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Guide to the West Virginia DMV

west virginia dmv

If you’re a car owner moving to West Virginia, or purchasing a car in West Virginia, you will need to know the basics of vehicle registration.

New Auto Registration in West Virginia

In West Virginia, vehicles are registered in the county that the owner resides, through the Department of Transportation. According to West Virginia law, you will have thirty days to register your vehicle and obtain a West Virginia license. Before applying for your registration, you will have to have to obtain West Virginia auto insurance.

In order to complete a new registration, you need to:

West Virginia Vehicle Inspections

West Virginia requires most vehicles to undergo safety inspections annually. These inspections will not correlate with vehicle registration. Vehicles that fail can be repaired and retested. If you have moved from a reciprocity state and have a valid safety inspection sticker from that state, your sticker is valid in West Virginia until its expiration date. Those states are: Louisiana, Wyoming, Mississippi, Utah, Missouri, Texas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and New York. Your inspection fee will not exceed $14.66.

West Virginia Auto Registration Renewal

Your county will send you a renewal notice to remind you that your registration is about to expire. You can renew by mail or in person. You will need your registration renewal notice, a copy of your insurance, your personal property tax receipt, and payment for your renewal fees ($30 for one year, $60 for two).

West Virginia Vehicle Title Process

If you purchase a vehicle from a dealer in West Virginia, the dealer will complete the title application and submit it for you. To complete the auto title transfer yourself, you will need:

Getting Your West Virginia Driver’s License

If you have an out-of-state license that is valid and unexpired, you won’t have to pass a written knowledge or road skills test. To apply for a West Virginia driver’s license, you should visit your local DMV and:

  • Surrender your valid out-of-state license
  • Complete an Application for a Driver’s License or Photo ID (Form DMV-DS-23P) which will list your licensing fee
  • Complete an alcohol awareness course
  • Pass a vision exam
  • Provide proof of identity, Social Security number, West Virginia residency, and name change if applicable
  • Pay the applicable fees – West Virginia implemented a “Drive for Five” program which means that your license expires every five years on your birth month of an age divisible by five (25,30, 35, etc.)

West Virginia Auto Insurance Requirements

West Virginia requires all drivers to have liability and uninsured coverages, to meet the following minimums:


  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person
  • $50,000 for total bodily injury or death per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage

Your uninsured motorist coverage minimums are equal to the liability coverage minimums. Also, insurance providers are required to offer you the maximum limits of uninsured motorist coverage of:

  • $100,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $50,000 for property damage