How do I apply for a WV learners permit? West Virginia

Obtaining a West Virginia Learners Permit

In West Virginia, you must be at least 15 years old but not yet 18, to apply for a driving permit – or, what the state refers to as a Level I instruction permit. This permit is the first step in the state’s Graduated Driving Licensing (GDL) program.

To apply, just head to your local WV DMV Regional Office with your parents or legal guardians and:

  • The original or a certified copy of your birth certificate.
  • Your Social Security card.
  • Your School Driver Eligibility Certificate. You can pick up one of these at your school. This form will satisfy the residency requirement (see below) if it lists your physical address (and not a post office box).
  • Two proofs of your physical WV residency. This is sometimes tough for teens, as the usual proofs are documents like utility bills and voter registration cards, but as long as you’re living with your parents or legal guardians, they can show proof their physical residency.
  • A completed Driver’s License Application (DMV Form DS23P). Both you and your parents or legal guardians must sign it. You can download this from the DMV website to save some time, but remember, even if your parents sign it at home, they still must accompany you to the DMV.
  • $5 for the learners permit fee.
Once you’re at the DMV, you’ll be required to:

  1. Pass a vision screening. You can use corrective lenses, but you must achieve 20/40 vision using both eyes.
  2. Pass the written test. West Virginia doesn’t require driver education, but you can prepare for this exam by studying the state’s Driver Licensing Handbook and taking a practice permit test or two. You can find these practice exams from a variety of independent providers, but the WV DMV website provides one, too.
As long as you provide all the required documents and fee, and pass your vision and written test, you’ll receive your Level I permit. This drivers permit will expire on your 18th birthday, but once you’ve held it for six months, you can apply for the Level II intermediate drivers license – as long as you’ve turned 16 by then, that is.

New-to-State Teens

West Virginia will not transfer an out-of-state learners permit. You’ll receiving driving time credit, but you’ll still have to show the same documents and take the same tests to apply for your Level I permit.

However, if you come to the state with the equivalent of a Level II intermediate drivers license, West Virginia will transfer it as long as you pass the written exam.

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