Special Purpose Vehicles


 Frequently Asked Questions

​What qualifies as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)?

A “street-legal special purpose vehicle” (SPV), which includes all-terrain vehicles, utility terrain vehicles, minitrucks, pneumatic-tired military vehicles, and full-size special purpose-built ​​vehicles, including those self-constructed or built by the original equipment manufacturer and those that have been modified, can be given a registration if the SPV meets the requirements outlined in West Virginia Code: §17A-13-1:

What does my vehicle need to qualify as an SPV?

 To be considered a SPV, the vehicle must have the following equipment: 
  • One or more headlamps.
  • One or more tail lamps. 
  • One or more brake lamps.
  • A tail lamp or other lamp constructed and placed to illuminate the registration plate with a white light.
  • One or more red reflectors on the rear.
  • Amber electric turn system, one on each side of the front.
  • Amber or red electric turn signals.
  • A braking system, other than a parking brake.
  • A horn or other warning device.
  • A muffler and, if required by an applicable federal statute or rule, an emission control system.
  • Rearview mirrors on the right and left side of the driver.
  • A windshield, unless the operator wears eye protection while operating the vehicle.
  • A speedometer, illuminated for nighttime operation.
  • For vehicles designed by the manufacturer for carrying one or more passengers, a seat designed for passengers.
  • Tires that have at least 2/32 inches or greater tire tread.

How do I obtain an SPV registration and plate? 

If the vehicle qualifies as a street-legal SPV, the owner must then obtain a certificate of insurance on the street-legal SPV, have it inspected, fill out the 
Special Purpose Vehicle 
Certification Form​
, and provide any other documents necessary including tax, title (including out-of-state title if necessary), lien, plate and registration fees to the DMV.

What are the fees for an SPV registration and plate?

Fees are $16 annually for a regular Class street-legal SPV plate, plus additional fees of $100 annually for hybrid vehicles, and $200 for electric or natural gas vehicles. If the street-legal SPV is already titled, the owner must still fill out and provide the
Special Purpose Vehicle 
Certification Form​
 and provide registration fees as listed above.

What limitations are there as to where I can/can’t use my SPV vehicle?

An individual may operate a SPV on roads in West Virginia subject to the following limitations: 
  • No street-legal SPV may be driven on controlled access highways, including, but not limited to, interstate systems.
  • No street-legal SPV may be driven on roads where prohibited by the county, municipality or the Division of Natural Resources.
  • No street-legal SPV may be driven on a highway displaying centerline pavement markings for a distance greater than 20 miles.
  • No minitruck registered as a street-legal SPV may be driven on a road constructed pursuant to a federal highways program.
  • No street-legal SPV may be driven in an area not open to motor vehicle use.
  • An individual operating a street-legal SPV on the road must follow the rules of the road and all driver licensing requirements.

How do I obtain a permit for the Hatfield-McCoy trail if I am a WV resident?

Trail permits are available via the official Hatfield-McCoy webpage at:

How do I obtain a permit to use my SPV in West Virginia if I live out of state?

The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles allows individuals to obtain an Out of State Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Temporary Registration online which allows you to register your SPV for use on the roads of Wild, Wonderful West Virginia for a 14 day period, in accordance with West Virginia State Code 91-25-4. This temporary registration is specifically for SPVs, ATVs, and UTVs. This service is for non-WV residents only. Once application is completed and payment has been made, an email containing temporary registration and temporary tag will be delivered. Visit to apply.

If I have an out of state permit to use my SPV in WV, do I need a separate permit to operate my SPV on the Hatfield-McCoy trail?

Yes, the permit to use your SPV in WV is for use on roadways and in designated areas. The Hatfield-McCoy trail system has their own permits which must be obtained before you can use your vehicle on their trails. You do not need the out of state SPV permit to ride on the trails, but will if you intend to use your ATV elsewhere while visiting.  You can purchase a Hatfield-McCoy trail permit here:

Where can I find more information regarding SPVs?

For more information regarding SPVs, please find legislation here. Click here​ for additional information specific to ATVs and UTVs.​