IMPORTANT NOTE: PennDOT requires that non-immigrants’ entry documents (I-20, DS-2019, or I-797) be valid for one year or more to be eligible for a Pennsylvania ID Card or Driver’s License. Thus, if at all possible, obtain your PA driver’s license or ID in your first month of arrival in Pennsylvania

  • What documents do I need to obtain a Pennsylvania ID Card or Driver’s License?
  • To obtain a Pennsylvania ID Card or Driver’s License you will need to show the following documents:

    • Letter from ISSS to verify your status (F-1, J-1 or H-1B) at the University of Pennsylvania. To request your letter, submit the electronic request form in iPenn. After you log in with your credentials (Pennkey and password), select Driver License Request from the left menu labeled as Student Services. You will be notified to collect the letter from ISSS front desk when it becomes available.
    • Your social security card. If you are not eligible for a social security number you will need to bring a letter of denial/indecision from the Social Security office.
    • Two of the following as proof of residency in Pennsylvania:
      • Current utility bills (for example, electric, cable, telephone, etc., but not cell phone bills)
        • Online billing statements are not acceptable.
        • You may use two of the same type of utility bill as long as they are for two different months.
      • Tax records
      • Lease agreements or proof of residency letter from the housing office for on-campus students
      • W-2 forms
      • Mortgage documents
      • Car insurance statements
      • Current weapons permit
      • If you have only one of the above-mentioned documents, a bank statement may be acceptable.
      • If you do not have any utility bills, any mail (not email) from Penn sent to your PA residence may be acceptable.
    • Your original immigration documents to verify your status and authenticate your duration of stay:
      • I-20 for F-1 status
      • DS-2019 for J-1 status
      • I-797 for H-1B status
    • Your valid passport
    • I-94 card (if issued paper I-94) or I-94 printout (if issued electronic I-94)
      Refer to the automated I-94 process at http://global.upenn.edu/isss/travel
    • Your visa (used for last entry)

    Bring these documents to a Driver License Center to obtain your Pennsylvania ID Card or information on how to obtain your Driver’s License.

    The State of Pennsylvania has a special reciprocity agreement with France and Germany. French and German nationals should inquire with PennDOT for details.

  • How do I get a Learner’s Permit?
  • Obtain a Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual and study it. This manual is available at http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/ or from a
    Driver License Center. It contains detailed instructions on the steps to take to obtain a learner’s permit. You will need to complete the front of the Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit Application (DL-180) found in the Driver’s manual. Your medical provider must complete the back of the application (DL-180). You will need to pass the Vision, Knowledge and Road Tests. Please see the Driver’s manual for complete instructions and required documents.

  • Can I drive with the Temporary Learner’s Permit?
  • Yes, the Temporary Learner’s Permit allows you to practice driving, but you must be accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years of age or older. This driver must ride in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. You may, of course, continue to drive alone if you have a valid foreign driver’s license and have been in Pennsylvania less than one year. Once you have this Learner’s Permit, you can schedule a driving skills test when you feel that you are ready. All Driver License Centers in the Philadelphia area require appointments to take the skills test. Please call 1-800-932-4600 to schedule an appointment.

  • Driver License Centers in Philadelphia
  • Address Hours Services
    801 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 Tue-Sat 8:30-4:15 Knowledge Test, Photo License
    Columbus Blvd., 1530 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19147 Tue-Sat 8:30-4:15 Knowledge Test, Photo License, Driving Skills Test
    2320 Island Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19153 Tue-Sat 8:30-4:15 Knowledge Test, Photo License, Driving Skills Test
    Oxford Levick Shopping Center, 919-B Levick St., Philadelphia, PA 19111 Tue-Sat 8:30-4:15 Knowledge Test, Photo License, Driving Skills Test
    7121 Ogontz Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19138 Tue-Sat 8:30-4:15 Knowledge Test, Photo License, Driving Skills Test

    The best time to visit a PennDOT office is Wednesday or Thursday. Avoid Tuesdays and Saturdays. No Driving Skills Tests can be given without an appointment. Please call 1-800-932-4600 to set up an appointment.

    NOTE: Information is subject to change.  Please contact PennDOT for updates - http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/