traffic ticket penalty for first accumulation of six points is taking a DOT written point examination. If you fail to successfully pass the exam within a period of 30 days, you will incur a license suspension. The second accumulation of six PA infraction points will require you to attend a Departmental Hearing, which may result in a 15-day license suspension and/or a special driver's exam. In the event of third accumulation of six points on report, you may face a 30-day suspension of your credential. Pennsylvania traffic violation penalties for motorists who amass 11 or more points are even stricter, and they include an automatic license suspension of a varying duration, mainly depending on the number of prior suspensions.
PA DUI penalties generally include a combination of punishments imposed both by the DOT and the court system, due to the seriousness of DUI offenses. Instead of assigning DUI points, motorists convicted of such infraction will incur large fines, license suspensions, jail sentences and possible alcohol treatment. Severe speeding ticket penalties in PA, including a mandatory Departmental Hearing which may result in a 15-day license suspension and/or a driver's exam will be imposed to drivers convicted for speeding 31 miles or more over the set limit.
How to Fix a Pennsylvania Driving Record
Enrolling into a state-accepted driving safety course in PA for the purposes of removing infraction points from your record may not be an available option at the moment. Though you may not be able to reduce license points by participating in such course, certain state courts may allow you to qualify for a ticket dismissal once you provide a certificate of completion of a defensive driving course. Contact the court processing your ticket to ask whether they offer such option and inquire about the possibility to attend online classes.
Another way to clear your driving record in PA is by practicing safe driving habits. A three DMV point reduction will apply for every consecutive 12-month period of time during which you show good driving behavior. Two demerit points will also be cleared from your driving report upon successfully passing the driver's exam or serving the 15-day suspension resulting from your point-related conviction.
Disputing a Pennsylvania Moving Violation Charge
In order to initiate the procedure of contesting a traffic ticket in Pennsylvania, drivers must submit a "not guilty" plea to the presiding court. Note that this step may be finalized via several methods, depending on the court handling your case. Motorists who decide to fight a traffic ticket will also need to remit their amount due as collateral. Licensees who fail to successfully dispute a speeding ticket in PA or other summons will incur points on their record, which may then lead to other negative consequences.