Driver’s Licenses

Written by: Michelle C. Berk, Esquire

The driver’s license of an older adult may be recalled or suspended and the privilege to drive an automobile may be revoked upon a determination of incompetency or a finding by a physician of a condition that prevents one from safely operating an motor vehicle. Having a driver’s license is considered a privilege. Therefore, it may be revoked by the State of Pennsylvania upon the report of a physician or psychologist. Then the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Driver Licensing will send a letter informing you that your driver’s license has been revoked or suspended and must be returned in approximately one month from the date of the letter.

If this occurs, the recall or suspension of the license can be appealed. A petition for appeal must be filed in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. However, the filing of the appeal will not act as a stay, or postponement of the recall of the driver’s license. Then a hearing will be held in Court after sixty days from the filing of the Appeal. The attorney for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will argue that the license should remain revoked based upon the medical evidence of the examining doctor.

This evidence can be countered by presenting medical evidence and reports of other doctors or by successfully passing an actual road test that is given locally by either Chestnut Hill Hospital or by Bryn Mawr Hospital’s Driving Rehabilitation program. If successfully passed, they can overrule Harrisburg and make a determination whether the individual can or cannot drive. If the test is passed favorably, they will send a letter to Penndot and the license will be returned. If unsuccessful, there is always further review by a higher court, although again, filing an appeal will not reinstate the license until the next court decision.

Senior drivers are encouraged to participate in the 55 Alive Programs and to get re-tested for their licenses annually.