The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles headquarters is located in "The Shops at Kanawha" in Kanawha City.
Citizens from around the state can call for information regarding driver's licensing, vehicle registrations, and all other issues related to the DMV.
The DMV staff works very hard to make sure every call is answered. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions!
Top Frequently Asked Questions of the WV DMV
Disclaimer Statement: Answers are given for the most common practice or scenario. Individual circumstances or scenarios could change the answer to some inquiries. If you have any questions after reading this information, please call 1-800-642-9066 or 1-304-558-3900.
Q: Why do I need to bring in new documents to DMV when I am just renewing my license? I don’t think I have ever had to bring in this much, so why now?
A: DMV has always required these documents when you first obtain a license. However, due to the passage of the REAL ID Act of 2005 by the federal government, a new level of security for obtaining licenses and ID cards is required. DMV is compliant with the new federal standards, which ensure that all applicants are truly who they say they are. It is also necessary for those renewing licenses to be enrolled into the new secured process. This cuts down on identity fraud and counterfeit driver’s licenses.
Q: Where do I get my Certified Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, or Divorce Decree?
A: Call the county clerk’s office (click here for a WV directory) in the courthouse of the county where you were born, applied for your Marriage Certificate, or finalized your Divorce for instructions on how to get certified copies. If you were born in WV, certified copies of Birth and Marriage Certificates can also be obtained through the WV DHHR Office of Vital Statistics. If you were born in another state, the National Center for Health Statistics has information on how to obtain a birth certificate.
Q: What happens if I choose a “Federal Identification Use” card instead of a “Not for Federal Identification Use” card?
A: The documents you are required to provide are the same. With either choice, you will leave the DMV with a 60 day temporary card and your new card will arrive first class mail in approximately 15 business days. But after October 1, 2021, a Not for Federal license or ID card is no longer adequate identification for air travel or access to select federal buildings.
Q: I have a Marriage License or document that acknowledges that I am married, but it does not have the exact words “Certified Marriage Certificate” across the top. Can I use this in place of a Certified Marriage Certificate?
A: If you have a document that certifies your marriage took place and that the agency which issued the document has recorded it, it may be acceptable. To be sure, call ahead at 1-800-642-9066 for clarification.
Q: I came in after January 3, 2012 and renewed my driver’s license, but I have lost it. Do I need to bring in all of the required documents again to get a duplicate license?
A: As long as DMV already has your scanned documents on file, and you have not had a name or address change since your last issuance, you will only be required to bring in one proof of residency when you apply for your duplicate license or ID.
Q: I have changed my name. My new name is on my current U.S. Passport, Social Security card and all proofs of WV residency. Do I still need to provide proof of name change documents?
A: As long as you have a valid Passport or Passport card and all documentation matches, you do not. If you were to use your birth certificate as your proof of identity document and it does not match all of your documentation, you would be required to provide legal name change documents that provide the “link” between your birth name and your current legal name.
Q: My full legal name is John Quincy Public, but I prefer to have John Q. Public on my license. Is that acceptable?
A: You may only use an initial on your license if it is part of your legal name. Abbreviations and initials are not accepted otherwise. If your full legal name is John Q. Public and it appears that way on your birth certificate or on legal name change document, you would be required to use an initial, as it is your full legal name.
Q: I’m using my birth certificate as my identity document and I have been divorced more than once. The last time I was divorced I decided to go back to my maiden name. What name change documentation do I have to bring in to get my license?
A: If you were issued a Divorce Decree that included the legal name change back to your maiden name, you don’t need any name change documents, unless you had another name change (i.e. have gotten remarried). All of your documents must still match.
Q: I’m using my birth certificate as my identity document and I have been divorced more than once. I did not change my legal name after my last divorce. What name change documentation do I have to bring in to get my license?
A: You have more than one proof of identity option when you come to DMV to renew or apply for a license. If you bring in your Birth Certificate you will need all Marriage Certificates and Divorce Decrees that show the link in the names back to your birth name, unless you went back to your maiden name. If you bring in a valid US Passport with your current legal name that matches your Social Security number and proof of WV residency documents, you would not be required to provide all of the paper work linking you back to your birth name.
Q: I have an amended birth certificate to present to DMV. Will this be a problem?
A: As long as it indicates it is a Certified Birth Certificate, it is acceptable.
Q: Why can’t I call my local Regional Office directly?
A: During the development of the Regional Offices it was determined that each office would only be staffed with sufficient personnel to handle over-the-counter transactions. However, recognizing the need for a system to respond to phone questions, the DMV state headquarters established a toll free telephone number to answer any question that you might have for a Regional Office, including local questions like driver testing. This centralized service allows our Customer Service Representatives in the Regional Offices to concentrate on serving the customers with direct service.
Q: What are the days and hours of operation for the Regional Offices?
A: Regional Offices are open 8:30AM to 5:00PM Monday through Friday (M-F) with two exceptions. Kanawha City Regional Office is 8:00AM to 6:00PM M-F and Saturday 8:00AM to Noon. Martinsburg Regional Office hours are 8:30AM-5:00PM M-F and 8 to Noon Saturday.
Q: What do I need to renew my license plate?
A: Your renewal notice or registration card, proof of current insurance, and your personal property tax receipt (previous year), or Exemption Affidavit.
Q: What do I need to title my vehicle?
A: If you purchase your vehicle from a West Virginia dealer – WV Dealer must process for you. If you have a sale between individuals – Title signed over, notarized bill of sale (if less than half of low book value was paid for vehicle). Out- of-State Individual – same as in-state with addition of completing a DMV-1-TR. Out-of- State Dealer – Title or Certificate of Origin, Invoice or bill of sale, odometer statement, if less than 10 years old, and a completed DMV-1-TR.
Q: What is a notarized bill of sale?
A: A statement of sale signed by the seller that identifies the buyer and seller, price, date of sale and vehicle information (year, make and VIN number). The sellers’ and buyers' signature is signed in front of a notary public who applies their seal and signature.
Q: How do I get a WV driving record?
A: Go to any WV DMV Regional office with your driver’s license or ID card. Complete the application and pay the fee, or request your driving record online.
Q: What is the difference between a driving record and a certified driving record?
A: Both contain the same information, however, a certified driving record has been deemed accurate, signed and stamped (seal) by an authorized DMV representative.
Q: Why wasn’t I notified that my driver’s license was revoked/suspended?
A: Certified revocation/suspension letters are sent to customers who are in peril of losing their license; however, if your address with DMV is not current, the letters are not forwarded. Even if you do not receive an order, your license is still suspended or revoked. Non-receipt is not a defense.
Q: Why is my license still suspended if I have paid my ticket?
A: DMV may not have received proof of payment (verification of satisfaction), or, you might owe a reinstatement fee. Basically, there is some administrative need that still has to be satisfied. *Regional Offices cannot accept reinstatement fees, and it is the driver’s responsibility to provide verification of satisfaction.
Q: What are some common things to which REAL ID does NOT apply?
- Entering federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification
- Voting or registering to vote
- Applying for or receiving federal benefits
- Being licensed by a state to drive
- Accessing health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant's access to court proceedings)
- Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations
Q: Why is the Department of Homeland Security implementing REAL ID air travel regulation in stages?
A: On January 8, 2016, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced the following timetable for implementation of the REAL ID Act for air travel:
- Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security conducted outreach to educate the traveling public about the timeline below and continue engagement with states to encourage compliance with REAL ID standards.
- As of July 15, 2016, TSA, in coordination with airlines and airport stakeholders, began to issue web-based advisories and notifications to the traveling public.
- As of December 15, 2016, TSA expanded outreach at its airport checkpoints through signage, handouts and other methods.
- As of January 22, 2018, passengers with a driver's license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act (and has not been granted an extension) will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight. Passengers with driver's licenses issued by a state that is compliant with, or has been issued an extension for, the REAL ID Act will still be able to use their driver's licenses or identification cards.
- As of October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel.
This timetable recognizes that some states must change their laws to comply with the REAL ID Act. It is also designed to provide an opportunity for members of the public to learn more about the implications of not having a REAL ID-compliant license, and so that individuals have an ample opportunity to replace their pre-REAL ID licenses with new compliant licenses or to obtain another acceptable form of identification.