The Compulsory Insurance Law in West Virginia includes motorcycles. So any state resident who wants to operate a motorcycle legally must establish financial responsibility.

Two-Wheeled Vehicles

The following are defined as two-wheeled vehicles in West Virginia:

  • Any two-wheeled, motor-driven cycle with an engine of 50 cc or more is defined as a motorcycle. All motorcycles must be registered and covered with liability insurance.
  • A vehicle that has an engine of 49 cc or less is defined by the state as a scooter/moped. Motor-driven cycles don’t require registration and insurance, most times.

Note: If your cycle has a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) sticker, chances are you need to register and insure it. Call the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) at (800) 642-9066 for clarification.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Your insurance coverage must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • $10,000 for property damages.
  • $20,000 for one accident, one injury/death.
  • $40,000 for one accident, two injuries/deaths.

Know that there is always an option to maximize your protection by purchasing additional types of coverage. Check the form at the top of the page. You can use it to get insurance for your ride, and save money on motorcycle insurance for the future.

Helmet Requirements

The law in West Virginia says that you must always wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle, scooter, or moped.

Financial Responsibility

Establishing financial responsibility in this state means, getting liability insurance for your motorcycle from a licensed insurance company.

Proof of Insurance

Make sure you always carry your proof of insurance with you, as there are several cases when you’ll need to present it:

  • When you register your motorcycle and renew your registration.
  • Whenever you’re involved in an accident or a law enforcement officer pulls you over.
  • Whenever the DMV randomly selects you and sends a letter requesting proof.

The acceptable proof of insurance usually comes in the form of a valid insurance card, your provider issues to you. Sometimes, you may be able to show your insurance policy’s declarations page or a certified letter from your provider, as proof. Verify this with your local DMV office before relying on either.


In case you can’t present proof of insurance upon a request, or the same happens if you’re involved in an accident, you could face:

  • Registration suspension. To reinstate your registration you must pay $100, plus an extra $50 if the DMV mails the state police a secure order on your license plate. You must also obtain and show proof of liability insurance before the DMV reinstates your license.
  • Driver’s license suspension. For a first offense, the DMV will suspend your license for 30 days. For a second offense, there will be a 90-day suspension. When your suspension period is over, you must pay a $50 reinstatement fee and show proof that you’ve obtained proper liability insurance before you can ride your motorcycle again.

Contact the Compulsory Insurance Section of the Capitol Complex office at (800) 642-9066 for more information on this matter.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.