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Guide to the Pennsylvania DMV

PennDOT PA DMV Guide

If you’re new to Pennsylvania or have recently purchased a vehicle, here is a short guide to setting up your license and registration.

Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration

Registration of your vehicle is required in Pennsylvania within twenty days of becoming a resident. You can register with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Before registering, you must get a Pennsylvania driver’s license and auto insurance. You can register your vehicle in person at your county’s PennDOT office, as long as you have your vehicle title, proof of insurance, your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verification, and payment for all fees. For a regular passenger vehicle, registration costs $36.

Pennsylvania Vehicle Inspections

Pennsylvania requires most vehicles in certain areas to undergo annual safety and/or emissions tests. Official inspection stations are located throughout the state, with varied testing fees. New residents also have to get inspected, but the testing timelines vary.

Pennsylvania Vehicle Registration Renewal

The Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will send you a registration renewal notice. You can renew online, by mail, or in person at your local DMV, at a self-service kiosk, or at participating emissions stations. You can renew your registration online 35 days before its expiration, or up to 18 months after your vehicle registration expires.

Getting a Pennsylvania Vehicle Title

If you’re coming from out of state, it is not required that you obtain a Pennsylvania title. However, the state strongly recommends it. To transfer your title, you will need to provide the state with your out-of-state title and registration, proof of identity, proof of emissions and VIN inspections, proof of Pennsylvania car insurance, a completed Application for Vehicle Registration (Form VP-222), and payment for titling.

Pennsylvania Driver’s License

If you are new to Pennsylvania, you must transfer your out-of-state license within thirty days of establishing residency. Then you will visit the Pennsylvania DMV and complete the following:

  • Submit a completed Application for Driving Privileges or ID Card (Form DMV-002)
  • Submit proof of identity (birth certificate, passport, etc.)
  • Submit proof of your Social Security Number, Pennsylvania residency, and name change if applicable
  • Surrender your out-of-state driver’s license
  • Pass a vision and written knowledge exam
  • Pay the requisite fees ($42.25 for under 65 years old, $18.25 for 65 and older)

Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Requirements

Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, but it requires liability auto insurance for your vehicle. You must meet the following minimum coverage limits:

  • $15,000 per person
  • $30,000 per accident for bodily injury per accident
  • $5,000 per accident for property damage