Auto Insurance in Pennsylvania (PA)

If You Are Paying More Than $1,395.03 on Auto Insurance in Pennsylvania, You Are Paying Too Much.

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Auto Insurance Industry in Pennsylvania

  • An average consumer pays $1,754.00 on auto insurance
  • 131 of every 100,000 vehicles are reported stolen every year
  • Accident fatality rate of 1.21%
  • Of all accidents: 69% are road-way accidents, 20% are intersection accidents, and 14% of all accidents involve at least 1 truck.

Pennsylvania is the birthplace of independence, but drivers are not free to operate vehicles without insurance. Every driver in Pennsylvania must meet the financial responsibility requirements in the state either by purchasing auto liability insurance or becoming self-insured.

Pennsylvania's Minimum Requirements on Auto Insurance

Damages resulting from an accident are expensive. To combat the costs associated with physical injuries and property damages, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has set criteria for every driver. As a resident of Pennsylvania, you must demonstrate the ability to cover accident expenses. A primary option for most residents is to buy auto liability insurance.

The minimum coverage amounts for auto liability insurance include:

  • $15,000 for death or physical injury for one person
  • $30,000 for death or physical injury for two or more persons
  • $5,000 for property damage

Unlike other states, PennDOT does not have an electronic reporting system for auto liability insurance policies. Therefore, you are responsible for providing proof of insurance on every vehicle that is registered in your name. The agency accepts the following documents as proof of financial responsibility:

  • ID card from your insurance provider
  • Insurance binder or policy declaration page
  • Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan
  • Statement from your insurance provider on company letterhead that your policy is current

Penalties will apply if you fail to maintain financial responsibility while driving a registered vehicle. Generally, you could face:

  • A fine of $300 and up
  • Three month suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration
  • A $50 vehicle registration reinstatement fee
  • $50 fee to reinstatement your driver’s license

PennDOT will mail a letter to your home address when your driving privileges have been suspended. The letter will also outline the steps you can take to have your license and registration reinstated.

If your vehicle is inoperable and you turn in the license plates immediately, no penalty applies. Penalties are waived if you can prove that your vehicle was not driven if the lapse time for the insurance policy was less than 31 days.

Consumer Car Licensing Information in Pennsylvania

PennDOT issues a standard Class C consumer car license for residents who drive private passenger vehicles in the state. If you are a first-time driver, you must pass a written test and driving test. You only need to pass a vision screening test as a new resident with a valid driver’s license from another state.

Written tests are given without an appointment at a local driver’s license center. If you are required to take the written test, you must provide the following documents:

  • Proof of your legal identity
  • Two proofs of Pennsylvania residency
  • Social security card

Additionally, the state requires a medical qualification certificate from your doctor or chiropractor.

An appointment is required to take the road skills test. You can schedule the appointment at a nearby driver’s license center online or by telephone. The fee for a four-year license is $34.50. For drivers 65 and older, the fee is $24 for a two-year driver’s license.

New residents must pay $29.50 for a four-year license and $19 for a two-year license for drivers 65 and older.

Motorcycle Licensing Information in Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania issues a Class M motorcycle license to every resident who wishes to drive a motorcycle. Basically, you must apply for a one-year Class M learner’s permit after passing the basic knowledge test. The permit costs $10 and gives you an opportunity to practice your motorcycle driving skills.

To apply for a motorcycle permit, you must:

  • Submit an application for a motorcycle learner’s permit
  • Pass a written test
  • Pass a vision screening

As a Class M permit holder, you are restricted from riding a motorcycle at night unless you are with a fully licensed motorcycle driver. In addition, you cannot have unlicensed passengers on the motorcycle.

Enrollment in Pennsylvania’s Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP) is an alternative to applying for a permit. You can take this 15-hour safety training program free of charge. After successful completion, you will receive a full Class M motorcycle license. If you decide not to enroll in PAMSP, you must pass the on-cycle skills test. This test can be scheduled at a PennDOT testing center.

On the day of the test, make sure that you have:

  • Class M learner’s permit
  • Pennsylvania Class C driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance and motorcycle registration
  • Motorcycle inspection sticker

The fee is $44.50 for a four-year motorcycle license. If you are 65 or older, the fee is $34 for a two-year license. To transfer an out-of-state motorcycle license, you must pay $29.50 for a four-year license and $19 for a two-year license if you are 65 or older.

Commercial Vehicle Licensing Information in Pennsylvania

PennDOT issues Class A, B and C commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) to individuals who will operate a commercial vehicle. To apply, you must be at least 18 years old and have a standard Pennsylvania driver’s license. In addition, you are required to submit a completed CDL learner’s permit application and pay the appropriate fees to upgrade your standard license.

Once PennDOT processes your information, you will receive a Knowledge Test Authorization (KTA) in the mail. You will need to KTA before taking the written knowledge exams based on the endorsement(s) and license class that you need.

A four-year CDL costs $89.50 with a hazmat endorsement and $74.50 without the endorsement. If you have a valid CDL from a different state, you can submit proof of legal identity, Pennsylvania residency and your social security card to PennDOT. Additionally, you must surrender the out-of-state license and receive a Pennsylvania CDL. The fee for a four-year out-of-state CDL transfer is $79.50 with a hazmat endorsement and $69.50 without the endorsement.

More Resources on Auto Insurance in Pennsylvania

Department of Insurance

  • 1326 Strawberry Square Harrisburg, PA 17120
  • Phone: 1-877-881-6388
  • Fax: (717) 787-8585
  • TTY/TDD: (717) 783-3898