A service person may maintain Pennsylvania registration on their vehicle or may title and register the vehicle in the jurisdiction in which they are stationed.
If Your Vehicle is Registered
You must maintain registration on your vehicle and you may be eligible to renew your vehicle for either a one-year or two-year registration period.
Effective December 31, 2016, customers who renew their registration online will print their permanent registration credential. PennDOT no longer mails a registration card for registrations renewed online.
Act 89, signed into law November 25, 2013, provided for the elimination of vehicle registration stickers. As of December 31, 2016, PennDOT no longer issue registration stickers. Customers are still required to maintain a valid and current registration and must present the registration card to law enforcement when asked. The valid registration card is also still required when having a safety inspection completed. NOTE: You may renew or change your address online if you are maintaining a Pennsylvania address. If you wish to change your address to an out-of-state or out-of-country address, you will need to complete Form MV-8 (PDF), “Self-Certification for Proof of Residency.”
You must have the vehicle inspected within ten (10) days after returning to the commonwealth. NOTE: Anyone can take the vehicle to be inspected, provided they have valid proof of ownership (usually the registration card) and valid proof of insurance.
If your insurance will lapse while you are on military duty, the registration plate should be returned to PennDOT as soon as the insurance is cancelled by mailing it to:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Return Tag Unit
PO Box 68597
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8597
If we receive notification from the insurance company that a policy has been cancelled, you must send the following items to PennDOT:
A copy of your military orders indicating your departure and date of return. The lapse in coverage must have occurred while the owner or registrant was on temporary, emergency duty and the vehicle was not being operated during the period of lapse in financial responsibility.
Proof of coverage must be submitted indicating coverage was obtained within 30 days of the date of your return.
A notarized affidavit that the vehicle was not operated during the lapse in coverage.
If your vehicle is titled and registered in the jurisdiction of military assignment, upon returning to Pennsylvania to title and register the vehicle, you must provide:
A valid certificate of title for each vehicle you want to register in Pennsylvania, issued in your name, from your previous state.
Proof of Pennsylvania insurance, such as a valid insurance identification card, declaration page of an insurance policy, a copy of a valid binder or a copy of an application for insurance to the Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan for all of the vehicles you will be registering. These documents must indicate both effective and expiration dates.
Acceptable Proof of Identification.
A completed Form MV-1, “Application for Certificate of Title.” NOTE: Form MV-1 is not available online. This form must be completed by an authorized agent of the department. Most notaries, dealers, and messenger services are authorized agents and will be able to complete an application for title and issue you a temporary registration. Some authorized agents are online with the department and are able to issue you a registration card on the spot. To search for an On-Line Messenger in your area that processes new resident title and transfer online, visit the Locations Information Center.
A tracing of the vehicle identification number (VIN) or the verification of the VIN by an inspection mechanic or notary public at a dealership or issuing agent.
Appropriate certificate of title, lien, registration fees and sales tax (if applicable).
If you are titling and registering a leased vehicle, the leasing company will also be required to complete Form MV-1L (PDF), “Application for Lessee Information.” NOTE: A Power of Attorney may be required from the leasing company.
When completing Section A of Form MV-1, the vehicle identification number (VIN) must be verified to ensure that the number listed on the out-of-state title matches the number on the vehicle's VIN plate. A VIN plate tracing must be attached to the reverse side of the white copy of all MV-1 applications for PA certificates of title for the following vehicles:
All trucks or truck tractors - VIN plate tracings of trucks should contain the:
Complete Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR)
All motor homes
All vehicles previously titled in another state.
A tracing is obtained by placing tracing paper against the VIN plate and applying pressure with a lead pencil, stroking left to right across the entire surface of the VIN plate to produce on the paper an image of all information which has been embossed on the plate. If you are unable to locate your vehicle's VIN plate or you are unable to secure a legible tracing of the plate, contact a certified inspection mechanic or notary public at a motor vehicle dealership. These individuals are authorized to inspect and verify the VIN when a tracing of the plate is not possible. The certified Pennsylvania inspection mechanic or notary public employed by a dealership must list their name, DIN or mechanic's number and signature in Section A.
NOTE: A photograph of a vehicle's VIN plate is acceptable if the photograph is signed and dated by a Pennsylvania certified inspection mechanic or a notary public employed by a dealership.) The certified inspection mechanic or notary public's signature indicates that he/she visually inspected the VIN on the vehicle and it matches the VIN on the out-of-state title. If the vehicle is located outside of Pennsylvania, the VIN must be verified by a police officer, a mechanic employed by a motor vehicle dealership or an armed forces installation provost marshal or motor officer.
The vehicle must be inspected at a safety inspection station within ten (10) days after the registration plate is issued.
Pay applicable title and registration fees and PA sales tax (if applicable).
Fee to record a lien
Registration fees will vary depending on vehicle type. Please refer to Form MV-70S (PDF), “BMV Schedule of Fees.”
Fee for each additional registration card.
Fee to transfer a Pennsylvania registration plate (if applicable.) Increase or replacement fees may be required.
Your county may impose an annual fee of $5 for each vehicle registered in that county. The $5 fee is collected by PennDOT at the time a vehicle is initially registered and annually when the registration is renewed. The fee is based on the number of years a customer wants to register their vehicle. Customers who register their vehicle for multiple years will pay the annual $5 fee for every year of registration. This means customers will pay a fee of $10 for a two-year or $25 for a five-year vehicle registration. For a listing of counties that participate in the local use fee, refer to the “Fee for Local Use - Participating Counties” (PDF) Fact Sheet.
If the vehicle is purchased overseas and you want to bring the vehicle into the United States, you will need to obtain the Import/Export Vehicles Frequently Asked Questions for instructions on registering in Pennsylvania.
If you owned the vehicle for more than six months prior to applying for a Pennsylvania Certificate of Title and your home of record was Pennsylvania at the time of purchase, sales tax will be 6% (7% for residents of Allegheny County or 8% for City of Philadelphia residents) of the vehicle's fair market value at the time of first entry into Pennsylvania, less credit for tax paid in a reciprocal state.
If you owned the vehicle for less than six months prior to applying for a Pennsylvania Certificate of Title and your home of record is Pennsylvania, sales tax will be 6% (7% for residents of Allegheny County or 8% for City of Philadelphia residents) of the vehicle's purchase price or on the fair market value at the time of first entry into Pennsylvania, less credit for tax paid in a reciprocal state to the application for title.
All states are reciprocal except Alaska, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon and West Virginia. Most Motor Vehicle forms are available online.
Forms among the most commonly requested by military customers are:
MV-44 (PDF), "Application for Duplicate Registration Card or Replacement of Lost, Stolen or Defaced Registration Plate"
MV-41 (PDF), "Application for Correction of Vehicle Record"
Driver's License Information
The Pennsylvania Driver's License of a service person on active duty in the United States Armed Forces will continue to be valid as long as active service continues outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and for an additional 45 days after returning to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or following separation from the Armed Forces. This also applies to the Pennsylvania Driver's License of the service person’s spouse and dependent child(ren), who reside in the same household. In addition, Pennsylvania issues a valid without photo driver’s license to individuals who at the time of renewal will be absent from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 60 days due to Active Duty Military Status.
Service persons and their family members may also choose to renew their licenses at four-year intervals.
To be considered valid, an expired license must be legible and in the possession of the service person and/or family member(s). Each service person must also have papers in his/her possession indicating the service assignment outside PA. PennDOT does not issue special licenses to military personnel, nor does it affix a special stamp to these licenses.
If you need a license due to loss or change of address after your license has expired, you must renew in order for PennDOT to produce a license. PennDOT cannot issue a duplicate license after the license has expired.
You may wish to apply for a Military Status Endorsement Card. This will ensure that your PA driving record remains valid during your enlistment and extended absences from PA. You may complete Form DL-176 (PDF), "Military Status Endorsement Card", and submit it along with proof documentation to the address listed on the form for processing.
NOTE: The Military Endorsement Card is not a valid licensing product. It only ensures that your driving record will remain in PennDOT files during your active military status. If you are active duty military you must still retain an expired product as indicated above.
For more information on the vehicle registration and driver licensing requirements for active duty military, please refer to the Armed Forces Personnel Fact Sheet (PDF).
Military Commercial Driver's License Testing Waiver
Act 133 of 2008 and Act 131 of 2020 allow the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to waive the Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Knowledge and/or Skills Test for Pennsylvania residents who are active or reserve duty military or recent honorably discharged veterans. Provided those service members have at least two years' experience operating a commercial motor vehicle as part of their military job requirements. The waiver applies to CDL applicants who wish to operate vehicles similar to those they operated in the military.
Military members and recently separated veterans must first apply for a CDL by completing Form DL-31CD (PDF), "Application to Add/Extend/Remove Commercial Driver's License", and return it to PennDOT along with the DL-11CD (PDF), "Self Certification Form" and applicable fee. The applicant will be sent a Knowledge Test Authorization Letter. After recieving the Knowledge Test Authorization Letter, the applicant may visit a Driver License Center and Apply for a Knoledge and/or skills test waiver by submitting a completed DL-398 (PDF) form: "Military Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Test Waiver Application". For more information about the CDL Test Waiver and to find out if you are eligible, please refer to the Military Commercial Driver's License Testing Waiver Fact Sheet (PDF). Please visit the Locations Information Center to find a Driver License Center near you.
Please refer to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations ( 49 CFR 383.77).
Adding Veterans Designation to CDL
At this time, we cannot process CDL renewals or duplicates online and cannot add the Veterans Designation online. Please see the options below to renew your CDL or obtain a duplicate at which time you can add the Veterans Designation and certify that you meet the requirements.
Renewing your CDL
To renew your CDL, please complete and mail in a DL-143CD (PDF) form and applicable fees.
Obtaining a Duplicate CDL
To obtain a duplicate CDL, please complete and mail in a DL-80CD (PDF) form and applicable fees.
PA Veterans' Registry
The PA Veterans Registry is an online application that allows veterans, family members and people who work with veterans to connect with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) to request information related to the valuable state benefits, programs and services offered. Please take a moment to register by clicking here.