Pennsylvania Allowing Back Credit for Driver's License Suspensions
Act 30 of2017 - Back Credit for Suspended Driver Licensing
On July 20, 2017, Senate Bill 553 was signed into law as Act300f2017. Among other thing> the bill amends Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes by allowing a person to receive credit towards serving an operating privilege suspension, revocation, Or disqualification based off a date determined by the department. Currently, the law requires an individual to surrender lheir driver's license or submit an acknowledgement form to be department to start receiving credit
toward serving a suspension, revocation, or di'qualification. The effective date of this .,eelion of the Act is October 20, 2018.
Although the law still requires an individu"l to surrender their driver's license or submit an acknowledgement form for a driving privilege suspension, rcvocation, or disqualification, Ihe sanclion will b~gin on a date determined by the departmenl, regardless of whcthcr an individual surrenders their driver's license or submit, an acknowledgement form. The date determined by the depanmcnl will b~ lhe effective dale of the sanction and will be lied to the conviction date.
Because the law eliminates the requirement 10 surrend~r a driver's license or acknowledgement form to start credit loward serving a driving privilege suspension, revocation, or disqualification, as well an individual's ability to request a hearing for any credit they believe is owed, lhe department plan, staning on OclOber 20, 2018, to apply tho law retroactively and provide back credit to individual, who never surrendered a driver's license Or acknowledgement form and those who surrendered either ilem after lhe effective dale of the conviction. Providing back credit to these individuals will nOI shorlen the term of any suspension, revocation, or disqualification required by law. All terms of suspension, r~vocation, or disqualification will slill be required to be served in full and all applicable restoration requiremenlS satisfied 10 restore the driving privilege. Chief Counsels office has reviewed lhis approach and h"s approved thi' interpretation otrhe law.
By providing back credit, many individuals will be eligible to restore SOoner than previously ex!X'cted. Somc individuals, if all r"'lOration requirements have been sati'fied, may be eligible to restore immedialely. To communicate this information, the department will be >ending restoration requirements leiters, >larting on October 20, 20 I 8, to all individual, receiving back credit. As of August 9, 20 18, the department estimates that 56,000 customers will receive back credit. This group is made up of individuals who are, or were, licen,ed, learners permil holders, and individuals who were never licensed or who wcre only issued a photo identification card (non-driver).
Ensur~ the governors policy otljcc concurs wilh this approach. The only other option we have identified is to apply the law moving forward from October 20, 2018 date. A ,uspended driver could argue that we ,hould apply back credit. Thu" creating a lot of extra work dealing with individual cases with lhe Same nel rc,ult.