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Pennsylvania Driving Records

A DMV driving record from Pennsylvania is a report about a motorist’s history of operating a motor vehicle. The Pennsylvania driving record is a state resident’s guide to determining how an individual’s personal driving history could affect other aspects of his or her life, such as employment, car insurance or apartment rental. A motorist’s online driving record contains details about: driver’s license restrictions and endorsements, driver’s license status, administrative penalties, demerit points and past violation convictions. The following information contains information about:

  • The Pennsylvania point system.
  • How to get your driving record in Pennsylvania.
  • The different types of Pennsylvania driving records.
  • What information is on a Pennsylvania driving record?
  • What information is not on a Pennsylvania driving record?
  • How Pennsylvania driving records can be used.

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The Pennsylvania Point System

Removing points from driving records is usually the top inquiry drivers make about their driving history. First, it is important to understand how the point system works in the state of Pennsylvania, as it is pertinent to know how they are accumulated. This can help a driver avoid point accrual from the start, and help with overall driving improvement.

Violations and Point Accumulation

Points are added to a PA drivers record every time a moving violation occurs. Each driving violation is worth between two and five points, with the number of points determined by the severity of the violation. For example, excessive speeding receives more points (five) than making an illegal U-turn (three). This means a driver can accumulate six or more points within two violations.

A Pennsylvania personal driving record separates point accumulation by batches of six, with three accumulations being the top tier for penalties and fines. Anything past three accumulations is subject to a departmental hearing to determine the punishment. Motorists with a bad driving record in Pennsylvania will experience severe consequences such as a suspended or revoked driver’s license in conjunction with the demerit points collected. A drivers license status change depends on which level of point accumulation a motorist has attained, with varying durations of penalties. The longest a license suspension can last in the state of Pennsylvania is one year.

Consequences of Accumulating Points

For the first accumulation of six or more points, drivers will get a written notice from the department of transportation to take a written point exam within 30 days of the notification. A PA driver license status changes to a 15-day suspension for a second accumulation of six or more points, unless the motorist fails to attend a departmental hearing, then it is a 60-day suspension. A drivers record reflecting three or more accumulations of six or more points results in license suspension until the driver attends a department hearing, at which the length of punishment will be determined.

Excessive speeding, defined as 31 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, adds five points to a driver’s record regardless of the points that existed on the record before, and results in a 15-day suspension, unless the motorist fails to attend the departmental hearing, then it is a 60-day suspension. A DMV driving history with an accumulation of 11 or more points automatically changes a license to suspended status. A driving license check in this instance also reveals the level of suspension, with the schedule following this system:

  • Five days per point on a first suspension
  • 10 days per point on a second suspension
  • 15 days per point on a third suspension
  • One year for four or more suspensions

Drivers under the 18 years of age who accumulate six or more points on their license, or are convicted of driving 26 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit, will get a 90-day license suspension, with additional occurrences resulting in a 120-day suspension.

How to Remove Points from Driving Record History

To remove points from driving record history, you need to abide by Pennsylvania’s good driving rules. For every 12 months of good driving — driving without acquiring new moving violations and collecting points — three points are deducted from a motorist’s driving record. Once a PA drivers record reaches a balance of zero for 12 months, point accumulations that occur after that will be treated as the first batch.

Clearing driving record history can be done by taking a written point exam within 30 days of a first or second accumulation of six or more points. You can clean your driving record little by little this way, as completing this test deducts two points from your driving history.

How to Get Your Driving Record in Pennsylvania

To get a copy of driving record documentation, you can visit a trusted third-party provider like To order driving record history online, you only need internet access and payment for the applicable fee. A Pennsylvania driving record has information about license endorsements, license restrictions, license status, demerit points, administrative penalties and past traffic violations. This quick and convenient way to get your driving record is ideal for checking your driving history for updates and accuracy, and for situations in which a copy is needed as soon as possible, as orders are processed in minutes.

Getting driving record history can also be done by mailing in the appropriate form to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Driver Licensing P.O. box. This method takes a long time, though, and can be delayed by errors or incomplete information on an application. You can order driving record history in person as well, but only if your local DMV office offers that option. If a certified copy of driving record documentation is needed for professional or business reasons, you can get one by mail or in person at a participating motor vehicle department office.

The Different Types of Pennsylvania Driving Records

There are four types of driving records in Pennsylvania, all of which contain basic identifying information like name, birth date, address, driver number and license classification. Individuals can order a three year driving record, a 10-year record, a complete history or microfilm record.

A DMV 3 year driving record contains a motorist’s driving history within three years of the processed request date. This kind of driving record is available for personal reasons, such as seeking the best car insurance rate, for a nominal fee. A 10-year driving record works similarly, except it contains 10 years of driving history and can only be used for employment purposes. A full driving record in Pennsylvania contains a complete driving history from the initial registration of a driver’s license. A certified copy of a full driving record can be ordered from the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles.

A driving record search can reveal specific violations and situations through a microfilm record available from the Pennsylvania motor vehicle department’s collection. The PA driving record request form includes an option to choose the type of document you want from the microfilm, including license renewals, citations, restoration letters, applications, notices for department hearings or exams, judgments, suspension and revocation letters and court certifications.

What information is on a Pennsylvania driving record?

A DMV driving history contains a motorist’s detailed record of traffic penalties and violations, license status, license endorsements and restrictions, demerit points, accident history, license classification and other driver-related history.

A Pennsylvania personal driving record indicates your license classification, which is either commercial or non-commercial. Record holders with CDL status (commercial driver’s license) are those associated with a profession that requires the operation of a motor vehicle, such as taxi driver, truck driver, delivery service driver or hazmat material transporter. Most people who check driver record history find they hold non-commercial licenses, with the exception of recreational vehicle (RV) and motorcycle drivers.

A CDL status check can help you determine which license endorsements you hold and which may be expiring. A license endorsement allows a commercial driver the authority to transport hazardous materials, operate a military tank or drive a school bus, among other privileges. License restrictions dictate the limitations you have to use your driver’s license. Your personal driving record can include restrictions such as use of corrective lenses, use of a hearing aid, or they may limit a driver to operating a motor vehicle during daylight hours, among other restriction types.

A driving license check will show if your driving privileges have been suspended, revoked or cancelled. If your PA drivers license status holds this standing, you cannot legally operate a motor vehicle, and doing so can lead to an increase in penalties and fines. If you do not have license suspension, revocation or cancellation, then this information will not appear on your driving record.

Your driving record includes the accumulation of demerit points as well, giving different values to different driving infractions. Performing a DMV record search periodically can help you decide if you need to attend traffic school or help you find an error that needs correction.

Results from your traffic court records involving speeding tickets, DUI/DWI violations and even more serious charges, such as vehicular manslaughter, will appear on your driving record. A history of car accidents can also be found among your traffic violations if you were at-fault.

What information is not on a Pennsylvania driving record?

A car history report cannot be found on an individual’s driving record. Only a VIN history or similar report can provide details for the car’s account, with details such as previous owners, odometer reading and registration. A Pennsylvania drivers record does not state the vehicle’s date of registration and/or who owns the car.

If a motorist wants to check police records, he or she cannot do so through a driving record unless the offense involved a moving violation. A Pennsylvania DUI arrest record resulting in a misdemeanor or felony charge will appear on a driving history, as well as accidents that resulted in severe damage or loss of life and hit and run accidents.

While a bad driving record reflects on an individual’s car insurance coverage rates, this information is not available on a driver’s record. Likewise, unpaid traffic tickets can be sent to collections and affect a person’s credit, though the credit report will not show up on a driving record. A personal driving history will only reveal medical history which is pertinent to driving privileges, such as restrictions that impair a driver’s ability and DUI-related rehabilitation.

How Pennsylvania Driving Records Can Be Used

Landlords and property owners who rent out space can pull a driving record for a background check. A drivers record with outstanding financial penalties can indicate to a landlord that an individual is not financially responsible, and thus a risky tenant to take on.

Motorists may need to find cheap car insurance for bad driving record history, as they are deemed high-risk customers and require more coverage, leading to higher rates. A driving record search in PA revealing poor history may even cause an insurance company to refuse to cover a driver.

Employers look at driving records for background checks of potential employees. If a criminal traffic offense appears on a driving record, it could disqualify an individual from employment, especially in the case of jobs that require operation of a motor vehicle.

A DUI criminal record may require an attorney or another individual to access a driver’s personal driving history for the sake of a court case. Other legal cases can use a driving record as evidence for witness confirmation or verifying other details. In the case of a court order, a copy of the order or sanctioned subpoena must be attached to the driving record request.

Any criminal driving violations can appear on a driving history and be used by other government agencies to determine an individual’s eligibility for employment or other business and professional reasons. A driving record request can be made by an individual for personal reasons, such as checking for accuracy, or by an authorized third-party for official purposes. If an individual’s Pennsylvania driving record contains an error or inaccuracy, it should be reported to the department of motor vehicles immediately.