West Virginia law requires all registered vehicles to be insured and proof of insurance be carried in your vehicle at all times.
The current minimum amount of coverage required is:
- $25,000 for one crash, one injury
- $50,000 for one crash, two or more injuries
- $25,000 for property damage
All vehicle insurance policies must be issued for this state by a company licensed to sell insurance in West Virginia. The Compulsory Insurance law is designed to protect you and all motorists who operate a vehicle in the state of West Virginia.
For more information on the state's mandatory insurance laws, visit the WV Legislature website under WV Code §17A, §17D, or visit the WV Secretary of State website under Title 91, Series 13; Compulsory Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance.
Online Insurance Verification Program
The DMV's electronic insurance verification program called West Virginia Online Verification (WVOLV) is designed specifically for the purposes of real-time online verification of motor vehicle insurance. The program enables instant verification of insurance by the DMV at the time of vehicle registration, citations, crashes, and for monthly verification of all registered vehicles.
All currently registered vehicles are subject to insurance verification.
A National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) number is used to identify your insurance company. Your insurance company lists it on your Certificate of Insurance (WV-1). You are required to provide this number for any vehicle registration transactions with the DMV.
All motor vehicles registered in WV are required to carry a West Virginia policy issued by insurance companies that are licensed to sell in WV. To verify whether or not a company is licensed in WV, to check your NAIC number, or to obtain a consumer complaint form, contact the West Virginia Insurance Commission.
Responsibilities of all Registered Vehicle Owners
Keep proof of insurance in your vehicle. Motorists are required to carry proof of insurance in their vehicles at all times. Law enforcement officers will request this information during any traffic stop or vehicle crash investigation.
Keep your address with DMV up to date. It is not only law, it is critical to you receiving notifications of any type from the DMV. WV Motor Vehicle Code §17A-3-18 mandates 10 days to update your vehicle address and §17B-2-13 mandates 20 days to update your driver's license address upon moving to a new location. To update your address on both vehicle and driver's records you must complete and submit the Change of Address Form (DMV-98-TRB). This update will be in the DMV system ONLY. To obtain a new registration card with your new/current address, please see the Change of Address section.
If your vehicle is seasonally used, or is used for only part of the year, it is required to be insured for the time it is used. You will be required to show proof of valid insurance for the time the vehicle is used. Prior to storing the vehicle and removing the insurance, you must complete the DMV form Seasonal Statement of Insurance (WV-4B) and submit it to the DMV. This form will require you to provide the dates through which the vehicle will be in storage. During the listed storage dates, the DMV will not electronically verify coverage for the vehicle.
If you have sold a vehicle, you may submit a Sold Vehicle Notice (DMV-1-S) and the license plate to the DMV, or submit proof of plate transfer and proof of insurance on the new vehicle.
If you own a vehicle with a valid license plate and the vehicle becomes inoperable or out of use for any reason, you must maintain insurance on it or return the license plate to the DMV.
If your plate has been lost and you need to apply for a duplicate plate, you may do so at any DMV regional office, or complete the Application for Duplicate Registration Card, Decal, or Plate & Change of Address (DMV-32-TR).
If you are required to surrender your license plate and it has been lost, you must complete the Vehicle Registration Plate Surrender (WV-4S) and submit it to the DMV.
If your plate has been stolen, contact your local law enforcement agency.
If you cancel your insurance, you must return the license plate to the DMV.
If you are involved in a crash with an uninsured driver, you may file a judgment through civil court. If the judgement is awarded and the individual fails to make payment, you may request the suspension of that individual’s license. You or your attorney must ask the court to send a certified copy of the judgment to DMV. Then you or your attorney must send a suspension request to DMV affirming that the judgement for vehicle-related damages meets the requirements of WV Code §17D-4-3. Upon receipt, the DMV will notify the defendant of suspension of their driver's license. The suspension will remain in effect until the judgment is either paid in full or the defendant has entered into an installment agreement.
If a crash was investigated by the WV State Police, contact (304) 746-2128 to obtain a copy, or access their website at www.wvsp.gov.
If a crash was investigated by any other law enforcement agency, that agency must be contacted to obtain a copy of the report.
Penalties for Insurance Violations
Several penalties are in place for motorists who fail to present proof of insurance during an insurance verification or are found to be driving without insurance by any law enforcement agency. These administrative penalties can affect your vehicle registration, as well as your driver's license. This does not include any criminal penalties that could result from a conviction through a court system. Criminal penalties include fines and jail time and have no bearing on the administrative penalties. Dismissal of the ticket through the court system does not release you from any obligation to provide insurance to the DMV upon request.
- Suspension of your driver's license. If you fail to show proof of West Virginia liability insurance during a notice for an insurance violation, your driving privilege is subject to suspension. For the first offense, the driver’s license will be suspended for thirty days. The driver’s license suspension period will be extended to ninety days for any second or subsequent insurance violations within a five-year period. There is no provision in the Motor Vehicle code for a driving permit during the suspension period. After the suspension period ends, you will be required to pay a $50.00 reinstatement fee and provide current proof of West Virginia liability insurance on the active vehicle registration..
Suspension of your vehicle registration. If you fail to show proof of West Virginia liability insurance during a notice for an insurance violation, the vehicle registration plate will be suspended for second or subsequent insurance violations. The reinstatement fee is $100.00, plus proof of insurance for all vehicles currently registered. If the division sends a state police secure order on the plate, an additional penalty fee of $50.00 will be assessed.
- Failure to respond or appear in Court for a ticket, may result in suspension of your driving privileges. Accordingly, when the Verification of Satisfaction is later submitted to the Division, this will cause any tickets for No Insurance to require additional suspension action. Any suspension time served for an unresolved ticket issue is separate from, and does not count towards, a mandatory insurance suspension.
- Filing of false or fraudulent insurance information will result in a mandatory ninety day suspension of your driver's license, suspension of your vehicle registration, and possible prosecution that carries a fine of not more than $1,000 and jail time not to exceed one year.
You cannot have your vehicle registration reinstated until you submit proof of valid West Virginia liability insurance for the vehicle and pay a required reinstatement fee to the DMV.
When your driver's license is suspended, in addition to submitting proof of valid insurance and paying the reinstatement fee, you are also required to complete the suspension period. You may pay the reinstatement fee before the suspension period is complete, however, the suspension will remain in effect until the required time is served.
No DMV regional office is authorized or equipped to provide information on reinstatement requirements. You may also pay your reinstatement fees through Online Services here. All insurance questions and reinstatement transactions are handled by mail or in person at DMV Headquarters:
WV Department of Transportation
Division of Motor Vehicles
5707 MacCorkle Ave. SE, PO Box 17020
Charleston, WV 25317
Call (304) 926-3802 or 1 (800) 642-9066 with any of your insurance related questions.