PA Teen Driver Law

The new rules in Act 81 of 2011 became effective on Dec. 27, 2011. The changes to the law were initiated to help junior drivers receive more comprehensive training, decrease young driver distractions through limiting the number of passengers they may carry, and to improve general highway safety through improvements to passenger restraint laws.

Drivers and occupants in a vehicle who are under the age of 18 must wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt, and children under the age of eight must be securely fastened in a child restraint system.

Failure to comply with the new law’s seat belt provisions is a primary offense, meaning that a driver can be pulled over and cited solely for that violation.

If police pull you over for another violation, you will receive a second ticket if you or your front seat passenger(s) are not wearing seat belts.


As of Dec. 27, 2011, for the first six months after receiving their junior driver’s license, a driver is not permitted to have more than one passenger under age 18 who is not an immediate family member (brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister of the junior driver and adopted or foster children living in the same household as the junior driver) in their vehicle unless they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. If they have not been convicted of a driving violation or been partially or fully responsible for a reportable crash after six months, they may have up to three passengers under age 18 who are not immediate family members without a parent or legal guardian present. If they have any convictions or are partially or fully responsible for a reportable crash while a junior driver, they are once again restricted to one passenger.