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Driving License in PA

Driving License in PA

Old May 10th 2013, 3:33 pm
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Default Driving License in PA

Hi all
I have been here in Doylestown PA (on a L1a) for a couple of weeks now and I am been looking for a car. Having picked one the dealer has said he cant transfer the title unless I have either a PA driving license or PA photo ID.

Having been through the DMV website it appears that, as yet I cant prove residency as I don't have any bills through yet such as elec gas, cable etc. Has anyone also had the same problem or am I just too quick off the mark and need to wait a month or so?

However during the conversation the lady at the call centre says they do not accept a British license and I will have to apply for a learners permits (they will accept French or German licenses) Again is this what everyone else experienced or is this the norm.

The 60 days they give you to get a license seems a bit tight especially for wife as she still has to apply for a SSN (I did mine last time I was over)

Thanks in advance
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Old May 10th 2013, 5:35 pm
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

It what why do they not accept a British licence. Are you saying they will not allow you to take your test with a British licence. You cannot just swap your UK licence for a PA one.

Most States, if you are still within the time allowed to get a State licence you are allowed to drive on your British licence, and that includes the State driving test.
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Old May 10th 2013, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

I don't know of any state that will swap a British license. Just take you computer and road tests ASAP. It may take longer than the state specifies for obtaining a PA license, but I wouldn't worry too much so long as you have a date for the tests.

Do you have a lease on your address? Sometimes that is acceptable for new arrivals to prove address and residence.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 10th 2013 at 5:44 pm.
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Old May 10th 2013, 9:12 pm
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

Yes I have a lease but I require two proofs of residency. As I get my American bank statements by email I naively thought that would be ok, but apparently I can’t use a print out. I must have an original which has been posted to the home address.

Again naively I thought I would just be able to apply for the test based on having u UK license for 20 years and get a full license, rather than a learners permit and then the test and then the full license.
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Old May 10th 2013, 9:13 pm
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

In PA, you get a learners permit to take the test. You can drive alone with your permit and your out-of-state license. The problem is that you have to prove residency before you can have a license or learners permit.
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Old May 11th 2013, 3:28 am
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

Originally Posted by grh View Post
Yes I have a lease but I require two proofs of residency. As I get my American bank statements by email I naively thought that would be ok, but apparently I can’t use a print out. I must have an original which has been posted to the home address.

Again naively I thought I would just be able to apply for the test based on having u UK license for 20 years and get a full license, rather than a learners permit and then the test and then the full license.
Go to your bank on Monday and have them mail something, anything, to you!
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Old May 11th 2013, 3:50 am
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Do you have a lease on your address? Sometimes that is acceptable for new arrivals to prove address and residence.
Second easiest one is getting a library card. To get that, you usually only need proof of address, so send yourself a card with your name and address, because it's been sent through the mail, it'll be a Federal thing, which is good for the library, and that library card can often be used in lieu of a utility bill.
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Old May 13th 2013, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

You don't need a drivers license or learners permit yet - for the transfer of title, State ID will be sufficient (which is effectively the same as a DL but without allowing you to drive).

If you have SSN with the original card (with address on it) then you can use that to also verify your identity. ANYTHING that has been mailed to you can be used i.e. magazines, junk, anything. They're not that fussy.

I had to go through this in PA when buying a car - my situation was further confused as they could not verify my ID (when getting the State ID) so I had to wait for confirmation that they had verified my immigration records before I could get it.

P.S. I don't know where you're getting 60 days from either: Pennsylvania honors a valid foreign driver’s license with an international driving permit for a period of up to one year. If the foreign license and/or international permit expires before one year, the individual must apply for a Pennsylvania learner’s permit to continue to drive in this state.

Actually I do know where you're getting the 60 day thing from, but it doesn't apply to you - it only applies to new PA residents from another state, who previously held a DL in that state.

Last edited by captainsensible; May 13th 2013 at 4:47 pm.
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Old May 13th 2013, 6:10 pm
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

Originally Posted by captainsensible View Post
P.S. I don't know where you're getting 60 days from either: Pennsylvania honors a valid foreign driver’s license with an international driving permit for a period of up to one year. If the foreign license and/or international permit expires before one year, the individual must apply for a Pennsylvania learner’s permit to continue to drive in this state.

Actually I do know where you're getting the 60 day thing from, but it doesn't apply to you - it only applies to new PA residents from another state, who previously held a DL in that state.
The 12 month thing usually only applies to people who are here temporarily, so those that are here to study or medical treatment, that kind of thing.

If you're renting a place, getting a job, you're considered a state resident and have to follow the same rules as everyone else.
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Old May 13th 2013, 6:47 pm
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
The 12 month thing usually only applies to people who are here temporarily, so those that are here to study or medical treatment, that kind of thing.

If you're renting a place, getting a job, you're considered a state resident and have to follow the same rules as everyone else.
That being the case, surely studying would require a 'permanent' residence, even if less than a year? And as such, would therefore be state resident.

My belief is that PennDOT apply that rule for the first year - if you're a foreign national and remain resident for longer than a year then the IDP is no longer honoured and a state license is needed. I know plenty of people here who have driven on the UK license (with IDP) for much longer than 60 days without issue (pretty sure I did too, actually).
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Old May 13th 2013, 7:35 pm
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

Originally Posted by captainsensible View Post
.... I know plenty of people here who have driven on the UK license (with IDP) for much longer than 60 days without issue (pretty sure I did too, actually).
I have no doubt that is the case, but that doesn't make it legal, and unless it IS legal, it is a bad idea to share as advice on BE.

Like car insurance, having a PA licence isn't necessary. ..... Until you actually need it! (e.g. have a wreck).

The time you are allowed to get a local license in most states is ridiculously short, but you shouldn't have a problem so long as you have been using your best efforts to obtain a license e.g. you have booked a road test. But I would not recommend delaying for a year just because you think you can get away with it.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 13th 2013 at 7:44 pm.
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Old May 13th 2013, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

For what its worth, my Insurance co were perfectly happy with me using my UK license for the same amount of time too.
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Old May 13th 2013, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

Anyway, the original point remains the same, you don't need a drivers license for title transfer - state photo ID will do and is quicker to get.
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Old May 13th 2013, 9:17 pm
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

Originally Posted by captainsensible View Post
That being the case, surely studying would require a 'permanent' residence, even if less than a year? And as such, would therefore be state resident.
Yes, that permanent residence would be outside of the state where you are regularly domiciled. For a F1, it's part of the requirements of the visa. For the locals, it would probably be the parents house as well, but it means they wouldn't have to swap their drivers license unless they stay in the state the whole year without heading home for the holidays etc.
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Old May 13th 2013, 9:19 pm
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Default Re: Driving License in PA

Originally Posted by captainsensible View Post
For what its worth, my Insurance co were perfectly happy with me using my UK license for the same amount of time too.
They would, because you're giving them money.

They would use it as an excuse to void coverage if you killed/disabled someone and they were on the hook for a million dollar liability payout though.
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