PennDOT Forms & Documents

Applying for a Learner’s Permit

You must obtain a learner’s permit before you operate a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania. You will need to take and pass the Vision, Knowledge, and Road tests to get your driver’s license. The Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application (DL-180) (PDF) is valid for one year from the date of your physical examination; however, the physical examination date may not be more than six months prior to your 16th birthday.

When you are 16 years of age or older, please complete the following steps in order to get your non-commercial learner’s permit. You cannot apply for your permit before your 16th birthday.

Step 1
Complete the Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application or DL-180 (PDF).

Step 2
Your health care provider must complete the back of the Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application or DL-180 (PDF). The form must be completed no earlier than six months prior to your 16th birthday. All information must be completed.

Step 3
If the driver license examiner cannot determine whether the information on the Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application or DL-180 (PDF) meets medical standards, your learner’s permit may be delayed. You may be required to undergo additional medical examinations. If you have a condition that seriously impairs your ability to drive, you may be required to get a dual-control learner’s permit and learn to drive with a certified instructor.

Step 4
If you are under 18 years of age, your parent, guardian, person in loco parentis, or spouse who is 18 years of age or older must complete the Parent or Guardian Consent Form or DL-180TD (PDF).

If the parent, guardian, the person in loco parentis, or spouse who is 18 years of age or older cannot accompany the applicant, the DL-180TD (PDF) must be signed by the parent, guardian, person in loco parentis, or spouse who is 18 years of age or older in the presence of a notary.

Proper identification is required, and if last names are different, verification of the relationship is needed. If you are over 18 years of age, you must present two proofs of residency, including any of the following:

A current utility bills (water, gas, electric, cable, and so on),
Your W-2 form,
Your tax records,
Your current weapons permit (for U.S. citizens only),
Your lease agreements, or
Your mortgage documents.
After studying the manual and following the four steps just listed, bring the following items to the Driver License Center when you are ready to take your Knowledge Test:

Your completed Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application or DL-180 (PDF). Do not mail this form. If under 18 years of age, also bring your completed Parent or Guardian Consent Form or DL-180TD (PDF).
Proof of date of birth and identification. These documents must be originals (photocopies will not be accepted).
Your Social Security card (which must be signed)
Applicable fee. (Note: Please refer to the back of the form for acceptable form(s) of payment.)
Please Note Forms of identification that may be used to prove your date of birth are listed on the back of the Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application or DL-180 (PDF) along with the fees.

If you do not have your vision tested by your HCP or optometrist, your vision will be tested at the Driver License Center. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, please bring them with you. You will then take the Knowledge Test on signs, laws, driving rules, and safe practices described later in this manual. After passing the Knowledge Test, the examiner will give you a learner’s permit, which is valid for one year.

When you receive your learner’s permit, you may begin to practice driving. PennDOT recommends young drivers schedule their road test at this time as long as the testing date is not before the eligibility date printed on your learner’s permit.

If you are under the age of 18, you are required to complete at least 65 hours of behind-the-wheel skill-building, including no less than 10 hours of nighttime driving and five hours of bad weather driving before taking your Road Test. This training will help teach you the skills necessary to become a good, safe driver.

REMEMBER: A licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age or a parent, guardian, the person in loco parentis, or spouse who is 18 years of age or older and holds a driver’s license must ride with you in the front seat of your vehicle at all times. In addition, drivers under the age of 18 cannot have more passengers in the vehicle than the number of seat belts.

After you have waited the mandatory six months from your permit issue date and have a signed certificate of completion for the 65 hours of skill-building including no less than 10 hours of nighttime driving and five hours of bad weather driving, you may take your Road Test. If your learner’s permit expires or if you do not pass your road test after three tries, you may obtain a Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application toAdd/Extend/Replace/Change/Correct (DL-31) (PDF).

If you are using your learner’s permit for driving outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, please check with your insurance company and the other state’s Department of Transportation to make sure your learner’s permit is considered valid.

If any information on your learner’s permit is not correct, bring proof of the correct information to the examiner when you come to the Driver License Center for testing.

If you fail the Knowledge Test, the examiner will return the Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application or DL-180 (PDF) and your Parent or Guardian Consent Form or DL-180TD (PDF) to you. You may take the Knowledge Test only one time on any day regardless of test location. Keep your forms in a safe place since you must bring them with you when you are tested again.