Last Updated 9th of July, 2010
How do I apply for a drivers license if I am relocating to West Virginia? West Virginia
Moving to WV: New Resident License Transfer RequirementsYou must transfer your permit or license within 30 days of establishing WV residency. If your permit or license is expired, you’ll have to do the whole song and dance (vision exam, written license test, alcohol awareness course, and driving test) plus show a certified driving record from your old state.
If your permit or license is valid, the transfer process to obtain a WV permit or drivers license will depend on your age and which one you already have.
NOTE: Your transfer fee will depend on your age and permit or license, ranging from $3 to $26.25; endorsement transfers cost $5.
Permit or Drivers License Transfer: Younger than 18
West Virginia doesn’t transfer permits.
As long as you’re relocating from a state that employs a graduated driver license (GDL) program (and your permit is valid, you’ve had it for more than 30 days, and you provide a driving record showing you have no infractions) the DMV will give you driving time credit to ease you into the WV GDL program.
When you visit your local DMV office, be prepared to pass a vision exam, undergo an alcohol awareness course, show the same driver license documents as any first-time applicant and pass a written license test. To prepare for this test, you can study the state’s driver license handbook (pick up a copy from your local DMV or download one from the WV DMV website) and take a practice test or two.
If you have the state’s equivalent of a Level II intermediate license, all you have to do is pass the vision exam, undergo the alcohol awareness course, and pass the written license test to transfer.
If you haven’t had any infractions in the last six months, your expiration date will remain the same as it was on your out-of-state license; if you’ve had infractions in that time frame, however, your expiration date will be set one year from the date of transfer.
If you have the state’s equivalent of a Level III drivers license (which is a full Class E license and obtainable by WV teens at 17, if they’ve worked their way through the GDL process), all you have to do is pass the vision exam, undergo the alcohol awareness course, and pass written license test to transfer.
Permit or Drivers License Transfer: 18 or Older
As outlined above, the WV DMV won’t transfer a permit. If you move to the state with an out-of-state permit, you’ll need to apply for a WV permit (for applicants 18 and older, this permit is referred to as a regular Class E instruction permit). This means showing the DMV all the required documents listed below, passing the vision exam and written license test, and sitting through the alcohol awareness course.
The permit is valid for 90 days and can be renewed once, but because you’re 18 or older you’ll only have to hold the permit for 30 days before applying to take your driving test and get your regular Class E drivers license.
Typically, all you’ll have to do is pass the vision exam, undergo the alcohol awareness course, and pay the fee; however, the examiner might require you to pass the written license test, so be prepared.
Required Driver License DocumentsTo transfer your permit, intermediate license, or drivers license, you must show the DMV:
- Your current out-of-state license or a certified driving record from your old state.
- A certified birth certificate or U.S. passport.
- Your Social Security card.
- Two proofs of West Virginia identification and residency. The residency proofs must show your physical address. Due to your relocation, it might take you a few days to gather these proofs, but note that the DMV does accept mortgage and lease agreements as well as school enrollment forms.
- Documents that show your name change, if there’s been one. These include marriage licenses, divorce decrees, and other court documents.
- A Driver’s Eligibility Certificate, if you’re younger than 18.
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