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OBTAINING A DRIVER'S LICENSE
Obtaining a Driver's License or Pennsylvania State ID
If you will be in the U.S. for more than one year and plan to drive while here, you should apply for a Pennsylvania driver’s license.
If you will be in the U.S. for less than one year (i.e., the expiration date on your I-20 or DS-2019 is less than one year away), you are not eligible for a driver’s license. However, you may drive with a valid home country license and international driving permit.
To Obtain a PA Driver's License:
Step OneAttend New International Student Orientation
Step TwoComplete your SEVIS Appointment
There are three exams required:
Medical exam: You must make and attend an appointment with a physician prior to going to the driver’s license center.
Written exam: You will take this at the driver’s license center. Passing this will allow you to receive your learner's permit.
Road test: A Pennsylvania state police officer will evaluate your driving ability in the car with you.
** Those with a valid license from another U.S. state may be exempt from these exams.**
Step FourE-mail the Center for Global Engagement requesting a Driver License Letter. Your status in SEVIS must be "Active," so you must attend your initial SEVIS appointment before requesting this letter.
Step FiveTake the following documentation with you to the driver’s license center:
- Driver’s License Letter from the Center for Global Engagement
- Passport, I-94 (card or website print out), and I-20 or DS-2019
- Social Security card OR letter from the Social Security office stating you are not eligible for an SSN. The Social Security office issues these letters.
- Two documents verifying your Pennsylvania address (e.g., lease agreement, electric bill, cable bill)
- Driver’s license application form with medical exam section completed
To Obtain a PA State ID:
Those who do not plan to drive, but will be here for more than one year, may wish to apply for a Pennsylvania state ID card. The card is a convenient, government-issued form of identification that you can use while in the US. The documentation and steps required are the same as above but there no exams.
Please see the Department Of Motor Vehicles (http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/) for the latest information on Pennsylvania driver’s licenses or state IDs.