Probationary Licenses / Occupational Limited License

Probationary License Instructions and Petition

What is a Probationary License?

A Probationary License (PL) is a Class C (Non-Commercial) driver’s license issued to an individual whose Pennsylvania driving privilege has been suspended or revoked for five or more years. A PL authorizes driving a non-commercial vehicle between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. The Department will consider additional hours upon request. Under no circumstances will a PL be given to drive a commercial vehicle, motorcycle or moped.

To qualify for a Probationary License you must have completed a portion of your suspension time period, based on your driving record. The minimum period from three to six (3-6) years is determined by the number of violations that caused the current suspension/revocation of your driving privilege. In addition, any outstanding citations, judgments, examinations or hearings must be satisfied. All restoration requirements must be completed.

If you are not licensed to drive in this or any other state, you must apply for a class C Probationary learner’s permit. Thirty days after the issuance of the learner’s permit you will be eligible to test for a driver’s license. Upon successfully passing all exams, the Department will issue a PL. All restoration requirements must be completed.

If your driving privilege is revoked, you will be required to take a driver road test before the Probationary License can be issued.

If you have been convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), granted ARD for DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle with DUI, driving under suspension with DUI, suspended for refusal to submit to chemical testing, or offense for death or personal injury without a license within the preceding seven (7) years, you are not eligible for a PL until seven (7) years have passed. If you have ever been convicted of Homicide by Vehicle or Homicide by Vehicle while DUI, you are permanently prohibited from obtaining a PL.

Probationary License Fact Sheet

Q: What is a Probationary License?
A: A Probationary License (PL) is a Class C (Non-Commercial) driver’s license issued once in a lifetime to an individual whose Pennsylvania driving privilege has been suspended or revoked for five or more years. This license authorizes driving a non-commercial vehicle between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. The Department may consider additional hours upon request. Please attach a letter justifying request for modified hours. A PL cannot be used to drive a commercial vehicle, motorcycle or moped.

Q: Can anybody who is suspended qualify?
A: No. To qualify for a PL, you must have served and consecutively earned credit toward a portion of your suspension/revocation period and your driving record must be free of driving offenses to demonstrate that you have not driven during the minimum period of suspension/revocation. This minimum period (from 3 to 6 years) is determined by the number of violations that caused the current suspensions/revocations on your driving record. In addition, any outstanding citations, judgments, examinations or hearings must first be satisfied.

Q: How much of my suspension/revocation term must I serve before I am eligible to apply?
A: Generally, a person with 1 to 7 violations must have earned credit for at least a 3 year term of suspension or revocation; 8 to 14 violations require that credit be earned for at least a 4 year period; 15 to 21 violations require that credit be earned for at least a 5 year period; and 22 or more violations require that credit be earned for at least a 6 year period.

Q: I never held a Pennsylvania Driver’s License or Learner’s Permit. Can I qualify?
A:
Yes. If you are not licensed to drive in this or any other state, you must apply for a class C learner’s permit. Thirty days after the issuance of the learner’s permit you will be eligible to test for a driver’s license. Upon successfully passing all exams, the Department will issue a PL.

Q: Does a DUI, DUI related offense, or death or personal injury offense disqualify me?
A: Maybe. If you have been convicted of DUI, granted ARD for DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle with DUI, driving under suspension with DUI, suspended for refusal to submit to chemical testing, or offense for death or personal injury without a license within the preceding 7 years, you are not eligible for a PL until the 7 years have passed. If you have ever been convicted of homicide by vehicle or homicide by vehicle while DUI, you are permanently prohibited from obtaining a PL.

Q: If I have served my minimum 3, 4, 5, or 6 years of my suspension/revocation, does that clear the way for me to apply for the Probationary License?
A: Yes, but the application is only the first step in the overall eligibility process.

Q: How do I apply?
A: To apply for a PL, you must complete a Probationary License Petition (form DL-20). To prevent a delay or rejection, all requested information must be completed, and all appropriate fees and documents must be attached. All restoration requirements must be completed.

Q: What is the cost?
A: The cost of applying for a PL is $25. This fee is non-refundable. In addition, the PL itself costs $62.25 yearly. The initial fee is a total of $87.25. If your request for a PL is not approved, the $62.25 fee will be refunded to you. Any unpaid restoration fee must also be paid at the time you submit your DL-20 form. See the following chart for additional information:

Q: After I submit my application, what happens next?
A: Upon receipt of your DL-20 form, the Department will review your petition and driving history to determine your eligibility for a PL. You will be advised of our determination within 30 days. If we determine that you meet the initial criteria for a PL, you will be scheduled for a Departmental Review session. Following the review and the completion of any required testing, the Department will make a recommendation regarding issuance of your PL.
Note: If your driving privilege is revoked, you will be required to take and pass a vision, knowledge and driver test before the Probationary License can be issued.

Q: How long is the Probationary License issued for?
A: A PL is issued for a 1 year period from the date the license is actually issued.

Q: What happens next year?
A: If you have complied with the provisions of the PL, you will be invited to renew your PL approximately 30 days before it expires.

Q: If my request is denied, or my PL is subsequently canceled or recalled, what can I do?
A: You may appeal the denial, recall or cancellation by filing a petition with the Department requesting an Administrative Hearing. The cost for this Administrative Hearing is $100.00 and is non-refundable. Additional information regarding this filing process will be provided upon request. However, a hearing will only be held to determine if the Department errored in its action. Extenuating circumstances will not be considered.

Q: What happens if I commit a violation?
A: If you are convicted of an offense for which the penalty is suspension, cancellation, disqualification, or revocation of your driving privilege, your PL will be cancelled. If you are convicted of a “point” violation, your PL will be recalled for 30 days for each point accumulated. In any case, you must surrender your PL to the Department.

Q: Can I get a Probationary License for the duration of my suspension/revocation period?
A: You may renew your PL for up to 6 years. Upon completion of the 6th year, you will become eligible to apply for a regular driver’s license.

Q: This seems like awfully tough criteria to meet?
A: It is, however, please recognize that the Probationary License is available to only those individuals who have earned it by demonstrating a minimum period of compliance to their suspension/revocation. In many cases, this license will enable you to rejoin the mainstream of social and employment opportunities and reap the benefits from this “second chance.”

Q: Where do I get further information?
A: Contact Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. at 215-997-1000 for any further questions and for our help in getting started on the application to obtain your probationary license.

Occupational Limited License

Q: What is an Occupational Limited License?
A: An Occupational Limited License (OLL) is a limited driver’s license issued to a driver whose Pennsylvania driving privilege has been suspended. If your driving privilege has been revoked, disqualified, cancelled or recalled, you are not eligible for an OLL. If you have never been licensed by this or any other state, you are also ineligible to apply. An OLL authorizes driving a designated motor vehicle, under certain conditions, only when it is necessary for the driver’s occupation, work, trade, medical treatment or study.

Q: What types of suspensions are NOT eligible for an OLL?
A: If you are currently, or about to be suspended for any of these violations, you are not eligible for an OLL.

3345 – Passing a School Bus

3367 – Racing on Highways

3732 – Homicide by Vehicle

3733 – Fleeing a Police Officer

3734 – Driving Without Lights

3735 – Homicide by Vehicle/DUI

3736 – Reckless Driving

3742 – Accidents Involving Death or Injury

3743 – Leaving Scene of an Accident

3802 – Driving Under the Influence

(possible exceptions see below)

1533 or 6146 – Failure to Respond to a Citation

1543 – Driving while Suspended

(possible exceptions see below)

1547 – Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing

(possible exceptions see below)

1786 – Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility

ARD Ordered Suspension for DUI

Controlled Substance, Drug, Device & Cosmetic Act Violations

Underage Alcohol Violations (possible exceptions see below)

Any Serious Traffic Offense (Chapter 37)

Any Violations Relating to Accidents and Accident Reports

Q: Does a DUI violation which results in a 12 month suspension qualify for an OLL?
A: A 12 month DUI suspension qualifies only if the violation is a first offense and a one year suspension is imposed. However, the OLL cannot be issued until 60 days of the suspension have already been served.

Q: Does a DUI violation which results in an 18 month suspension qualify for an OLL?
A: It qualifies only if you have no more than one prior DUI offense within the past ten years, have served 12 months of the 18 month suspension, have satisfied all restoration requirements and have the ignition interlock installed on your vehicle.

Q: Does a refusal to submit to chemical testing qualify for an OLL?
A: It qualifies only if it results in an 18 month suspension, have no more than one prior DUI offense within the past 10 years, have served 12 months of the 18 month suspension, have satisfied all restoration requirements and have the ignition interlock installed on your vehicle.

Q: Does an underage alcohol offense violation qualify for an OLL?
A: You qualify only if the violation is your first offense.

Q: Does a driving while under suspension violation qualify for an OLL?
A: If your driving record shows that this suspension occurred only as a result of a prior indefinite suspension due to an unpaid citation or non-payment of a judgement, failure to attend a Departmental hearing or failure to undergo a Special Point Examination, you may be eligible. However, the OLL cannot be issued until three (3) months have been served for the suspension for driving while under suspension.

Q: Can a suspended CDL driver get an OLL?
A: Yes, you would be eligible for a non-commercial OLL only.

Q: What are the first things I must do in order to qualify?
A: If your suspension is in effect, you must surrender your driver’s license if you have not done so already. If your driver’s license has expired, you must submit an application for renewal, along with the appropriate fee. All fines, costs and restoration fees must be paid at the time of petition.

Q: Will I have enough time to apply and receive the OLL prior to my suspension date?
A: If the DL-15 form is received and approved prior to the effective date of your suspension, one of two things will happen:

1) If the effective date of suspension is less than 15 days from the process date, the Department will delay the start of your suspension for 15 days and issue an interim license;

2) If the effective date is greater than 15 days from the process date, the Department will not delay the suspension but will issue an interim license. The interim license provides you with a continuous driving privilege while the surrender of your regular driver’s license is used for the processing of your OLL.

Note: Credit toward your suspension will begin upon the new effective date or after, if you delay in submitting your license to the Department.

Q: After I apply, what happens next?
A: Within 20 days of receiving your petition, the Department will inform you in writing whether or not you qualify for an OLL. If you qualify, you will receive an OLL camera card to obtain a photo OLL. You are to carry your photo OLL and DL-15A together at all times.

Q: When does my OLL expire?
A: The OLL is valid for the length of your suspension term. After your driving privilege has been restored, the Department will return your valid regular driver’s license.

Q: Can the OLL be extended?
A: Maybe, if you are given a suspension due to the result of a Departmental Hearing or if you were convicted of a point related violation which resulted in an “add on” suspension. The Department will notify you and send you the application to extend your OLL. (DL-31OLL)

Q: What happens if I commit a violation while driving on an OLL or if a violation is placed on your record after receiving the OLL?
A: If you are convicted of an offense for which the penalty is a cancellation, disqualification, recall, suspension, or revocation of your driving privilege, the Department will recall your OLL and you must surrender the OLL to the Department.

Q: Can I apply for any permit after my OLL has been issued to me?
A: No, you may apply for any permit upon restoration of your regular driving privileges.

Q: Can I get another OLL if I am suspended again?
A: You may be issued only one (1) OLL every five (5) years.

Q: Can I take any action in the event that my OLL is recalled or my request is denied?
A: Yes. You may file with the Department a petition for an Administrative Hearing accompanied by a non-refundable processing fee of $100.00. Additional information regarding this filing process will be provided upon request. “Hardship or extraordinary medical circumstances DO NOT qualify you to receive an OLL.”

Q: Where do I write to get further information about an OLL or get a petition (Form DL-15)?
A: Please contact Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. at 215-997-1000.