Department of Transportation

Inspection Station/Mechanic Hearings

  1. The Inspection Division conducts an informal hearing prior to making a decision on whether to suspend an Inspection Station or Mechanic, in order to give the Station/Mechanic an opportunity to account for the alleged violation(s) of the Inspection Regulations. The hearing is a fact-finding exercise and is strictly investigatory in nature. The hearing officer presiding over the hearing is not Department decision-maker, and has no authority to make a final decision suspending or offering points to the Station or Mechanic. In addition, these informal hearings are not mandated or obligatory under any provision of law.
     
  2. Regulations and Statutes relating to the hearings.
     
    Generally, 75 Pa.C.S. Chs. 45 and 47. See 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 4722, 4724, 4726. See also Safety Inspection Regulations, at 67 Pa. Code Ch. 175 and Emissions Inspection Regulations, at 67 Pa. Code Ch. 177.
     
  3. Conduct of the hearings.
     
    Hearings are conducted by a single hearing officer, who may be an employee of the Department or of a Department contractor. The Quality Assurance Officer reporting the violations appears and submits the audit report detailing alleged violations that may have occurred. The Station or Mechanic appears on their own behalf (they do not have the right to representation by counsel) and is given an opportunity to account for the alleged violations, and to present any witness which may have knowledge of the violations alleged. The hearing officer takes notes on any testimony given and drafts a report detailing both sets of testimony, and submits it to Department decision- makers. The hearings are not transcribed.
     
  4. Appeal Procedures.
     
    Informal hearings are automatically scheduled by the Inspection Division when violations are reported. Final orders of the Department do not issue until after the hearing is conducted, and the hearing officer's notes are reviewed by Department Decision-makers.
     
    Once a final order of suspension is issued, the Station/mechanic may take an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas within 30 days of the Department's order.
     
  5. Glossary of Terms
     
    1. QAO - Quality Assurance Officer
       
    2. Terms discussed with include those involved in the Inspection procedures as defined in 67 Pa. Code Chs. 175 and 177. Any other terms may be specific to automotive mechanics and automobiles in general.

Driver Licensing Docket Administrative Cases

  1. The Department's Driver Licensing Docket, pursuant to 67 Pa. Code § 491.4(d)(I), involves matters relating to:
     
    1. Appeals from the Department's denial or recall of an occupational limited license.
    2. Appeals from the Department's cancellation, denial or recall of a probationary license.
    3. Requests for record review under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1516.
    4. Hearings to request credit toward serving driving privilege or vehicle registration suspensions.
    5. Ignition Interlock.
     
  2. Regulations and Statutes relating to the hearings.
     
    The hearings are conducted pursuant to 67 Pa. Code Chapter 491, relating to Administrative Practice and Procedure. 67 Pa. Code Chapter 491. The Departmental rules are supplemented by the General Rules of Practice and Procedure. 1 Pa. Code Chapters 31, 33 & 35. The hearings relate to matters in the Vehicle Code, especially Chapter 15. 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 101 et. seq.
     
  3. Conduct of the hearings.
     
    The hearings are conducted by Hearing Officers who are not Department employees. See 74 P.S. § 302. The Office of General Counsel has assigned OGC Hearing Officers as adjudication officers for the Department's Driver Licensing Docket matters.
     
    The hearings are conducted generally on Monday and Wednesday, commencing at 9:00 a.m. in the first floor hearing room at the Riverfront Office Center, 1101 South Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17104-2516.
     
    The petitioner generally bears the burden of proof and proceeds first with the presentation of the evidence. See, 67 Pa. Code § 491.10(b). The Department, Bureau of Driver Licensing, (Bureau) is represented by an attorney or legal intern. The Bureau's case consists of testimony and documents, which are under seal and certification, and the documents are entered into evidence through the Bureau's witness, who is familiar with the case and the Bureau's procedures.
     
  4. Appeal Procedures.
     
    Following a hearing the Hearing Officer issues a proposed report. A party may file an appeal to the Secretary of the proposed report. See 67 Pa. Code § 491.12. An appeal may be filed from the final order of the Secretary to the Commonwealth Court. See 67 Pa. Code § 491.13.

Administrative Docket Clerk Cases

  1. The Department's Administrative Docket, pursuant to 67 Pa. Code § 491.4(d)(2), involves matters relating to:
     
    1. Minimum use driveway permits
       
    2. Low, medium and high volume driveway permits
       
    3. School bus/hazardous walking routes
       
    4. Overweight or oversize truck hauling permits
       
    5. Private airport permits
       
    6. Public airport permits
       
    7. Outdoor advertising sign permits
       
    8. Prequalification, suspension or debarments
       
    9. Personnel salary claims
       
    10. Municipal reimbursements
       
    11. Appeal from the Department's refusal to issue a certificate of title from reason other than failure to pay a required fee or tax in connection with or resulting from the acquisition of use of a vehicle
       
    12. Matters pertaining to reasonable access for tractor-trailer vehicle combinations.
     
  2. Regulations and Statutes relating to the hearings.
     
    The hearings are conducted pursuant to 67 Pa. Code Chapter 491, relating to Administrative Practice and Procedure. 67 Pa. Code Chapter 491. The Departmental rules are supplemented by the General Rules of Practice and Procedure. 1 Pa. Code Chapters 31, 33 & 35.
     
  3. Appeal Procedures
     
    Following a hearing the Hearing Officer issues a proposed report. A party may file an appeal to the Secretary of the proposed report. See 67 Pa. Code § 491.12. An appeal may be filed from the final order of the Secretary to the Commonwealth Court. See 67 Pa. Code § 491.13.
     
  4. Glossary of Terms
     
    1. See 67 Pa. Code for general definitions relating to transportation.
       
    2. HOP-Highway Occupancy Permit
       
    3. TIS - Traffic Impact Study
       
    4. Supersedes --- Order staying the outcome of the proceeding pending Appeal

Contact Information:

Teresa Marie Sheely (General) Law Clerk
Office of Chief Counsel
P.O. Box 8212
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8212
(717) 705-4358
 
Christopher J. Johnson (Inspection Stations/Mechanic Hearings) Assistant Counsel
Office of Chief Counsel
Vehicle and Traffic Law Division
1101 South Front Street Harrisburg, PA 17101-2516
(717) 705-0765
 
George H. Kabusk (Driver's License Docket Appeal)
Assistant Counsel
Office of Chief Counsel
Vehicle and Traffic Law Division
1101 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101-2516
(717) 787-2830
 
Patty Smith (Administrative Appeals) Administrative Docket Clerk
Office of Chief Counsel
P.O. Box 8212
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8212
(717) 705-1282
 
 
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