Apply for a License (Drivers 18+) in Pennsylvania

If you are getting a new Pennsylvania driver's license for the first time, you will need to start with a learner's permit.

If you're new to PA, you can exchange your out-of-state driver's license once you become a resident in the state.

Read below for more information about getting your driver's license, including the documents and tests required by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

Pennsylvania REAL ID Driver's License

PennDOT issues federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses in addition to non-compliant licenses. As of October 1, 2021, only the REAL ID will function as federal identification for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings—a standard license will not after this date.

You have the choice to apply for a non-compliant license or upgrade to a REAL ID license. For more detail, visit PennDOT's guide to REAL IDs.

New to Pennsylvania?

Just Moved?

Find all the information you need to finish your moving requirements with the DMV.

You have 60 days to get a Pennsylvania driver's license once you become a resident.

To apply for a driver's license, visit a PennDOT driver's license center in person and:

  • Submit a completed Application for Pennsylvania Non-Commercial Driver's License by Out-of-State Non CDL Driver (Form DL-180R).
  • Pass the vision screening test.
  • Surrender your out-of-state driver's license, still valid or expired within the last 6 months.
  • Pay the driver's license fee for:
    • $39.50 for 4 years.
    • $27.50 for 2 years (this is an option if you are 65 years old or older).
  • Show your Social Security card.
  • Present proof of your identification, such as your:
  • Submit 2 documents proving your PA residency, such as a:
    • Current utility bill.
    • Lease agreement or mortgage document.
    • W-2 form.

For a complete list of acceptable documents, see PennDOT's Identification and Residency Requirements For U.S. Citizens.

NOTE: If your driver's license has been expired for more than 6 months, you must first apply for a PA learner's permit. See “Pennsylvania Learner's Permit" below for more information.

Types of Pennsylvania Driver's Licenses

  • Class AAllows you to operate vehicle combinations weighing 26,001 lbs or more.
  • Class BAllows you to operate a single vehicle weighing 26,001 lbs or more.
  • Class C—Allows you to operate a vehicle that do not meet Class A or B qualifications, a motor-driven cycle with a maximum engine size of 50 ccs, or an enclosed 3-wheeled motorcycle.
  • Class M—Allows you to operate a motorcycle or other motor-driven cycle. See our page on Motorcycle Licenses in Pennsylvania for more information.

New Pennsylvania driver's licenses are valid for:

  • 4 years.
  • 2 years IF you're 65 years old and older.

For commercial driver's license classes and information, see Applying for a New CDL in Pennsylvania.

New Driver's License Eligibility in PA

To be eligible for a regular Class C driver's license with no restrictions, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a PA learner's permit.
  • Pass a driving test.

Read below for more information about applying for a learner's permit and driver's license.

Pennsylvania Learner's Permit

Before being eligible for your new Pennsylvania driver's license, you will first need a learner's permit IF:

  • You have never held a driver's license.
  • You have an out-of-state driver's license that has been expired for more than 6 months.

Your learner's permit will allow you to learn to drive while accompanied by a licensed driver. You cannot drive unaccompanied.

Apply for a Learner's Permit

You must apply in person at a PennDOT office. You will need to provide:

  • A completed Non-Commercial Learner's Permit Application (Form DL-180).
    • You will need to have a medical examination completed and documented on the form.
  • Payment for the:
    • $45.50 permit fee plus driver's license fee, valid for 4 years.
    • $33.50 permit fee plus new driver's license fee, valid for 2 years.
      • Optional if you're 65 years old or older only.
  • Your Social Security card.
  • 1 document proving your identity and lawful status in the U.S.; for example:
    • Your birth certificate (must have a raised seal).
    • Your unexpired U.S. passport.
    • Your U.S. citizenship certificate.
  • 2 documents showing proof of PA residency, which may include your:
    • Recent utility bill.
    • Mortgage document or lease agreement.
    • Tax document, such as a W-2 form.

For a complete list of acceptable documents, see PennDOT's Identification and Residency Requirements For U.S. Citizens. For REAL ID-compliant documents, visit the state's REAL ID Document Checklist.

At the PennDOT branch, you will need to pass a:

  • Vision screening.
  • Written knowledge exam.

Your Pennsylvania learner's permit will be valid for 1 year.

Practice Makes Perfect!

To help prepare you for the written exam the DOT has included a basic practice test in the Pennsylvania Driver Manual. If you want to ensure passing on your first attempt, our suggestion is to study with an online practice test from our certified partner.

Apply for a New Pennsylvania Driver's License

When you are ready to take the road skills test for your Pennsylvania driver's license, first schedule your test either:

Bring the following with you to the PennDOT office:

  • Your learner's permit.
  • The valid driver's license of your accompanying driver.
  • The registration of the vehicle you'll use during the test.
  • Proof of car insurance for the vehicle you'll use during the test.

If you take your exam through a third-party administrator, you may be eligible to pre-verify your documents online to get a REAL ID driver's license. Visit the pre-verification portal to confirm whether you are eligible; if so, you can apply for a REAL ID driver's license online as well.

Your new Pennsylvania driver's license will be valid for 4 years.

If you're 65 years old or older, you will have the option of a new driver's license valid for just 2 years. The duration of your driver's license will depend on how much you paid when you obtained your learner's permit.


Do you know what kind of insurance coverage you need? Learn more about Pennsylvania car insurance and compare rates at our Insurance Center.


Non-Commercial Learners Permit Application
Application for a non-commercial PA learner's permit.
Application for a Pennsylvania Non Commercial Drivers License By Out of State Non CDL Driver Form Online
Complete this form to apply for a Pennsylvania non-commercial driver's license if you currently hold an out-of-state CDL.
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