License Plates & Placards in West Virginia
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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)
To order a personalized license plate, follow the special ordering instructions and forms located under the plate you choose. If the plate you choose doesn't have any special ordering instructions or forms, download the general Application for Personalized License Plates. (You must have the free Adobe Reader to view and print a .pdf file.)
Send the completed form and fees to:
- Department of Transportation
- Division of Motor Vehicles
- Building 3, Capitol Complex
- 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 (automobiles and pickup trucks weighing 8,000 pounds or fewer, and motorcycles) 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 $15 wildlife reservation fee.)
- Motorcycle plates may only have six spaces and cannot have scenic graphics.
If you're a NASCAR fan, good news. You can purchase officially licensed NASCAR and NASCAR driver plates.
Note that NASCAR plates expire on October 1 of every year.
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. However, it may be used for general transportation needs from 4 p.m. on Fridays through the end of the weekend, and on holidays.
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 a one-time $35 fee, which covers 10 years.
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 a DMV-32 form and take it to your local DMV office along with your vehicle's Car Insuranceproof of 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, the fee is $5.50.
The state does not require West Virginia residents to return their license plates after relocating to another state. Learn more on our WV License Plate Surrender page.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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