Suppose I live in NJ with my parents (License + Car is tied to my parents' NJ address), and I decide to rent an apartment from someone in PA for a job.

Hypothetically speaking, since no one is watching me to see which house I go to spend my nights: Do I have to transfer my car registration and driver license to PA?


1 Answer 1


All new residents with out-of-state non-commercial driver's licenses must obtain a PA Driver's License within 60 days of establishing Pennsylvania residency.

All new residents are required to make application for Pennsylvania title and registration of their vehicle(s) within 20 days of establishing residency in Pennsylvania.

When you get pulled over, the cop is going to look at your license and ask, "Is this your current address?"

If you are working in PA during the day, and sleep in PA at night, you do not live in NJ with your parents.


To be clear on this "new resident" status

61 PA Code § 101.1 "defines resident individual as An individual who is domiciled in this Commonwealth..." plus some exceptions that do not matter in this instance because OP is going to rent an apartment in PA.

Domicile is defined in the same section as "The place which an individual intends to be his permanent home and to which he intends to return whenever he may be absent."

Title 61 is the Revenue Title. So for tax purposes, you must have an abode and you must have intentions.

The Education Title (22) defines Domicile : Domicile is the place where one intends to and does, in fact, permanently reside.

So for education purposes you must have intentions and your abode must be permanent. Having a drivers license is one form of proof of residency so presumably the driver's license residency requirement follows the Revenue definition!

Title 22 requires you to prove permanence, and 12 months residence prior to registration as a student is one factor. Oh, and Title 61 explicit tells us that you can be a resident for tax purposes but not for residency purposes.

  • 1
    One note: if the OP happens to be a college student previously domiciled in NJ (whether or not they also have a job in PA) they cannot establish PA residency.
    – user662852
    Oct 8, 2015 at 18:15
  • @user662852 why do you say that?
    – jqning
    Oct 8, 2015 at 18:32
  • a domicile must first be a permanent abode. ""A permanent abode is a house, apartment, dwelling place ... College dormitories, fraternity houses, sorority houses, and off-campus rentals by students do not qualify as a permanent abode. " revenue-pa.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/849/~/…
    – user662852
    Oct 8, 2015 at 18:36
  • 1
    Please travel back in time with me to help me claim the differential between in-state and out-of-state tuition on my behalf, when I did attempt (unsuccessfully) to end PA residency and establish NY residency, with my car, job, and year long leases in NY. ;)
    – user662852
    Oct 8, 2015 at 19:06

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