West Virginia Learners Permit
Although obtaining a learners permit in West Virginia is not hard at all, the permitting system itself may seem a little overcomplicated. The type of the drivers permit you get depends on your age, plus teenage drivers will also have to go through two different permit levels as required by the graduated license law.
Graduated Drivers License
Learner's permit plays a key role in the graduated license system of every state. The main purpose of the learners license is to allow the applicant to gain some driving experience in a controlled environment before getting out on the roads alone. Lack of experience is one of the major causes of driving accidents and is the underlying cause of most traffic accidents among teen drivers.
The West Virginia graduated license systems requires every teenage driver to spend some time driving under the supervision of a more experienced driver who will oversee the driving instructions and help the young driver to steer clear of any potentially dangerous situation.
Types of Drivers Permits
The DMV in West Virginia issues three types of learner's permits and the type of the permit you apply for depends on your age and current level of driving experience. The following permits are currently available:
- Level 1 instruction permit.
- Level 2 instruction permit.
- Instruction permit E.
Level one and level two driver permits are issued to applicants who are under the age of 18. Class E learner's permit is issued only to applicants who are 18 years old and older.
Level 1 Instruction Permit
The minimum permit age in West Virginia is 15. If you are of this age, you can visit the DMV and apply for the drivers permit. When you are at the DMV, be prepared to do the following:
- Complete the application for Level 1 drivers permit
- Provide proof of residency
- Provide proof of ID
- Present your Social Security card
- Provide a drivers eligibility certificate
- Pay the permit fee
- Take a vision test
- Take a written exam
If you successfully fulfill the above requirements, you will be issued with the West Virginia level 1 learners permit. The permit is valid for 14 months and you are expected to apply for the level 2 instruction permit during this time.
Level 2 Instruction Permit
If you have held the level 1 permit for at least 6 months and you are at least 16 years old, you can upgrade to a level 2 instruction permit. In addition to holding you permit for at least 6 months, you must also complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving or one of the West Virginia drivers education classes. You can upgrade to the level 2 permit by visiting the DMV and submitting the application form along with the applicable fee.
Class E Driver's Permit
The instruction permit E is issued only to applicants who are over 18 years of age. The application procedure and the required documentation is similar to that for the level 1 learner's permit, however you don't need to present the drivers eligibility certificate and you don't need parental consent. The permit is valid for 60 days and you must take a driving exam during this time.
Driving Permit Test
When you are applying for the learners permit at the DMV, you are required to take the West Virginia permit test. The questions on the permit exam will cover the driving law and road signs.
You may wish to prepare for the exam by studying the West Virginia drivers manual. The manual is provided free of charge and it can be downloaded from the DMV website. Complimenting the book with some practice permit questions will allow you to identify the problematic areas.
Learners Permit Restrictions
Each type of the learners permit has its own permit restrictions and limitations. You have to remember that failure to observe these restrictions will result in your driving privilege being revoked.
Upgrading to Drivers License
When the permit requirements are fulfilled, the applicant can take the road test and receive a full West Virginia drivers license. The license won't have any restrictions and allows for unsupervised driving.