License Plates & Placards in West Virginia
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West Virginia License Plates
West Virginia offers many different kinds of specialized and personalized license plates including:
- Regular and scenic personalized
- Government officials
- Military and veteran
- Organizations (such as American Legion, Elks, and Rotary)
- Occupations (including firefighters, police, school bus drivers and postmasters)
- College and university alumni
- Recreation (such as square dancing and bowling)
Surrendering Your Plates in West Virginia
West Virginia typically does not require you to return your license plates after moving to another state or selling your vehicle.
NOTE: You may need to surrender your plates if you plan on canceling the insurance coverage for your vehicle. Please contact the West Virginia DOT for more information.
To order a personalized license plate, follow the special ordering instructions and forms located under the plate you choose.
Send the completed form and fees to:
- Department of Transportation
- Division of Motor Vehicles
- P.O. Box 17120
- Charleston, WV 25317
However, before you order your license plate, make sure you understand the following terms and conditions and meet the requirements:
- Before you can receive a personalized plate, your vehicle must be titled and have a regular Class A plate. Only Class A vehicles will be issued personalized plates.
- You must use the supplied order form and you must send the appropriate fees when you order your personalized license plate. If you fail to send the fees, your personalized license plate request will be reserved for 30 days.
- A personalized plate will be issued only if the request is available, not obscene or offensive, and doesn't conflict with a regular series number.
- If your request is approved, you must submit your old license plate to the DMV within 10 days of receiving your new plate.
- You can transfer your personalized plate to another vehicle if the vehicle is in the original registrant's name. You may transfer it to your spouse, as well. Fees are $5 for transfer and $.50 for insurance.
- You can reserve your personalized plate every year as long as you pay the required fees. (Fees due annually at the time of renewal include the $15 scenic or standard graphic fee and the $30 wildlife reservation fee.)
- Motorcycle plates only allow 6 characters and cannot have scenic graphics.
If you're a NASCAR fan, good news. You can purchase officially licensed NASCAR and NASCAR driver plates.
For plates to be displayed on vehicles, send the necessary forms and fees to the above Department of Transportation mailing address.
West Virginia has two types of plates available specifically for older vehicles.
Antique plates are for vehicles that are at least 25 years old. The vehicle must primarily be used for antique exhibitions, parades, and related activities.
Classic plates are also for vehicles that are at least 25 years old. There are no usage restrictions with classic plates.
Visit a DMV office to apply for either type of plate. Bring your title, proof of insurance, and personal property tax receipt.
Classic plates cost $45 per year. Antique plates carry an annual $30 fee.
If your license plate is lost or stolen, you need to contact the West Virginia State Police immediately. To replace your license plate, fill out Duplicate Registration/Decal/Plate/Change of Address (Form DMV-32-TR)and take it to your local DMV office along with proof of Car Insurance and the $5.50 fee.
If your license plate is faded, worn, and/or illegible, you can request a replacement at the time of renewal at no charge. If you need to replace your license plate at any other time you will need to fill out a Duplicate Registration/Decal/Plate/Change of Address (Form DMV-32-TR), the fee is $5.50.Other Topics in This Section