Visitors Driving in Pennsylvania
It's important to understand the rules for visiting drivers in Pennsylvania, whether you are an out-of-state visitor or a foreign visitor. Visiting driver requirements must be followed in order to legally drive within the state of Pennsylvania, so learning these rules can be crucial. There are also additional foreign visitors driving requirements that foreign visitors need to be aware of when driving within Pennsylvania. Fortunately, these rules and guidelines enforced by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) are very straightforward. For more information on the rules for visiting drivers in Pennsylvania, refer to the sections provided below.
Pennsylvania Drivers License Rules for Visiting Drivers from Another State
The rules for visiting drivers in Pennsylvania have been put in place in order to maintain safety and order within the state of Pennsylvania. If you are a visitor driving in PA from another state, be aware that you must have a valid drivers license to operate a motor vehicle. Additionally, while some states may include lesser auto insurance policies, the state of Pennsylvania has strict auto insurance policies that visiting drivers must adhere to in order to drive legally on all state roads and highways.
Auto insurance, in terms of visiting driver requirements, includes both liability car insurance and medical benefits coverage. The minimum medical benefits coverage that you must have with your auto insurance policy is $5,000, and liability insurance must include the following minimums:
- $15,000 per person, per accident
- $5,000 in property damages
- $30,000 total per accident
Learn more about Pennsylvania auto insurance in our free, downloadable guide.
Failure to uphold these drivers license rules for visiting drivers could result in further penalties, such as fines. Additionally, as a visiting driver rule, you will still be responsible for any traffic tickets or parking citations that you receive during your visit to Pennsylvania. Depending on the traffic violation or the failure to pay your fine(s), you could potentially lose your driving privileges within the state of Pennsylvania. Whether or not this drivers license suspension incurred as a visiting driver is carried over to your home state will depend on the laws set in place.
Pennsylvania Driver's License Requirements for Visiting Foreigners
The rules for visiting drivers in Pennsylvania that have been outlined above will still apply to foreign visiting drivers, but there are additional foreign visitors driving requirements that you should be aware of if you are from another country and you intend to drive within the state of Pennsylvania.
First of all, there are drivers license requirements for visiting foreigners that you must adhere to while operating a motor vehicle. While your foreign drivers license, if valid, will allow you to drive within the state of Pennsylvania, it is important to know that it is only considered valid within Pennsylvania for one year, starting from the date of your entry into the United States.
You are also still required to adhere to the rules for visiting drivers regarding auto insurance. While some foreign policies may be acceptable, you may need to acquire additional auto insurance during your trip as a visiting driver in PA. It is important to know that if using a rental car, it is possible that the rental agency will provide you with adequate insurance, but you should always double-check beforehand.
Unlike many states, the state of Pennsylvania does not legally require foreign drivers to apply for - and obtain - international driving permits, but these permits are strongly recommended. Learn more about foreign driving in PA by downloading our complimentary guide.
The rules for visiting drivers are not the same throughout each state. Many states within the U.S. do not recognize foreign drivers licenses, and should you need to cross Pennsylvania state lines, you will need to have an international driving permit. These permits must be requested prior to your visit, so it can be crucial that you obtain one, even if Pennsylvania does not legally require you to have one as part of the foreign visitor driving requirements.
International driving permits for visitors driving in PA can be obtained through AAA (American Automobile Association) and AATA (American Automobile Touring Alliance). Be aware of online scams regarding obtaining an international driving permit. Always apply for an international driving permit through a reputable source, such as the AAA or AATA. In order to obtain an international foreigners driving permit you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Have a current and valid drivers license within your country of origin.
- Have a license that is valid for a minimum of six months beyond the international driving permit issue date.
In addition to rules for visiting drivers, if you are new to Pennsylvania, you should keep the following in mind when you are planning your trip:
- Potential hazards and dangerous road conditions
- Local roads or areas that you should avoid
- The availability of roadside assistance, should something go wrong with your motor vehicle
- Whether you need any spare tires, fuel or a map of Pennsylvania
- The local Pennsylvania laws and driving culture
- Local emergency numbers
You should also check the weather for Pennsylvania before your arrival so that you can be prepared both on the road and with the general climate.
Finally, keep in mind that, alongside of these foreign visitors driving requirements, you will still be responsible for paying any traffic tickets or parking citations that you receive while in Pennsylvania.
Learn more about visiting drivers by downloading our comprehensive guide.