Pennsylvania learners permit

Getting Your Pennsylvania Learner’s Permit: Rules and Requirements

by Zutobi · Updated Jan 06, 2022

You must be at least 16 years old to apply for a learner’s permit in Pennsylvania, but you can start fulfilling the physical exam and other pre-appointment requirements as early as 15 ½.

In this article, we’ll go through exactly how to get a learner’s permit and any requirements you need to know about.

Pennsylvania Learner’s Permit Requirements

You must be at least 16 years old to get a permit. If you are under 18 years old, your parent or guardian will have to give written consent for you to apply. This permission goes on the DL-180TD. They must sign it at the driver’s license office or in front of a notary.

You must also get a licensed physician to evaluate you according to the DL-180 form. If you have a medical condition that could seriously impair your ability to drive, you may be required to drive with a certified driving instructor as part of your permit restrictions.

How to Get a Pennsylvania Learner’s Permit

1. Gather Proper Documentation

You must provide proof of identity and birthdate, such as an original birth certificate and your social security card. These MUST be originals and fully legible. Photocopies will not be accepted! You will find a full list on your DL-180 form.

If you are over 18, you will also need to provide proof of residency. You can show utility bills, your lease, or bank

2. Schedule an Appointment

PennDOT recommends that you schedule an appointment to get your permit. While walk-ins are allowed, you will save time if you book an appointment in advance.

3. PennDOT Driver License Center

When you are ready, bring all the paperwork described above with you. Once all your paperwork is accepted, you will need to take a vision test and a knowledge test.

4. Take the Written Test

The written exam is a test of your knowledge of Pennsylvania laws, driver safety, and traffic signs. It consists of 18 multiple choice corrections, and you need to answer 15 or more correctly to pass. This is a pretty tiny margin for error!

If you fail your knowledge test, the examiner will return your application, and you can try again as early as the next day. You can not take the test more than once a day, even if you visit multiple testing sites.

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5. Receive Your Driver’s Permit

After passing the written knowledge test, you will receive your Pennsylvania learner’s permit, and it is valid for one year. There will also be a fee that you will need to pay.

What are the Pennsylvania Driver’s Permit Restrictions?

You must ALWAYS drive with a valid license holder over the age of 21. In addition, there are other restrictions:

  • You cannot drive between 11 pm and 5 am except for your job or local and charitable events you are part of. You must have signed affidavits or other documents from your supervisors to do so.
  • You can only carry one non-family member under the age of 18 with you in the vehicle.
  • If you accumulate over 6 points of demerits on your record, or if you are caught driving 26 or more miles over the speed limit, your permit will be suspended for 90 days.

You can find the full list on’s Teen Driver Page.

Before You Can Move on to a Junior License

You must keep your driver’s permit for six months before you can apply for a Junior Driver’s License. If you are under 18, you also need:

  • 65 registered hours of driving practice
  • 10 of those hours must be at night
  • 5 of those hours must be in bad weather, like heavy rain.
  • These hours MUST be accounted for on form DL-180C and signed by your parent in person at the license office.

That’s It

We hope these instructions for getting your Pennsylvania learner’s permit have answered all of your questions. If you are looking for study aids to help you ace the written and driving exams, check out Zutobi’s summarized Pennsylvania Driver’s Handbook and practice tests!

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