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West Virginia Public Driving Records

The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (West Virginia DMV) is the agency in charge of driver records. They issue them to individuals who want a copy of their own, employers, insurance companies, and others with a valid legal reason to request them. Auto insurance providers often use these reports when setting car insurance rates or determining annual insurance premiums.

The state offers various ways to get records, including online, by mail, and in person. They have three types of reports available, a five-year, lifetime, and certified record. Anyone requesting a report for someone other than themselves must have a signed consent form and comply with all Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) laws.

The reports contain personally identifiable information (PII) such as the driver's full name, address, social security number, driver's license number, and physical description. They also show accident history, driving convictions, traffic offenses, license status, revocations, suspensions, restrictions, endorsements, and license points.

How to Request a Copy of Your West Virginia Driving History

The state of West Virginia offers a few different ways for people to get driver records. First, they have a website set up for this exact purpose. Drivers can visit it and get a copy of their own record easily.

Secondly, the state offers a downloadable form, and someone can mail that in with their payment to:

WV Division of Motor Vehicles Driving Records
PO Box 17020
Charleston, WV 25317

The final option is to visit any WV DMV office in person to obtain copies. When ordering a copy for someone other than themselves, requestors must fill out form DMV-101-PS2, an authorized consent form from the report's subject.

Motor Vehicle Records Cost

The cost for a driving record is $7.50 if the requestor has the person's driver's license number. If they do not, they must pay $8.50 and send in the person's date of birth and social security number.

Driving Laws in the State

People aged 15 and over may apply for a Level 1 Instructional Permit to begin driving. In addition, the state uses a graduated driver licensing (GDL) program to help ease young people into the responsibility of driving.

When they are 16 years old, they may apply for their Level 2 Intermediate License after completing driver education and supervised driving. Finally, at age 17, the driver can apply for their Level 3 License. Levels 1 and 2 are highly restricted, and any moving violations during that period will result in harsh penalties, including revocation of their driver's license until they are 18 or older.

Level 1 GDL Instruction Permit Requirements:

  • You must be at least 15 years of age
  • You must have written consent from a Parent or Legal Guardian on form DMV-DS-23P
  • You may only drive with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old in the right front passenger seat
  • You may only drive between the hours of 5:00 am and 10:00 pm
  • You may only have two (2) additional non-family passengers in addition to the supervising, licensed adult driver
  • Two (2) convictions will result in revocation of your instruction permit (for 90 days)
  • ZERO Tolerance: You may not have any measurable amount of alcohol in your system while operating a motor vehicle
  • You must require all occupants to adhere to the safety belt law
  • The fee for a knowledge test is $7.50 for each attempt
  • The fee for a Level 1 GDL is $7.50
  • You may not use a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle unless the use of the wireless communication device is for contacting a 9-1-1 system

Level 2 GDL Intermediate Driver's License

If you are between the ages of 16 and 18 and have completed all the requirements of the Level 1 GDL instruction permit, you will be eligible for a Level 2 GDL intermediate driver's license. However, you also must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Have a minimum of 180 consecutive days of conviction-free driving at Level 1 GDL immediately preceding the date of your Level 2 application
  • Pass a road skills test (a maximum of three (3) attempts to complete)
  • Have a parent or legal guardian certification (log sheet) of a minimum of 50 hours behind the wheel, including the minimum of 10 hours at night or complete a driver's education course approved by the West Virginia Department of Education
  • Have a current School Driver Eligibility Certificate
  • Have proof of identity and WV residency documents as outlined on pages three (3) & four (4)
  • Not use a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle, unless the use of the wireless communication device is for contacting a 9-1-1 system

Level 3 is an unrestricted license.

Other West Virginia Driving Laws Include:

Crashes resulting in injury to, or death of, any person or property damage in excess of $1,000 must be reported by the quickest means possible (oral or written) within five (5) days to the local police department if it occurs within a municipality; otherwise, it must be reported to the county sheriff or the nearest WV State Police office (see WV Code §17C-4-6). If your vehicle was not covered by the required West Virginia liability insurance on the date of the crash, your motor vehicle registration and driving privilege will be suspended.

West Virginia law mandates that all motorists driving on the state's public roads must carry West Virginia motor vehicle liability insurance. The minimum amount of coverage, as provided by law, is:

  • $25,000 - for one (1) death or injury
  • $50,000 - for two (2) deaths or injuries
  • $25,000 - for property damage

When you obtain or renew your vehicle registration, you must sign a statement, under penalty of false swearing, that you have West Virginia liability insurance on your vehicle and will keep this insurance for the full registration year. If your insurance is canceled for any reason, you must surrender the vehicle registration plate to DMV.

In addition, a certificate of insurance or other proof of West Virginia liability insurance, which can be obtained from your insurance company, must be carried in your vehicle at all times, along with a valid vehicle registration card. An image displayed on a wireless communication device, as provided in §17D-2A-4, is also a valid proof of insurance. In the event of a crash, you must present this certificate or other proof to any investigating officer. You must also show the certificate at the time of annual vehicle inspection.

The DMV may conduct a verification of insurance at any time during the registration year. If you are issued a notice, you will be required to submit proof of coverage.

Failure to provide proof of West Virginia liability insurance will result in the suspension of your driver's license as well as your vehicle registration along with reinstatement and/or penalty fees. West Virginia's mandatory insurance law allows DMV to directly verify insurance coverage electronically with insurance companies.

The use of any electronic communications device while driving a motor vehicle on a public street or highway is prohibited unless the use is accomplished by hands-free equipment. Statistics show that a driver's concentration drops by 20 – 33 percent when using a wireless communication device.

A hands-free electronic communication device has a feature or function that allows the user to engage it without the use of either or both hands.

An electronic communications device is defined as a cellphone, personal digital assistant, electronic device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communication device, 2-way messaging device, electronic game, or portable computing device.

Violation of this law includes using an electronic communications device that is not enabled as hands-free to engage in a call, view or transmit images or data, play games, or compose, send, read, view, access, browse, transmit, save or retrieve an e-mail, text message, or other electronic data.

Fines and points assessed against a drivers record based on number of offenses are as follows:

  • First offense* = $100 fine and zero (0) points
  • Second offense* = $200 fine and zero (0) points
  • Third and subsequent offenses* = $300 and three (3) points

Points System

The DMV has a point system to identify and control problem drivers, maintaining a record of all violations of traffic laws.

Your record will show the date, nature of the violation, and the court in which you were convicted. Points have been assigned to various in-state and out-of-state moving traffic violations depending on the seriousness of the violation. Repeated convictions may build a point record leading to suspension of your driving privilege. Points remain on your driving record for two (2) years from the conviction date.

When you have six (6) points or more on your record, the DMV will send you a letter of caution, urging you to be careful while driving and obedient of traffic laws. When you accumulate 12 points on your record, your driver's license is subject to suspension.

You may have three (3) points deducted from your record by completing an approved eight (8) hour defensive driving class. Motorists are only eligible for this point reduction once every 12 months. Only specific courses are approved for this point reduction. If you take a class without approval from the DMV or take the class prior to the points appearing on your record, you will not be eligible for the point deduction.

Different Types of Driving Reports in the State

The state offers three different types of driver records. They are as follows:

Five-Year Record

The five-year record contains personal information such as name, social security number, driver's license number, and date of birth. It also contains accident history, driving convictions, moving violations, license status, suspensions, and revocations from the past five years.

Lifetime Record (used for law enforcement, CDL, State Bar, or background check use)

The lifetime record contains personal information such as name, social security number, driver's license number, and date of birth. It also contains accident history, driving convictions, moving violations, license status, suspensions, and revocations going back to the first license held by the driver.

Certified (Sealed) Copy

The certified (sealed) copy is an official document with a DMV seal on it for employment, insurance, or other purposes.

Criminal Driving Offenses

Criminal driving offenses in the state are serious matters with harsh penalties such as the loss of driving privileges, steep fines, and jail or prison time. Some examples of these offenses are:

  • Reckless driving
  • DUI/DWI
  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Evading an officer
  • Driving without insurance
  • Driving without a license

Commercial drivers may face harsher penalties for these crimes.

Civil Driving Offenses

Civil driving offenses are not that serious and usually only result in a traffic ticket. Some examples of these infractions are:

  • Speeding
  • Lane change violations
  • Failure to yield
  • Careless driving
  • Not stopping at a stop sign
  • Running a red light
  • Littering
  • Driving too fast for the conditions
  • Driving without a license plate

West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Driving Records Statistics

The state keeps a close eye on driving statistics to help improve driver safety and reduce the number of roadway fatalities. Some interesting facts from their statistics are:

  • 341 West Virginia residents died due to motor vehicle crashes in 2015, representing close to 17% of all injury-related deaths
  • 292 West Virginia residents were hospitalized due to motor vehicle crashes in 2015, representing 8% of all injury-related hospitalizations
  • In 2018, there were 294 fatalities

Of those:

  • 33 were under the age of 20
  • 70 were not using a seatbelt
  • 57 were impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • 88 were killed in speed-related crashes
  • 22 pedestrians were killed by motorists
  • 5 people on a bicycle were killed by drivers

Driver License Record Search Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.

Who Can Get a Copy of Your West Virginia Driving Record?

Only those with a valid, legal reason can get a copy of your driving record. The state takes DPPA laws very seriously.

Can I Use the Online System to Get Driving Records?

Yes. The system was designed to allow individuals to get copies of their records quickly and easily.

What Information Do I Need to Get a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)?

When ordering a copy, you will need your last name and driver's license number or your date of birth and social security number. When ordering by mail, you must include a copy of your photo ID and phone number.

Does the State Use a Points System?

Yes. The state does use a points system to keep track of all driving convictions, and if someone earns 5 points, they will receive a warning letter. Once a driver reaches 12 points, they will lose their license for 30 days.

How Do I Reinstate My License?

According to the WV DMV, "Licensees who complete their suspension period may apply for reinstatement of their driving privileges. The reinstatement fee may be mailed to PO Box 17030, Charleston, WV 25317.

Division of Motor Vehicles Regional Offices does not process reinstatement transactions. A copy of the licensee's original suspension notice and license number must be included in all reinstatement applications. Licensees who commit additional violations during license suspension are subject to further punitive action."

Drivers may be ordered to take a defensive driving course before reinstatement.

Helpful State Driving Record Links

Below are some helpful state driving record links.

Disclaimer: The materials presented here are for informational purposes only. The information is taken from state and local resources, and is current as of the most recent site update. Changes made by state and local departments and agencies after our latest update may render some information and fees outdated, and may cause links to break and forms to be unavailable. Infotracer strongly encourages you to visit the relevant state and local resources to ensure you have the most recent information.