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License Suspensions - Seeking Administrative Time Credit

The Administrative process before a PADOT hearing examiner:

The appropriate method of obtaining review for a resident or non-resident PA license suspension is by applying for an administrative time credit hearing before the Department. The application (usually filed in the form of a petition) is filed with the Clerk in charge of docketing such hearings. In the petition, the facts and circumstances of why administrative time credit is laid out in chronological and specific factual detail. The usual reasons consist of such facts as:

1) The license (if PADL) was previously surrendered; or

2) An acknowledgment of suspension (DL-16 form) was previously submitted by a non-resident driver or a PA driver that has signed an affidavit indicating that their license has been lost, stolen, or mutilated; or

The Petition must thoroughly set forth those facts that substantiate either of these two scenarios. This process is not to test the validity of the suspension/revocation itself; correct or adjust a driving record; reduce a suspension or revocation time.


1) Appeal PADOT's denial or recall of an Occupational Limited License (also known as a "bread and butter" license).

2) Appeal PADOT's cancellation, denial, or recall of a probationary license.

3) Appeal PADOT's denial of an economic hardship exemption of the ignition interlock requirements; and/or

4) To request credit toward serving a driving privilege suspension or relocation.

I live in another state...what effect does a PA license suspension have on me?

A nonresident can be charged with driving a motor vehicle while his or her Pennsylvania operating privilege is suspended or revoked. The fact that a driver is not a resident of Pennsylvania is of no consequence in determining whether that driver can be suspended from driving in Pennsylvania, because the privileges of driving a motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth which are given to a nonresident are subject to suspension or revocation in a like manner, and for like cause, as a resident's operating privileges. Thus, a nonresident motorist can properly be convicted for driving while under a suspension, even though the motorist has a valid sister state license, where the motorist's Pennsylvania driving privileges have been suspended.

The consequences of a PA license suspension are also carried over to your home state under the Driver's Licensing Compact. (See our article Driver's License Compact- Reciprocity with other states)

Your home state will not renew your license if you live in a state that participates. Currently, there are 40 states and the District of Columbia that participate. This means that you will have to either wait out the PA suspension period, apply for restoration in PA and then with your home state (once PA restores your operating privilege); or you may apply for administrative time credit for one of the reasons highlighted above in this article.

There is no requirement that you have counsel apply for time credit or present at the hearing before PADOT. However, it is important to present your case in an intelligent, thoughtful and compelling manner, noting the specific legal provisions that reinforce your position. At Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC, we have done many of these hearings and been successful. Call us toll free at (717) 268-4287 to schedule your appointment or telephone consult.