Driver’s License Suspension in Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania man unexpectedly lost his driver’s license when he failed to respond promptly to a traffic ticket, The man’s problems started when he was cited for speeding and driving an unregistered car. The man was not arrested, but the police department mailed him a citation after the incident.

Drivers who simply assume that they can drive legally at the end of their suspension period are mistaken.

When he failed to respond to the citation, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) sent the man a letter advising him that he would lose his driver’s license in 20 days if he did not respond to the citation immediately. The man did not respond to the citation within the 20 days; instead, two months after having received the notice about losing his license, he pleaded guilty to the citation and paid the fine.

PennDOT then suspended his license for an additional 15 daysĀ because he had been convicted of a moving violation while his license was under suspension. The moving violation was the original speeding-and-driving-an-unregistered vehicle citation. His guilty plea had amounted to a conviction.

The man appealed the additional 15-day suspension of his license, claiming that by pleading guilty to the citation for speeding and driving an unregistered vehicle, he had beenĀ effectively responding to the citation and that his doing so should have ended the first suspension. He argued that PennDOT should not be permitted to treat his ā€œconvictionā€ as having occurred during a period of license suspension.

The man lost his appeal. License suspensions do not end in automatic restoration of drivers’Ā privileges. When Pennsylvania drivers lose their driving privileges due to traffic tickets, DUI charges, failure to pay past fines, or for any other reason, they must complete a ā€œrestoration” process before their privileges are restored. Drivers who simply assume that they can drive legally at the end of their suspension period are mistaken.

To start the restoration process, a driver can request a free restoration letter from PennDOT by calling (800) 932-4600 or by visiting PennDOT online at and following the menu on the first page, headed “Driver and Vehicle Services.” A restoration letter advises the suspended driver of everything he or she must do to become a legal driver again. Those conditions may include resolving previous open citations, paying fines, and going through driver education and testing again. Also “attributeā€ income to parents who are found to be earning less than their actual income- earning capacity.

When parents incomes go up or down, their child support orders can be modified if either parent files a petition with the court requesting modification. Before filing a request for a change in your child support, it is wise to check with a lawyer to review the possible results.

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