What drives so many people to the glorious state of Pennsylvania? Not only does it have a very affordable standard of living, but it also has top-level schools, great climatic conditions, and extensive opportunities. What makes this state a haven for young professionals is its proximity to New York without the crowd, pollution, and living costs.
Driving through your neighborhood as you explore the many wonders in the first few weeks of moving to a new place feels amazing. But with an out of state driver’s license, you can’t really do that for a long time. So, one of the first things to do is to change your address on your driver’s license and get your vehicle registered in the state.
Though this might seem like another tedious task to tick off your checklist, it really isn’t. To make things easier for you, we’ve given you everything you need to know about the change of address process in Pennsylvania.
Obtaining A Driver’s License When Moving to Pennsylvania From Another State
Be it moving to any state in the country, the steps to follow when you need to change your address on both your driver’s license and your vehicle registration are almost the same. It’s obvious, but also important to go through all the documentation you’ll need to avoid multiple trips to the state DMV. In order to make the process clear cut and simple to understand, we’ve given you a step by step list of what you will need to do.
1. Register Your Vehicle In Pennsylvania
To register your vehicle in Pennsylvania, you have a period of 20 days to inform the state DMV, so it’s best to buck up and not wait for the last few days to get it done.
While the option to do the same online is not available yet, you can start the process by visiting the nearest Pennsylvania DMV office. To help you save time, carry the following documents along with you:
- Proof of identity. You can go through the list of acceptable documents on the state DMV website.
- Your current out-of-state title.
- A tracing of your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) or a VIN verification that’s given to you by a notary republic at a dealership, an inspection mechanic, or issuing agent.
- An odometer reading. You can also provide a picture of your vehicle’s mileage.
When it comes to registration fees, the Pennsylvania DMV charges $37 for passenger vehicles, whereas if it’s a motorcycle, you have to pay $19. You must also take into account that the fees might vary due to factors like tax rates. So, we suggest you can take a look at the fees page on the Pennsylvania DMV website to come to an accurate estimate.
You will also have to provide information based on an emissions test, the information to which you can find here.
Do you need proof of insurance to register a car in Pennsylvania?
Yes, you will need to show liability insurance while you register irrespective of whether you have a car of a motorcycle. To read up on this, visit the state DMV website’s insurance overview page.
Can I register my car online in PA?
Like we’ve mentioned before, you can’t. The form for registration will have to be filled at a state DMV office and authorized by an agent of the department.
2. Apply For A Change Of Address
Now that your registration process is complete, you can also simultaneously apply for a change of address on your driver’s license. For this too, the state DMV gives you a period of 20 days, but we’d recommend you start the process at the beginning itself.
You will have to visit the nearest Pennsylvania Department of Transportation with the following documents:
- Proof of Identity. This could include your US Passport, Birth Certificate, Certificate of Naturalization (USCIS form N-550 or form N-570), Certificate of US Citizenship (USCIS form N-560), or Consular Report of Birth Abroad (DOS form FS-240). To know of other documents that you can use as identity proof, you can visit the state website here
- Social Security Card
- Proof of residence, the list of acceptable documents to which you can find here
- A filled application for Pennsylvania’s driver’s license (DL – 180R)
You won’t have to give a driving test or anything along those lines when you apply for an address change in Pennsylvania. For a standard license that’s valid for four years, you will have to pay a sum of $35. Note that this sum might vary, so you can check the details on the Pennsylvania DMV’s website fees page. The license will be delivered to you via mail within a period of 25 days, so hang in there!
What happens if you drive without insurance in PA?
If you’re caught driving without insurance, you will be fined $300. Add to that another hefty sum of $176 just to reinstate your license and restore your vehicle’s registration. There’s more – you’ll most probably also get your driver’s license suspended for 3 months.
Can you register a car without insurance in PA?
No, you can’t. Proof of liability insurance is a must if you want to register your vehicle in Pennsylvania.
Does your car insurance and registration have to be under the same name in PA?
Yes, it does for the most part. In the scenario that this isn’t the case, and you want to insure the vehicle, you have to prove that you have an “insurable interest” in the vehicle. In simple words, this implies that if something were to happen to the vehicle, you would be financially affected.
Obtaining A Driver’s License When Moving Within Pennsylvania
If you’re moving within the state of Pennsylvania, the state gives you 15 days to update the address on your driver’s license and your vehicle’s registration. We assure you that the process is straightforward, so let’s get into the details.
There are three ways in which you can update your address when you move within Pennsylvania which involves online, in-person, and via mail.
While getting things done online is a boon for many, it can also be the bane of one’s existence, what with unreliable wifis and thousands of tabs on government websites that create a confusing maze. But, to update your addresses, the process is extremely simple and straightforward and we recommend you give the online route a try.
To get the address on your driver’s license updated:
The process is fairly simple and all you have to do is visit the Pennsylvania DMV website and fill the Change of Address form (MV-63). You won’t be charged anything unless you want the license printed. But, note that if you want a commercial driver’s license, the fee is $35 which might vary.
Keep the following documents by your side when you’re doing the process online:
- Your current driver’s license
- Your Social Security number
- Your new mailing address
To update your registration:
The same steps apply when you want to change the address on your vehicle registration, so visit the state DMV website for the process.
I changed my USPS address. Will it update my driver’s license records?
No it won’t. You have to change your address on both independently since changing it on one does not automatically change it on another.
2. Via Mail
Fans of snail mail have another option – updating the address on your driver’s license and vehicle registration via mail. Just download the change of address form online and mail it to the following address:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
P. O. Box 68287
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8287
If you’re not a great fan of any of the methods we’ve mentioned, you can just go to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation office and fill the change of address form for both the driver’s license and your vehicle registration in person. To find the nearest office for this purpose you can take a look at their website.
When you visit the office for registration, you will have to keep the following information in mind:
- Vehicle title number
- License plate number
- PA driver’s license number
- Odometer reading
- Name of the insurance policy holder and start and end dates of the same policy
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation does not mail a registration card to you. So, you’ll have to print the same from the link that will be provided. Like we mentioned before, if you want the documentation to be sent to you, a small fee will be levied.
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When You’re Moving Out Of Pennsylvania
If you’ve decided to move out of Pennsylvania, you won’t have to inform the state about the same. Your old PA license will be canceled automatically once you receive your new license from the state that you’ve moved to. But, you must note that your PA license plate has to be surrendered after your move, which you can do by mailing it to the address shared below:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Return Tag Unit, P.O. Box 68597, Harrisburg, PA 17106-8597
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Is It Illegal To Not Change Your Address When You Move?
Even though it’s not, it might as well be since you will be penalized, the severity of which varies in every state. In the state of Pennsylvania, the Department of Transportation provides quite a manageable time period for you to change your addresses on your driver’s license and your vehicle registration. It also doesn’t take you much time since residents of the state can do it online and those from outside the state don’t have to sit for a driving test.
Leaving these reasons aside, we all know that having the right addresses on important documents ensures that your records with the government and other private bodies like insurance companies are updated. Not only will these result in less confusion when things have to be mailed to you, but they will also save you time and effort in the future, because at some point, you will have to make the change.
Your driver’s license can also be used for various administrative purposes like establishing your domicile, and voter registration among others since it is a form of identification proof. You must also keep in mind that your license is a way for the police to identify you in unfortunate scenarios of road accidents or traffic violations, so it’s best if you get to change your addresses right away.
We understand completely that the joy of settling into your new home is great, the last thing you want to do is run around getting your addresses changed, that too on your driver’s license. But we assure you that the process is simple and the guidelines straightforward. So get to the process right away and remember – keep all your documents in order from the start. You don’t want to be running around later. Happy moving!