West Virginia Driver’s License Renewal

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated May 10, 2021

Is it time for your West Virginia driver’s license renewal? No need to worry, in this guide we will go through everything you need to know in order to complete the process hassle-free. 

When Do I Need to Renew My Driver’s License in West Virginia?

West Virginia has implemented the “Drive for Five” program. This means that after age 18, your license needs to be renewed in the same years that your age is divisible by five. (Age 20, 25, 30, 35, and onward).

If this is your first renewal, the person who issued your license gave you an expiration ranging between three and seven years to phase you into the program. This number was based on your age when you applied for your license. Check the upper right of your card for the date.

What is the Grace Period for an Expired Driver’s License?

There is no grace period for driving with an expired license in West Virginia. If you are caught driving without a valid license, the first offense is a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500. In case of a second violation, there will be more fines and possible jail time. The penalties get worse if your license is suspended or you are hit with a DUI.

If your license has expired for more than six months, you will need to retake the written and behind-the-wheel exams to qualify for renewal. You will also need to bring in documentation as if you were applying for the first time. Zutobi can help you pass these exams on the first try with our learning program.

Can I Be Denied a License Renewal in West Virginia?

Yes. The West Virginia DMV may refuse to renew your license if:

  • You legally declared a habitual alcoholic or use narcotic drugs
  • Your license is suspended or revoked, until the period expires and you pay the reinstatements fees.
  • If the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles has cause to believe you are a road hazard to other drivers.
  • If you are not in the country legally or your legal status is revoked.
  • If your license has expired for 6 months or more, it will be as if you were applying for the first time. You will need to provide proof of identity, social security number, birth date, and residency. You will also need to take the written and driving exam again.
  • If you fail your written, driving, or vision exam. You can retake the written or driving exam seven days later, but you will need to pay the $7.50 test fees again. You can retake the vision exam after the issue is resolved, typically with corrective lenses.

How to Renew a West Virginia Driver’s License

The state offers a variety of ways to renew your license.

  • Online
  • Mail (by invitation)
  • In Person
  • Kiosks

If you need to make any changes to your license, you will have to renew in person.

Renew Online

Renewing online is one of the easiest ways to renew your license. By using the WV DMV’s ‘Skip the Trip!’ tool, you can use this option if you satisfy the following requirements:

  • You are a US citizen
  • You do not need to change vital information like your name, signature, or address
  • You do not need to upgrade to a REAL-ID for the first time
  • You do not have outstanding fees and tickets on your record
  • Your license is not suspended or revoked

If you satisfy the requirements, then the first thing you need to do is to make sure none of your information has changed since the last time you renewed. If any of it has, you will have to renew in person. 

Here’s how you complete the process:

  1. Make sure you have your license number, SSN, and a valid credit or debit card on hand.
  2. Visit the DMV’s “Skip the Trip” page
  3. Follow the steps and make sure all information is correct.
  4. Pay the appropriate fees.
  5. You will be able to print out a temporary paper permit. You must print out a physical copy for it to be valid when you drive. Your license will arrive in the mail within 60 days.

Renew by Mail

If you receive an individual reminder notice from the WV DMV, it will state if you qualify to renew by mail. You will need to send in photocopies of the required documents and the appropriate fees to the DMV address provided.

Renew in Person

In-person license renewal is mandatory if:

  • You renewed by any other method last time
  • You changed any vital information like your name or address
  • You are upgrading to a REAL-ID (For Federal Identification ID) for the first time.

If you want to renew in person, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Find a DMV location near you. You may need to schedule an appointment ahead of time. Make sure to check their available payment methods before you go.
  2. Check your Driving Record to make sure you do not have outstanding fees or citations that could hinder the renewal process.
  3. Gather your documents.
    • Your old license
    • Renewal Application
    • If you changed your address, bring TWO proofs of residency like a lease agreement, utility bill, or bank statement. They must be no more than 6 months old.
    • If you changed your name, you must bring documents like a marriage certificate or adoption papers as proof.
    • If you have a “For Federal Identification” id, you also need to provide proof of your social security number.
  4. Take your written and driving exam, if your license has expired more than 60 days.
  5. Pass a Vision Test
  6. Take a new photo
  7. You will receive a temporary paper license, and your driver’s license will come in the mail to your residential address within 60 days.

Renew at a Kiosk

Kiosks are set up in Kroger and Sheetz locations across the state, and most of them are available 24/7. You will need to meet the following requirements to be eligible to renew at a kiosk:

  • You are a US citizen
  • You do not need to change vital information like your name, signature, or address
  • You do not need to upgrade to a REAL-ID for the first time
  • You do not have outstanding fees and tickets on your record
  • Your license is not suspended or revoked

Did you meet all of the requirements? Good. Here’s what to do next. 

  1. Check your Driving Record to make sure there is nothing impeding you from renewing your license. This will save you extra trips and hassle.
  2. When you get to a kiosk, swipe or enter in your DL and follow the prompts.
  3. Make sure all your information is correct.
  4. Pay the required renewal fee with a valid debit or credit card
  5. You will receive a temporary paper license. Your physical license will arrive in the mail at your residential address on file within 60 days.

West Virginia Driver’s License Renewal Fees

The base renewal cost is $5 per year that the license is valid, plus 50 cents in fees. So if your license is good for five years, the total base cost will be $25.50 ($5 x 5 years + 50 cents). 

If your license is expired, you will pay an additional $5 late fee. If your license has expired for six or more months, you will need to take the written and driving tests again. If this applies to you, expect an additional $7.50 per test attempt.

There is an additional $10 fee if you want your license to be accepted as a federal ID, also known as the REAL-ID.

Available payment methods vary by location. Also, these fees are subject to change so make sure to check the latest fees at the West Virginia DMV website. 

Do I Need a REAL-ID?

Starting May 3, 2023, a standard driver’s license will not qualify as your federal ID. The date used to be Oct 1, 2021, however, DHS announced another extension on April 27, 2021. A REAL-ID is labeled “Accepted as Federal Identification.”

This means you will need a passport, a REAL-ID, or another form of federal identification to:

  • Board a domestic flight
  • Enter a military base
  • Enter some government facilities
  • Access nuclear power plants

If you need access to any of the above, a REAL-ID is the way to go. 

That’s It

That’s everything you need to know about renewing your driver’s license in West Virginia, make sure to do so well before your license expires to avoid unnecessary complications. If you need help studying for renewal exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study resource with state-of-the-art refresher exams.

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