There are TWO types Driver's Licenses & ID Cards
You have the choice between a Not For Federal Use driver’s license or ID card, or a REAL ID/For Federal Use card that contains a gold star, indicating that the card meets full federal requirements for future use at airports and other designated federal facilities and uses nationwide. Details of how Federal Government will implement this requirement have not been released.
Applicants applying for, renewing, or obtaining a duplicate driver’s license or ID card are required to provide specific documents. The documents you need to bring to the DMV depends on what type of card you choose. Due to processing and shipping costs, an additional $10.00 fee is required to obtain a FOR REAL ID/For Federal Use card.
NOTE: REAL ID/Central Issuance
In late 2020, DMV phased-in a new driver's license issuance program, in compliance with the Real ID Act of 2005. Customers renewing or applying for a driver's license or identification card credential, in the regional offices, at the kiosks, or online, now receive a temporary card/receipt, valid for 60 days, and their permanent credential will be mailed to them as part of the central issuance requirement for REAL ID. Customers applying for duplicate credentials will also receive a temporary card and their permanent credential in the mail. All license and ID issuance is now done through the central print location, with no credentials being printed in the offices.
Central issuance involves mailing permanent license and ID cards from a secure facility. Additionally, the new program also includes a new design for licenses and IDs with several upgraded security features. These security features will reduce the risk of fraud and identity theft.
Customers that want a new driver's license are encouraged to make an appointment through the DMV website at dmv.wv.gov. If you currently have an appointment for a driver's license transaction, you do not need to make a new one. The same documents are required as before-proof of identity, proof of social security number, and two proofs of physical residency.
Renewal Applicants for a driver’s license or ID card with no changes are required to provide their current license or ID card OR the renewal application. Any changes in address since the last card will require two proof of WV residency documents with name and physical address. Any change of legal name requires proof of legal name change document(s).
Duplicate Applicants If your license has been lost, stolen, or destroyed, you are required to provide one proof identity document and one proof of WV residency document. Additionally, if your legal name has changed from what was listed on your previous license or ID card, you must also provide proof of legal name change document(s). If you have changed your address since the last card was issued, you must provide two proofs of WV residency documents.
New Applicants, Transfers, and Expired License Applicants are required to provide one proof of identity, one proof of Social Security number, two proofs of WV residency with name and physical address, and proof of Legal name change document(s) if your name has changed or is different than the provided proof of identity document.
Renewal Applications for a REAL ID/For-Federal Identification driver’s license or ID card with no changes are required to provide their current license or ID card OR the renewal application. Any changes in address since the last card will require two proof of WV residency documents with name and physical address. Any change of legal name requires proof of legal name change document(s) and one proof of Social Security number document.
Duplicate Applicants choosing a “For Federal Use” driver’s license or ID card are required to provide one proof of identity document, one proof of Social Security number document, two proof of WV residency documents with name and physical address, and proof of legal name change document(s) if their name has ever changed or is different than the provided proof of identity document.
New Applicants, Transfers, and Expired License Applicants are required to provide one proof of identity, one proof of Social Security number, two proofs of WV residency with name and physical address, and proof of legal name change document(s) if your name has ever changed.
This card is sent to the applicant's address via USPS in 10-15 business days, but due to an increase in demand, you may experience a delay of up to 30-45 business days. A temporary License is issued at the time the application is accepted at DMV for use during the production and shipping of this card.
1099 form with applicant’s full Social Security number and name
Please make sure your Social Security records reflect your full legal name, as reflected on your other documents. DMV must be able to establish a name connection between documents, therefore your full legal name must match your name on file with the Social Security Administration. If an applicant is not eligible for a social security number, then the applicant must submit a denial letter from the Social Security Administration. The Division checks every social security number with the SSA. If you have a problem with the SSA, such as name or date of birth does not match with records of the DMV, and SSA then you must have the problem corrected before you can be issued a permit, license, or identification card. Your documents will be scanned and returned to you, which will provide DMV with a historical record, and provide you with additional protection, per the Federal Real ID Act of 2005. Please visit the Social Security Administration website for information about obtaining a Social Security number.
DMV must be able to establish a link between any legal name changes - Please Call 1-800-642-9066 to clarify which proof of name change document(s) you will need to bring in to obtain your license or ID card (you may be required to provide all or some of the following proof below)
Click here to open a copy of the brochure on the new driver's license and ID card requirements.
The license or identification card holder shall substantiate a change of name by marriage with a certified marriage certificate. The license or identification card holder may choose from the following options to display his or her name on the drivers license, However, a court order specifying a change of name supersedes a birth and certified marriage certificate.
If you are looking for a Driver's Licensing Handbook, click here.
If you live in West Virginia and want to drive a motor vehicle on the public roads, you must have a West Virginia driver's license, unless you are exempt. You must carry your license with you when you drive.
All types of instruction permits and driving licenses may be obtained at one of the Division of Motor Vehicles Regional Offices or any Division of Motor Vehicles Exam Centers on a rotating schedule. Click here for a list of locations with directions and information.
The WVDMV will make all reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy all of its programs, services, and activities. For example, individuals with service animals are welcomed in the WVDMV offices, even where pets are generally prohibited.
Persons who require special assistance with sign language interpreters, hearing equipment, or visual aids or anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a program, service, or activity of the WVDMV should contact us as soon as possible but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event.
All types of instruction permits and driver's licenses may be obtained at most of the DMV Regional Offices.
To obtain a birth certificate, if you were born in West Virginia, contact the 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.
**Please note: If the motor vehicle you want to take the driver's skills examination in is under a safety recall, Regional Office personnel will not give the examination. If a customer wishes to be examined in a vehicle under a known safety recall, the owner or operator must provide proof that the issue has been properly repaired and resolved prior to being allowed to use that vehicle for the examination.
All drivers’ license applicants are subject to a review of their driving records through the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS), a national driver registry designed to track violations and suspensions from state-to-state. If you have previously received a violation in another state, make sure to satisfy any citations and suspensions you may have pending before applying for a West Virginia driver's license.
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 $1.00 per year, for the length of the time the driver's license is valid.
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.
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.
If you change your address you are required to notify, in writing, the DMV within 20 days of the change. Failure to do this subjects you to a possible fine or imprisonment. Simply notifying the US Post Office will NOT update your record with the DMV or allow important DMV mail to be forwarded to you. By failing to change your address with the DMV, you could miss the renewal date of your license, or even have your driving privileges suspended or revoked unnecessarily.
To change your address with DMV use the Change of Address form here.
Immigrants who are applying for a learners permit, driver's license, or identification card are required to provide the following documents:
Non-Immigrants applying for learners permit, driver's license, or identification card are required to provide the following documents:
Refugees applying for learner’s permit, driver's license, or identification cards are required to provide the following documents:
Applicants who are refugees who do not have an approved sponsoring organization or an asylee shall provide the following:
Military personnel (17B-2-12) driver's license of any person in the armed forces is extended for a period of six months from the date the person is separated under honorable circumstances from active duty in the armed forces.
The Division may, upon request, renew the driving privileges of a licensee who is temporarily located out of state at the time their license expires. The Division shall not issue a new driver's license to the licensee. The Division will issue a certified driving record to the licensee indicating that the licensee has renewed his or her driving license with a notation of the new expiration date. The licensee shall obtain a new license upon returning to West Virginia. For further information call 1-800-642-9066.
The Youth Identification card is for minors that are 2 to 15 years of age. A parent or guardian must sign the application (DMV-DS-23P), provide the minor's birth certificate, social security card, and two proofs of WV residency documents to be submitted with the application.
These cards are in vertical format, as all minor ID cards, and have a yellow background. New and duplicate Youth ID cards cost $10.00 and are valid for two years from the date of issuance.
If you are 18 or older and have never obtained a driver's license (Level 2 or comparable), you must obtain a regular Class E Instruction Permit. When you have completed the application and presented the appropriate documents as a first-time applicant, you will be allowed to take the vision screening and knowledge test. When you pass the vision and knowledge tests, you will be issued a regular Class E Instruction Permit. The instruction Permit allows you to operate a motor vehicle when a licensed driver 21 or older occupies the front passenger seat beside you. The Instruction Permit will be valid for a period of 180 days and is not to be renewed. After at least 30 days or expiration, you must pass the vision screening again and are then eligible for a road skill test.
Click here to see the WV GDL Program Flyer.
An instruction permit allows you to operate a motor vehicle in order to learn to drive.
If you are under the age of 18, a parent, single parent having custody, or legal guardian must sign your application, before you can be tested. Married applicants under the age of 18 are not required to have parental consent, however, you must present a copy of your certified marriage certificate. You must also have a current school eligibility form. This permit is not renewable.
Expiration Date: 18th Birthday with 30 Day Grace Period
Restrictions for Level 1:
If you receive two moving violations on a Level II, your license will be suspended until your 18th birthday. Once you turned 18, you would have a reinstatement fee to pay and you would have to retest on all parts of the test.
Married applicants under the age of 18 are not required to have parental consent, however, you must present a copy of your certified marriage certificate. You must also have a current school eligibility form.
Restrictions for Level 2:
Expiration date: 21st birthday with 30 day grace period
Restrictions for Level 3:
A valid School Driver Eligibility Certificate is required to perform any driver’s license transaction for a person under the age of 18. This form also fulfills the residency requirement if the school enrollment form has a physical address listed for the address. If the school enrollment form has a PO Box then the applicant is required to provide two (2) additional proofs of residency from the residency list. The Driver's Eligibility Certificate can be obtained at the school in which the student attends. A home schooled student must obtain a form through the Board of Education in the county in which they reside. A student attending school out of state can pick up an out of state School Driver Eligibility Certificate at any DMV Regional office or testing center. This form must be completed by the school principal and must be accompanied by a letter from the school on their letterhead. In addition, the applicant is required to show two (2) proofs of WV residency if attending a school outside of WV. If the applicant has already graduated from school and has not reached the age of 18, then a diploma can be used in place of the School Driver Eligibility Certificate, GED enrollment making satisfactory progress or a certificate of completion for the program, or proof of enrollment in an institution of higher learning as a full time student.
The DMV is authorized to impose license restrictions to assure the safe operation of motor vehicles. The DMV may issue you a restricted license with the restriction indicated on the driver's license. Operating a motor vehicle in violation of the restriction is a serious offense and could result in the suspension or revocation of your driving privilege. Once suspended, the DMV does not offer a restricted license for work purposes.
Be sure you have your driver's license with you when you drive. If stopped, you are required to display this license upon demand to any law enforcement officer, magistrate, or official of Division of Motor Vehicles. Violation of this requirement is a misdemeanor.
The information you provide when you apply for your driver's license, or apply for a duplicate license must be true and accurate. It is against the law to provide false information when you apply for any type of driving license or identification card, change or alter your license in any way, use someone else's license as your own, or permit someone else to use your driver's license. The penalty for these offenses is a 90-day suspension of your driver's license.
There are many ways you can lose your privilege to drive. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or any other drug, even if it is an over the counter cold remedy or a doctor's prescription, subjects you to the DUI laws. You must not drive while your ability to think and act clearly is impaired. Click here for more information on impaired driving.
Accumulation of too many citations in a short period of time, driving without insurance, failure to pay any type of court action, failure to supply DMV with current insurance information, and fraudulent checks are just a few of the actions which may result in the loss of your driving privileges. The penalties for driving while suspended or revoked include mandatory jail time and an additional period of suspension or revocation.
A Class D License is a Non-CDL for hire. Every person who is employed by another for the purpose of driving a motor vehicle when in use for the transportation of property for compensation and who does not meet the requirements for Class A, B or C for the commercial driving license needs a Class D license. Exempt from the Class D licenses are vehicles with Class A license plates (regular passenger vehicles).
If you want to operate a motorcycle on the public roads, you must obtain either a motorcycle endorsement (F) on your driver's license or a Class F motorcycle only driver's license. First, you must take a knowledge test at your local DMV office in order to obtain your learner’s permit. The permit is valid during daylight hours only and does not permit a passenger. After you have had your learner’s permit for 7 days, you can make an appointment to return to the DMV to take an on-cycle skills test which must be successfully completed before an endorsement can be added to your license or before a motorcycle only license can be issued.
If you are under the age of 18, you must complete Level II GDL before you can be eligible for a motorcycle instruction permit.
A Motorcycle Driver Handbook has been prepared to help you pass the tests. If you have further questions about motorcycle licensing, please contact Mary Jarrell at Mary.B.Jarrell@wv.gov.
The Division of Motor Vehicles also offers a Motorcycle Safety Program. If you are interested in taking the Basic or Experienced Rider Course, please click here or contact the Motorcycle Safety Program Training Coordinator at 304-926-3819.
If you wish to be an organ donor, you must check the appropriate box on the application. To sign up as an organ donor or to remove yourself from the WV organ donor registry, click here. Click here for more information on becoming an organ donor or to order a Donate Life license plate.
If you wish to have the diabetic or hearing impaired symbol on your driver's license, you must take a driver's license application (DMV-DS-23P) to your doctor or audiologist for certification of the medical endorsement.