New Residents

Driver's Licenses and ID Cards

If you have a valid non-expired out-of-state license, you are eligible to transfer the license. If the out-of-state license is expired, you are required to take all examination tests, vision, written, and road skills examination(s) before making application for a driver's license. You are required to pass a vision screening, complete a brief alcohol awareness course, and surrender your out-of-state license before a WV license will be issued. A transfer applicant must present all documents that are required. If you have a motorcycle endorsement on your license, the Division will transfer the endorsement for an additional fee of $5.00.

A new resident who does not have possession of the out-of-state license or if it has expired, must obtain a certified driving record, dated no more than 30 days from the date of the application, from the state in which they were previously licensed.

If your out-of-state license is suspended or revoked, you will not be licensed in WV, until you receive a “clearance” in the PDPS. It is illegal to drive in WV with a suspended or revoked license. All applicants for a WV driver's license must be verified with the PDPS. It is important to confirm that you are not under suspension in any other jurisdiction before attempting to obtain a license in WV.

Out-of-state Transfers for Applicants Under 18 Years of Age

Any applicant under 18 years of age, who does not possess a graduated driver’s license that either equals or exceeds WV’s Level 2 GDL intermediate driver’s license, or who was previously licensed in a state or jurisdiction which does not have a graduated drive’s license program, must complete the road skills test and written examination as if they’ve never held a driver’s license. However, if the applicant provides a current driving record from their previous state or jurisdiction when they come in to apply for their WV driver’s license, they will be credited with the length of time they held their previous driver’s license to be put towards the required time period for a Level 1 GDL instruction permit.

Upon obtaining a WV graduated driver’s license, the driving record from the applicant’s previous state or jurisdiction becomes part of their WV driving record.

Title and Registration Information

New Residents must have their vehicles titled and registered within thirty (30) days of establishing residency.

The fees include a $15 title fee, a $10 lien fee if applicable, and a regular registration fee of $51.50. The titling sales 6% sales tax on a vehicles' value has been eliminated for new residents moving into West Virginia with a vehicle already title in their name in another state. The vehicle has to be in the name of the applicant when they apply for title and will be titled in the same name as the out-of-state title. In order to qualify for the exemption, the new resident must meet the standards listed below:

  1. The applicant was not a resident of this state at the time of purchasing or otherwise acquiring ownership of the vehicle. The out-of-state title in their name with an out-of-state address would be the proof. There is no limit on how long the vehicle was titled in their name in another state.
  2. Presents evidence as the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may require of having titled the vehicle in the applicant's previous state of residence. The out-of-state title in the applicant's name with an out-of-state address would be the proof.
  3. Has relocated to this state and can present such evidence as the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may require showing bona fide residency in this state. A new West Virginia driver's license or any other documents we would accept for proof of residency for a West Virginia driver's license.
  4. Makes application to the division and pays all the fees required by law within thirty (30) days of establishing residency in this state.

The exemption also applies to vehicles (i.e. motor boats, trailers, ATV's, etc.) that are only registered and no title exists.

This exemption does not apply to leased vehicles, as the tax on them is different that the standard vehicles. To receive tax credit on a vehicle being traded for a new vehicle purchased in West Virginia the trade-in must be first titled in West Virginia.

If you are moving to West Virginia and the vehicle is titled in your name in another state and the title is not being held by a lien holder, you would need to submit your out-of-state title along with a West Virginia title application (DMV-1-TR). You would also need to complete an odometer disclosure, your insurance information can be listed on the title application, but must be insured by a company licensed to sell insurance in West Virginia.

If you are moving to West Virginia and the vehicle title is being held by a lien holder, you must submit the following:

  1. A completed Application for Certificate of Title DMV-1-TR
  2. Insurance information, can be listed on title application
  3. A completed Odometer Disclosure Statement DMV-TM-1 A copy of the title or a printout if an electronic lien of your out-of-state title and a letter from your lien holder stating they are holding your title, the letter should include the vehicle information along with their correct mailing address. (see Title section for fees)