West Virginia Permit and Driver's License FAQ

  • Applying for Your WV License
  • Preparing for the WV Permit Test
  • Taking the WV Permit Test?
  • Preparing for the WV Driving Test
  • Taking the WV Driving Test
  • Renewing Your WV License
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Applying for Your WV License: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age requirements for getting started?

The West Virginia Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program (GDL) requires teens to go through the stages to earn their full, unrestricted license. The program is designed to reduce the risk that is associated with first-time teen drivers. Here are the stages and age requirements:

  • Learner’s Permit – 15 years old
  • Provisional License – 16 years old
  • Unrestricted Driver’s License – 17 years old

What documents am I required to bring with me when applying for a license in West Virginia?

  • Proof of school enrollment
  • Proof of identity and legal presence – here are acceptable documents
  • Form DMV-DS-23P – Application for Driver’s License
  • $5 for permit fee

Where do I file my WV driver’s license application?

You can apply in person at a West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regional office.

How can I contact my local office?

Visit https://www.transportation.wv.gov/DMV/locations/Pages/default.aspx for office locations, hours and contact information.

Do I have to take a Driver’s Ed Course?

No, West Virginia does not require drivers to take a driver’s ed course.

What if I am new to West Virginia?

You have 30 days to transfer your out-of-state license to West Virginia. To do that, visit a local DMV office with proper identification.

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Preparing for the WV Permit Test: Frequently Asked Questions

What subjects are commonly covered on the written test?

The written test has at least 25 questions based on the basic information, traffic rules, regulations, signs and markings found in the West Virginia Driver’s Licensing Handbook. Here are two examples of content from the manual that you could be asked questions about on the written test:

  • A right side up triangular sign with a reflective red border and fluorescent orange center identifies a slow moving vehicle or a vehicle which has made an emergency stop.
  • Broken yellow lines separate traffic moving in opposite directions. If this marking is on your side of the road, you may pass when it is safe.

How is the test formatted?

The test is multiple choice.

Are there a lot of “trick” questions on the written test?

No, questions are not designed to trick you but rather verify that you possess the knowledge necessary to drive safely. All questions are taken from the content found in the West Virginia Driver’s Licensing Handbook.

How many questions are on the test and how many do I need to answer correctly to pass?

There are 25 questions on the test and you must answer at least 19 of them correctly to pass.

What are the best ways to prepare for the written test?

Studying the Driver’s Manual and then testing your knowledge using online practice tests has proven to be a very effective method. If you choose this approach, carefully look at your practice test results so that you can identify weak areas and adjust your manual study efforts to strengthen those weak areas.

Where can I get a free West Virginia Driver’s Manual to study?

We offer free manuals here on this website.

How can I improve my odds for passing the first time I take the test?

Carefully study the West Virginia Driver’s Licensing Handbook. Be sure to pay close attention to measurements, lengths and distances. Also, be sure to memorize road signs and to study the Driving Under the Influence section.

What should I do the night before the test?

Assuming you have been studying regularly for quite some time, it is a good idea on the night before the test to do a review of the handbook and to take a practice test to confirm your knowledge. Then be sure to get plenty of rest so that you are ready for the test.

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Taking the WV Permit Test?: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make an appointment to take the written test?

Contact your local DMV office to see if they accept appointments. If they do, it is usually a good idea to schedule one.

Where do I take the written test?

You will take the test at a local DMV office.

What do I need to bring when I sit for the written test?

  • Proof of school enrollment
  • Proof of identity and legal presence – here are acceptable documents
  • Form DMV-DS-23P – Application for Driver’s License
  • $5 for permit fee

Who should accompany me to the written test?

You should be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Do I need to pay a fee to take the written test?

Yes, you will need to pay a $5 fee.

What should I expect when I sit for the written test?

The written test contains 25 questions and you will need to answer at least 19 correctly to pass. The test is automated and timed so it might be a good idea to skip over hard questions and come back to them at the end. When taking the test you cannot use your cellphone or get help from anyone.

What happens after I pass the written test?

You will receive your Learner’s Permit and can begin supervised driving practice. You need to complete 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving practice, with at least 10 of those hours coming at night.

What happens if I fail the written test?

You will be allowed to retake the test.

How soon can I retake the written test?

You will have to wait at least one week to retake the test.

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Preparing for the WV Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve passed the written permit test, what are the next steps?

You can now begin supervised driving practice with a licensed driver age 21 or over. You need to complete 50 total hours of driving practice with at least 10 of those hours coming at night.

How long after getting my Learner’s Permit can I apply for a license?

In order to apply for a license, you must hold your Learner’s Permit for six months, you must be 16 years old and you must complete the 50 hours of driving practice.

Can I drive anywhere in West Virginia with my Learner’s Permit?

Yes, as long as you are accompanied by a supervising driver age 21 or over, you can drive on any West Virginia public road or street.

Should I practice driving solely during the day?

No, you are required to complete at least 10 of your 50 supervised driving practice hours at night.

Does anyone have to be in the car with me when I’m driving with my Learner’s Permit?

Yes, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or over.

What should I do if I have a lost West Virginia Learner’s Permit?

Visit your local DMV regional office with proper identification.

How can I be sure I’m prepared to ace the driving test?

Be sure to log quality driving practice, which means paying attention to safe driving practices and following the suggestions of your supervising driver. You should practice both various maneuvers as well as driving safely in traffic.

Are there particular driving maneuvers I should practice?

Yes, you should practice backing up; turns, including three-point turns; quick stops; accelerating smoothly; parking, including parallel parking and parking on a hill; and more.

How can I simulate the driving test?

In addition to practicing maneuvers, such as parking, stopping and turning, be sure to practice driving safely in traffic. That means using safe driving principles such as following at a safe distance, signaling for turns and lane changes and coming to a full stop when stopping.

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Taking the WV Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule my driving test?

Contact your local DMV regional office.

Where do I take the driving test?

You will take the test at a local DMV regional office.

What should I bring to the driving test?

  • Learner’s Permit
  • 50-Hour Driving Practice Certification Log
  • Proof of school enrollment
  • $5 for Intermediate Driver’s License Fee

Who should bring me to the driving test?

A licensed parent or legal guardian should bring you.

What will I be asked to do on the driving test?

The test will include a course of reasonable length that includes, if possible, a moderate grade, a right and left turn and a stop sign or traffic light. During the test you may be asked to parallel park and to complete a two-point turnabout and a three-point turnabout, among other things.

What are the most common reasons new drivers fail the driving test?

Any of the following are grounds for automatic failure: scoring excessive points during the public road test; not using your safety belt; receiving a traffic citation; disobeying signs or signals; speeding; failing to yield to pedestrians or other roadway users; and causing an avoidable crash.

What are five mistakes I should be sure to avoid when taking the driving test?

  • Not listening to the examiner
  • Exceeding the posted speed limit
  • Failing to signal when turning
  • Following too closely
  • Failing to yield the right of way when appropriate

What happens if I fail the driving test?

You must wait one week to retake it.

How many times can I retake the test if I failed?

After two failed attempts, you may be charged a testing fee for your third attempt.

I’ve passed the road test, now what?

You will receive your West Virginia Provisional License.

What restrictions come with a West Virginia license?

  • You cannot drive between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a supervising driver
  • For first 6 months – no passengers under 20 except immediate family members
  • For second 6 months – no more than one passenger under 20 who is not an immediate family member

You are eligible for an unrestricted license when you turn 17, have held your provisional license for one year and have had no traffic violations for one year.

What are the insurance requirements for drivers in WV?

West Virginia requires all registered vehicles to be insured. Minimum coverage requirements are:

  • Bodily injury liability – $20,000/$40,000
  • Property damage liability – $10,000
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury – $20,000/$40,000
  • Uninsured motorist property damage – $10,000

Failure to comply with the state’s mandatory insurance law can result in stiff fines.

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Renewing Your WV License: Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to renew my license or replace a lost/stolen license?

You should receive a renewal notice from the WV DMV approximately 90 days before the expiration date. You must renew your license in person at a DMV regional office. You can renew it up to six months after its expiration date without having to retake the written or road tests.

You can replace a lost or stolen license online or in person at a DMV regional office.

Where can I renew my West Virginia driver’s license?

You can renew your license online or in person at a DMV regional office.

Will I be required to take a vision test when renewing my license?

Yes, you must pass a vision test when renewing your license. To pass the test, you need to see 20/40 or better using both eyes, either with or without conventional corrective lenses. If you are able to do that, and you show no serious visual defect, you will pass the vision screening. Depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision may also be checked.


The West Virginia DMV Test — What You Need to Know

Getting your learners permit is an important rite of passage as it represents your first real experience behind the wheel.  But before you can experience your new found freedom, you will need to pass the state drivers knowledge test.  More commonly known as the West Virginia permit test, this test is administered by the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles to see if you have the knowledge necessary to be a safe and courteous driver.  You’ll face a series of multiple-choice questions on the rules of the road, West Virginia traffic laws, and a variety of road and highway signs.

Practice Makes Perfect With WV DMV Practice Tests

The stakes are high, and it’s crucial that you’re prepared for what awaits. You see, according to statistics, 50% of students fail the permit test on the first try. If you want to be among the few that do pass the first time, be sure you’re well prepared with the right tools.

Our study materials are designed to arm you with everything you will need to know to begin preparing for the permit test and put you safely in the driver’s seat. Handy and informative state driver handbooks along with our West Virginia practice permit tests will help you prepare for the big day.