How to Get a Driver’s License in West Virginia

The West Virginia Department of Transportation offers a few different types of licenses and identification cards, and depending on a motorist’s needs there may be a few different ways to obtaining a license. West Virginia requires specific steps taken of first-time license holders as well as drivers who have a license from out of state or who have had a lapse in licensed status.

Anyone who wants to drive a vehicle on West Virginia roads and lives in the state must obtain a driver’s license. This license must be carried at all times when a resident drives his or her vehicle. Some members of the military and some temporary residents, such as college students, are not required to hold a West Virginia license.

West Virginia Drivers License Requirements

There are several documents required of an applicant for a driver’s license in West Virginia, which include at least one acceptable proof-of-identity document, proof of a Social Security number, as well as two proofs of residency for the state of West Virginia. Additional documents may be required for residents who have undergone a name change.

Documents acceptable as proof-of-identity documents are usually state-issued items like birth certificates, passports, and permanent resident cards. When arriving at the DMV for licensing, valid types of proof-of-identity for United States citizens include the following documents:

  • Original or certified copy of a United States-issued birth certificate
  • The United States Military birth certificate
  • Valid U.S. passport, unexpired

Note that West Virginia doesn’t accept birth certificates issued by hospitals or the Bureau of Census records. A birth certificate must have been issued by the Office of Vital Statistics for in-state residents or the National Center for Health Statistics for recently arrived out-of-state applicants.

Foreign-born individuals who reside in West Virginia also have a variety of acceptable proof-of-identity documents they may bring to the DMV which include:

  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship Consular
  • Report of Birth Abroad
  • Employment authorization document
  • Foreign passport with a U.S. Visa
  • Permanent Resident Card

In addition to documents that prove identity, applicants must also provide a document proving the existence of a Social Security number. Acceptable forms of identification for this document include an original Social Security card, a W2 from an employer, or a 1099 form. Ensure that the social security card matches the applicant’s full legal name.

Other requirements of the state for licensing include the following:

  • Minimum age of 15 (based upon license type, may be higher for certain licenses)
  • Completion of a road skills test
  • The passing grade on the written test
  • Successful vision test
  • No driving infractions for permit applicants

West Virginia Drivers License Cost

The license fee for drivers in West Virginia varies based upon the current age of the driver and the type of license sought.

  • Class A, B & C: $8.75 – $26.25
  • Class D: $6.75 – $19.25
  • Classes E & F: $3.50 – $10.50
  • Class X (identification card): $5.00 – $12.50

Licensing Process

West Virginia employs a graduated licensing process, which means that the first license a driver receives will carry several restrictions after which further licenses will be granted after further tests.

The first type of license for a new driver is a Level 1 license, and this license allows individuals between the ages of 15 and 18 the opportunity to drive with a licensed driver in the car. In addition, drivers may only be on the road between the hours of 5 AM and 10 PM. Level I license holders cannot consume alcohol in any quantity and get behind the wheel.

The second license granted is a Level II license and after holding a Level 1 license for at least 6 months and taking a road skills test, some of the restrictions of a Level I are lifted. An applicant will not be granted a Level II license if he or she has received any moving violations in the 6 months prior to application.

The final level of licensing, a Level III, will be granted after a driver has a Level II license for at least a year and hasn’t had any infractions during that time. Additionally, Level III drivers must also be at least 17 years old.

Driver’s Practice Test

West Virginia requires applicants for a driver’s license to take a written test as well as a driving test. The state advises future test takers to take practice written tests before arriving at the DMV to take the actual test. The state also provides a Driver’s Licensing Handbook that is helpful for study.

In addition, the state also requires a standard vision test of all applicants to confirm that a driver has an appropriate vision for driving as well as a driving test conducted in a vehicle of the applicant’s choice. Note that the state will not grant a driving test if the vehicle used during the test is under any type of safety recall or is mechanically impaired.

It is essential for applicants to remember that West Virginia reserves the right to deny a driver’s license to certain individuals. For example, drivers who have been stopped multiple times for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be unable to get a license. Unauthorized residents living in West Virginia are also not allowed to obtain a license.

Take Free Practice Test Now

West Virgina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 1 (Signs)
West Virgina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 2 (Signs)
West Virgina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 3 (Rules)
West Virgina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 4 (Rules)
West Virgina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 5 (Rules)
West Virgina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 6 (Rules)
West Virgina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 7 (Rules)