Reckless Driving – A Major Violation

PennDOT has just a handful of what they classify as Major Violations, and among the most common are DUI and Reckless Driving.

A charge of reckless driving in PA can carry with it serious penalties like license suspension and heavy fines.

From this Insurance Delco article, 


PA Vehicle Code Section § 3736. Reckless driving.

(a) General rule.–Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.

(b) Penalty.–Any person who violates this section commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $200.

So the first part shows to be convicted of reckless driving it has to be willful and wanton disregard for safety. This must be a hard part of the law to prove because if we were to look up willful;

deliberate, voluntary, or intentional

So the willful part mean intentional. Speeding downs a road is intentional, but spinning out and hitting a mailbox is not intentional.

The the definition for wanton;

Deliberate and unprovoked

So again, spinning out and running into the mailbox is not deliberate or un-provoked.


Just remember that a reckless driving charge can lead to much more than points on your record.

Pennsylvania License Points System

With a Pennsylvania driver's license comes great responsibility. That responsibility is monitered by PennDOT through the use of a points system for your license that allows the DOT to watch how you treat and respect your driver's license. The most common reason for points is a PA speeding ticket.

The points system can seem complicated at first, but as you begin to understand the basics it will be easier to grasp. The most important part to understand is that each violation listed on the points chart (HERE) carries points that get added to your driving record. These points range from 2 points up to 5 points for any single violation. For example a careless driving ticket carries 3 points if convicted. These points will be recoreded with pennDOT and saved on your record for a number of years depending on your number of violations. If you build up a number of points you can have your driving priveledge suspended.

Pennsylvania Speeding ticket points

How many points till I get suspended in PA?

Good question! – You will get suspended after your accumulate 6 points for the second time or 11 points for the first time. The license suspension lengths vary accoring to age, violations, and how frequently you accumulate points.

PENNDOT maintains a driving record for every licensed driver in Pennsylvania. Points are added to a driving record when a driver is found guilty of certain driving (moving) violations. The purpose of the point system is to help to improve driving habits and to ensure safe driving. If you are under the age of 18, this changes the point system drastically, and you may only get a total of 6 points and you could be facing license suspension.

You may also be required to take a special points exam if you get too many speeding tickets and points violations. This points exam is a test to reduce points and prove to PennDOT you know the rules of the road. I will cover more about the points exam in a later article on

With The New Year – Check Your Driving Record For Errors

Your Pennsylvania driving record contains every detail of what is reported to PennDOT about your driving history. This record is used by many different agencies and companies to asses the risk and quality of your life. The following list of parts of your life can be negativly impacted by having problems on your driving record, the problems can be avoided by checking your driving record once a year to prevent errors and a suspended license.

Auto Insurance

Denied Insurance ApplicationYou may already know that your auto insurance company will check your dirving record to determine how much they should charge for your insurance policy, and if they will even give you car insurance. Your auto insurance company can reject you and drop your auto insurance if you have certian violations on your driving record. Make sure you know what is reported to PennDOt and what is on your driving record by checking yearly.



Driving Job with a valid PA License

A poor driving record with frequent problems can also affect your job prospects. Many employers are tightinging criteria for employment with so many applicants, and any information the employer can gather will be used to make a choice. A driving record with recent violations, or severe issues will cause an employer to find you too much of a risk to hire. You may also be denied employment for minor violation if the insurance company for the employer finds even minor violations that will increase their risk.



Don't let college admissions offices pass on you for a poor driving record

Are you planning on applying to a college or trade school? Do they have an application process? Higher education in the US is getting much more competitive with more applicants and increased pressure to have each student succede so the school will look better to potential applicants. School administration is taking a longer and harder look into every aspect of your life prior to granting admission. Don't let a error on your dirving record prevent you from getting into your dream school, and don't take those little traffic tickets lightly. If the school admission office sees these violations you may be passed for the spot at your school of choice, stay on top of your driving record.



Poor driving can mean poor credit

That's right, creditors are using more information in creative ways to determine if you are worthy of credit, some creditors will pull a driving reocrd to see what type of person you are behind the wheel. If you have a lot of forgotten tieckts that resulted in a suspended license in Pennsylvania, the creditor will be less inclined to grant you credit and look at you as an increased risk for repayment. You don't want to be declined for that next new car because you forgot to pay a speeding ticket do you? Make sure that cred cards and mortgages are still available to you by checking your driving record at least once a year, and taking care of any problems with PennDOT right away. Don't let your license issues affect your credit too.


Love Life

Couple facing marriage questions due to license

Does your partner know everyting there is to know about you? What if you found out that your soulmate actually had a suspended drivers license? What else would they be hiding? These are the ideas that dating companies are exploring as they work to find the perfect match for each one of you. Some matchmaking services and dating sites will use your driving record as a basis fortheir background checks prior to making that match. Do you really want to miss the next dream date because PennDOT reported that you were driving without insurance last year? ….and it was a mistake! 


The best way to get your driving record is to contact PennDOT either by mail or online. You can request your full driving history by contacting the PA DMV on their website or mailing a DL-503 request for driving record form. The cost for a full driving history from PennDOT is $5 by mail or online. You can also go into your local Online Messinger or Tag Store and request the information there for an additional fee.

Every violation listed on your driving record can effect many aspects of your life, so keeping those notations off the record is an important goal. With the dropping of the ball in New York we will ring in 2012, and now is a great time to request your driving record to check for errors and violations that may be causing problems in your life you don't know exist. From your auto insurance rates to your next or current lover, your driving record is becomming a much bigger part of your life and you should know what it contains, and how to red that record.

Quick Tips for PA Photo ID Cards

PA Issued Photo ID card

You can get your government issues photo ID card at any PennDOT license center. The process is simple and quick once you have certian documents that will be needed. The biggest hurdle to getting your state issued ID card is proff of residency and age. The simple answer is that two forms of residency and two forms of ID are needed. You need to be a minimum of 10 years old to get a non-driver state issued photo ID card. This ID card can be used for any identification reasons inside the United States, and is accepted in most other countries.


For ID you will need your origional certified birth certificate. This document will have a raised seal. You can request a replacement PA birth certificate at:


Acceptable Forms of Identification for U.S. Citizens:
  •  Birth Certificate with raised seal (U.S. issued by an authorized government agency, including U.S. territories or Puerto Rico. Non-U.S. Birth Certificates will not be accepted.)
  •  Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (INS Form N-560)
  •  Certificate of Naturalization (INS Form N-550 or N-570)
  •  Valid U.S. Passport
NOTE: Only valid Passports and original documents will be accepted. If the name on your original document differs from your current name, you must  provide documentation that connects the names, such as an original Marriage Certificate, Divorce Decree, or Court Order document.
Acceptable List of Documents for Proof of Residency for Applicants 18 Years of Age or Older:
All documents must show the same name and date of birth, or an association between the information on the documents. Additional documentation may be required if a connection between documents cannot be established (e.g. Marriage Certificate, Court Order of name change, Divorce Decree, etc.)
  •  W-2 Form
  •  Current Weapons Permit
  •  Current Utility Bills (water, gas, electric, cable, etc.)
  •  Tax Records
  •  Lease Agreements
  •  Mortgage Documents
NOTE: For Current Utility Bills: Cellular/Mobile or Pager Bills are not acceptable. If you reside with someone, and have no bills in your name, you will  still need to provide two proofs of residency. One proof is to bring the person with whom you reside along with their Drivers License or Photo ID to the Driver License Center. You will also need to provide a second proof of residency such as official mail (bank statement, tax notice, magazine etc.) that  has your name and address on it. The address must match that of the person with whom you reside.


Firsthand Teen New License Experience

How learning to drive opened a whole new world for me.

In hindsight, if I knew how much learning to drive would change my life , I would not have put it off for as long as I did. I used to be perfectly happy walking or taking the bus and sometimes even hitching a ride with my parents and my friends. I applied for my PA drivers license only because a friend of mine was doing it as well. Getting a learners permit was easy enough and then my weekly lessons at driving school began. Having called shotgun for numerous rides and hence having watched my friends drive often , some parts of the whole driving process came quite naturally to me, like using the turn signals and how to hold the steering wheel. As the weeks went on, I felt my confidence building. The feeling of being in control of this car was surreal to say the least.

Practice permit test- Take free practice permit tests online with Get your permit the first time with practice from randomly generated questions.

Soon I couldn't wait for that driving test! I know TV and movies make it seem like this really daunting task with mean instructors but all my driving lessons gave me the confidence I needed to be calm and collected. I completed everything I was asked to do and soon I possessed a PA drivers license!

Suddenly, a whole new world opened up for me. Things that I had given up on before were now well within my reach. I had always wanted to join a

Two young kids driving gym but the one near my house was too expensive for me to afford. There was an affordable one , but it was too far away for me to walk to it everyday. Now with my license, I could drive to it at any time and there was ample place for all my gym stuff. My life no longer revolved around the bus schedule. I could go where I wanted at a time that was most convenient to me. The one thing that this license gave me was time. Time to spend with my friends instead of on the bus, time to help my siblings out when they need a ride instead of giving them the bus routes and most importantly time to enjoy the things I love the most instead of snatched moments because staying longer will make my walk back more tedious.

I guess I have my friend to thank for dragging me along to apply for my drivers license. Who knew filling in that form would change my life so drastically!