How to Replace a Drivers License in Pennsylvania
A lost drivers license in Pennsylvania will need to be replaced as soon as possible in order for a driver to continue to legally operate a motor vehicle in the state. Knowing the replacement drivers license methods available to you in the event of a lost, stolen or damaged license can save you a lot of hassle. It is also important to know how to update drivers license credentials in the event of a name change or change of address, which is required by the state of Pennsylvania. For more information on drivers license replacement, including updating drivers license information, as well as lost, stolen, and damaged licenses, review the sections below.
Reasons for Requesting a Drivers License Replacement in Pennsylvania
Replacing a lost driver license in Pennsylvania is crucial, as without a valid license, you will not be legally permitted to operate a motor vehicle. Driving without a license can lead to steep penalties if pulled over by a law enforcement officer, and is simply not worth the risk. Not only that, but if you do not replace driving license credentials, you will lose what is likely your primary source for proof of identity.
While ordering a replacement drivers license may initially seem inconvenient, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) provides drivers with convenient drivers license replacement methods, many of which can be done online.
How to Replace Drivers License Online in Pennsylvania
If you need to replace a lost drivers license in Pennsylvania, there are a couple of ways that you can do so. These drivers license replacement methods will also work in the event of a stolen or damaged drivers license. If you are wondering, “Where can I get a copy of my drivers license?” the answer is either online or by mail. The easiest method of obtaining a duplicate drivers license is by submitting an online application for a replacement. A DMV duplicate license application can be submitted online if the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has both your photo and signature on file. At the end of the replacement drivers license application, you will be issued a temporary drivers license that you can print from your computer. This temporary drivers license is valid for 15 days, during which, you should receive your new Pennsylvania drivers license. Learn more about driver license replacement in PA by downloading our free and informative guide.
Replacing Drivers License by Mail in Pennsylvania
Another method of replacing a lost drivers license in Pennsylvania is through the mail. You can receive a copy of drivers license by completing the Non-Commercial Drivers License Application to Change/Correct/Replace (DL-80) form and sending the completed application, along with a check or money order that is payable to PennDOT. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will then replace drivers license credentials if your picture is currently on file. If they do not, then you will be sent a camera card that you will need to take to an approved photo center before a replacement drivers license can be issued. Download our complimentary guide to read more about the replacement drivers license steps.
Reporting a Stolen Pennsylvania Drivers License
If you have lost a drivers license in Pennsylvania, not only should you apply for a driver license replacement, but you should also file a report with the police if there is a possibility that your drivers license could have been stolen. Before you replace lost drivers license credentials, check with your local police station to ensure that it has not resurfaced. If it has, this can save you time and money, as you will no longer need to go through the replacement drivers license process.
Another reason to report a lost drivers license in Pennsylvania is to help prevent identity theft. While no one expects to be the victim of identity theft, it does happen. If you have reported the loss of your drivers license to the police and an individual attempts to use your Pennsylvania drivers license, if pulled over by a law enforcement officer, the law enforcement officer will already be aware of the stolen drivers license.
Additionally, reporting a lost drivers license will provide a paper trail in the event that fraudulent charges appear on any existing or new lines of credit, and a police report is generally enough to satisfy a financial institution when reporting fraudulent activities.
Updating Drivers License Credentials in Pennsylvania
Aside from a lost drivers license, another common reason to perform a drivers license replacement is in the event of a life change, such as a change of legal name or a change of address.
The state of Pennsylvania requires that you update your drivers license within 15 days of a permanent change of address. Fortunately, performing a drivers license address change is quick and easy, as most changes of address can be done online, unless you are moving outside of the state of Pennsylvania. While it is not necessary to order a replacement drivers license when updating your information, you have the option to do so if you would rather have your drivers license reflect your current residential address.
Drivers license replacements regarding name changes must be done in person, as you will need to present documentation that shows that your name has legally been changed. This is typically done with a court order, a marriage certificate, a divorce decree or adoption paperwork. To learn more about name changes on drivers licenses in PA, download our complimentary guide.