Overview / FAQ
Brief Overview of this course, this course:
Pennsylvania requires, if you are under 18, you need to complete a DMV-approved drivers education course to earn a certificate of completion. This certificate is required in order to obtain your instruction permit (learners permit) and ultimately your driver's license.
Is approved by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Education for any student or licensee statewide.
Was designed to provide the opportunity for all young drivers to receive a driving education regardless of where they live.
- Consists of only the classroom/online phase of your requirements.
- Does not offer driving (the 65-hour Parent/Teen Driving guide. (See below under Driving)
- This course consists of 10 modules, 37 quizzes, 10 module tests.
Why are there laws regarding Graduated License?
To enhance safety on Pennsylvania roads, changes to the Vehicle Code involving graduated driver licensing requirements were made in reference to passenger restrictions for junior drivers and passenger restraint laws. The rules took effect in Dec. 2011. The changes to the law were initiated to help junior drivers receive more comprehensive training, and ease young driver distractions through limiting the number of passengers.
How much time do I have to drive during the supervised driving phase?
The number of hours increased from 50 to 65, including 10 hours at night, and 5 hours in poor weather before taking the junior license test.
Can a junior license holder transport any passengers?
For the first 6 months after receiving their junior driver’s license,
- a driver is not permitted to have more than one passenger under age 18 who is not an immediate family member
- Immediate family members: brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister of the junior driver and adopted or foster children living in the same household as the junior driver in their vehicle
- unless they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
If they have not been convicted of a driving violation or been partially or fully responsible for a reportable crash after six months,
- they may have up to three passengers under age 18 who are not immediate family members without a parent or legal guardian present.
If they have any convictions or are partially or fully responsible for a reportable crash while a junior driver, they are once again restricted to one passenger.
- Probationary license holders 16 years of age are prohibited from driving between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian with the same exceptions as above. This is a change to the previous restriction of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
- Permit holders under the age of 18 will be prohibited from driving between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or legal custodian who holds a valid license. This is a change to the previous restriction of 1a.m. to 5 a.m.
- If a probationary driver license holder who is 16 is convicted of having committed one moving violation during the first six months of having a driver's license, the person must be accompanied by a parent or guardian whenever operating a motor vehicle during the six-month period commencing on the date on which the person is convicted of or pleads guilty to the moving violation or until the person turns 17.
What are the seat belt requirements?
Drivers and occupants in a vehicle who are under the age of 18 must wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt, and children under the age of eight must be securely fastened in a child restraint system. Failure to comply with the new law’s seat belt provisions is a primary offense, meaning that a driver can be pulled over and cited solely for that violation.
- Whoever violates this section will be found guilty of a minor misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $25. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of this section or of a municipal ordinance that is substantially similar, the offender is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
When can I get a learner’s permit?
- A learner’s permit can be obtained at age 15 years of age and kept for at least 6 months; however the permit is valid for 1 year. The permit is valid for one year. The permit holder must be accompanied by an eligible adult, which is defined as a parent, guardian, legal custodian, licensed driver age 21 or older acting in loco parentis. The eligible adult must hold a valid driver license and occupy the front passenger seat.
- In order to be eligible for a driver license, a permit holder must be at least 16 years old and have completed the driver training certification requirement (complete 50 hours of driving with a parent or guardian, including 10 hours of nighttime driving, in addition to the driver education requirement of 30 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours behind the wheel) and have held a temporary permit for at least six months. The permit holder must also complete the DPS driving and maneuverability test prior to issuance of a probationary license. The probationary license is valid until age 18, at which time the license becomes a full driver license.
Have the ages at which permits and driver licenses are issued been raised because of this new law?
- No, the ages remain the same: 15½ years old for a permit, and 16 years old for a driver license.
Are 18-year-old drivers affected by the new teen driving law?
- No, they are not. The law changes apply to permit holders and driver license holders under the age of 18.
What is the definition of a “family member”?
- Family member of a probationary license holder includes any of the following: a parent, step-parent, grandparent, or parent-in-law, a sibling, whether of the whole or half blood or by adoption, a brother-in-law or sister-in-law, a spouse, a child or step-child, an aunt or uncle, a son or daughter of the probationary license holder’s step-parent if the step-parent has not adopted the probationary license holder.
Two family members, both 16, are in the same vehicle. Both are probationary license holders. How many passengers may ride in the vehicle?
- Only 1 passenger, who is not a family member, would be allowed to ride in the vehicle. It is based upon who is operating the vehicle.
If a 16-year-old probationary license holder is driving a vehicle with a passenger 18 years or older, can they have another passenger with them?
- No, the age of the passenger does not matter. If the passenger is not a family member, they can only have one passenger in the vehicle, unless the driver’s parent or guardian is in the vehicle.
Would I need to present proof of relationship for additional passengers?
- Proof of relationship is not required by law, but it could be helpful to avoid being charged with a violation.
Are there exceptions for 16-year-old drivers to take more than one unrelated passenger to school or school activities?
- No, 16-year-old licensed drivers are not permitted to transport more than one person who is not a family member at any time, unless the driver’s parent or guardian is in the vehicle as well.
Students carpool to and from school and activities. Allowing fewer passengers in one vehicle increases the amount of vehicles operated, as well as increases emissions. Why increase the likelihood of more crashes?
- Statistics indicate a higher rate of accidents/fatalities to and from school when groups of teenagers are riding in one vehicle.
Why were the restricted hours expanded from 1 a.m.-5 a.m. to midnight-6 a.m.?
- Statistics indicate more accidents/fatalities occur during these hours.
How are these new laws going to be enforced?
- Whoever violates having more than one passenger in the vehicle, who is not a family member, is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. It is a primary violation, meaning law enforcement can pull over a vehicle solely for violating the passenger limit law; they do not have to see any other violations. A restricted nighttime hours violation is secondary, so law enforcement would need another reason to pull the vehicle over.