Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in West Virginia

Teen Drivers in West Virginia

If you're a teenager applying for a new driver's license, you'll need to meet the requirements of the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) graduated driver's licensing (GDL) program.

The West Virginia GDL program is design to help teen drivers develop and practice the driving skills necessary to pass the DMV road test, obtain a full driver's license, and be a safe, responsible motorist.

On this page you'll find information about the WV GDL requirements and the next steps towards your first unrestricted driver's license.

New to West Virginia?

If you have recently moved to West Virginia and have an out-of-state driver's license, you must transfer it within 30 days of your move.

You can easily transfer it as long as it is still valid and not expired. Just visit your local WV DMV office with:

If you're under 18 years old, and your out-of-state license does not meet WV’s Level 2 GDL then you will be required to take the written test and the road test as if you have never been licensed before. If you bring a driving record from your previous state to the WV DMV the time you have held your license in the issuing state will count towards the required time you must hold a Level 1 GDL instruction permit.

If your out-of-state driver's license is expired, you will need to pass the West Virginia:

  • Vision test.
  • Written exam.
  • Road skills test.

What are the West Virginia GDL Program & Restrictions

The West Virginia DMV GDL program applies to all new drivers younger than 18 years old.

The GDL program consists of the following stages:

  • Instruction permit, which allows you to drive:
    • Only with a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old.
    • With no more than 2 passengers other than your adult supervisor, unless they are family members.
    • Between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. only.
  • Intermediate driver's license, which allows:
    • Unsupervised driving between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.
    • No passengers under 20 years old for the first 6 months, unless they are family members.
    • No more than 1 passenger younger than 20 years old during the second 6 months, unless they are family members.
  • Full, unrestricted driver's license.

What are the WV License Age Requirements

The minimum ages to begin each phase of the West Virginia DMV GDL program are as follows:

  • Learner's permit: 15 years old.
  • Provisional license: 16 years old.
  • Full, unrestricted driver's license: 17 years old.

How to Get a West Virginia Learner's Permit

If you are at least 15 years old, you can visit your local West Virginia DMV to apply for your learner's permit. You'll need to:

Pass The Written Test On Your First Try

The DMV offers a basic practice testto help you prepare for the written exam. In addition to this test, we suggest using an online practice test from our approved partner.

Driving Restrictions and Behind-the-Wheel Practice

With your West Virginia learner's permit, you can drive:

  • With a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old.
  • With no more than 2 passengers who are not family members, in addition to your adult supervisor.
  • Between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. only.
  • You may not use a cell phone or texting while driving. This is considered a primary offense and you can be stopped by law enforcement.

Before moving on to the next steps of the GDL program, you'll need to:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Have held your learner's permit for at least 6 months.
  • Complete at least 50 hours of driving practice, including 10 hours at night.

How to Get an Intermediate Driver License in WV

You will be eligible to upgrade from your learner's permit to a intermediate driver's license when you:

  • Are at least 16 years old.
  • Have held your permit for at least 6 months.
  • Have had no traffic violations in the past 6 months.
  • Complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving, with 10 hours completed at night.

Once you've satisfied the requirements above, you'll need to visit the West Virginia DMV to:

Once you have held your provisional license for at least 1 year and you are at least 17 years old, you can move on to your unrestricted driver's license.

Intermediate License Driving Restrictions

Your West Virginia intermediate driver's license permits:

  • Unsupervised driving between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. You must be supervised while driving outside of these hours*.
  • No passengers under 20 years old who are not family members, for the first 6 months.
  • No more than 1 passenger younger than 20 years old who is not a family member, during the second 6 months.
  • All passengers must be wearing seatbelts.
  • You may not use a cell phone or text while driving. This is considered a primary offense and you can be stopped by law enforcement.

*Note: You may drive unsupervised between the hour of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. IF you are driving to or from:

  • Your place of employment.
  • A religious activity.
  • A school activity (sanctioned by the school you attend).
  • In an emergency situation where you driving will prevent injury or death of someone else.

Full Unrestricted WV Driver License

You are eligible for your first unrestricted WV driver's license when you:

  • Turn 17 years old.
  • Have held your intermediate license for at least 1 year.
  • Have had no traffic violations for at least 1 year.

To obtain your full driver's license, visit your local West Virginia DMV office and:

  • Surrender your intermediate driver's license.
  • Pay $5 per year plus a $.50 motor voter fee until your 21st birthday.

Track your progress and share it with your friends with our new license checklist.

Forms

DMV-DS-23P
Application for a Drivers License or Photo ID Card
West Virginia DMV application for an original, duplicate, OR renewed learner's permit, driver's license, motorcycle license, OR state identification card.
DMV-10-GDL
50-Hour Certification Log for Drivers License Applicants Under Age 18
West Virginia driver's license applicants under 18 years old use this form to log the amount of practice driving hours completed.

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