How to Apply for a Drivers License in West Virginia
New drivers licenses cannot be obtained online or by mail. Instead, you must apply for a new license in person at a local DMV. While there, you must pass a vision screening, a written exam and a skills test. To make sure that you are prepared, download our informative online drivers license guide. Our guide contains everything you need to know to complete this application easily and quickly. In it, you will get in-depth details on how to complete other important licensing transactions, such as updating personal information on your license, renewing your license and replacing a lost one.
2. In Person at the DMV
To obtain a new drivers license at the DMV, you must submit identification documents and pass mandatory tests. A birth certificate or passport can verify your name and age, and a utility bill can prove your state residency. Generally, you must pass a written knowledge exam and a road skills test. You must also fill out a drivers license application form and pay the applicable fees. However, you may not know which forms to complete or if you are already eligible to take your exams. Arriving at the DMV unprepared may result in long wait times and potential mistakes, which could mean having to redo the process.
A West Virginia drivers license allows eligible residents to operate vehicles on public roads. In general, all new drivers license applications must be processed by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which is administered by the state Department of Transportation (DOT). Overall, applicants who are 15 years of age or older must apply for an instructional permit before obtaining a license with full privileges.
On the other hand, motorists who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to obtain a full WV DMV license without having to meet some of the requirements in place for younger applicants. If you are a licensed motorist who has recently moved from another state, you may transfer your valid out-of-state driving credential to West Virginia. In any case, documents proving your identity and state residency must be presented. To learn more about the requirements and costs related to obtaining a DMV driver’s license, read the sections below.
How to Apply for a Drivers License in West Virginia as an Adult (18 or Older)
If you have recently moved to West Virginia and hold an out-of-state license, you are required to apply for a state-issued DMV license once you have established residency. On the other hand, residents learning how to drive for the first time may apply for a learner’s permit. Depending on the situation, you may be required to complete additional testing in order to obtain a license to drive.
If you have never been issued a drivers license before, you will have to acquire a West Virginia learner’s permit first. Generally, this permit grants you the right to operate a vehicle only if you are accompanied by a licensed motorist who is at least 21 years of age. In order to qualify for a learner’s permit, you must pass a knowledge test and undergo a vision screening. Once you have held a permit for at least 30 days, you may take the road skills test and apply for a full WV DMV license.
If you have held an out-of-state DMV drivers license before, you may be eligible to transfer your credential to West Virginia. However, if your out-of-state license has been revoked or suspended, you are not eligible to transfer it. On the other hand, applicants with an expired out-of-state license may still apply for a transfer, as long as they submit a certified driving record dated 30 days before a drivers license application is submitted to the DMV. New residents with expired licenses and no driving records must pass the knowledge and road skills tests in order to be eligible for a WV DMV license.
Steps to Obtain a New Drivers License in West Virginia as an Adult
If you are 18 years of age or older and wish to apply for a new drivers license, you will be required to undergo certain steps. Among them, consider the following:
- Complete a DMV drivers license application form. A WV driver’s license online form may be printed and completed prior to arriving at a DMV office.
- Provide proof of Social Security Number (SSN), such as a Social Security card.
- Submit proof of identity, such as a passport or birth certificate.
- Provide proof of state residency in two forms, such as a utility bill or lease agreement.
- Pass the written knowledge test.
- Complete the vision screening.
- Pay for any applicable fees.
You may take the road skills exam 30 days after a permit DMV license has been issued. This type of test must be taken at the DMV office or at an approved testing center.
What You Need to Get Your License in West Virginia as a New Resident
New residents of West Virginia must apply for a DMV license within 30 days of establishing residency in the state. Eligible applicants may transfer their current out-of-state credentials to WV by following these steps:
- Fill out the driver’s license application form and select the “transfer” box.
- Undergo a vision screening.
- Complete a brief alcohol awareness course at the DMV.
- Provide proof of identity, state residency and SSN.
- Provide a certified driving record, if applicable.
- Surrender your out-of-state license.
- Pay any applicate license fees.
Note: In certain cases, additional DMV drivers license tests may be required.
How to Get Drivers License Cards in West Virginia as a Teen (Younger Than 18)
If you are younger than 18 years of age, you must apply for a graduated drivers license before a full license can be issued to you. There are three graduated driver’s license levels. Each level is only available to applicants of a certain age group. To learn more about these credentials, read the following sections.
In order to apply for a new drivers license in West Virginia, young motorists must be state residents and be able to demonstrate parental consent. On the other hand, emancipated minors do not require parental consent, and must simply provide documents proving their emancipation. While driver education courses are not required in West Virginia, all applicants who are younger than 18 years of age must pass the knowledge and road skills tests in order to be eligible to apply for a driver’s license.
West Virginia Graduated Drivers License Program Eligibility Requirements
Generally, the WV driver’s license requirements for each level differ according to the age and experience of each motorist. For instance, consider the following guidelines:
- Instructional permit – Motorists must be at least 15 years of age and:
- Hold a driver’s eligibility certificate from the school board
- Undergo a vision screening
- Pass the written knowledge test
- Provide written consent from a parent or legal guardian
- Intermediate drivers license – Applicants must be at least 16 years of age and:
- Hold a driver’s eligibility certificate from the school board
- Pass the road skills test
- Complete 50 hours of driving experience, including 10 hours of nighttime driving
- Hold an instructional permit for six months without any traffic violations
- Class E DMV license – Motorists must be at least 17 years of age and:
- Hold a driver’s eligibility certificate from the school board or a high school diploma
- Hold an intermediate license for at least one year without any traffic violations
Steps to Obtain a New Drivers License in West Virginia as a Teen
Motorists must visit the DMV in person to apply for a new driver’s license. Depending on the type of credential, you may be required to complete tests before submitting an application. Thus, consider the following guidelines for submitting these applications:
- Instructional permit – Visit the DMV and complete the following steps to apply for a permit:
- Submit a completed driver’s eligibility certificate and letter.
- Submit a completed driver’s license application form, signed by a parent or legal guardian.
- Present a certified birth certificate and your Social Security card.
- Present proof of residency. You may use the driver’s eligibility certificate as proof.
- Take and pass the knowledge exam, which consists of 25 questions and may be taken at the DMV.
- Undergo the vision screening.
- Pay for the permit fee.
- Intermediate DMV license – Visit the DMV after holding a learner’s permit for more than six months and follow the steps below.
- Complete the driver’s license application form and mark the “skills test” box.
- Take the road skills tests at a DMV office or testing center.
- Submit a log sheet certifying that you have completed 50 hours of driving experience. This form must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.
- Present proof of your driver’s eligibility certificate.
- Present proof of identity, WV residency and SSN.
- Pay for the license fee.
- Driver’s license – Visit the DMV after holding an intermediate license for one year and compete the following steps:
- Complete the drivers license application form and select the “level three license” box.
- Present proof of your driver’s eligibility certificate or your high school diploma.
- Pay for the license fee.
Young applicants have the option to apply for a West Virginia DMV drivers license after meeting the state’s requirements and holding an intermediate credential until they are 18 years of age. Out-of-state minors who hold equivalent permits are allowed to transfer these credentials to WV in order to avoid having to take duplicate examinations.
While carrying an instructional DMV license, motorists must only drive while accompanied by a licensed resident who is 21 years of age or older at all times. In addition, they cannot have more than two additional passengers in the vehicle, unless they are immediate family members. Furthermore, this type of permit only allows motorists to drive between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Intermediate drivers license holders must be accompanied by a licensed motorist who is older than 21 years of age when driving between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Moreover, they cannot drive with a non-family member younger than 20 years of age during the first six months of being licensed.
West Virginia Drivers License Costs
The driver’s license cost in West Virginia varies depending on the age of an applicant. Consider the following fees when applying for a driving credential in the state:
- Instructional permit: $7.50
- Intermediate DMV license: $7.50
- Driver’s license (for motorists younger than 18 years of age): $2.50 per year
- Driver’s license (for motorists 18 years of age or older): $5 per year