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How to Apply for a New Driver's License in West Virginia

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West Virginia residents must apply for drivers licenses if they want to legally operate a motor vehicle within the state. New drivers license applicants will be required to provide proof of identity, Social Security Number, WV residency and legal name change (if applicable). Along with submitting the needed documentation, potential West Virginia driving license holders will have to pass a series of exams, including the written drivers test, the vision exam and the driving skills test.

Did you know? More than half of first-time drivers license applicants fail the written drivers test on their first try. Do not be one of them. Use our online practice driving tests to get fully prepared for the exam day.

How to Apply for a West Virginia Driver's License:

  • Visit a WV DMV location.
  • Provide the required documentation.
  • Pass a vision screening.
  • Pass a written exam and a road skills test.
  • Pay the WV drivers license fees.

Continue reviewing the sections below for more information on getting drivers licenses in West Virginia.

Types of Drivers Licenses in West Virginia

Before applying for drivers licenses in West Virginia, applicants must know what type of license they need to operate their vehicle. They can choose from the following types of drivers licenses:

  • Class A commercial drivers license (CDL) - issued to drivers who operate a combination of vehicles with a weight of 26,001 pounds or more (GCWR).
  • Class B CDL license - issued to drivers who operate single vehicles with a weight of 26,001 pounds or more (GVWR).
  • Class C CDL license - issued to drivers who operate vehicles with a weight of less than 26,001 pounds (GCWR and GVWR) and which are designed to transport 16 or more passengers.
  • Class D non-commercial drivers license for hire - issued to drivers who operate non-commercial vehicles for hire.
  • Class E drivers license - issued to drivers who operate passenger vehicles.
  • Class F motorcycle license - issued to drivers who operate motorcycles.
  • Class X identification cards - issued to non-drivers.

First-Time Driver (Under 18) in West Virginia

First-time West Virginia drivers license applicants need to apply for a drivers permit first. Potential drivers must be at least 15 years of age and pass a DMV permit knowledge test to get a learners permit. Additionally, they need to collect the necessary documentation and submit it (along with driving permit fees) at the nearest WV DMV location, while accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

For more information, visit our Learner's Permit page.

West Virginia New Drivers (Over 18)

To get a drivers license in West Virginia, applicants must pass both a written test and a road skills test.

WV Driver's Study Guide and Driver's Practice Test

The West Virginia Driver's Licensing Handbook is the best source of information on road rules and traffic laws you need to know for both the written test and the road skills test. We offer you our driving practice tests as a preparation tool for the official written test. These practice tests contain questions similar to those you will encounter on the exam day.

How to Apply for Drivers Licenses in WV

The process for getting a drivers license in West Virginia includes visiting the nearest WV DMV office and providing the necessary documentation. Drivers license applicants need to present the following:

  • Proof of your identity.
  • Proof of your Social Security Number.
  • Proof of your legal name change, if applicable.
  • Two proofs of your West Virginia residency.

WV Eligibility Requirements

To obtain an unrestricted drivers license in West Virginia, applicants must be at least 17 years of age and must have already begun with the WV Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program. They also need to hold an intermediate drivers license for at least one year. Driving applicants who have completed the first two stages of the GDL program will have taken the written test and the road skills test. However, first-time applicants, who are 18 years of age or older when applying for a drivers license, will be required to take and pass both examinations, as well as vision screening.

WV Written/Driving Test

The drivers license applicants must pass a written knowledge examination a part of the application process. The written test will examine your knowledge on traffic laws and road rules. Get prepared by studying the West Virginia Driver's Licensing Handbook and utilizing our practice driving tests. These practice tests contain questions similar to those you will have to answer on the official exam.

WV Driving Test

Once drivers license applicants pass the written test, they will have to pass the road skills test. This test examines the applicant's skills in operating a motor vehicle in a safe and responsible manner. The road skills test may include the following select maneuvers:

  • Making left and right turns.
  • Obeying traffic control lights and stop signs.
  • Using all arm or directional light signals.
  • Slowing down or turning the vehicle.
  • Changing lanes.

New West Virginia Resident

New West Virginia residents must visit the nearest DMV office in order to transfer their out-of-state drivers licenses within 30 days of establishing residency. To get a drivers license in West Virginia, new residents must provide documents proving their identity, Social Security Number, name change (if necessary) and residency. You will also need to pass a vision exam and complete an alcohol awareness course. In case that your out-of-state drivers license is expired, you will need to retake the written and road skills tests at the WV DMV office.

New West Virginia residents also need to transfer their out-of-state registration and title for their used motor vehicles. The WV Division of Motor Vehicles requires new residents to complete a vehicle inspection within 10 days from the day they have registered and titled their used motor vehicle.

Replace Drivers License in West Virginia

If your license gets lost, stolen or mutilated, go in person to the nearest WV DMV office and get a duplicate drivers license. For more detailed information on the process of replacing drivers license, follow this link.

Locate a DMV in West Virginia

Find out the contact details of each DMV branch throughout the state, by browsing our WV DMV locations page. Here you will find all the phone numbers, addresses and working hours of each West Virginia DMV.

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