What are the WV driving permit test requirements? West Virginia

Requirements for the WV Driving Permit Tests

What you can expect during the DMV permit test, and the requirements you must meet, depends on which permit you’re applying for: the Level I instruction permit, the Level II intermediate drivers license, or the Class E instruction permit.

Level I Instruction Permit


This is the first step in the state’s Graduated Driving Licensing (GDL) program.

You’re eligible to test for this learners permit if:

  • You’re at least 15 years old.
  • You can provide all the required documents (your birth certificate, Social Security card, two proofs of physical residency, and School Driver Eligibility Certificate).
  • Your parents or legal guardians will sign the Driver’s License Application (DMV Form DS23P).
Testing for this drivers permit includes:

  • A vision screening. You must have 20/40 vision using both eyes, with or without corrective lenses.
  • A written permit test. This exam tests your knowledge of West Virginia road rules and regulations.

Level II Intermediate License


This is the second step in the GDL process.

You’re eligible to test for this permit if:

  • You’re at least 16 years old.
  • You’ve held the Level I instruction permit for six infraction-free months.
  • You can provide all the required documents (your birth certificate, Social Security card, two proofs of physical residency, and School Driver Eligibility Certificate).
  • You can show a Driver Education Card, or you have completed 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving time, with 10 of those hours being at night, and your parents or guardians have signed the 50-Hour Certification (DMV Form 10-GDL) confirming you have.
Testing for this license includes the road skills test.

Class E Instruction Permit


This permit is for applicants who are 18 or older and have never held a license.

In order to obtain this permit, you must meet all of the requirements listed above for the Level I instruction permit (except for the School Driver Eligibility Certificate) and the testing requirements (both vision and written) are also the same.

Note that even though it’s valid for 90 days and can be renewed once, you only have to hold this permit for 30 days before you can apply for your full license.

Preparing for the WV Driving Permit Tests

Aside from visiting your optometrist and getting contacts or glasses to bring your vision up to par, there’s really nothing else you can do to prepare for the vision exam.

To prepare for your written permit test, you can study the West Virginia Driver Licensing Handbook. This manual tells you everything you need to know – from applicant requirements to road rules to auto insurance minimums – and should be your number one source of study material. You can also take a practice permit test or two to get a feel for the real thing. The WV DMV website provides one for free.

Preparing for the road test comes more naturally; practicing driving is, after all, the reason you get a permit. The 50 hours of driving practice the state requires will help you prepare for the road test, as will enrolling in a driver education course. West Virginia doesn’t require this course, but enrolling in one – and presenting the Driver Education Card once you complete it – will waive the 50-hour requirement.

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