FAQs

PennDOT has launched a Third Party Testing program that authorizes a limited amount of driving schools to administer the non-commercial driving test. Hickory is one of those schools! We offer the non-commercial driving test, hourly lessons and the online theory course.

Now that you’re almost 16 years of age or older, you’re probably thinking about getting a driver’s license. Before you can be issued a driver’s license, you are able to obtain a learner’s permit at age 16.

1CLASS C PERMIT

A Class C driver’s license will be issued to persons who have demonstrated their qualifications to operate any vehicle with a gross weight rating of 26,000 pounds or less.

2DMV FEES

The total fees are $35.50. The fee is $5.00 for a Class C permit plus $30.50 for your 4-year Pennsylvania Photo Driver’s License.

3APPLYING FOR YOUR JUNIOR LEARNER’S PERMIT

The first thing to do is obtain a copy of the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual (PUB 95) and study it.

The next step is to get your physical examination. Take the Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application (DL-180) to your physician to have the Physician’s Report of Examination section completed. All information must be completed. Please note, this form may be completed no earlier than 6 months prior to your 16th birthday and is only valid for 1 year from the date of your physical examination.

Your parent, guardian, person in loco parentis (who is 21 years of age or older) or spouse who is 18 years of age or older must complete the Parent or Guardian Consent Form (DL-180TD) Proper identification is required.

When you are ready to be tested, you may go to the Driver License Center of your choice. At this time you will be given a vision screening and the knowledge test which will test your knowledge of road signs and the rules of the road. This information is found in the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual. Please study this Manual prior to appearing at the examination center for your vision screening and knowledge test.

When you go to the Driver License Center, you must take the following documents with you (Photocopies will not be accepted):

  1. Completed Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application (Form DL-180).
  2. Your completed Parent or Guardian Consent Form (DL-180TD).
  3. Social Security Card. (Must be original; card cannot be laminated)
  4. One of the following: Birth Certificate with raised seal,  Valid U.S. Passport, Certificate of U.S. Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization. These forms must be originals or certified copies.
  5. A check or money order, payable to “PennDOT,” in the appropriate amount. Cash cannot be accepted.

After successful completion of the vision screening and Pennsylvania’s knowledge test, the examiner will give you a learner’s permit that is valid for 1 year. Upon receipt of your learner’s permit, you may begin to practice driving.

Remember, when driving with your learner’s permit, you MUST be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age or a parent, guardian, person in loco parentis or spouse who is at least 18 years of age and licensed with the same or higher class vehicle that appears on your learner’s permit.

4DRIVING REQUIREMENTS FOR JUNIOR LEARNER’S PERMIT 16 AND 17 YEAR OLDS

You are required to complete at least 65 hours of behind-the-wheel skill-building, including no less than ten hours of nighttime driving and five (5) 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. Be sure to read the comprehensive guide to help teach new drivers to be safe drivers (The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program) that will be given to you with your Learner’s Permit. Your Parent/Guardian will have to certify that you have completed at least the minimum hours of behind-the-wheel training and at least the minimum hours of behind the wheel skill building.

5DRIVING ROAD TEST

After you have received your valid learner’s permit, you must wait the mandatory 6 months from your permit issue date and have a signed Certificate of Completion for the 65 hours (DL-180C) of skill-building before taking your road test.

You will need to present the following items to the examiner prior to taking your road test.

  • Your learner’s permit,
  • The completed certificate for 65 hours of behind-the-wheel training,
  • The valid registration card for the vehicle which you plan to drive for the test,
  • Proof that the vehicle is currently insured; and
  • The valid driver’s license of the person accompanying you to the road test.

If you do not bring the original documents (not copies) listed, you will NOT be given the road
test.

6FAILED KNOWLEDGE & ROAD TEST

If you fail the knowledge test, the examiner will return the Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application and your Parent or Guardian Consent Form. You may take the 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.

If your learner’s permit expires or if you do not pass your road test after 3 tries, you may obtain a Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit application to add/extend/replace/change/correct (DL-31). It is not necessary to have another physical exam unless 3 years have elapsed from the date of your last physical.

If you fail, you may reschedule your road test, but may not take another road test for at least seven days.

If you have not taken or successfully completed the road test within 3 years of your physical examination date, you MUST start over with another Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application, have another physical exam and retake the knowledge test.

If you successfully pass your road test your permit will be stamped and will become your temporary license. PENNDOT will mail you a camera card. Once you receive the camera card, you can get your photo taken at the DMV or a photo licensing center.

Your license will expire approximately four years later, the day after your birthday.

7JUNIOR DRIVER’S LICENSE INFORMATION

Your license will be a “junior driver’s license.” You are not permitted to drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. It is illegal to drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. on a junior driver license unless your parent, guardian, person in loco parentis who is 21 year of age or older or spouse who is 18 years of age or older accompanies you in the vehicle. The passenger must be a parent, guardian or spouse not an 18 year old friend. In addition, drivers under the age of 18 cannot have more passengers in the vehicle than the number of seat belts.

You may drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. if you are involved in a public or charitable service, a member of a volunteer fire company or employed during those hours. In these cases, you must carry a notarized affidavit or certificate of authorization from your employer, supervisor or fire chief indicating your probable schedule of activities. This notarized affidavit, which must be kept with your junior driver’s license, will allow you to drive to and from work or on work related business between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. 3

You may not carry more than one (1) passenger under the age of 18 who is not an immediate family member unless your parent(s) or guardian(s) is in the vehicle with you. After the first six (6) months of driving on a junior license, the limit is increased to no more than three (3) passengers under the age of 18 who are not immediate family members unless your parent(s) or guardian(s) is in the vehicle with you. The increased limit does not apply to any junior driver who has ever been involved in a crash in which they were partially or fully responsible or who is convicted of any driving violation.

If you have an accident for which you are partially or fully responsible, or if you commit certain moving violations, your license may be suspended until you are 18 years of age or for a period of time not exceeding 90 days. You will be given the same fines, penalties and points on your driving record as any regular driver would receive.

In addition to these requirements, the driving privilege of a person under the age of 18 will be suspended if that person accumulates 6 or more points or is convicted of driving 26 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit. The first suspension will be for a period of 90 days. Any additional occurrences will result in a suspension of 120 days.

Remember, you are subject to the same rules of the road as any other licensed driver. Failure to obey these laws will result in your privilege to drive being suspended, revoked, cancelled or recalled.

You may obtain a regular license at 17 1/2 years of age if you pass an approved driver training program, have no violations or accidents on your driving record, have held your Junior License for one year and have the consent of your parents, guardian or spouse. Otherwise, you must wait to have a regular license until you reach age 18. When you turn 18 years of age, your original junior driver’s license will automatically become a regular license. The birth date on your license will show that this is true. You do not need to apply for a new license until your original license expires.

If you wish to apply for a regular driver’s license, an Application for Change from a Junior Driver’s License to a Regular Non-commercial License (DL-59) form can be obtained from our website.

1CLASS C PERMIT

A Class C driver’s license will be issued to persons who have demonstrated their qualifications to operate any vehicle with a gross weight rating of 26,000 pounds or less.

2DMV FEES

The total fees are $35.50. The fee is $5.00 for a Class C permit plus $30.50 for your 4-year Pennsylvania Photo Driver’s License.

3APPLYING FOR YOUR LEARNER’S PERMIT

The first thing to do is obtain a copy of the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual (PUB 95) and study it.
The next step is to get your physical examination. Take the Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application (DL-180) to your physician to have the Physician’s Report of Examination section completed. All information must be completed. Please note, this form may be completed no earlier than 6 months prior and is only valid for 1 year from the date of your physical examination.

When you are ready to be tested, you may go to the Driver License Center of your choice. At this time you will be given a vision screening and the knowledge test which will test your knowledge of road signs and the rules of the road. This information is found in the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual. Please study this Manual prior to appearing at the examination center for your vision screening and knowledge test.

When you go to the Driver License Center, you must take the following documents with you (Photocopies will not be accepted):

  1. Completed Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application (Form DL-180).
  2. Your completed Parent or Guardian Consent Form (DL-180TD).
  3. Social Security Card. (Must be original; card cannot be laminated)
  4. One of the following: Birth Certificate with raised seal,  Valid U.S. Passport, Certificate of U.S. Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization. These forms must be originals or certified copies.
  5. A check or money order, payable to “PennDOT,” in the appropriate amount. Cash cannot be accepted.

After successful completion of the vision screening and Pennsylvania’s knowledge test, the examiner will give you a learner’s permit that is valid for 1 year. Upon receipt of your learner’s permit, you may begin to practice driving.

Remember, when driving with your learner’s permit, you MUST be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age or a parent, guardian, person in loco parentis or spouse who is at least 18 years of age and licensed with the same or higher class vehicle that appears on your learner’s permit.

4DRIVING ROAD TEST

After you have received your valid learner’s permit, you can schedule your road test. Your road test can be administered in as little as 48 hours after calling Hickory.

You will need to present the following items to the examiner prior to taking your road test.

  • Your learner’s permit,
  • The valid registration card for the vehicle which you plan to drive for the test,
  • Proof that the vehicle is currently insured; and
  • The valid driver’s license of the person accompanying you to the road test.

If you do not bring the original documents (not copies) listed, you will NOT be given the road test.

5FAILED KNOWLEDGE & ROAD TEST

If you fail the knowledge test, the examiner will return the Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application. You may take the 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.

If your learner’s permit expires or if you do not pass your road test after 3 tries, you may obtain a Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit application to add/extend/replace/change/correct (DL-31). It is not necessary to have another physical exam unless 3 years have elapsed from the date of your last physical.

If you fail, you may reschedule your road test, but may not take another road test for at least seven days.

If you have not taken or successfully completed the road test within 3 years of your physical examination date, you MUST start over with another Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application, have another physical exam and retake the knowledge test.

If you successfully pass your road test your permit will be stamped and will become your temporary license. PENNDOT will mail you a camera card. Once you receive the camera card, you can get your photo taken at the DMV or a photo licensing center.

Your license will expire approximately four years later, the day after your birthday.

Hickory’s online driver education theory course is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The course is 30 hours. You must be 15 years old to sign up for the course.
Every vehicle used for practical driver training shall be a recent model, not more than eight (8) years old or having not more than eighty thousand (80,000) miles, whichever occurs later, with special equipment as follows:  operable extra brake pedal, and in the case of vehicles equipped with standard transmission an operable extra clutch pedal, defroster and heater in working order, rear-view mirror placed on the inside of the car in the vicinity of the cowl, two (2) outside rear-view mirrors, one on each side of the vehicle, and cushions for the proper seating of the students.

Every vehicle will be equipped with a roof top sign, which is visible from the front and the back, stating that the operator is a student driver.

Every vehicle is insured for AT LEAST:

  • $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for public liability;
  • $5,000 property damage; and $5,000 medical payments

Hickory believes that one hour lessons are the most beneficial for new drivers. One hour lessons hold the new driver’s attention and eliminates fatigue.

PROGRESSION OF LESSONS

1. Parking Lot Skills

  • Vehicle Orientation
  • Starting / Stopping
  • Steering – Forward
  • Steering – Backward
  • Hand Over Hand
  • Left Turns
  • Right Turns
  • 2 Point Turn Around
  • 3 Point Turn Around
  • U-Turn

2. Residential

  • Entering and Leaving Flow of Traffic
  • Negotiating Intersections
  • Identifying Traffic Controls
  • Using Selective Searching Techniques
  • Interacting with other Drivers

3. Parking

  • Stall Parking
  • Angle Parking
  • Parallel Parking
  • Parking on an Upgrade and Downgrade
  • Side Roads and Driveways
  • Correctly Respond to Oncoming Traffic
  • Identifying Traffic Controls

4. Open Road

  • Vehicle Control at Higher Speed
  • Search Pattern and Sight Distance
  • Traffic Controls and Conditions
  • Lane Selection and Position
  • Safe Gap for Crossing and Entering Traffic
  • Lane Changing
  • Negotiating / Parking in Shopping Centers

5. Expressway

  • Maintaining Constant Speed Notes:
  • Entering and Exiting Highway
  • Merging / Yielding
  • Passing
  • Lane Changing