To obtain a Pennsylvania Driver's License you must pass two separate examinations. The first is a PA State written driver’s examination and the second is a road test administered in a vehicle with an officer present. Steps to complete both examinations appear at the end of this section.
If you have a driver's license from your home country, you may drive in the United States for up to one year. After one year, you will need a Pennsylvania Driver's license.
If you don't know how to drive you will need to borrow or rent a car with the help of a friend or relative. Americans generally learn to drive at the age of 16 with the help of their family. It is not recommended that you ask your host family to teach you how to drive in their car. Their automobile insurance may not cover an accident caused by non-family members. Most students practice driving with a friend. It is extremely important to know the vehicle you are being tested in. You will fail the exam if you do not know where the head light beams are or how to use the windshield wipers. You will also fail if you do not first put on your safety belt! Do not use a rented vehicle with a friend if you do not know the car well!!
Driving in the US can be fun, but it carries responsibility, too. Since the speeds can be quite high (up to 70 mph on highways), it is important for an international student to get adjusted to the speed as well as to the correct side of the road to drive on. So even if you have driven before, it is best advised not to drive alone initially.
Please see below, and refer to the attached document for steps on how to obtain a driver’s license.
*THIS IS NOT AN EASY TEST. DILIGENTLY STUDY THE PA DRIVER'S MANUAL BEFORE TAKING IT.
Since it is good advice to always keep your passport in a safe place and not carry it around, you may want to consider applying for a Pennsylvania Photo ID card at the Photo License Center in Selinsgrove.
The photo ID can be used for cashing checks, showing proof of age, etc. Please bring with you your valid passport, printed I-94, SSocial Security number, check or money order for the fee (they do not take cash), and two proofs of residence. We strongly recommend those be a Residency Verification Letter from ISS.
The nearest PennDot Photo & Examination Center is located in Selinsgrove. Take Route 15 south, pass Susquehanna Mall, and turn right at Route 522. The State Police Office is past Weis Market on the left.
Hours: Tues., Wed., Fri., & Sat. 8:30 a.m - 4:15 p.m. An Appointment is needed.
Telephone: 570.374.8320 or Call Customer Call Center at 1-800-932-4600 between the hours of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Information regarding the most frequently asked questions and obtaining forms is available 24 hours if using a touch-phone telephone. Service representatives are available 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri. For direct assistance, call 1-800-932-4600.
Further Information: Visit to PennDOT's Home Page at www.state.pa.us
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