In this guide, we will teach how to pass the West Virginia permit test as well as provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to get your permit and ultimately your unrestricted license. Getting a West Virginia driver’s license means earning the freedom to explore the open road, something most teens are pretty excited about. However, the application process can sometimes get a bit confusing. If you’re ready to learn how to drive but aren’t sure how to get started, you’re in luck: Our simple and easy-to-understand guide will walk you through every step of the process. West Virginia, like most states, requires that all young drivers complete a Graduated Driver’s License Program (GDL), a multi-stage process that will help you learn important driving skills while remaining under the supervision of a licensed driver.
Statistics have shown that GDL programs reduce the number of traffic collisions caused by inexperienced drivers. In West Virginia, the GDL process involves three steps:
- Instruction Permit
- Intermediate License
- Full License
When you are 15 years old, you can apply for your Instruction Permit (or learner’s permit) in the state of West Virginia. To do so, you must pass a written knowledge test (or permit test) that will show you have studied the rules of the road. It will also test your awareness of traffic signs and signals. Study if You Want to Pass Don’t take the permit test without being prepared. The more time you devote to study, the more likely it is that you will pass on your first try. We offer a free copy of the West Virginia Driver’s Handbook for you to use, or you can request a physical copy by visiting the West Virginia Department of Transportation (DOT) offices. Take Practice Tests Our West Virginia practice permit tests are a great resource for study. They contain much of the same subject matter as the real test, and after you pass it, you should be able to safely assume you will do well on the actual exam. Visit the DOL Offices When you feel ready, visit the DOL offices, bringing along:
- Your birth certificate, Social Security card and two proofs of residency (parent’s utility bill, credit-card bill, school enrollment card).
- A valid school-enrollment form.
- $5 in fees.
Now, you will be given the permit test. Stay focused and try to remember everything you have studied. The questions will be multiple choice, so if you get stuck, you should be able to use logic to look for the correct answer. When you pass the written test, you will also be given a vision test to make sure you can see well enough to drive. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure you have them with you. Get Some Behind the Wheel Practice While holding your Instruction Permit, you must complete at least 50 hours of practice driving under the supervision of a licensed driver age 21 or older. Of those hours, 10 must take place at night.
When you are 16 years old, you have held your permit for six months without any traffic violations, and you have completed your practice-driving requirements, you are eligible to apply for your Intermediate License. To do so, you must pass a behind-the-wheel road test that will check how well you operate a vehicle and observe traffic laws. As long as you’ve been practicing, this test should be fairly simple to pass. When you feel ready, visit the DOL offices, bringing along:
- A registered and insured vehicle to use for the test.
- Your parent or guardian.
- $5 in fees.
- Your Instruction Permit.
When you pass the test, you will be given your Intermediate License, which comes with a few restrictions. Unless supervised, you cannot:
- Drive with any unrelated passengers under the age of 20 for the first six months or more than one passenger under the age of 20 in the second six months.
- Drive between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. except for work, a school activity, a church activity or an emergency situation.
- Drive without a safety belt.
- Drive while using a cell phone or other electronic device.
When you are 17 years old and have held your Intermediate License for a full year without any violations, you are eligible for a Full License. Visit the DOL offices with up to $10.50 in fees (costs vary depending on your age) and trade your Intermediate License for a Full License. Congratulations! You now have unrestricted driving privileges.
West Virginia has a zero-tolerance alcohol policy. This means that getting caught with alcohol in your system, even while you aren’t driving, can result in losing your license. You’ve worked hard to earn driving privileges, so be sure to make smart and responsible choices.