After you first move to the United States, you probably want to get your affairs in order, which means finding employment. It is much easier to do that when you have a driver’s license. Being able to drive and having reliable transportation is almost always a requirement for a job.
Unfortunately, you may run into some restrictions that could make it hard for you to get a driver’s license. National Law Review explains Pennsylvania law requires lawful permanent residency to secure a license.
Essentially, if you are in the country on a work visa or some other visa and still classified as an immigrant, you cannot get a driver’s license in Pennsylvania. You must first become a lawful permanent resident. At that point, you will have the documentation needed to get your license and legally drive. There is no exception to this rule.
There is a group leading the charge to try to get rights for immigrants. They feel it is unfair not to allow immigrants to get a driver’s license. It holds people back from securing employment and encourages illegal driving. Since immigrants cannot legally drive, they cannot get insurance, so if they drive illegally, they are doing so uninsured, which is dangerous to everyone on the road. Allowing them to secure legal licenses can greatly reduce this issue.
The movement has caught the eye of legislators, and hopefully, they will advance a bill that would change the law. But for now, if you are not a legal permanent resident, you cannot get a driver’s license in the state.