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    Vehicle Registration in West Virginia

    The state of West Virginia requires all resident vehicles to be registered with the WV Department of Transportation (WVDOT). If you move to the state or purchase a new or used vehicle, you will have to register it. You will also title the vehicle at the same time as you register it.

    If you already have a vehicle that is registered in West Virginia, visit the registration renewal page to see how to keep your registration current.

    New to West Virginia?

    If you are moving to West Virginia, you will need to register and title your vehicle at your local WVDOT office within 30 days of establishing residency in the state.

    To complete the registration and titling of your vehicle, submit:

    • The out-of-state title and registration.
      • If you have a loan on your vehicle, you need a photocopy of the title, or printout of an electronic lien, and a letter from the lienholder showing they have the title.
    • Proof of residency (mortgage/lease/rental agreement, utility bills, etc.)
    • An Application for Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle (form DMV-1-TR), which will be used for both title and registration.
    • Auto insurance information.
    • Payment for all registration and titling fees and taxes (see “Vehicle Registration Fees” below).

    Note that you will have 10 days from the day you register/title your vehicle to complete a vehicle inspection. See “WV Vehicle Inspections” below for more information.

    Registering a Vehicle in West Virginia

    The WV vehicle registration process is different depending on whether you are purchasing a vehicle from a dealership or a private party.

    Purchasing from a WV Car Dealer

    West Virginia car dealerships are required to submit all registration and titling paperwork, as well as collect all fees and taxes.

    If you are trading in a WV-titled vehicle, you may be eligible for a tax credit on the purchase price of the new vehicle.

    Purchasing from an Out-of-State Car Dealer

    Some out-of-state dealers will be able to submit your paperwork for WV registration, but if they do not offer this service, visit a WVDOT office and submit:

    • The vehicle statement of origin.
    • An invoice showing the purchase price of the vehicle.
      • If you are trading in a WV-titled vehicle, you may be eligible for a tax credit on the purchase price of the new vehicle. Present the trade-in information to see if you qualify for this tax credit.
    • A completed Application for Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle (form DMV-1-TR).
      • If you have a loan on your vehicle, you need a photocopy of the title, or a printout of an electronic lien, and a letter from the lienholder showing they have the title information.
    • Payment for all registration fees, titling fees, and taxes (see “Vehicle Registration Fees” below).

    West Virginia does not have any reciprocity agreements with any other states. You will be required to pay WV taxes even if you have already paid sales tax in another state. You must also have the vehicle inspected within 10 days of arriving to the state (see “Vehicle Inspections” below for details).

    Purchasing a Vehicle from a Private Party

    You will be required to complete all paperwork when purchasing a vehicle from a private party. Once you have purchased the vehicle from the previous owner, you will need to go to your local WVDOT office and submit:

    • The vehicle title properly signed over to you by the previous owner.
      • Both the seller and buyer must sign the back of the title.
      • If the seller is from out-of-state, his/her address must be on the title.
    • A completed Application for Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle (form DMV-1-TR).
      • Vehicles up to 10 years old will need the odometer disclosure statement completed by the seller on the application.
    • Payment for all required fees and taxes (see “Vehicle Registration Fees” below).

    If the vehicle does not have an inspection sticker affixed, you must also have the vehicle inspected within 10 days of titling and registering (see “Vehicle Inspections” below for details).

    WV Military Members & Vehicle Registration

    WV Military Residents

    If you are a WV resident member of the military, you may simply follow the processes outlined above to register your vehicle in the state.

    WV Residents Stationed Out of State

    Federal law allows you to keep your vehicle registered in West Virginia while you are stationed out of state or overseas.

    If you have recently purchased a vehicle while on active duty and wish to register it back in West Virginia, please contact the Department of Transportation at:

    • (304) 558-3900.
    • Toll free: (800) 642-9066.

    Non-Residents Stationed in WV

    Non-resident members of the military stationed in West Virginia do not need to register their vehicles in WV. If you choose to register your vehicle with the WVDOT, you will need to do so in the same manner as any person who is new to the state.

    Vehicle Registration Fees in WV

    Registration fees, titling fees, and taxes will be collected when you apply for title and registration. Purchases from a West Virginia car dealership will have these fees included in the total price of the vehicle.

    • Registration: $30 (includes litter and insurance fees).
    • Title: $10.
    • Lien fee (for vehicles with loans): $5.
    • Vehicle titling sales tax: 5% of purchase price (this tax is waived for new WV residents).
      • A $25 fee will be charged instead of the 5% if the vehicle purchase price is under $500.
    • Duplicate plate decal/registration card: $5.
    • Duplicate license plate: $5.50.

    West Virginia does not have any reciprocity agreements with any other states. You will be required to pay WV taxes even if you have already paid sales tax in another state.

    West Virginia Vehicle Inspections

    There are no inspections required before you register your vehicle with the WVDOT, but West Virginia does require vehicle inspections after registration to keep your vehicle legal.

    Safety Inspections

    West Virginia requires an annual safety inspection for all vehicles. There are different requirements depending on when and where you obtained your vehicle.

    New WV Residents

    If you are new to the state, you have 10 days after you register your vehicle to have a safety inspection completed at a WV State Police licensed inspection station. If you previously completed an inspection from any of the following states, it will be honored by West Virginia until the inspection expires.

    • Louisiana.
    • Mississippi.
    • Missouri.
    • New Hampshire.
    • New York.
    • Oklahoma.
    • Texas.
    • Utah.
    • Wyoming.

    Vehicles Purchased Out-of-State

    If you buy your vehicle in another state and register it in West Virginia, you will have 10 days after getting the registration to have the safety inspection completed.

    Vehicles Purchased in West Virginia

    If you purchase a vehicle in WV that does not have a current, valid safety inspection sticker, you must have a safety inspection performed within 3 days after registering the car/truck.

    Current, valid safety inspection stickers will continue to be legal until the expiration date on the sticker, regardless of a change of ownership. Make sure you know when the safety inspection expires so you do not let it lapse.

    Emissions Inspections

    West Virginia does not require emissions inspections. However, you should always make an effort to be conscious about your vehicle’s emission output. Visit our page on Smog & Emissions Checks for information on how you can keep your vehicle eco-friendly.

    Replacing a Lost Registration or License Plate

    If you lose a registration certificate, decal, or license plate, or they are damaged or destroyed, you will need to get a replacement as soon as you can. You should also report a lost or stolen license plate to the West Virginia State Police right away.

    You can apply for a replacement online, or you can go into a WVDOT office and fill out the Application for Duplicate Registration, Decal, or Plate & Change of Address (DMV-32-TR) form. You’ll need to provide proof of auto insurance in order to receive a duplicate license plate.

    Replacement Fees

    • Duplicate registration certificate or plate decal: $5.
    • Duplicate license plate: $5.50.

    Custom-Built Vehicles

    If you have a custom-built vehicle, you will need to visit your local West Virginia State Police office first before you can have it registered and titled. Submit a completed Verification of Vehicle Identification No. (Form DMV-18) and a police officer will make sure your vehicle doesn't already have a VIN and that no parts have been stolen.

    Once you've completed this step, simply follow the instructions in the "Registering a Vehicle in West Virginia" above.

    West Virginia License Plates

    You will receive standard WV license plates after you complete your application for title and registration. You must keep the regular license plates before you are eligible to apply for any special interest or personalized license plates, if you choose to do so.

    Visit our page on License Plates & Placards in West Virginia for more information.