Pennsylvania Drivers License
Although the process of applying for the Pennsylvania drivers license may seem a little confusing, it's really not that bad once you get into it. Applying for a driving license in Pennsylvania can be narrowed down to selecting the right type of a license and taking your permit and license tests.
Types of Pennsylvania Driving License
You can choose between the following types of driving licenses if you are applying for a license in Pennsylvania:
- Class C. Regular drivers license. Valid for operation of most of the common vehicles.
- Class M. Motorcycle drivers license.
- Class A. Combination vehicle with overall weight over 26000 pounds.
- Class B. Valid for trucks, buses and motor homes over 26000 pounds
- A, B and C Commercial. Commercial drivers licenses, CDLs.
If you are trying to obtain your first drivers license, then a regular class C drivers license is your way to go. Once you have gained enough skills and experience you can choose to upgrade your drivers license to another level, although for most people a regular class C driver's license is sufficient.
Graduated Drivers License
Right now, pretty much every state has its own version of the graduated drivers license (GDL) system and Pennsylvania is not an exception to this rule. The graduated license system is a set of laws and procedures that were designed to reduce the number of casualties among teenage drivers and this is achieved by introducing additional education and a number of restrictions. Although the Pennsylvania GDL system is rather on a soft side, it still has the same elements as similar programs in other states - extended permit holding period and drivers education classes.
Applying for Your Driver's License
There is one thing you must do before you can apply for the Pennsylvania drivers license and that is to obtain the Pennsylvania learners permit. It does not matter whether you are 16 or 40, you have to apply for the learners permit before you can get your license. The permit allows you to practice your driving skills and gives you the right to operate a vehicle under proper supervision. When you are applying for the permit, you will be required to fill in the application form DL-180 (also parent consent form DL 180 TD if you are under 18), take a permit exam which will test your knowledge of Pennsylvania driving laws and road signs. You can prepare for the exam by reading the PennDOT drivers handbook and taking a few practice tests.
Pennsylvania Driving License Test
If you have your permit and fufill all other requirements, you can schedule your driving test with PennDOT. The state does not provide a vehicle for the driver's license exam, so you will need to borrow a vehicle from someone or rent one from a local driving school. Not all driving schools provide this service so you better take care of the car in advance.
When you pass your driver's license exam, you will be issued with the Pennsylvania drivers license on the spot.
If you happen to fail your driver's license test, you can retake it up to three times. Applicants under 18 years of age have to wait for at least 7 days before trying to pass the test again. Make sure you practice your driving skills before you retake the test as you only have three attempts at taking the exam.