Health insurance coverage meeting minimum standards is required by federal regulations for J1 scholars and their J2 dependents at all times while in the United States. For more information on these requirements and the options available to you, please visit our Health Insurance page.
If you will be in the U.S. for more than one year and plan to drive while here, you should apply for a Pennsylvania driver’s license.
If you will be in the US for less than one year (i.e., the expiration date on your Form I-20, Form DS-2019, is less than one year away), you are not eligible for a driver’s license. However, you may drive with a valid home country license and international driving permit.
An International Driving Permit (IDP) translates information contained on your driver’s license into 10 languages so that officials in foreign countries are able to interpret your license.
An IDP supplements a valid government-issued license–it does not serve as a replacement for a license. If you are stopped by law enforcement, you will most likely be asked to produce both your IDP and your official driver’s license. You cannot apply for an International Driving Permit in the United States, so you will need to obtain this document before traveling to the U.S.!
Pennsylvania honors a valid foreign driver’s license with an international driving permit for a period of up to one year. If the foreign license and/or international permit expires before one year, the individual must apply for a Pennsylvania learner’s permit to continue to drive in this state.
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