It is possible to have a PA drivers license suspended for a number of non-driving violations. This can lead to a serious impact for the offender, in terms being able to get employment, driving to and from work, getting children to school, and even providing for their family. The Pennsylvania department of Public Welfare, for example, has the right to ask the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to suspend the driving rights of people who fail to pay child support for three months, to meet visitation rights or custody orders, or fail to meet with subpoenas and warrants having to do with child support hearings and paternity issues. This type of license suspension usually causes greater impediment to a resident in their ability to catch up in back payments, or fulfill visitation requirements, especially in areas where public or alternative transportation is not an option.
It is also possible to suspended a PA drivers license for unpaid parking violations or not holding appropriate insurance and failing to pay tickets. These types of violations causing a license suspension will only assist in dissolving that Pennsylvania community and create additional barriers for a resident to restore a driver’s license and become a productive member of that community.
While all these reasons are valid for driver license suspension, there are concerns that suspensions such as these may make it hard for low income parties to find or hold a job. This, in turn, may make it difficult for them to pay off their financial obligations. The second reason for concern is that such offenses may obstruct the court systems and deflect reserves to pursuits which do not improve the safety of Pennsylvania residents.
The Government Accountability Office, after conducting a study on driver license suspensions in four states and their impact on low income individuals, recommended a number of steps to help such persons. They suggested that things like payment assistance, support for license reinstatement, and exemptions from suspension would be very beneficial for these individuals. Payment help would include things like payment plans or alternatives and fine reductions. License support would include things like legal help and help in completing the difficult re-licensing procedure.
Driver license suspension in the state of Pennsylvania does not mean that one is stuck and can never drive again. Most Pennsylvania drivers don’t always know that even if their licenses are suspended, they do have certain rights which can help to relieve some of the problems they may be facing. They are entitled to apply for limited driving privileges which can help them meet their minimum financial obligations. An Occupational License also known as a “bread ‘n butter license,” is one such license. Application for this type of license, however, requires that proof be provided showing that without the ability to operate a vehicle the petitioner’s work, study, employment, or health is in serious jeopardy. Also, proof of financial obligations will have to be supplied, covering any cars the petitioner is requesting to be allowed to drive.
People whose PA drivers license has been suspended or revoked for over five years, may be able to apply for a Probationary License. The PL is another type of limited license but allows more freedom than the OLL. Both types of licenses require investigations to see if the petitioner is eligible.
License suspension is a serious issue and cannot be ignored. One sticky detail about suspension is that a driver’s license needs to be turned in before the suspension credit starts. Before the start date of suspension, the PennDOT sends a letter informing of the suspension and asks for the license to be handed in. Not doing so causes Suspension Credit loss. It is important to note that there is no limit on the length of time a license can stay suspended. If all valid licenses are not handed to the department or an acknowledgment form is not provided, the suspension can last forever.
To get to the end of a license suspension, action needs to be taken as soon as possible. The faster action is taken, the faster the suspension can be lifted without any time being wasted.