The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, “The State of Independence”, is America’s second state and home to Philadelphia, the birthplace of the U.S. With memories of the Founding Fathers around every corner, this state’s history is almost tangible. From the Alleghenies’ covered bridges to the whitewater rapids of the Poconos to the Dutch country farm houses, Pennsylvania holds picture-perfect scenes at every step. While the state’s byways give drivers a much needed break from busy New England life, the vibrant Pittsburgh art scene brings them back time and again. is allowing Pennsylvanians more time to get out and about by finding all the important car insurance information for the state and organizing it in this easy-to-read article.


With as much history as there is in “The Keystone State”, laws and regulations are part of its DNA. Driving laws and regulations can be a complicated part of that, and this list has simplified the problem by gathering all the essentials in one place.

Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in Pennsylvania

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) sates that drivers must maintain insurance on their vehicles at all times. The minimum coverage includes Medical and Liability Insurance.
  • Medical Payments minimum:
    • $5,000 per accident
  • Liability minimums:
    • $15,000 per person.
    • $30,000 per accident.
    • $15,000 per accident for property damages.

New Driver Licensing Requirements

  • While all drivers must be licensed to drive in Pennsylvania, new drivers under 18 years of age have a system entitled the Graduated Driver’s License program to help them get more driving experience. However, all new drivers, regardless of age, must at least obtain a Permit prior to obtaining a drivers license.
  • Each applicant must complete a physical exam and turn in form DL-180 prior to taking the written and vision tests. Once passed, the applicant will receive a Learner’s Permit. This permit is valid for one year, and drivers under the age of 18 must complete 65 hours of supervised driving training to qualify for the road skills test. This permit, for those under 18, is called the Junior Learner’s Permit. The following restrictions apply to this permit:
    • The applicant may only drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older or an immediate relative who is 18 years or older and licensed. This supervisor must sit in the seat next to him/her.
    • The applicant is limited on the number of passengers he/she may carry by the number of seat belts in the vehicle.
  • Junior Driver’s License. After successfully completing the 65 hours of supervised driving, the applicant is qualified to take the road test and obtain the Junior Driver’s License. The following restrictions apply:
    • First 6 months, the applicant may carry no more than one unrelated passenger who is under 18 years old.
    • During the second 6 months, no more than three unrelated passengers under 18 are allowed.
    • The applicant must hold this Junior Driver’s License for at least 6 months
  • Regular Drivers License. An applicant who satisfies the requirements for the permit and Junior Drivers License must complete a driver education course and have held a clean driving record to obtain a Regular Drivers License
  • Vision Screening. Applicants with a visual acuity of 20/40 or better and 120 degrees of peripheral vision may qualify for a license with no restrictions. Applicants with a visual acuity of 20/40 to 20/70 may qualify for a daylight driving restriction, and all applicants my test with corrective lenses if needed.
  • Knowledge Test. The Knowledge Test will measure the applicant’s knowledge of traffic signs, the state’s driving regulations and safe driving techniques. The information to pass the test can be found in the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual. 15 of the 18 multiple choice questions must be answered correctly to pass.
  • Road Test. Prior to the road test, the test administrator will inspect the vehicle’s:
    • Registration, insurance and inspection sticker
    • lights
    • Horn
    • Brakes
    • Windshield wipers
    • Turn signals
    • Mirrors
    • Doors, seats and tires.
  • The driving portion consists of the applicant’s demonstration of:
    • The operation of all the necessary controls within the vehicle
    • Parallel parking
  • A waiting period of 7 days is required for a failed test.
  • Fees: Permit and 4-year license: $34.50. A complete list of the BMV’s fees can be found on the PENNDOT website.


  • BAC limit: .08 Pennsylvania law (§ 3802) defines DUI conviction penalties up to the fourth offense in 10 years, and the state adjusts the penalties for the BAC level and aggravated factors. The Pennsylvania DUI Association has produced a well-made infographic for reference regarding the state’s DUI process. Each offense has differing severities for BAC levels and aggravated factors. Included here are the basic penalties for a DUI of § 3802(a)(1) – Incapable of Safe Driving with low BAC or BAC unavailable and § 3802(a)(2) – BAC .08 to less than .10:
  • First Offense – Misdemeanor:
    • Mandatory 6 months probation
    • Fine: $300
    • Full Drug and Alcohol assessment if recommended
  • Second Offense within 10 Years – Misdemeanor:
    • Jail: 5 days to 6 months
    • License suspension: 1 year
    • Fine: $300 to $2,500
    • Ignition Interlock: 1 year
    • Full Drug and Alcohol Assessment
  • Third Offense within 10 Years – Level 2 Misdemeanor:
    • Jail: 10 days to 10 years
    • License suspension: 1 year
    • Fine: $500 to $5,000
    • Ignition Interlock: 1 year
    • Full Drug and Alcohol Assessment

Texting & Driving Laws

Texting is banned for all drivers.

Unique Laws

Laws are indispensable to civilized society; except for these from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is illegal to sleep in a refrigerator. No one may eat peanuts while walking backward in front of the Barnstormers Auditorium when a performance is in session. Every fire hydrant must be inspected one hour before a fire. And whatever one does, they must not sit down while watering the lawn!


Best Cheap Car Insurance Quotes for Pennsylvania

[additional_info state=’pa’] Methodology

Car insurance quotes are for one car and one driver who has state minimum coverage with $500 comprehensive and collision deductibles. The hypothetical driver is 40 years old, female, married, employed, a college graduate, and has good credit. She has no moving violations, accidents, claims, or lapse in coverage. The vehicles are assumed to be garaged on premises, used primarily for commuting, and driven 16,000 miles per year. Car insurance quotes include commonly available discounts and are estimates and not guaranteed.

Average Car Insurance Premiums

Pennsylvania’s auto insurance premiums closely resemble the nation’s. reports that the state’s auto premiums as a percentage of income also nearly matched the nation’s during the last several years.
[lineChartAverageCarInsPrem state=’Pennsylvania’]
[lineChartAverageCarIns_Percentage_Of_Income state=’Pennsylvania’]

Drunk Driving Fatalities

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recent study, Pennsylvania’s drunk driving fatalities were above the national average in 2010 and 2011, but have dropped below since then.
[lineChart_Drunk_Driving state=’Pennsylvania’]
[barChart_Teen_Drinking_Driving state=’Pennsylvania’]

Vehicular Theft in Pennsylvania

A solid decrease in Pennsylvania’s vehicle thefts in 2012 brought its rate to 117. The FBI reported the national average that same year at 229, over 110 points higher than Pennsylvania’s. Since then the number of thefts have continued to drop slightly.
[lineChart_Motor_Vehicle_Theft state=’Pennsylvania’]


State Department of Insurance

Pennsylvania Insurance Department
1326 Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Get Directions

Department of Transportation

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
1101 S. Front St.
Harrisburg, PA 17104
1-717-412-5300 (Out-of-State)
Get Directions

Department of Motor Vehicles

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
1101 S. Front St.
Harrisburg, PA 17104
1-717-412-5300 (Out-of-State)
Get Directions

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