Car registration plates in West Virginia are required by West Virginia law to be displayed on all vehicles that are driven in the state. You will receive new registration plates when you register a vehicle in West Virginia, along with a registration card. Registration is required so that law enforcement can see by looking at your car that you possess a registered tag and vehicle. Additionally, the driver’s identity can be looked up based on the WV car registration plate number. This makes for safer roads and helps in emergency situations. The license plate registration process is more convenient than ever via the online DMV driver services system. Continue reading the sections below to learn more about license plate services, including when you need to renew, replace or transfer your tags.

Types of License Plates in West Virginia

Drivers seeking to get a license plate in West Virginia will note that there are various types of options available. When learning how to get a license plate in WV, the standard car tag features a white background with the state name and “Wild, Wonderful” in dark blue and gold print. The standard-issue DMV license plate is the least expensive tag option. Additionally, there are multiple other special license plate options with an array of designs to select from, although each of these comes with an increased price. These special license plates represent various causes and groups, with designs that range from scenic graphics to military-themed images. You can also car tags that are personalized with your name or a favorite word or phrase, if you wish.

How to Apply for a License Plate in West Virginia

An inspection is the first step to get a license plate in West Virginia for a new vehicle. A current safety inspection sticker is required for the initial titling and registration process, which usually happens at the same time in WV. Applicants for new registration plates in WV must appear in person at a regional WV DMV office and bring a valid driver license, proof of insurance, the current vehicle title or manufacturer’s statement of origin and payment for the associated fees.

How to Renew License Plate Tags in West Virginia

There are multiple options for renewing license plate tags in WV. You will receive a registration renewal notice reminding you to renew license plate registration approximately 30 days prior to your current registration’s expiration. DMV online services allows for car tag renewal online, or you may submit your license plate renewal in person or by mail.

To perform a license plate renewal online, provide all the required information such as proof of insurance and personal property tax information. You will also need a valid credit card to pay your fees and taxes electronically. You may also visit any DMV Regional Office for a plate renewal by bringing your insurance information, renewal notice, personal property tax receipt and fee payment. Depending on your county of residence, you may be able to contact your local sheriff’s office and find out about renewing plates credentials there. If available, the clerk at the sheriff’s office will need to see the same documents as with the other renewal options. If you prefer to mail your registration renewal, send it to the address below, along with proper fees and required supporting documents.

Note: The process of renewing your tags often happens at the same time as when you are renewing your registration.

How to Replace License Plates in West Virginia

For lost or stolen plates, you can replace a license plate in West Virginia for a small fee. Notify the WV State Police as soon as you notice your DMV license plate is missing, or if you suspect it was stolen. To replace lost tags in West Virginia, you will need to show proof of insurance. Replacing a license plate can be done via the online system. If you are wondering how to replace license plate tags online, the system provides easy instructions or you can contact the WV DMV by phone for assistance.

How to Transfer License Plates in West Virginia

You can transfer a title and DMV car tag to a newly purchased car in West Virginia as long as you provide a proof of insurance card. License plate transfers can also be handled online via the West Virginia online DMV service center.

West Virginia License Plate Fees

There is a basic fee for standard new registration plates in West Virginia is, and it is the same price to renew the license plate each year. You can pay for two years at a time if you wish. If your car registration tag is worn out or illegible, you may request a new one for free when processing your vehicle registration or tag renewal. Otherwise, requesting new plates at any other time incurs a separate fee. A scenic tag requires additional fees.

Other drivers license and registration fees include those for registration card replacements and a fee for a license plate decal replacement. These can both be easily obtained via the West Virginia online DMV system for driver services.

License Plate Lookups in West Virginia

For a West Virginia DMV license plate lookup, download and fill out the Request for Vehicle Information form. You may mail it to the address above or take it to the main WV DMV office.

Last updated on Monday, September 24 2018.

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