Very often I have a client come into my office with a suspended driver’s license. Armed with their driving record and restoration requirements letter they tell me that, while they have been suspended, they have not gotten any credit for serving their suspension. This client needs credit because they need to serve their suspension so they can be restored. Sometimes the only way to get it is to file for an administrative hearing with PennDot in Harrisburg to present their case for credit. Here is a primer on how the administrative hearing works:
REASONS FOR LICENSE SUSPENSION HEARINGS
- To ask for credit toward serving a drivers license suspension , revocation, or even a disqualification;
- to ask for a “record review” for the purposes of updating a driving record;
- to request credit toward serving PennDot’s ordering of an ignition interlock device;
- to appeal PennDot’s denial or recall of an Occupational Limited License (OLL) or Probationary License (PL)
HOW TO APPEAL A LICENSE SUSPENSION IN PA
A driver has the right to appeal PennDot’s decision on any of the above within thirty (30) days of PennDot’s notice giving rise to the appeal. The exception is in cases for request for credit where the drivers can appeal at any time. When a drivers files an appeal the petition must contain the following:
- A statement of the facts of the case which includes all essential elements of the driver’s allegations;
- A clear list of legal issues upon which the appeal is based and what the relief the driver is looking for;
- A copy of the denial letter, statutory or regulatory provision, or other paperwork which gives rise to the appeal;
- The driver must provide their correct address so PennDot can serve them with paperwork;
- Address and phone number where the driver can be reached.
WHAT THE PETITION MUST HAVE IN IT
- The petitioner’s name;
- Driver’s License number;
- Date of birth
- Mailing address;
- Phone number;
- Signature of the driver or the driver’s lawyer;
- $100 filing fee (of course) made payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
HOW THE HEARING WORKS
All hearings are held in Harrisburg. The Petitioner (driver) and his/her lawyer will show up and the driver will testify under oath, present evidence, and witnesses, and answer questions asked by PennDot’s lawyer. Then PennDot will present their evidence as to why the driver should not get credit and the driver’s lawyer may ask questions to PennDot and/or PennDot’s witnesses. Following the hearing, the hearing officer who heard the case will issue a “Proposed Report” containing the proposed findings of fact, a review of the applicable law and relevant evidence that was produced at the hearing, conclusions of law, and an Order. Hopefully, the order will award the driver credit towards his license suspension. If not, the driver has thirty (30) days to appeal it.