New to PennsylvaniaPage OverviewSUMMARY: New Pennsylvania ResidentsThis guide will help you find all the information you need to obtain all of your Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) documents and settle in to your new state.
If you're new to Pennsylvania, you'll need register your car and obtain a PA driver's license from PennDOT. You'll need to submit the appropriate application forms, required documents, and payment for related fees. As a new resident, you may also wish to register as an organ donor and/or register to vote.
In Pennsylvania, the main agency that oversees DMV services is the PA Department of Transportation (PennDOT). The Driver and Vehicle Services division of PennDOT is responsible for the administration of vehicle and license services, including:
- License, permit, and ID applications.
- Vehicle registration and renewals.
- Vehicle titling and title transfers.
- License plate issuance (standard, personalized, disability, etc.)
- Commercial driver's licenses (CDL).
Other state departments include:
- The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, which handles boat registration.
- The Department of State's Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation, which regulates voting and elections.
If you have an out-of-state driver's license, you'll need to surrender it to PennDOT and obtain a Pennsylvania driver's license. You will need to do this within 60 days of moving to the state. In addition to submitting the required identity and residency documents and payment for your new driver's license, you'll also need to pass a vision screening test.
Visit our Applying for a New License page for complete instructions.
If you're a teenager, you will be eligible for a PA driver's license once you have met all of the graduated driver's licensing (GDL) program requirements. See our guide to Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) for all the details.
NOTE: To transfer your commercial driver's license (CDL), see our Applying for a New CDL page.
If you're a new resident of PA and you don't plan on driving, you can apply for an identification card. To obtain one, you'll need to provide proof of identity and residency, as well as payment. Find out more on our Identification Cards in Pennsylvania page.
Once you become a resident of Pennsylvania, you have 20 days to register your out-of-state vehicle with PennDOT. Failure to do so may result in a fine. You can find more details on our Car Registration in Pennsylvania page.
Special Vehicle Registration
If you own and operate a recreational vehicle (RV), trailer, moped, or other unique vehicle, it also need to be registered with PennDOT. The process may vary a little from vehicle to vehicle, so you should check out our page on Pennsylvania Special Vehicles.
Car Insurance Requirements
When you go to the PennDOT office to register your car, you will be required to show proof of your auto insurance. Without this, your registration application will be denied. Moving to a new state is a great time to assess your current policy and make sure it still is the best option for you. Visit our Car Insurance page to compare quotes now!
Car Inspection Requires
PennDOT requires that most vehicles undergo an annual emissions inspection. To find out if your vehicle falls under these guidelines, please refer to our Car Inspections in Pennsylvania page.
Did you know that there are thousands of people waiting for a donor organ in Pennsylvania alone? If you'd like to register or find out more information, visit our Organ Donation page. Remember, even if you were registered as an organ donor in your previous state, you'll still need to register with the PA registry.
Similarly, if you want to vote in Pennsylvania, you'll need to register, even if you were registered in your previous state. Our Voter Registration in PA page contains all the information you need.
If you're a military member, you may be exempt from some of the state's driver's licensing and registration requirements. Read our Drivers in the Military page to learn what benefits you and your family may have.
When you're ready to head to the DMV, our Office Finder will help you locate your nearest office.
Before you get on the road in PA, you may wish to read up on the state's road rules: