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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 4, 2014 01:48 PM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Probationary License revisions
 
I am reintroducing Senate Bill 618, amending section 1554 of the Vehicle Code, Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, pertaining to a probationary license. The Department of Transportation makes a probationary license available to a habitual offender whose driving privileges have been revoked or to a person with an accumulation of suspensions or revocations of five years or more.

Currently, in order to receive a probationary license, a person with one to seven offenses must serve at least three years of suspension or revocation, a person with eight to 14 offenses must serve at least four years of suspension or revocation, a person with 15 to 21 offenses must serve at least five years of suspension or revocation, and a person with 22 or more offenses must serve at least six years of suspension or revocation.

My legislation reduces each of these time periods by half. A person with one to seven offenses must serve at least one and one-half years of suspension or revocation instead of three, a person with eight to 14 offenses must serve at least two years instead of four, a person with 15 to 21 offenses must serve at least two and one-half years instead of five, and a person with 22 or more offenses must serve at least three years instead of six.

Under current law, a probationary license can only be issued once in a lifetime. Should a person’s probationary license be suspended, they would no longer have the ability to secure such a license in the future. My proposal would provide that an individual could apply for another probationary license after five years. This would mirror the rules for an occupational limited license.

In applying for a probationary license, the person must prove to the department's satisfaction that he has not driven a motor vehicle during the minimum period of suspension or revocation. My measure would provide that the applicant’s driving history shall be sufficient documentation for the department to determine whether the applicant is eligible for a probationary license. Even though the department indicates that they look at the driving record, I believe it is important to make clear in the law that “proof to the department’s satisfaction” means the person’s driving record.

In order to be eligible for a regular driver’s license, a person must successfully drive with a probationary license for six consecutive years. My legislation would reduce that period in half to three years. I believe this represents a fair and reasonable time period before a person can apply for restoration of their regular driver’s license.

While reducing the waiting period means a person may apply for a probationary license earlier, it does not mean that the person will get a probationary license any earlier. Based on the above information, the department decides whether to grant a probationary license.



Introduced as SB62