West Virginia Online Driver Education and West Virginia Licensing Procedures
So you've taken your first step towards becoming a new driver in West Virginia? Congratulations!
As you probably already know, driving is a valuable skill, but can also be extremely dangerous. Therefore, to help new teen drivers develop safe driving habits during their first few years behind the wheel, the State of West Virginia has implemented a graduated driver license program for West Virginia drivers who are under the age of 18.
We’ve summarized a few things you’ll need to know as you begin the process of becoming a licensed driver in West Virginia.
West Virginia Instruction Permit (aka--Learners Permit)
You may apply for an instruction permit in West Virginia once you turn 15.
When you're ready to get it, go down to your local driver's license office with the following paperwork:
- Passport or Birth Certificate (original or certified copy)
- Social Security card
- Your parent/guardian needs to accompany you to sign your application
- Proof of residency in West Virginia (for more info, please visit the WV Transportation Department)
- $5 to cover the permit fee
At the driver's license office, you will be given a written (knowledge) test. If you pass it, you will be issued an instruction permit (which is valid until your 18th birthday).
- You may only driver if you have a licensed driver who's at least 21 years old sitting next to you in the front passenger seat actively supervising your driving.
- You may not drive at all between the hours of 10pm and 5am
- In addition to the adult superviser, you may carry only 2 non-family passengers.
- No cell phones while you are driving (and don't even THINK of texting!)
- Everyone in the car must wear seat belts
West Virginia Intermediate Driver License
You may apply for your intermediate license after you turn 16, provided you have met the following requirements:
- Have held your instruction permit for with no traffic violations for 6 months
- Completed at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice (10 of which must have been at night). Your parent/guardian must certify that you have completed these hours
When you're ready, call your local driver's license office and schedule an appointment to take your road test. Again, you will need to brigin your ID documents, your parent/guardian, $5 for the fee, and your instruction permit. If you pass the road test, you will be issued an intermediate license.
- For the first 6 months, no non-family passengers under 20 may ride with you
- For the second 6 months, only 1 non-family passenger may ride with you
- You may not drive between the hours of 10pm and 5am unless you are going to or from your job, a school-sponsored or church-sponsored activity, or in the event of an emergency (and no, a sudden craving for a milk shake does not qualify as an emergency)
- No cell phone or texting while you are driving
- Everyone in the car must wear seat belts
Warning--if you receive two (2) or more moving violations, your intermediate license will be suspended until you turn 18.
After you turn 18, and provided you've had your intermediate license for at least 1 year, you may apply for your Class E (full, unrestricted) license and the above restrictions will no longer apply to you.
West Virginia Auto Insurance & Financial Responsibility Laws
State law requires that you have at least a certain amount of auto insurance/liability coverage on any vehicle you drive. The minimum amount of liability coverage required in West Virginia is as follows:
$20,000--personal injury (1 person)
$40,000--personal injury (2 or more people)
$10,000--property damage per accident
Driving without required liability coverage is a crime. If you are found to be driving while uninsured, you risk losing your license and paying a hefty fine.
West Virginia Drunk Driving Laws
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited in West Virginia--and this law is strictly enforced.
Upon your FIRST conviction of a DUI, you will face the following penalties:
- Jail up to 6 months
- Fine $100 to $500
- West Virginia License Suspension 15 days
These penalties are even more harsh if your BAC level is .15 or higher, or if you have a minor under the age of 16 in the car at the time you get busted.
Repeat DUI violations will result in even more severe penalties, including jail time, fines, and the revocation of your driver's license.
West Virginia Cell Phone & Text-Messaging Laws
West Virginia currently prohibits teen-aged drivers from using cell phones while driving (even if they are "hands-free"). Texting while driving is absolutely, 100% prohibited.
West Virginia Drivers Education
For a list of approved drivers education courses available, please visit the West Virginia Department of Transportation website.