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NEW DRIVERS AND FIRST TIME APPLICANTS
Following are the basic requirements for applying for a Pennsylvania driver's license:
- You must be at least 16 years old and must apply in person at any of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Driver License Centers.
- If you are under 18, a duly completed Parent or Guardian Certification Form will be required. It will have to be notarized in case they do not accompany you to the centre.
- A Noncommercial Learner's Permit Application will also be needed, duly completed. Your physician must attest here that you are medically allowed to drive.
- One form of ID along with a Social security card (unlaminated) will be required.
- If above 18 years of age, proof of residency and proof of citizenship are required.
- Conditional to passing a written test, you will be issued a one year permit.
Pennsylvania residents holding a driver's license from another state need to apply for a Pennsylvania driver's license within 60 days of arriving. Otherwise you will be treated as a new driver and will have to go through the relevant process. To get a Pennsylvania driver's license you will have to apply in person at your local Driver License Center. Documents required include:
- Your current out of state license which will have to be surrendered.
- Social security card
- Two documents confirming proof of residency. These may include current utility bills, mortgage records, tax documents or lease agreements etc.
- A check or money-order for $26 made out to PennDOT
No tests are required for driver's holding valid out of state driver's license.
Non-US citizens visiting the state may use their country's driving license for a period of a year. However, this should be supplemented with an International Driving Permit. Most non US citizens will have to follow a process similar to that for new drivers, i.e. apply for a learner's permit with all relevant document and fees and later pass the written test, vision test and road test before acquiring a longer term license. A list of the various scenarios that could be applicable to foreign citizens is available at PennDOT's web-site.
The cost for a non-commercial Pennsylvania driver's license is $34.50 for a four-year license and $24 for a two-year license. This will only be accepted in the form of a check (made out to PennDOT) or money order.
- The validity of a Pennsylvania driver's license is normally four years for drivers over 18 years of age (every 2 years if over 65).
- 16 to 18 year olds are initially issued a one year permit (subject to meeting all other requirements) and later a junior driver's license which is valid for 4 years. However, this license has certain restrictions attached to it.
- It is only at 17.5 years of age that you can apply for a full-fledged four- year driver's license provided all other conditions are met.
With certain restrictions, an individual can legally drive in Pennsylvania with a learner's license. See more information on learner's licenses here.
- See also Renewing Your License.
- For information on other types of licenses, see Commercial Driver's Licenses, Motorcycle Licenses.
- It is necessary to have active Auto Insurance in order to drive legally in Pennsylvania.
- New drivers see our Driver Education , Driving Schools, Beginner Drivers and Learner's Permits for Beginner Drivers sections.