West Virginia Driver Licensing Law

Obtaining a Learner's Permit in West Virginia

West Virginia teens are eligible to obtain a Learner's Permit after turning 15. While holding a permit, teens are able to practice driving while under the supervision of a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old. The supervising driver must be present at all times.

When applying for a Learner's Permit, individuals are required to bring the following:

  • A certified birth certificate
  • Their Social Security card
  • Two proofs of West Virginia residency
  • A current Driver's Eligibility Certificate, which is issued by county school boards
  • A $5 fee
  • The written consent of a parent or legal guardian on a form DMV-23

All applicants will be subject to a vision screening and a written knowledge test.

While holding the permit, drivers are bound by the following restrictions:

  • Driving with more than two non-family passengers in addition to a supervising adult is prohibited.
  • Driving may only occur between 5AM and 10PM.
  • The usage of cell phones and texting devices are prohibited.
  • All vehicle occupants are required to wear safety belts.

Before applying for an Intermediate License, the Instructional Permit holder must complete 50 hours of supervised behind-the-wheel practice driving. Ten of the practice hours must come at night.

This permit must be held for six months without violations. A driver will be eligible for an Intermediate License when they turn 16 years old.

Obtaining an Intermediate License

The second stage of the West Virginia Graduated Driver License Program, the Intermediate License, allows 16-year-olds to begin driving unsupervised. Before it is awarded, a Learner's Permit holder must:

  • Submit a current Driver's Eligibility Certificate
  • Have passed the road skills test
  • Have submitted a form, signed by a parent or guardian, stating the 50-hour driving practice was completed or submit a Driver's Education Card

In the first six months after receiving the license, drivers may not operate a vehicle with anyone age 20 or younger who is not related. During the second six months, drivers may not transport more than one on family member under 20. Applicants will be required to pass knowledge and driving tests as well as a vision exam.

Additionally, license holders are not allowed to drive between the hours of 5AM and 10PM. Several exceptions apply. If supervised by a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old, if traveling between employment, a school, or religious activity and home, or in the case of an emergency, driving during the restricted hours is permitted.

The cellular phone and safety belt restrictions from the Learner's Permit still apply.

Before applying for an unrestricted license, the teen must hold the Intermediate License for at least one year, without any violations.

Any Intermediate License Holders who receive two moving violations or violate the terms and conditions of their GDL level will have their license revoked at least until they turn18 and possibly longer.

Need more information on state laws? Learn more about the laws where you live.

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