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International Students

Obtaining a Pennsylvania ID Card & Driver's License

This webpage is a starting point and an informational guide only. Each state in the U.S. issues photo identification cards and driver’s licenses under its own laws and the application processes may vary. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Transportation or PennDOT, is the government agency that regulates and issues ID cards and driver’s licenses. For the most accurate instructions on how to apply for a Pennsylvania ID card and driver’s license, visit the PennDOT website. Application procedures may change without notification.

The PennDOT Carlisle office is located in a local shopping area named Stonehedge Square on 950 Walnut Bottom Road • Carlisle, PA 17013

Driver's license and ID card center hours
  Sunday & Monday  Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
PennDOT Office CLOSED 8:30am-4:15pm 8:30am-4:15pm 8:30am-4:15pm 8:30am-4:15pm 8:30am-4:15pm

The PennDOT accepts service fee payments by debit or credit card. Print needed PennDOT forms and complete them prior to arriving to the PennDOT office. Agents at the Carlisle office can only issue a Pennsylvania ID card or driver's license, if you provide all the necessary documentation and completed forms.

Pennsylvania ID Card

The application process for a Pennsylvania ID card generally consists of completing a form, paying a fee and presenting the following documentation:   

  1. All of your immigration documentation (Valid passport with F-1 visa, printed I-20, I-94 form printout) in order to establish identity and F-1 visa status
  2. Current enrollment verification (request a letter from International Student & Scholar Services)
  3. Your Social Security Card or letter from Social Security indicating they have not made a decision yet, or Social Security rejection letter (if you are not working, you are ineligible for a Social Security card and can obtain a rejection letter). Application information for F-1 students
  4. Two (2) proofs of your Carlisle address, such as tax records, bank statements, bills, etc. (Students: the enrollment verification letter from International Services will include your address and can serve as one proof.)  

Pennsylvania Driver's License

Pennsylvania honors a valid foreign driver’s license with an international driving permit for a period of one year during initial residency, if the foreign license is not expired. Please consult with PennDOT staff or website FAQ for more information.

The application process will require you to:

  1. Obtain and study a driver’s manual from the PennDOT website.
  2. Undergo a physical examination by a certified health professional. You can set an appointment at the Wellness Center, by calling 717-245-1663.
  3. Apply for a learner’s permit with the appropriate form, fee, and the same documentation required for the ID card (see above). At this time, you must pass a vision and knowledge test. If you successfully obtain a learner’s permit, you will be granted limited driving rights.  
  4. After a pre-determined period, schedule a driver’s license by taking a road test. You will need to borrow a car and be accompanied by the licensed owner who can prove that the car is insured, safe and registered.