wv dmv license renewal

West Virginia WV DMV License Renewal: A 2024 Guide

The WV DMV license renewal process is designed to be comprehensive, taking into consideration eligibility requirements, renewal methods, necessary documentation, and fees.

February 9, 2023

The West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, the DMV, demands that all drivers undertake the necessary steps to refresh their license on a regular basis. This is to ensure that the records are up-to-date and that drivers meet the eligibility criteria for operating a vehicle.

Renewing your driver’s license is not just an administrative obligation, but also an integral aspect of public safety. The WV DMV license renewal process is designed to be comprehensive, taking into consideration eligibility requirements, renewal methods, necessary documentation, and fees.

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Eligibility for WV DMV License Renewal

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In West Virginia, possessing a driver’s license is a privilege that is bestowed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and must be regularly updated to maintain one’s eligibility for operating a vehicle. In this section, we delve into the various eligibility criteria for renewing a driver’s license in the state of West Virginia.


To be considered eligible for DMV license renewal, you must be a resident of West Virginia. The DMV deems you as such if you have lived in the state for a minimum of 30 days. If you’re a newcomer, make sure to update your address with the DMV and furnish proof of residency.

Age Limit

In West Virginia, drivers are issued a license at age 17 and it is valid until their birthday in the fifth year following the date of issuance. For example, if you were issued a license at age 17, it would be valid until your 22nd birthday. After that, your license needs to be renewed in the same years that your age is divisible by five (age 25, 30, 35, etc.).

By requiring renewal in years when the driver’s age is divisible by five, the DMV can assess their driving abilities and make any necessary updates to their license or driving restrictions. This helps to promote public safety by reducing the risk of accidents caused by drivers who are no longer physically or cognitively capable of operating a motor vehicle.

A Valid License

To successfully renew your driver’s license in West Virginia, you must have a valid license that is not expired, suspended or revoked. If your license has lapsed, you may still renew it as long as the expiration hasn’t surpassed 6 months. In the event of a suspended or revoked license, you must complete any necessary steps to regain your driving privileges before you can apply for renewal.

Other Eligibility Criteria

In addition to the residency, age, and valid license requirements, there are a few more eligibility criteria you need to fulfill to renew your driver’s license in West Virginia. These include providing proof of identity and residency, passing vision tests if required, having a clean driving record with no outstanding citations or fines, and if you have a medical condition that affects your ability to drive, you may be asked to furnish a doctor’s certification of your fitness to drive.

Exploring the Methods of DMV License Renewal in West Virginia

Drivers in the great state of West Virginia are provided with three options to renew their license – online, in-person, and mail-in. Each method presents its own pros and cons, and it’s crucial to comprehend the distinctions between them before making an informed decision.

Online West Virginia DMV License Renewal

For those who value comfort and convenience, the West Virginia DMV offers an online renewal service. However, not all drivers are eligible for this method, as it requires a valid license without any suspensions or revocations on the record and an unchanged address. If you fulfill these requirements, you may easily renew your license from the comfort of your home by following the instructions on the official West Virginia DMV website.

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Step-by-step guide for online renewal:

  • Step 1: Visit the official West Virginia DMV website (https://transportation.wv.gov/DMV/Drivers/Pages/Drivers-Licenses.aspx) and find the “Renew Your Driver’s License” option under the “Online Services” section.
  • Step 2: Input your personal details, including your full name, date of birth, and driver’s license number.
  • Step 3: Verify your information, follow the prompts, and pay the renewal fee online using a credit card or electronic check.
  • Step 4: Print or save a copy of your receipt for future reference.


  • Convenience: Online renewal provides drivers with the luxury of renewing their license from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Speed: The online process is usually faster than in-person or mail-in renewal methods.
  • Environmental friendliness: Renewing your license online reduces paper usage and contributes to a greener environment.


  • Eligibility restrictions: Some drivers may not be eligible to renew their licenses online.
  • Technical difficulties: Technical issues can arise during the online renewal process.

In-Person WV DMV License Renewal

For those who prefer a more personal touch, in-person renewal at a West Virginia DMV office may be the best option. To renew in person, drivers must bring the necessary documents, such as proof of identity and residency, and pay the renewal fee.

Step-by-step guide for in-person renewal:

  • Step 1: Visit a West Virginia DMV office and bring along the “Driver’s License Renewal Application” form.
  • Step 2: Present proof of identity and residency.
  • Step 3: Pay the renewal fee in person using cash, check, or credit card.
  • Step 4: Have your photo taken, and your signature captured, and receive your renewed driver’s license on the spot or by mail.


  • Face-to-face interaction: Renewing in person gives drivers the opportunity to interact with DMV staff and address any concerns or questions.
  • Immediate license issuance: Drivers who renew in person often receive their renewed license on the spot.


  • Wait times: DMV offices can be busy, requiring drivers to wait in line to renew their licenses.
  • Office hours: DMV offices have limited hours of operation, potentially requiring drivers to take time off work or rearrange their schedule to renew in person.

Mail-In DMV License Renewal in West Virginia

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For those who cannot renew online or in person, mail-in renewal provides a convenient alternative. To renew by mail, drivers must complete the renewal form, attach the necessary documents and fees, and send it to the West Virginia DMV.

Step-by-step guide for mail-in renewal:

  • Step 1: Fill out the ” West Virginia Driver’s License Renewal Application” form.
  • Step 2: Include proof of identity and residency.
  • Step 3: Attach a check or money order for the renewal fee.
  • Step 4: Mail the completed form, proof of identity and residency, and payment to the West Virginia DMV.
  • Step 5: Receive your renewed driver’s license by mail.


  • Flexibility: Mail-in renewal allows drivers to renew their licenses at their own pace, without the need to wait in line or take time off work.
  • No face-to-face interaction: Renewing by mail eliminates the need for face-to-face interaction with DMV staff.


  • Processing time: Renewing by mail takes longer than renewing online or in person, as the DMV must process the form and send the renewed license by mail.
  • Postal service: Renewing by mail depends on the reliability of the postal service, with a potential risk of the renewal form or license being lost or damaged during transit.

Note: Depending on your health status or disabilities, you may need to undergo a vision exam or provide additional documentation during the renewal process. If your license has expired for over six months, be prepared to take a written and driving test.

Requirements for WV DMV License Renewal

Renewing your West Virginia driver’s license entails satisfying specific requirements set by the DMV, including providing personal information, proof of identity, proof of residency, and paying the renewal fee.

  • Personal Information: The DMV mandates furnishing your full name, date of birth, West Virginia address, Social Security number, and any previous names or addresses. This information acts as a cornerstone to authenticate your identity and keep records up-to-date.
  • Proof of Identity: The DMV requires presenting credible proof of your identity, such as a current U.S. passport, certified birth certificate, U.S. military ID, or WV identification card featuring your signature and photograph.
  • Residency Verification: To prove your eligibility to renew your license, the DMV necessitates providing proof of your West Virginia residency, including a recent utility bill or bank statement displaying your name and address.
  • Renewal Fee Payment: Drivers must pay the non-refundable renewal fee, currently set at $5 for a regular license and $7 for a commercial license per year, through check, money order, or credit card.

DMV License Renewal Fees in West Virginia

Drivers in West Virginia must brace themselves for the renewal of their licenses, which involves the payment of fees that cover the cost of processing and updating their driving records. But, do you know how much you will be charged and what forms of payment are acceptable? And what if you are eligible for a reduction or waiver of the renewal fee? Well, look no further as we decode the complexities surrounding the renewal fee, payment methods, and exemptions.

If you’re a holder of a standard Class E driver’s license, the fee for WV renewal is $5.00 per year. However, for those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), the fee increases to $23.50 for a four-year renewal or $47.00 for an eight-year renewal period. But, if you’re a motorcycle license holder, you’ll only be charged $5.50 for a four-year renewal period.

The West Virginia DMV has made it easier for drivers to pay their renewal fees, with multiple payment options available, such as credit or debit cards, electronic checks, or cash. If you opt to renew your license online or in person, be prepared to pay the renewal fee at the time of renewal. On the other hand, if you prefer to renew your license by mail, you’ll have to attach a check or money order for the appropriate amount to your renewal application.

Special Renewal Cases for WV DMV License Renewal

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In certain instances, drivers may need to renew their license under unusual circumstances, including an expired license, a license suspended, a license lost or stolen, and a change in address. In this section, we delve into the specifics of handling each of these unusual renewal cases.

Renewing an Expired License

Has your West Virginia driver’s license expired? If so, it’s imperative to renew it without delay. However, if your license has expired for more than six months, you’ll be required to sit for both written and road tests anew. To renew an expired license, follow the procedures outlined for either an in-person or a mail-in renewal. Additionally, you may need to furnish extra documentation or information, such as proof of identity or residency.

Renewal After Suspension

If your West Virginia driver’s license has been suspended, you’ll need to address the root cause of the suspension and settle any unpaid fines before renewing your license. It’s also possible that you’ll be asked to provide proof of insurance, pass a driving test, or complete a driver improvement program. After the suspension has been lifted, you can proceed to renew your license either through an in-person or mail-in method.

Obtaining a New License After Loss or Theft

In the unfortunate event of losing or having your West Virginia driver’s license stolen, you must immediately report the loss or theft to the police and secure a new license. To renew a lost or stolen license, follow the steps for an in-person renewal and provide proof of identity, residency, and the loss or theft of your previous license.

Updating Your Address on Your License

If you’ve relocated to a new address in West Virginia, it’s necessary to update your driver’s license to reflect your new address. You can either update your address online or in person at a DMV office. If you opt for an in-person update, be sure to bring proof of your new address and follow the procedures for an in-person renewal. If you choose to update your address online, you’ll need to provide your current driver’s license number, Social Security number, and other personal information.

Exemptions And Reductions Of Renewal Fee

Some drivers may be eligible for reductions or exemptions of their renewal fees. For instance, if your license has expired for less than six months, you may be eligible for a reduced fee. Additionally, veterans with a 100% disability rating are entitled to a fee waiver. If you’re unsure about your eligibility for exemptions or reductions, it’s best to get in touch with the West Virginia DMV for clarification.


In conclusion, renewing your driver’s license in West Virginia is a simple procedure that can be executed either online, in person, or via mail. It is imperative to renew your license on time to avoid penalties and retain your driving privileges. This guideline serves as an informative source to help you sail through the WV DMV license renewal process smoothly, ensuring that you are equipped with all the necessary information. For any further inquiries, you may refer to the official West Virginia DMV website, DMV handbook, or the legal WV laws governing DMV license renewal. Stay informed, stay safe, and happy driving!