Pennsylvania Driver's Licensing Attorney

A frequent topic of conversation with our clients is what happens if they have a driver’s license from another state? What happens if they try to get a license in another state?

Well, we’re going to make it easy for you and we have provided all pertinent information provided by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2009 fact sheet regarding the national driver register’s Problem Driver Pointer System. Please note that it is provided below for your convenience.

Q: What is the Problem Driver Pointer System?

A: As part of the National Driver Register, the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) maintains a record of all individuals whose driving privilege is sanctioned in another state(s). PennDOT uses PDPS to determine if drivers, who are looking to obtain a Pennsylvania driver’s license product, have any outstanding driver sanctions in other states.

Q: Who is affected?

A: PennDOT checks PDPS before issuing, replacing (duplicate) or renewing a driver’s license or learner’s permit and will not issue if the customer’s driving privilege is suspended, revoked, cancelled or otherwise withdrawn in another state.

Q: How will I know if I’m affected?

A: PennDOT will perform a courtesy check of the PDPS both six months and three months prior to the expiration of your driver’s license. If a sanction(s) is found, PennDOT will mail a notification to you (both at six months, and if necessary, three months prior to your driver’s license expiration) providing the name of the state(s) where there is a sanction(s) on your driving record, along with your driver’s licence number relevant to the sanction and the state’s contact information so that you can follow up with that state(s) to get the sanction(s) resolved. PennDOT is doing this to give you advance notice in order to clear up any out-of-state sanction(s) in advance of renewing your driver’s license in Pennsylvania.

Q: What do I need to do if I have a PDPS issue?

A: You must contact the state(s) in question and resolve the issues as mandated by the state(s). After that is completed, the record should show as cleared in PDPS. You may then submit or resubmit your application for processing.

Q: How much will it cost? Do I have to pay a restoration fee?

A: There is no charge for Pennsylvania if you have a PDPS issue in another state. If the other state requires any fees as part of their restoration process, you will need to comply with their restoration procedures.

Q: PennDOT mailed me a PDPS letter, but also mailed me a renewal application. Does this mean I am able to renew?

A: You must first resolve your issue with the other state. PennDOT has mailed the renewal application in anticipation of you taking the necessary steps to clear your  driving privilege. If you submit your application while your driving privilege is still withdrawn, PennDOT will be unable to process your renewal. We will not renew your driver’s license until PDPS shows you are clear in all states.

Q: Can I still drive?

A: The presence of a PDPS issue does not mean that you are automatically suspended in Pennsylvania. You may not drive in any state(s) where your privileges are withdrawn. Additionally, you must have your Pennsylvania driver’s license in your physical possession when operating a vehicle. If you do not have your Pennsylvania license, PennDOT will be unable to replace or renew your driver’s license until you are restored in all states.

Q: Is a “work license” available from Pennsylvania if I have a suspension in another state?

A: No.

Q: Why does PennDOT check my driver license record with other states when I am only licensed to drive in Pennsylvania?

A: As required by the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA), PennDOT must check driving records in other states as part of this federal mandate to ensure unsafe drivers are removed from the road and prevent these unsafe drivers from masking driver sanctions by moving from state to state.

Q: How long will it take?

A: Time will vary depending on the sanction(s) you have to reconcile in other state(s).

Q: If it takes a while for the other state to get this information to me, is some type of extension available?

A: No.

Q: When the other state tells me that my driving record has been cleared in that state, is there a way I can check to confirm that information?

A: You can contact PennDOT’s Customer Call Center at 1-800-932-4600 (1-800-228-0676, for the hearing impaired) and a check of NDR can be completed during your call.

Q: Can I still renew my driver’s license on PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services Web site after reconciling the sanction(s) I had in another state(s)?

A: No. You will have to mail your renewal application directly to PennDOT.

Q: Can I still renew my driver’s license at a PennDOT On-line Messenger after reconciling the sanction(s) I had in another state(s)?

A: Yes, but only if you are renewing your non-commercial driver’s license. If you are renewing your commercial driver’s license, you must mail your application directly to PennDOT.

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