1. Travel
Send to a Friend via Email

Newcomer's Guide to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

By

Welcome to Pittsburgh! Now that you've made the decision to move to the Pittsburgh region, here are some of the things you need to know to get settled quickly into your new home and become a part of the vibrant Pittsburgh community.

Register Your Vehicle

New residents are required to apply for a Pennsylvania title and registration for their vehicle(s) within 20 days of establishing residency, and collision insurance is required on all motor vehicles. Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles for further details and online registration or downloadable forms. Out-of-state driver's licenses must be converted to a Pennsylvania driver's license within 60 days of establishing permanent residency in the state. Learner's permits can be obtained for new drivers ages 16 and older. Vehicle inspections, including emissions, are required on an annual basis.

Register to Vote

To be eligible to vote in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania, you must be a registered voter. To register you must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Pennsylvania and 18 years of age by the next general election. Voter registration in Allegheny County is available at the County Office Building in downtown Pittsburgh or through the mail. Pennsylvania is a closed primary state, so if you want to vote in a particular party's primary election you'll need to register as a member of that party.

License Your Dog and Boat


Pennsylvania has a number of other license, permit, and registration requirements including boat registration, dog licenses, and hunting and fishing licenses.

Connect Your Utilities

Pennsylvania residents have the right to choose the company that supplies their telephone, natural gas or electric service. For a listing of public utilities available in your area and the prices they are charging for residential service, visit Pennsylvania Utility Choice. Other utilities, such as water, are monopolies by necessity. Contact your local municipality for water and sewage service. Comcast is the dominant cable TV service in the greater Pittsburgh area, but many municipalities are served by other cable TV providers. Pittsburgh area Internet service providers offer dial-up, DSL and broadband.

Emergency Services & 9-1-1

All municipalities in Allegheny County, including the City of Pittsburgh, participate in the countywide 9-1-1 emergency response program. In emergency situations this is the best number to use because your address will be displayed automatically to call takers as long as you're calling on a wired phone (this doesn't work for cellular phones). Surrounding Western Pennsylvania counties, including Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland also participate in 9-1-1. Other Pittsburgh area crisis services include a variety of hotlines and helplines for poison emergencies, family crisis, etc.

Get a Library Card

In Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, all residents are eligible for a free library card with proper identification and proof of residency. If you are not a resident of Allegheny County but belong to a library that participates in Access Pa, you may also receive a library card in any Allegheny County library free of charge. A valid library card from any public library in Allegheny County allows you to use the services of any library in the county. Computers and Internet access are also available at all Allegheny County libraries.
  1. About.com
  2. Travel
  3. Pittsburgh
  4. Uniquely Pittsburgh
  5. Relocation
  6. Moving to Pittsburgh - Tips for New Pittsburgh Residents Newcomer Resources

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.