West Virginia Permit Requirements

When applying for a West Virginia driving permit with Division of Motor Vehicles, it is important to know the permit requirements.  Make sure you have the met the DMV conditions and that you have the necessary paperwork ready.

Earning a learners permit is a great privilege for many teens.  But it also comes with important responsibilities.  In order to obtain a West Virginia instructional permit for driving, applicants must be at least 15 years old and take a written knowledge test to qualify.

West Virginia Permit Required Documentation and Fees

When applying for an instructional permit certain documentation and paperwork must be provided.  Written consent from a parent or legal guardian, in the form of their signature in person, is required.  Applicants must also present a current Driver's Eligibility Certificate issued by the applicant’s school office, showing current enrollment, or a high school diploma or proof of GED enrollment.  The applicant must then provide proof of their identity, Social Security number and residency from a list of allowed documents as follows:

  • Proof of identity - an original or certified copy of a United States-issued birth certificate, or a valid, unexpired U.S. Passport or official U.S. Passport card
  • Social Security Number – an original Social Security card, W-2 form or payroll stub with the applicant's employer name and employer ID number as well as the applicant's name, address and Social Security number.
  • Proof of West Virginia residency – The easiest way to prove this is with the school-issued Driver's Eligibility Certificate or School Enrollment Form, with the applicant's street address.  If only a PO box is listed, additional documents such as official mail like a utility bill must be presented.

The fee to apply for an instructional permit is $5.00

West Virginia Permit Written Test

The West Virginia written knowledge test consists of multiple choice questions covering topic such as traffic signs, regulations, pedestrian safety and signaling. The computer-based test has 25 questions and at least 19 of them, or 76 percent, must be answered correctly to pass and qualify for a permit. Drivers must also pass a vision test.

Rules and Restrictions for West Virginia Permit Holders

Upon earning their learner's permit, teens may drive a vehicle only with a licensed driver age 21 or older in the front seat at all times.   They also must comply with basic restrictions.  Drivers may not have more than two additional non-family passengers in addition to the supervising adult, and may only operate their vehicle between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.

West Virginia Graduated License Program

Once the driver has held a learner's permit for six months without committing any violations, they are eligible for a level 2 intermediate license starting at age 16.  Drivers must complete 50 hours of practice driving, including 10 hours of night driving, as certified by a parent or legal guardian, or Driver's Education Card.  Finally, each driver must pass the road skills test.

The level 2 license retains certain restrictions for the new driver.  Driving is not permitted from 10 PM to 5 AM unless going to and from work, a school or religious activity or with an adult 21 or older.  No passengers under 20 years old except siblings are allowed for the first 6 months.  After that level 2 drivers may only carry one friend under the age of 20.

A less restricted level 3 license may be obtained after the driver has held a license for one year with no violations. The driver must be at least 17 years old, and they must agree to operating their vehicle with zero tolerance for alcohol, texting or cell phone use.