Pennsylvania Driver's License Renewal

Pennsylvania Driver’s License Renewal: A Complete Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Jan 03, 2022

Is it time for your Pennsylvania driver’s license renewal? We know that the process can be complicated so we’ve compiled all the information you need in one place to make the process as painless as possible.

When Do I Need to Renew My Driver’s License?

Your driver’s license is valid for four years and expires the day after your birthday. If you’re 65 or older, you have an option to renew your license every two years for a reduced fee. PennDOT will send out a courtesy reminder in the mail 3 months before your license expires.

You cannot renew if you have any unresolved charges fines on your driving record. You will have to take care of those first.

Is there a Grace Period in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania does not have a grace period for an expired driver’s license. If you are caught driving with an expired license, you face fines and potential jail time.

During Covid-19, any expired Pennsylvania driver’s license will be valid until August 1, 2021.

How to Renew a Pennsylvania Driver’s License

PennDOT will send you an automatic invitation to renew your driver’s license three months before it expires. You can also apply for renewal by filling out and submitting form DL-143.

There are three different renewal options available for drivers:

  • Online
  • By mail
  • In Person

Online Renewal

You can renew your driver’s license online at the PennDOT online registry if you satisfy the following:

  • There has been no changes to your name or address changes
  • Your photo is up to date
  • You have a valid debit or credit card. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover are the only forms of credit or debit cards accepted online

If you qualify to renew online, you will validate your information and pay the required license fees. It will take about two weeks to receive your new license in the mail.

In-Person Renewal

To renew your PA driver’s license in person, you will need to visit your local PennDOT office. Also, check to see if your location requires a check or money order to pay your fees. Credit cards and cash are not acceptable forms of payment at some locations.

You will need to bring both your current license and one other id that contains your signature to compare against. Acceptable identification includes:

  • Another license, or a photo ID card
  • Any other photo ID, like a school/military/bank/out-of-state card
  • Official documentation, such as a passport, naturalization/citizenship documents, or weapons permits
  • Non-photo IDs MAY be accepted at some locations, but there is no guarantee. Things in this category include voter registration, medicare cards, vehicle registration, or temporary learner’s permits.

You will need to complete the following steps to renew in person:

  1. Bring your IDs listed above.
  2. Pass a vision test
    • If your license has been expired for over two years, you will have to retake the written and driving exams again.
  3. Update your license photo
  4. Pay the required fees. Make sure you know your location accepted forms of payment before going in. Some only take checks and money orders made out to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  5. Receive a paper receipt that will act as a temporary license.

You will receive your card in the mail within two weeks, which marks the end of the renewal process.

Renewal by Mail

If your invitation provides a mail-in option, you can mail your PennDot form back by following the instructions provided in the invitation. Remember that your check or money order should be made out to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

It will take about two weeks to receive your license in the mail. Make sure to plan accordingly. If your license expires before your new one comes in, do not drive with an expired license!

Pennsylvania Driver’s License Renewal Fees

The PA renewal fees depend on what kind of license you’re renewing. Here is a list of the most common:

  • Four-Year License Renewal: $30.50
  • Four-Year License Renewal with Motorcycle: $50.50
  • Two-Year License Renewal (age 65+): $20.00
  • Two-Year License Renewal with Motorcycle (age 65+): $30.00

These fees may change. You can find a comprehensive list on the PennDOT Payments and Fees chart, which provides a full list of updated fees for various licenses, driving record requests, and other services.

Do I Need a REAL-ID in Pennsylvania?

Starting Oct 1, 2021, a standard driver’s license will not qualify as your federal ID. If you plan to board a plane or enter a US military base (or various other government facilities), you will need a federally approved ID to do so. You can use a passport or other federal ID, but a REAL-ID reduces the paperwork you need to have on hand for domestic travel.

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about renewing your driver’s license in Pennsylvania. If you need help with any renewal exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study resource to help you refresh the rules of the road in a quick and easy manner.

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