Pennsylvania Drivers License Renewal
The process of how to renew drivers licenses in Pennsylvania is completed through the state's Department of Transportation. Renewing drivers licenses requires a few steps, including visiting a PA DOT office, if necessary. You will also need to gather drivers license renewal documents, and if your license is near its expiration date, you must renew your credential promptly. Keep reading to learn more about your renewal responsibilities as a motorist in PA.
How to Renew Your PA Driver's License
Driving with an expired drivers license in PA is illegal, and roughly three months before your license's expiration date, the DOT will send you a renewal notice in the mail. Certain drivers will be able to renew drivers license online, but others will need to visit a local DOT office. The state recommends all drivers to make an appointment before attempting to renew drivers licenses in person. During your renewal appointment, a DOT representative will request to see the following:
- Proof of identification (drivers license is acceptable).
- Completed drivers license renewal application.
- Social Security card.
Your drivers license's expiration date is printed on its front side near your photo and personal information.
At the time of drivers license renewal in Pennsylvania, you will be asked to pay a fee. The fee varies with age, and drivers younger than the age of 65 will be charged $30.50. Drivers older than 65 will be charged $25. The PA Department of Transportation accepts the following forms of payment:
- Credit or debit card
- Money order
All major credit cards are accepted, and if you renew drivers licenses online, you must pay with a card. If you elect to renew drivers license in person, you can pay with a card or make your check payable to the "Pennsylvania Department of Transportation" or "PennDOT."
When to Renew
Your Pennsylvania Driver's License
The time between each drivers license renewal in PA will depend on each driver's age. If you are younger than 65, you must renew drivers licenses every four years, and if you are older than 65, you must renew every two years. You can renew your license as soon as you receive a renewal notice from the PA DOT.
If you drive with an expired drivers license in PA, you may receive a ticket or have your license suspended temporarily. It is important to renew drivers license once you receive your notice in the mail, but drivers are allowed to renew their licenses up to six months after its expiration date without penalty. If your license is expired beyond this time frame, you will be required to complete the entire drivers licensing process again instead of renewing drivers license. This process will involve:
- Applying for a learner's permit (optional).
- Passing a written examination and driving skills test.
- Taking your photograph again.
- Paying a fee for a new license.
Drivers can apply for a temporary Pennsylvania drivers license if their current, valid license is lost or stolen. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to renew drivers license instead of requesting a duplicate, but you will need to contact a DOT in PA office before doing so. You can apply for a duplicate online, in person, or by mailing an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in Harrisburg. The fee for a duplicate drivers license is $28.50, and once your duplicate request is granted, the state will issue you a temporary license that will remain valid for 15 days.
Requirements To Renew A Pennsylvania License
When renewing drivers license in Pennsylvania, you will not need to take a test unless your license has been expired for more than six months. There are no age restrictions, and the vast majority of citizens will be able to utilize the online drivers license renewal system. If you do decide to renew drivers licenses in person, you will need to bring the documents listed in the section above so the DOT office can verify your identity and legal residency. Regardless of your renewal method, you will always need to have the following information present before you start the renewal process:
- Social Security Number.
- Drivers license number.
- Payment information.
Renewing A PA Suspended License
Renewing a suspended drivers license in Pennsylvania is relatively easy for most drivers. Before starting the drivers license renewal process, you will need to serve the full duration of your suspension and pay off any fees or fines you owe the state. The state suspends drivers licenses for a plethora of reasons, and if you are unsure of the status of your license, you can order a copy of your driving record from the DOT. Each motorist will have different renewal requirements, and the PA DOT will send you a letter detailing the steps you must take to renew drivers license in PA 30 days before your eligibility date. Drivers can access their individualized restoration letter online, but if they do, they will not receive one in the mail. Once you complete the tasks outlined in the letter, your full driving privileges will be restored.
PA Drivers License Online Renewal
Most drivers can renew drivers license online in PA as long as they meet the following requirements:
- Currently possess a license that has not been expired for more than six months.
- Have a license with a photograph.
- Do not have an out-of-state address listed on the front of the license.
If you meet the requirements above, you can take advantage of the online drivers license renewal process. To begin, visit the PennDOT Online Driver's Licenses site. The site will require motorists to enter their drivers license number and pay the renewal fee. Once the renewal fee is paid, you will be able to print a temporary drivers license to use until your real one arrives in the mail. Drivers should also note that the PennDOT site only accepts credit or debit cards.
Renewing Your PA Drivers License In-Person
If you are not eligible to renew drivers license online in Pennsylvania, you must visit a local PA DOT office. You will not be required to take a test unless your license is more than six months past its expiration date, but you will need to have another photograph taken. You must present the following to the DOT representative before renewing drivers license:
- Drivers License Application for Renewal.
- Social Security card.
- Proof of identity (ex: current drivers license, ID card, passport)
If you recently changed your name, you will need to provide the office with additional documentation from the federal and state governments. Once you pay the drivers license renewal fee, you will receive a new drivers license within a few days.
Non US Citizen
Drivers license renewal in Pennsylvania is similar for non-citizens. If you are not a citizen of the United States, you will need to renew drivers license in person and take proof that you are legally allowed to reside in the country. The following documents are acceptable:
- Refugee or asylum seeker documents
Other documents may be acceptable, but you will need to contact a DOT office if you do not have access to the items above. Once your identity and residency is verified, you can start renewing drivers license. If you do not have a social security number, you must obtain a letter explaining your lack of one from the federal government.
Out-of-State Military Renewal
You can renew drivers license in Pennsylvania up to 45 days after you are discharged, or you return to the state. Your drivers license will remain valid while you are overseas, but you can also renew drivers license online, by mail, or in person upon your return. All state and federal employees have this privilege, and if you renew by mail, you will be required to submit proof of military service or government employment.
Out-of-State Military: Renew Online
Motorists can renew their Pennsylvania drivers license online if they are in the military. Like other drivers, you will utilize the online PennDOT drivers license renewal system and pay the renewal fee with a credit or debit card. Once you submit your application, the PA DOT will send you a new license in the mail within a few days. To renew drivers license online, you will need to provide your social security number, current drivers license number, and personal information.
Out-of-State Military: Renew By Mail
It is possible to renew drivers license in Pennsylvania by mail if you are a member of the armed forces or a federal/state employee. To do this, mail the following to the state DOT office in Harrisburg:
- Completed Out-of-State Address/Photo Exemption.
- Completed Non-Commercial Driver's License Application For Renewal.
- Check or money order made payable to "Pennsylvania Department of Transportation" or "PennDOT".
- Official letter from military or government verifying your employment status.
Renewing drivers license by mail can take longer, but you will still receive a new license within a few days of submitting your drivers license renewal application. Military dependents can also renew their licenses in this manner.
Drivers License Extensions
You will need to renew drivers licenses online or in person if your credential is nearing its expiration date, The PA DOT does not grant extensions, and if your license is more than six months past its official expiration date, you must apply for a new license and take the driving test again.