Click here to ask your driving related question.

Ask a driving related question on AnswersforDrivers.com.

Frequently Asked Questions - West Virginia Teen Driver

The State of West Virginia requires drivers to pass the following tests:

The Knowledge Test
• The written knowledge test is administered at a local DMV office and covers the basic rules or the road and how to safely operate a motor vehicle. You must correctly answer 20 out of 25 questions to pass the test.

Vision Screening
• You must have a visual acuity of 20/40 in both eyes, with or without using corrective lenses. West Virginia has no minimum visual field requirements. If you cannot meet the minimum visual acuity standard, you must submit a Report on Visual Examination to the DMV. It must be completed by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist.

The Driving Skills Test
• You will be tested on your ability to operate the vehicle safely in a variety of traffic situations. The examiner will check to make sure your vehicle has current registration and proof of liability insurance. You will be asked to perform some of the following maneuvers:

1. Make safe left and right turns
2. Make a three-point turn
3. Proper signaling for changing lanes
4. Lane usage, right-of-way, intersection approach and overall vehicle control
5. Making quick stops
6. Backing up the vehicle
7. Parallel parking

You must score 80 out of 100 points in order to pass the test.

The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the following requirements for the Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) program:

Level 1 Permit (Instruction Permit)
• You must be at least 15 years old.
• You must pass a knowledge test and vision screening.
• You must have a valid School Driver Eligibility Certificate from your county school board.
• You must have the permission of your parent or legal guardian (DMV Form 23), if you are under 18 and not married.
• You must pay the knowledge test fee of $5.00 (good for two attempts)
• You must pay the Level 1 permit fee of $5.00

The Level 1 Permit is valid until your 18th birthday and is non-renewable. Two traffic convictions will results in the revocation of your permit for 90 days. When the 90 days are up, you will be required to reapply and take the knowledge and vision tests again.

The West Virginia Department of Licensing requires applicants to provide proof of identity, residency and Social Security number or ineligibility of Social Security number by submitting the following documents:

Identification Documents for U.S. Citizens
• Original or certified copy of birth certificate (Hospital birth certificated are unacceptable)
• U.S. passport (Only an original, valid, current or legally extended are acceptable)
• West Virginia driver’s license or identification card (Must be valid or expired 6 months or less)
• U.S. Service Identification Card (Must be valid and accompanied with a Photo Privilege Card DD-1173)
• DOD IDDD-2 Military Photo Identification Card (Must be valid, original, active duty, retiree or reservist)
• Form N-550 or N-570 (Certificate of Naturalization)
• Form N-560 Certificate of United States Citizenship

Proof of West Virginia Residency (Two proofs required for first-time applicants)
• Current utility bill with West Virginia address (No more than 60 days old)
• Tax records indicating a West Virginia address (Property tax receipt or bill)
• Residential lease agreement (For a West Virginia residence)
• Mortgage documents for a West Virginia residence (Or proof of West Virginia home ownership)
• Homeowner’s insurance documents (For a West Virginia residence)
• W-2 form with a West Virginia address (Must be no more than 18 months old)
• Concealed weapons permit with West Virginia address (Must be current)
• Current school eligibility certificate (Required for applicants under the age of 18 applying for a GDL)
• Valid motor vehicle registration card (Must be in the name of the applicant and issued by the DMV with a West Virginia address)
• West Virginia Voter’s registration card
• Proof of receipt of West Virginia public assistance
• West Virginia homestead tax exemption
• West Virginia DMV Affidavit of Residency

Proof of Social Security Number
• You must provide your Social Security number. If you do not have a Social Security number, you may sign a declaration form and provide proof of West Virginia residency.

Immigrants
Immigrants who are applying for an instruction permit, driver’s license or identification card are required to provide one of the following documents:

• Form I-551 Alien Registration Receipt Card
• Valid Temporary I-551 stamp on foreign passport (with English translation) or on INS Form I-94
• Valid re-entry permit Form I-327

Additional requirements include:

• Social Security card or a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) denying the issuance of a Social Security card
• Two proof of West Virginia residency

Non-Immigrants
Non-immigrants applying for an instruction permit, driver’s license or identification card are to provide the following documents:

• Social Security card or a letter from the SSA denying the issuance of a Social Security card
• Two proofs of West Virginia residency
• Valid foreign passport
• Form I-94
• Visa issued by the United States if the applicant is from a national whose citizens are required by the United States to obtain a visa
• All original documents to verify status and length of authorized stay
• Form I-20 and written verification of attendance at the school listed on Form I-20 if the applicant’s status is F-1 of F-2
• Written verification from an employer if the applicant’s status is H1-A, H1-B, H-3 or H-4
• Form DS-2019 and written verification of attendance at the school listed on Form DS-2019 if the applicant’s status is J-1 or J-2

Refugees
Refugees applying for an instruction permit, driver’s license or identification card are required to provide the following documents:

• Social Security or a letter from the SSA denying the issuance of a Social Security card
• One form of West Virginia residency
• Form I-94 showing grant of refugee status
• A Reception and Placement Program Assurance Form
• Written verification of identity and West Virginia residency presented by an employee of a sponsoring organization approved by the U.S. Department of State to resettle refugees in West Virginia

Refugees without an approved sponsoring organization or a person seeking asylum shall provide the following:
• Social Security card or a letter from the SSA denying the issuance of a Social Security card
• Two proofs of West Virginia residency
• Form I-94 stamped Refugee/Asylee (person seeking asylum)
• Form I-688B and I-766 Employment Authorization Document

A change of name will require proof by submitting a marriage certificate, birth certificate or court order. A change of gender requires a court order specifically indicating that the gender change is complete.

The West Virginia DMV recommends that teen drivers and their parents draft an agreement that outlines the rules of responsible driving. The teen should promise to do the following:

• Abide by the Level 1 Permit and Level 2 License restrictions
• Never use a cell phone or wireless device when driving
• Always wear a seat belt
• Limit the number of passengers
• Consider the time of day
• Watch out for distractions, such as food and music
• Adjust speed to the conditions of the road, weather and time of day
• Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

The parents should promise to do whatever is necessary to help the teen become a safe and responsible driver and to be available for practice driving sessions on a regular basis.

When applying for an instruction permit or an intermediate driver’s license, you will need to do the following:

• Fill out the Driver’s License Photo ID Application.
• Your parent or legal guardian must fill out DMV Form 23 giving permission if you are under 18 and not married. (Married applicants under 18 must provide a copy of their certified marriage certificate).
• You must submit a valid School Driver Eligibility Certificate issued by your county school board.

All first-time applicants must submit two proofs of West Virginia residency to the DMV.

The State of West Virginia has the following restrictions:

• Level 1 Permit (Instruction Permit) Restrictions
• You may only drive with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and sits next to you in the right front passenger seat.
• You may only drive between the hours of 5 am and 10 pm drive with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and sits next to you in the right front passenger seat.
• You may only have two additional non-family passengers in addition to the supervising, licensed adult driver.
• You are prohibited from having any measurable amount of alcohol in your system while operating a motor vehicle.
• You must require all occupants to adhere to the safety belt law.
• You may not use a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, unless contacting a 9-1-1 system.

Level 2 License (Intermediate License) Restrictions
• You may drive without a supervising, licensed adult driver who is 21 or older between the hours of 5 am and 10 pm.
• You must drive with a supervising, licensed adult driver who is 21 or older between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am, unless you are participating in, going to, or returning from:

1. Lawful employment
2. A school-sanctioned activity
3. A religious activity
4. An emergency situation that requires you to prevent bodily injury or the death of another person.

• You may not operate a motor vehicle for the first six months of Level II status with any non-family member passengers under the age of 20.
• You may not operate a motor vehicle with more than one non-family member passenger under the age of 20 during the second six months of Level II status.
• You are prohibited from having any measurable amount of alcohol in your system while operating a motor vehicle.
• You must require all occupants to adhere to the safety belt law.
• You may not use a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, unless contacting a 9-1-1 system.

The State of West Virginia has the following requirements to obtain an Intermediate License:

Level 2 License (Intermediate License)
• You must be at least 16 years old and have completed all the requirements of the Level I Permit.
• You must have held a Level I Instruction Permit for six months.
• You must have a parent or legal guardian certification (log sheet) of a minimum of 50 hours behind the wheel, including the minimum of 10 hours at night or complete a driver’s education course approved by the West Virginia Department of Education.
• You must have a current School Driver Eligibility Certificate from your county school board.
• You must have a minimum of 180 consecutive days of conviction-free driving at Level 1 immediately preceding the date of your Level 2 application.
• You must have the permission of your parent or legal guardian (DMV Form 23), if you are under 18 and not married.
• You must pass a road skills test (a maximum of three attempts to complete).
• You must pay the license fee of $5.00.

You can choose to keep the existing Level 2 License with restrictions until you reach 18.

Level 3 License (Full Class E License)
• You must be at least 17 years old.
• You must have held a Level 2 License for a minimum of twelve months.
• You must be conviction-free for 12 months prior to applying for a Level 3 License. If you receive a conviction, the 12-month conviction-free period will start over again at the point of that conviction.
• You must pay the license fee of $10.50.
The Level 3 License will expire on your 21st birthday with a 30-day grace period.

The State of West Virginia requires driver’s to complete a state-approved driver education course that includes the following:

• Minimum of 50 hours of classroom instruction (66 hours preferred)
• Minimum of 8 hours in a standard defensive driving course
• In-car observation of 10 hours (18 hours preferred)
• In-car practice driving of 6 hours

On-street student practice driving lessons must be completed in a motor vehicle equipped with a dual control braking system. An approved driver education instructor must occupy the seat beside the student driver at all times.

Before applying for a permit or license, you should study the State of West Virginia Driver’s Licensing Handbook, which covers the following topics:

• Chapter 1—Driver’s License Information
• Chapter 2—Driver Responsibilities
• Chapter 3—Driving Under the Influence
• Chapter 4—Examination Procedures and Requirements
• Chapter 5—Traffic Control Devices
• Chapter 6—Traffic Laws and Rules of the Road
• Chapter 7—Driving on Interstates
• Chapter 8—Defensive Driving
• Chapter 9—Emergency Situations

The handbook can be found online at the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles website or at any DMV regional office.

All drivers under the age of 18 with a Level 1 Permit or Level 2 License are prohibited from using a cell phone or wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle. Teens who violate this law will be subject to the following penalties:

• First Offense—$25 Fine
• Second Offense—$50 Fine
• Third Offense—$75 Fine

Teens who are 17 years old and hold a Level 3 License are no longer subject to the above restriction.