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Chapter 17 B     Entire Code
‹ Chapter 17  |  Chapter 17A › Printer Friendly Versions
Chapter 17B  |  Article 17B - 2  |  Section 9
WVC 17 B- CHAPTER 17B. MOTOR VEHICLE DRIVER'S LICENSES.
WVC 17 B- 2 - ARTICLE 2. ISSUANCE OF LICENSE, EXPIRATION AND RENEWAL.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 1 §17B-2-1. Drivers must be licensed; types of licenses; licensees need not obtain local government license; motorcycle driver license; identification cards.

     (a)(1) No person, except those hereinafter expressly exempted, may drive any motor vehicle upon a street or highway in this state or upon any subdivision street used by the public generally unless the person has a valid driver's license issued pursuant to this code for the type or class of vehicle being driven.

     (2) Any person licensed to operate a motor vehicle pursuant to this code may exercise the privilege thereby granted in the manner provided in this code and, except as otherwise provided by law, is not required to obtain any other license to exercise the privilege by any county, municipality or local board or body having authority to adopt local police regulations.

     (b) The division, upon issuing a driver's license, shall indicate on the license the type or general class or classes of vehicles the licensee may operate in accordance with this code, federal law or rule. Licenses shall be issued in different colors for those drivers under age eighteen, those drivers age eighteen to twenty-one and adult drivers. The commissioner is authorized to select and assign colors to the licenses of the various age groups.      (c) The following drivers licenses classifications are hereby established:

     (1) A Class A, B or C license shall be issued to those persons eighteen years of age or older with two years of driving experience who have qualified for the commercial driver's license established by chapter seventeen-e of this code and the federal Motor Carrier Safety and Improvement Act of 1999 and subsequent rules, and have paid the required fee.

     (2) A Class D license shall be issued to those persons eighteen years and older with one year of driving experience who operate motor vehicles other than those types of vehicles which require the operator to be licensed under the provisions of chapter seventeen-e of this code and federal law and rule and whose primary function or employment is the transportation of persons or property for compensation or wages and have paid the required fee. For the purpose of regulating the operation of motor vehicles, wherever the term "chauffeur's license" is used in this code, it shall be construed to mean the Class A, B, C or D license described in this section or chapter seventeen-e of this code or federal law or rule: Provided, That anyone not required to be licensed under the provisions of chapter seventeen-e of this code and federal law or rule and who operates a motor vehicle registered or required to be registered as a Class A motor vehicle, as that term is defined in section one, article ten, chapter seventeen-a of this code, with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than eight thousand one pounds, is not required to obtain a Class D license.

     (3) A Class E license shall be issued to those persons who have qualified for a driver's license under the provisions of this chapter and who are not required to obtain a Class A, B, C or D license and who have paid the required fee. The Class E license may be endorsed under the provisions of section seven-b of this article for motorcycle operation. The Class E or (G) license for any person under the age of eighteen may also be endorsed with the appropriate graduated driver license level in accordance with the provisions of section three-a of this article.

     (4) A Class F license shall be issued to those persons who successfully complete the motorcycle examination procedure provided by this chapter and have paid the required fee, but who do not possess a Class A, B, C, D or E driver's license.

     (5) A Class G driver's license or instruction permit shall be issued to a person using bioptic telescopic lenses who has successfully completed an approved driver training program and complied with all other requirements of article two-b of this chapter.

     (d) All licenses issued under this section may contain information designating the licensee as a diabetic, organ donor, as deaf or hard-of-hearing, or as having any other handicap or disability, or that the licensee is an honorably discharged veteran of any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States according to criteria established by the division, if the licensee requests this information on the license. An honorably discharged veteran may be issued a replacement license without charge if the request is made before the expiration date of the current license and the only purpose for receiving the replacement license is to get the veterans designation placed on the license.

     (e) No person, except those hereinafter expressly exempted, may drive any motorcycle upon a street or highway in this state or upon any subdivision street used by the public generally unless the person has a valid motorcycle license, a valid license which has been endorsed under section seven-b of this article for motorcycle operation or a valid motorcycle instruction permit.

     (f) (1) An identification card may be issued to any person who:

     (A) Is a resident of this state in accordance with the provisions of section one-a, article three, chapter seventeen-a of this code;

     (B) Has reached the age of two years. The division may also issue an identification card to a person under the age of two years for good cause shown;

     (C) Has paid the required fee of two dollars and fifty cents per year: Provided, That the fee is not required if the applicant is sixty-five years or older or is legally blind; and

     (D) Presents a birth certificate or other proof of age and identity acceptable to the division with a completed application on a form furnished by the division.

     (2) The identification card shall contain the same information as a driver's license except that the identification card shall be clearly marked as an identification card. The division may issue an identification card with less information to persons under the age of sixteen. An identification card may be renewed annually on application and payment of the fee required by this section.

     (A) Every identification card issued to a person who has attained his or her twenty-first birthday expires on the licensee's birthday in those years in which the licensee's age is evenly divisible by five. Except as provided in paragraph (B) of this subdivision, no identification card may be issued for less than three years or for more than seven years and expires on the licensee's birthday in those years in which the licensee's age is evenly divisible by five.

     (B) Every identification card issued to a person who has not attained his or her twenty-first birthday expiresthirty days after the licensee's twenty-first birthday.

     (C) Every identification card issued to persons under the age of sixteen shall be issued for a period of two years and shall expire on the last day of the month in which the applicant's birthday occurs.

     (3) The division may issue an identification card to an applicant whose privilege to operate a motor vehicle has been refused, canceled, suspended or revoked under the provisions of this code.

     (g) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars; and upon a second or subsequent conviction, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or confined in jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined. WVC 17 B- 2 - 1 A §17B-2-1a. Surrender of license from other state or jurisdiction prior to receipt of license from this state; examination; fees required.
(a) The Division of Motor Vehicles may not issue a driver's license to a person who holds a valid license to operate a motor vehicle issued by another state or jurisdiction subject to a reciprocal agreement governing the licensing of drivers operating commercial motor vehicles or party to a reciprocal driver's license exchange agreement with this state unless or until the applicant surrenders to the division the foreign license, or the person has signed and submitted to the division an affidavit to the effect that the person has surrendered all valid licenses issued to him or her by other states or jurisdictions. Any surrendered license issued by any other state or jurisdiction shall be destroyed or at the discretion of the division retained by the division and the division shall notify the original state of licensure that the person who surrendered the license has been licensed in this state. It is unlawful for a person to possess more than one valid driver's license at any time.

(b) Every driver shall, within thirty days after taking up residence in this state, apply to the division for a driver's license as prescribed in this article. For the purposes of this chapter the presumption that a natural person is a resident of this state is based on the provisions of section one-a, article three, chapter seventeen-a of this code. The division may assign the driver's license class, type, endorsements or restrictions based on the applicant's prior licensing status, age and the type of licensing system used by the state of prior licensing.

(c) All other applicable provisions of this article relating to issuance, fees, expiration and renewal of licenses, and driver examination of applicants apply to this section.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 1 B §17B-2-1b. Transfer of driver's licensing examination function.
(a) Effective the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, the responsibility for driver's licensing examinations and civilian employees of the West Virginia state police whose primary governmental duties as of the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, involve the examination of applicants for instruction permits and driver's licenses shall be transferred from the West Virginia state police to the division of motor vehicles.

(b) Effective the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, until the thirty-first day of December, two thousand, the commissioner of motor vehicles may delegate responsibility for the supervision of the civilian employees and the operation of the examination program to the superintendent of the West Virginia state police pending the orderly transfer and hiring of the necessary personnel, transfer and purchase of necessary equipment and supplies and the establishment of suitable examination locations. The commissioner may also reimburse the West Virginia state police for the services of personnel, equipment, supplies and office space at state police facilities necessary to maintain the examination program at its current level of service during the transfer period. The commissioner may also utilize existing state police locations as examination and licensing locations unless in his or her opinion, more suitable locations are available. The commissioner shall reimburse the West Virginia state police for that use.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 2 §17B-2-2. Persons exempt from license.
The following persons are exempt from license hereunder:

(1) Any person while operating a motor vehicle in the armed services of the United States while in the performance of his official duties;

(2) A nonresident who is at least sixteen years of age and who has in his immediate possession a valid driver's license issued to the person in the person's home state or country unless the commissioner determines the person's home state or country does not extend the same privileges to a resident of this state, may operate a motor vehicle in this state only as a noncommercial driver for a period not to exceed ninety days in any one calendar year;

(3) A nonresident who is at least sixteen years of age, who has in the person's immediate possession a valid driver's license issued to the person in the person's home state or country and who is employed in this state, or owns, maintains or operates a place or places of business in this state, or engages in any trade, profession or occupation in this state, in addition to the driving privileges extended under subdivision (2) of this section, unless the commissioner determines the person's home state or country does not extend the same privileges to a resident of this state, may operate a motor vehicle in this state only as a noncommercial driver in traveling to and from the person's place or places of employment, place or places of business or place or places at which the person engages in the trade, profession or occupation and in the discharge of the duties of the person's employment, business, trade, profession or occupation if the duties are such that, if performed by a resident of the state of West Virginia over the age of eighteen years of age, the resident would not be required under the provisions of this chapter to obtain a Class A, B, C or D driver's license. However, this subsection shall not exempt any person who is required to obtain a West Virginia driver's license in accordance with the provisions of section one-a of this article;

(4) A nonresident who is at least eighteen years of age and who has in his or her immediate possession a valid commercial driver's license issued to the person in his or her home state or country and which meets the requirements of the federal commercial motor vehicle act of 1986, Title XI of public law 99-570 and unless the commissioner determines the person's home state or country does not extend the same privilege to a resident of this state may operate a motor vehicle in this state either as a commercial driver subject to the age limits applicable to commercial driver in this state, or as a noncommercial driver subject to the limitations imposed on nonresident drivers in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this section;

(5) Any person who is a student, properly enrolled and registered in an accredited school, college or university in this state, who is at least sixteen years of age and who has in his or her immediate possession a valid driver's license issued to the person in the person's home state, notwithstanding the limitations of subdivisions (2) and (3) of this section may operate a motor vehicle in this state only as noncommercial driver: Provided, That the state of which the person is a resident shall extend the same privileges to residents of this state. This exemption shall be canceled immediately when the student is graduated from school, college or university or is expelled or ceases to be a student.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 3 §17B-2-3. What persons may not be licensed; exceptions.
(a) The division may not issue any license hereunder:

(1) To any person who is under the age of eighteen years: Provided, That the division may issue a junior driver's license on or after the first day of January, two thousand one, a graduated driver's license, to a person under the age of eighteen years in accordance with the provisions of section three-a of this article;

(2) To any person, as a Class A, B, C or D driver, who is under the age of eighteen years;

(3) To any person, whose license has been suspended or revoked, during the suspension or revocation;

(4) To any person who is an habitual drunkard or is addicted to the use of narcotic drugs;

(5) To any person, who has previously been adjudged to be afflicted with or suffering from any mental disability or disease and who has not at the time of application been restored to competency by judicial decree or released from a hospital for the mentally incompetent upon the certificate of the superintendent of the institution that the person is competent, and not then unless the commissioner is satisfied that the person is competent to operate a motor vehicle with a sufficient degree of care for the safety of persons or property;

(6) To any person who is required by this chapter to take an examination, unless the person has successfully passed the examination;

(7) To any person when the commissioner has good cause to believe that the operation of a motor vehicle on the highways by the person would be inimical to public safety or welfare.

(b) The division may not issue a license or nondriver identification card to any person required to register as a sexually violent predator pursuant to the provisions of article twelve, chapter fifteen, unless he or she obtains a driver's license or nondriver identification card coded by the commissioner to denote that he or she is a sexually violent predator as follows:

(1) If a person is judicially determined to be a sexually violent predator after the effective date of this section, the sentencing court shall order the person or the agency with custody of the person's driver's license or nondriver identification card to surrender said license or card to the court. The sentencing court shall forward to the division all driver's licenses or nondriver identification cards that it receives pursuant to this section, along with a copy of the sentencing order. If a person is registered as a sexually violent predator pursuant to section nine, article twelve, chapter fifteen of this code after the effective date of this section as amended and reenacted during the first extraordinary session of the Legislature, two thousand six, the person shall surrender their driver's license or nondriver identification card to the division within ten days of their registration with the State Police. Any replacement driver's license or nondriver identification card issued to the person under this section must be coded by the commissioner to denote the person is a sexually violent predator and shall be issued at no cost to the person.

(2) Within ten business days of the effective date of the amendments to this section made during the first extraordinary session of the Legislature, two thousand six, the State Police shall provide the division with the name, address and motor vehicle information of every person registered as a sexually violent predator in the state at that time and also provide notice to said registrants of the requirements set forth in said amendments. If a person is registered as a sexually violent predator prior to the effective date of this section, as amended and reenacted during the first extraordinary session of the Legislature, two thousand six, he or she shall surrender his or her driver's license or nondriver identification card to the division within ten business days of his or her receipt of the notice from the State Police required by said amendments. Any replacement driver's license or nondriver identification card issued to the person under this section must be coded by the commissioner to denote the person is a sexually violent predator and shall be issued at no cost to the person.

(c) Upon receipt of a driver's license or nondriver identification card from a sentencing court or individual pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the division shall cancel said license or card and note the cancellation in its records system so as to prevent the issuance of a replacement or duplicate license or card lacking the coded notation required by subsection (b) of this section.

(d) Upon showing proof that a person is no longer required to register as a sexually violent predator, the division shall, at no charge, issue a driver's license or nondriver identification card without the coded notation printed upon the license. No person issued a driver's license or nondriver identification card pursuant to the amendments to this section made during the first extraordinary session of the Legislature, two thousand six, may alter or deface the license or card to obscure the special marking identifying the holder as a sexually violent predator.

(e) Any person failing to comply with the provisions of subsections (b), (c) or (d) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or confined in jail not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 3 A §17B-2-3a. Graduated driver's license.
(a) Any person under the age of eighteen may not operate a motor vehicle unless he or she has obtained a graduated driver's license in accordance with the three-level graduated driver's license system described in the following provisions.

(b) Any person under the age of twenty-one, regardless of class or level of licensure, who operates a motor vehicle with any measurable alcohol in his or her system is subject to the provisions of section two, article five, chapter seventeen-c of this code and section two, article five-a of said chapter. Any person under the age of eighteen, regardless of class or licensure level, is subject to the mandatory school attendance and satisfactory academic progress provisions of section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code.

(c) Level one instruction permit. -- An applicant who is fifteen years or older meeting all other requirements prescribed in this code may be issued a level one instruction permit.

(1) Eligibility. -- The division shall not issue a level one instruction permit unless the applicant:

(A) Presents a completed application, as prescribed by the provisions of section six of this article, and which is accompanied by a writing, duly acknowledged, consenting to the issuance of the graduated driver's license and executed by a parent or guardian entitled to custody of the applicant;

(B) Presents a certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state or other governmental entity responsible for vital records unexpired, or a valid passport issued by the United States government evidencing that the applicant meets the minimum age requirement and is of verifiable identity;

(C) Passes the vision and written knowledge examination and completes the driving under the influence awareness program, as prescribed in section seven of this article;

(D) Presents a driver's eligibility certificate or otherwise shows compliance with the provisions of section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code; and

(E) Pays a fee of $5, which shall permit the applicant two attempts at the written knowledge test.

(2) Terms and conditions of instruction permit. -- A level one instruction permit issued under the provisions of this section is valid until thirty days after the date the applicant attains the age of eighteen and is not renewable. However, any permit holder who allows his or her permit to expire prior to successfully passing the road skills portion of the driver examination, and who has not committed any offense which requires the suspension, revocation or cancellation of the instruction permit, may reapply for a new instruction permit under the provisions of section six of this article. The division shall immediately revoke the permit upon receipt of a second conviction for a moving violation of traffic regulations and laws of the road or violation of the terms and conditions of a level one instruction permit, which convictions have become final unless a greater penalty is required by this section or any other provision of this code. Any person whose instruction permit has been revoked is disqualified from retesting for a period of ninety days. However, after the expiration of ninety days, the person may retest if otherwise eligible. In addition to all other provisions of this code for which a driver's license may be restricted, suspended, revoked or canceled, the holder of a level one instruction permit may only operate a motor vehicle under the following conditions:

(A) Under the direct supervision of a licensed driver, twenty-one years of age or older, or a driver's education or driving school instructor who is acting in an official capacity as an instructor, who is fully alert and unimpaired, and the only other occupant of the front seat. The vehicle may be operated with no more than two additional passengers, unless the passengers are family members;

(B) Between the hours of five a.m. and ten p.m.;

(C) All occupants must use safety belts in accordance with the provisions of section forty-nine, article fifteen, chapter seventeen-c of this code;

(D) Without any measurable blood alcohol content, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (h), section two, article five, chapter seventeen-c of this code; and

(E) Maintains current school enrollment and is making satisfactory academic progress or otherwise shows compliance with the provisions of section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code.

(F) A holder of a level one instruction permit who is under the age of eighteen years shall be prohibited from using 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. A person violating the provisions of this paragraph is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall for the first offense be fined $25; for a second offense be fined $50; and for a third or subsequent offense be fined $75. (d) Level two intermediate driver's license. -- An applicant sixteen years of age or older, meeting all other requirements of the code, may be issued a level two intermediate driver's license.

(1) Eligibility. -- The division shall not issue a level two intermediate driver's license unless the applicant:

(A) Presents a completed application as prescribed in section six of this article;

(B) Has held the level one instruction permit conviction-free for the one hundred eighty days immediately preceding the date of application for a level two intermediate license;

(C) Has completed either a driver's education course approved by the State Department of Education or fifty hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience, including a minimum of ten hours of nighttime driving, certified by a parent or legal guardian or other responsible adult over the age of twenty-one as indicated on the form prescribed by the division: Provided, That nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require any school or any county board of education to provide any particular number of driver's education courses or to provide driver's education training to any student;

(D) Presents a driver's eligibility certificate or otherwise shows compliance with the provisions of section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code;

(E) Passes the road skills examination as prescribed by section seven of this article; and

(F) Pays a fee of $5.

(2) Terms and conditions of a level two intermediate driver's license. -- A level two intermediate driver's license issued under the provisions of this section shall expire thirty days after the applicant attains the age of eighteen, or until the licensee qualifies for a level three full Class E license, whichever comes first. In addition to all other provisions of this code for which a driver's license may be restricted, suspended, revoked or canceled, the holder of a level two intermediate driver's license may only operate a motor vehicle under the following conditions:

(A) Unsupervised between the hours of five a.m. and ten p.m.;

(B) Only under the direct supervision of a licensed driver, age twenty-one years or older, between the hours of ten p.m. and five a.m. except when the licensee is going to or returning from:

(i) Lawful employment;

(ii) A school-sanctioned activity;

(iii) A religious event; or

(iv) An emergency situation that requires the licensee to operate a motor vehicle to prevent bodily injury or death of another;

(C) All occupants shall use safety belts in accordance with the provisions of section forty-nine, article fifteen, chapter seventeen-c of this code;

(D) For the first six months after issuance of a level two intermediate driver's license, the licensee may not operate a motor vehicle carrying any passengers less than twenty years old, unless these passengers are family members of the licensee; for the second six months after issuance of a level two intermediate driver's license, the licensee may not operate a motor vehicle carrying more than one passenger less than twenty years old, unless these passengers are family members of the licensee;

(E) Without any measurable blood alcohol content in accordance with the provisions of subsection (h), section two, article five, chapter seventeen-c of this code;

(F) Maintains current school enrollment and is making satisfactory academic progress or otherwise shows compliance with the provisions of section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code;

(G) A holder of a level two intermediate driver's license who is under the age of eighteen years shall be prohibited from using 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. A person violating the provisions of this paragraph is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall for the first offense be fined $25; for a second offense be fined $50; and for a third or subsequent offense be fined $75.

(H) Upon the first conviction for a moving traffic violation or a violation of paragraph (A), (B), (C), (D) or (G), subdivision (1), subsection (d) of this section of the terms and conditions of a level two intermediate driver's license, the licensee shall enroll in an approved driver improvement program unless a greater penalty is required by this section or by any other provision of this code; and

At the discretion of the commissioner, completion of an approved driver improvement program may be used to negate the effect of a minor traffic violation as defined by the commissioner against the one year conviction-free driving criteria for early eligibility for a level three driver's license and may also negate the effect of one minor traffic violation for purposes of avoiding a second conviction under paragraph (I) of this subdivision; and

(I) Upon the second conviction for a moving traffic violation or a violation of the terms and conditions of the level two intermediate driver's license, the licensee's privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be revoked or suspended for the applicable statutory period or until the licensee's eighteenth birthday, whichever is longer unless a greater penalty is required by this section or any other provision of this code. Any person whose driver's license has been revoked as a level two intermediate driver, upon reaching the age of eighteen years and if otherwise eligible may reapply for an instruction permit, then a driver's license in accordance with the provisions of sections five, six and seven of this article.

(e) Level three, full Class E license. -- The level three license is valid until thirty days after the date the licensee attains his or her twenty-first birthday. Unless otherwise provided in this section or any other section of this code, the holder of a level three full Class E license is subject to the same terms and conditions as the holder of a regular Class E driver's license.

A level two intermediate licensee whose privilege to operate a motor vehicle has not been suspended, revoked or otherwise canceled and who meets all other requirements of the code may be issued a level three full Class E license without further examination or road skills testing if the licensee:

(1) Has reached the age of seventeen years; and

(A) Presents a completed application as prescribed by the provisions of section six of this article;

(B) Has held the level two intermediate license conviction free for the twelve-month period immediately preceding the date of the application;

(C) Has completed any driver improvement program required under paragraph (G), subdivision (2), subsection (d) of this section; and

(D) Pays a fee of $2.50 for each year the license is valid. An additional fee of $.50 shall be collected to be deposited in the Combined Voter Registration and Driver's Licensing Fund established in section twelve, article two, chapter three of this code;

(E) Presents a driver's eligibility certificate or otherwise shows compliance with the provisions of section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code; or

(2) Reaches the age of eighteen years; and

(A) Presents a completed application as prescribed by the provisions of section six of this article; and

(B) Pays a fee of $2.50 for each year the license is valid. An additional fee of $.50 shall be collected to be deposited in the Combined Voter Registration and Driver's Licensing Fund established in section twelve, article two, chapter three of this code.

(f) A person violating the provisions of the terms and conditions of a level one or level two intermediate driver's license is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall for the first offense be fined $25; for a second offense be fined $50; and for a third or subsequent offense be fined $75.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 4 §17B-2-4. Persons prohibited from driving school buses or transporting persons or property for compensation.
No person may drive any school bus transporting school children or any motor vehicle when in use for the transportation of persons or property for compensation nor in either event until the person has been licensed as a Class A, B, C or D driver for either purpose and the license so indicates and until he or she is in compliance with the provisions of chapter seventeen-e of this code and rules promulgated by the State Board of Education, if applicable.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 5 §17B-2-5. Qualifications, issuance and fee for instruction permits.
(a) Any person who is at least fifteen years of age may apply to the division for an instruction permit. However, any person who has not attained the age of eighteen shall comply with the provisions of section three-a of this article. The division may, in its discretion, after the applicant has successfully passed all parts of the examination other than the road skills test, issue to the applicant an instruction permit which entitles the applicant while having the permit in his or her immediate possession to drive a motor vehicle upon the public highways when accompanied by a licensed driver of at least twenty-one years of age, a driver's education or driving school instructor that is acting in an official capacity as an instructor, who is alert and unimpaired or a certified division license examiner acting in an official capacity as an examiner, who is occupying a seat beside the driver.

(1) Any instruction permit issued to a person under the age of eighteen years shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of section three-a of this article.

(2) Any permit issued to a person who has reached the age of eighteen years is valid for a period of ninety days. The fee for the instruction permit is five dollars.

(b) Any person sixteen years of age or older may apply to the division for a motorcycle instruction permit. Any person under the age of eighteen must have first completed the requirements for a level two intermediate driver's license or a Class E driver's license before being eligible for a motorcycle instruction permit.

The division may, in its discretion, after the applicant has successfully passed all parts of the motorcycle examination other than the driving test, and presented documentation of compliance with the provisions of section eleven, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code, if applicable, issue to the applicant an instruction permit which entitles the applicant while having the permit in his or her immediate possession to drive a motorcycle upon the public streets or highways for a period of ninety days, during the daylight hours between sunrise and sunset only. No holder of a motorcycle instruction permit shall operate a motorcycle while carrying any passenger on the vehicle.

A motorcycle instruction permit is not renewable, but a qualified applicant may apply for a new permit. The fee for a motorcycle instruction permit is five dollars, which shall be paid into a special fund in the state treasury known as the motor vehicle fees fund.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 5 A §17B-2-5a. Training, certification and monitoring of license examiners.
(a) The commissioner shall train, certify and monitor those employees of the Division of Motor Vehicles designated by the commissioner as license examiners regarding the administration of licensing application and testing procedures for the purpose of ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.

(b) In order to determine an applicant's suitability for employment, the commissioner shall require every applicant or employee who is or may be in a position involved in the examination, processing or issuance of a driver's license or identification card, or who would have access to affect any document or record related to an applicant or holder of a driver's license or identification to furnish a full set of fingerprints to facilitate a criminal background check of the applicant. The commissioner shall submit the fingerprints to the state Criminal Identification Bureau along with the applicant's identifying information. Prior to hiring a prospective applicant the commissioner shall request that the State Police submit the fingerprints and identifying information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history record check and that the commissioner may not hire the prospective applicant until the results of the national background check are available for evaluation.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 6 §17B-2-6. Application for license or instruction permit; fee to accompany application.

     (a) Every application for an instruction permit or for a driver's license shall be made upon a form furnished by the division. Every application shall be accompanied by the proper fee and payment of the fee entitles an applicant under the age of eighteen to not more than two attempts at the written test or not more than three attempts to pass the road skills test. An applicant age eighteen years or older is entitled to not more than two attempts at the written test or not more than three attempts to pass the road skills test within a period of ninety days from the date of issuance of the instruction permit. An applicant who fails either the written test or the road skills test may not be tested twice within a period of one week.

     (b) Any applicant who has not been previously licensed must hold an instruction permit for a minimum of thirty days. For the purposes of this section, the term "previously licensed" means an applicant who has obtained at least a level two graduated license or junior driver's license issued under the provisions of this article or has obtained an equal or greater level of licensure if previously licensed in another state.

     (c) Every application for an instruction permit shall state the full legal name, date of birth, sex, and residence address of the applicant and briefly describe the applicant. the application shall state whether the applicant has theretofore been a licensed driver and, if so, when, and by what state or country and whether his or her license has ever been suspended or revoked within five years of the date of application, or whether an application has ever been refused and, if so, the date of and reason for the suspension, revocation or refusal. The application will indicate whether the applicant desires a notation on the driver's license indicating that the applicant is an organ donor, in accordance with article one-b of this chapter, is diabetic, deaf, or hard of hearing, has any other handicap or disability, or is an honorably discharged veteran of any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, and such other pertinent information as the commissioner may require. WVC 17 B- 2 - 7 §17B-2-7. Examination of applicants.
(a) Upon the presentment of the applicant's certified copy of the birth certificate issued by a state or other governmental entity responsible for vital records or a valid and unexpired passport issued by the United States government, as evidence that the applicant is of lawful age and verifiable identity, the Division of Motor Vehicles shall examine every applicant for a license to operate a motor vehicle in this state, except as otherwise provided in this section. The examination shall include a test of the applicant's eyesight, the applicant's ability to read and understand highway signs regulating, warning, and directing traffic, the applicant's knowledge of the traffic laws of this state, and the applicant's knowledge of the effects of alcohol upon persons and the dangers of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The examination shall also include an actual demonstration of ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle, and any further physical and mental examination as the Division of Motor Vehicles considers necessary to determine the applicant's fitness to operate a motor vehicle safely upon the highways.

(b) The commissioner shall propose legislative rules for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code concerning the examination of applicants for licenses and the qualifications required of applicants, and the examination of applicants by the division shall be in accordance with the rules. The rules shall provide for the viewing of educational material or films on the medical, biological, and psychological effects of alcohol upon persons, the dangers of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and the criminal penalties and administrative sanctions for alcohol and drug related motor vehicle violations.

(c) After successful completion of the examination required by this section, section three-a, or section seven-b of this article, and prior to the issuance of a license pursuant to the provisions of section eight of this article, every applicant for a driver's license, graduated driver's license, or motorcycle-only license shall attend a mandatory education class on the dangers and social consequences of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. To the extent practicable, the commissioner shall use as lecturers at those classes persons who can relate first-hand experiences as victims or family members of victims of alcohol-related accidents or drivers who have been involved in alcohol-related accidents which caused serious bodily injury or death.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 7 A §17B-2-7a. Driver's licensing advisory board.

The driver's licensing advisory board is hereby continued. The board shall consist of five members to be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for terms of three years, except that as to the members first appointed, two shall be appointed for a term of three years, two shall be appointed for a term of two years and one shall be appointed for a term of one year, all from the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred seventy-four. All vacancies occurring on the board shall be filled by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. One member of the board shall be an optometrist duly registered to practice optometry in this state and the other four members of the board shall be physicians or surgeons duly licensed to practice medicine or surgery in this state. The governor shall appoint persons qualified to serve on the board who, in his opinion, will best serve the work and function of the board.

The board shall advise the commissioner of motor vehicles as to vision standards and all other medical criteria of whatever kind or nature relevant to the licensing of persons to operate motor vehicles under the provisions of this chapter. The board shall, upon request, advise the commissioner of motor vehicles as to the mental or physical fitness of an applicant for, or the holder of, a license to operate a motor vehicle. The board shall furnish the commissioner with all such medical standards, statistics, data, professional information and advice as he may reasonably request.

The members of the board shall receive compensation and expense reimbursement in an amount not to exceed the same compensation and expense reimbursement as is paid to members of the Legislature for their interim duties as recommended by the citizens legislative compensation commission and authorized by law, for each day or substantial portion thereof engaged in the performance of official duties.

Pursuant to the provisions of article ten, chapter four of this code, the driver's licensing advisory board shall continue to exist until the first day of July, two thousand nine.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 7 B §17B-2-7b. Separate examination and endorsement for a license valid for operation of motorcycle.

The state police shall administer a separate motorcycle examination for applicants for a license valid for operation of a motorcycle. On and after the first day of July, two thousand, the division of motor vehicles shall administer the examination provided for in this section. Any applicant for a license valid for operation of a motorcycle shall be required to successfully complete the motorcycle examination, which is in addition to the examination administered pursuant to section seven of this article and, if under the age of eighteen, shall be required to complete the requirements for a level two intermediate driver's license set forth in paragraphs (B), (C), and (D), subdivision (1), subsection (j), section three-a of this article: Provided, That the commissioner may exempt an applicant for a motorcycle driver license or endorsement from all or part of the motorcycle license examination as provided in section six, article one-d of this chapter. The motorcycle examination shall test the applicant's knowledge of the operation of a motorcycle and of any traffic laws specifically relating to the operation of a motorcycle and shall include an actual demonstration of the ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motorcycle. An applicant for a license valid for the operation of only a motorcycle shall be tested as provided in this section and in section seven of this article, but need not demonstrate actual driving ability in any vehicle other than a motorcycle. The examination provided in this section shall not be made a condition upon the renewal of the license of any person under this section. For an applicant who successfully completes the motorcycle examination, upon payment of the required fee, the division shall issue a motorcycle endorsement on the driver's license of the applicant, or shall issue a special motorcycle-only license if the applicant does not possess a driver's license: Provided, however, That any holder of a motorcycle-only license under the age of eighteen shall be subject to the provisions of paragraphs (A), (B), (E), (F), (G) and (H), subdivision (2), subsection (j), section three-a of this article.

Every person, including those holding a valid driver's license, is required to take the examination specified in this section to obtain a motorcycle license or endorsement.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 7 C §17B-2-7c. Motorcycle license examination fund.
On and after the first day of July, two thousand seven, any unexpended balance remaining in the Motorcycle License Examination Fund heretofore created shall be transferred to the Motor Vehicle Fees Fund created under the provisions of section twenty-one, article two, chapter seventeen-a of this code. The fund shall include all moneys received from fees collected for motorcycle instruction permits under this article and any other moneys specifically allocated to the fund.

If any person willfully fails or refuses to return to the division the evidences of the registration, title, permit or license that have been canceled, suspended or revoked, or any dealer special plates, when obligated so to do as provided in this section, the commissioner shall immediately notify the Superintendent of the State Police who shall, as soon as possible, secure possession of the evidences of registration, title, permit or license or any special dealer plates and return it to the division. The Superintendent of the State Police shall make a report in writing to the commissioner, within two weeks after being notified by the commissioner, as to the result of his or her efforts to secure the possession and return of the evidences of registration, title, permit or license, or any dealer special plates.

For each registration, certificate of title, registration card, registration plate or plates, temporary registration plate or marker, permit, license certificate or dealer special plate, which the owner, holder or other person in possession of the registration, title, permit or license or any special dealer plates shall have willfully failed or refused, as provided in this section, to return to the division within ten days from the time that the cancellation, suspension or revocation becomes effective, and which has been certified to the Superintendent of the State Police as specified in this section, the owner or holder shall, before the registration, title, permit or license or any special dealer plates may be reinstated, if reinstatement is permitted, in addition to all other fees and charges, pay a fee of fifteen dollars, which shall be collected by the Division of Motor Vehicles, paid into the State Treasury and credited to the General Fund to be appropriated to the State Police for application in the enforcement of the road laws.

A total of twenty-five dollars may be collected on each reinstatement for each vehicle to which any cancellation, suspension or revocation relates: Provided, That when any motor vehicle registration is suspended for failure to maintain motor vehicle liability insurance the reinstatement fee is one hundred dollars and if the vehicle owner fails to surrender the vehicle registration and the orders go to the State Police, an additional fee of fifty dollars shall be required before the motor vehicle registration may be reinstated. A total of one hundred fifty dollars may be collected on each reinstatement of any motor vehicle registration canceled, suspended or revoked for failure to maintain motor vehicle liability insurance.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 8 §17B-2-8. Issuance and contents of licenses; fees.

     (a) The division shall, upon payment of the required fee, issue to every applicant qualifying therefor a driver's license, which shall indicate the type or general class or classes of vehicle or vehicles the licensee may operate in accordance with this chapter or chapter seventeen-e of this code, or motorcycle- only license. Each license shall contain a coded number assigned to the licensee, the full legal name, date of birth, residence address, a brief description and a color photograph of the licensee and either a facsimile of the signature of the licensee or a space upon which the signature of the licensee is written with pen and ink immediately upon receipt of the license. No license is valid until it has been so signed by the licensee.

     (b) A driver's license which is valid for operation of a motorcycle shall contain a motorcycle endorsement. A driver's license which is valid for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be issued in accordance with chapter seventeen-e of this code.

     (c) The division shall use such process or processes in the issuance of licenses that will, insofar as possible, prevent any identity theft, alteration, counterfeiting, duplication, reproduction, forging or modification of, or the superimposition of a photograph on, the license.

     (d) The fee for the issuance of a Class E driver's license is $2.50 per year for each year the license is valid. The fee for issuance of a Class D driver's license is $6.25 per year for each year the license is valid. An additional fee of $0.50 shall be collected from the applicant at the time of original issuance or each renewal and the additional fee shall be deposited in the Combined Voter Registration and Driver's Licensing Fund established pursuant to the provisions of section twelve, article two, chapter three of this code. The additional fee for adding a motorcycle endorsement to a driver's license is $1 per year for each year the license is issued.

     (e) The fee for issuance of a motorcycle-only license is $2.50 for each year for which the motorcycle license is valid. The fees for the motorcycle endorsement or motorcycle-only license shall be paid into a special fund in the State Treasury known as the Motorcycle Safety Fund as established in section seven, article one-d of this chapter.

     (f) The fee for the issuance of either the level one or level two graduated driver's license as prescribed in section three-a of this article is $5.

     (g) The fee for issuance of a federally compliant driver's license or identification card for federal use is $10 in addition to any other fee required by this chapter. Any fees collected under the provisions of this subsection shall be deposited into the Motor Vehicle Fees Fund established in accordance with section twenty-one, article two, chapter seventeen-a of this code.

     (h) The division may use an address on the face of the license other than the applicant's address of residence if:

     (1) The applicant has a physical address or location that is not recognized by the post office for the purpose of receiving mail;

     (2) The applicant is enrolled in a state address confidentiality program or the alcohol test and lock program;

     (3) The applicant's address is entitled to be suppressed under a state or federal law or suppressed by a court order; or

     (4) At the discretion of the commissioner, the applicant's address may be suppressed to provide security for classes of applicants such as law-enforcement officials, protected witnesses and members of the state and federal judicial systems.

     (i) Notwithstanding any provision in this article to the contrary, a valid military identification card with an expiration date issued by the United States Department of Defense for active duty, reserve or retired military personnel containing a digitized photo and the holder's full legal name may be used to establish current full legal name and legal presence. The commissioner may at his or her discretion expand the use of military identification cards for other uses as permitted under this code or federal rule. WVC 17 B- 2 - 9 §17B-2-9. License to be carried and exhibited on demand; penalty.
(a) Every licensee shall have his or her driver's license in such person's immediate possession at all times when operating a motor vehicle and shall display the same, upon demand of a magistrate, municipal judge, circuit court judge, peace officer, or an employee of the division.

(b) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars: Provided, That no person charged with violating this section shall be convicted if such person produces in court or at the office of the arresting officer a driver's license issued to such person and valid at the time of such person's arrest.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 9 A §17B-2-9a. Exemptions of certain railroad workers.
Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, in any circumstance involving an accident or alleged violation of law in which the engineer or any other crew member of any train is detained by any law-enforcement officer, the engineer and all crew members shall not be required to furnish a driver's license issued by the division of motor vehicles: Provided, That the engineer and all crew members shall be required to produce photo identification issued by the railroad employer or any other state or federal authority other than the division of motor vehicles upon request of any law-enforcement officer during the course of investigating an accident or alleged violation of law involving the operation of a train.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 10 §17B-2-10. Restricted licenses.
(a) The division upon issuing a driver's license shall have authority whenever good cause appears to impose restrictions suitable to the licensee's driving ability with respect to the type of or special mechanical control devices required on a motor vehicle which the licensee may operate or such other restrictions applicable to the licensee as the division may determine to be appropriate to assure the safe operation of a motor vehicle by the licensee.

(b) The division shall issue a restricted license to a person who has failed to pay overdue child support or comply with subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings if a court orders restrictions of the person's license as provided in article fifteen, chapter forty-eight of this code.

(c) The division may either issue a special restricted license or may set forth such restrictions upon the usual license form.

(d) The division may upon receiving satisfactory evidence of any violation of the restrictions of such license suspend or revoke the same but the licensee shall be entitled to a hearing as upon a suspension or revocation under this chapter.

(e) It is a misdemeanor for any person to operate a motor vehicle in any manner in violation of the restrictions imposed in a restricted license issued to such person.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 11 §17B-2-11. Duplicate permits and licenses.
In the event that an instruction permit or driver's license issued under the provisions of this chapter is lost or destroyed, or if the information contained on the license has changed, the person to whom the permit or license was issued may upon making proper application and upon payment of a fee of five dollars obtain a duplicate thereof upon furnishing proof satisfactory to the division that the permit or license has been lost or destroyed.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 12 §17B-2-12. Expiration of licenses.

     (a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, every driver's license expires eight years from the date of its issuance.

     (b)(1) Every driver's license issued to a person who has attained his or her twenty-first birthday expires on the licensee's birthday. The commissioner may modify the expiration date of any license as necessary to effectuate the transition from the five- year renewal cycle to an eight-year renewal cycle as he or she considers necessary.

     (2) Every driver's license issued to a person who has not attained his or her twenty-first birthday expires thirty days after the licensee's twenty-first birthday, except as provided in section three-a of this article.

     (3) The driver's license of any person in the armed forces expires six months after the date on which the person is separated from active duty in the armed forces under honorable circumstances.

     (c) A license issued to a person who is not a citizen of the United States may only be issued for the time the person is legally authorized to be in the United States, not to exceed eight years. If the time the person is authorized to be in the United States is extended, the commissioner may renew the license in accordance with section twelve-a of this article for the time extended, not to exceed eight years. WVC 17 B- 2 - 12 A §17B-2-12a. Renewal of driver's license upon expiration; vision screening; renewal fees.

  (a) The commissioner shall notify each person who holds a valid driver's license of the expiration date of the license by first class mail or by electronic means to the last address known to the division. The notice shall be mailed at least ninety days prior to the expiration date of the license and shall include a renewal application form and instructions for renewal.

  (b) The commissioner, at his or her discretion, may provide a program of electronic renewal notices to licensees and an electronic web-based renewal process. This process may include an electronic vision screening verification or waiver subject to processes and restrictions the commissioner considers necessary for highway safety, secure processing and identity verification. The online program shall require the applicant to have his or her digital photo updated at least once every sixteen years.

  (c) The holder of a valid driver's license may apply to the division for renewal of the license on the form provided by the division. To be eligible for license renewal the applicant must:

  (1) Pay the fee required by section eight of this article;

  (2) Obtain a new color photograph from the division, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section; and

  (3) Pass a vision screening conducted in the manner prescribed by the division.

  (d) The commissioner shall assess an additional fee of $5 for every application for renewal submitted after the expiration of the applicant's license.

  (e) The commissioner shall determine whether an applicant qualifies for a renewed license.

  (f) The commissioner shall provide by rule a procedure by which an applicant who does not meet the minimum vision standards for licensure may present evidence to show that his or her vision has been corrected to meet the minimum visual standards and that he or she is capable of safely operating a motor vehicle.

  (g) The commissioner may not renew the driver's license of an applicant whose eyesight cannot be corrected to conform to the minimum vision standards established by this code and by the rules of the commissioner.

  (h) Vision screening conducted pursuant to this section may not be used to collect any type of personal biometric identifying information including, but not limited to, a retinal scan.

  (i) The commissioner shall propose legislative rules for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this section. WVC 17 B- 2 - 13 §17B-2-13. Notice of change of address or name.
(a) Whenever any person after applying for or receiving a driver's license moves from the address named in the application or in the license issued to the person, or when the name of a licensee is changed by marriage or otherwise, the person shall within twenty days thereafter notify the division in writing of the old and new addresses or of the former and new names and of the number of any license then held by the person on the forms prescribed by the division.

(b) Whenever any person, after applying for or receiving a driver's license, is assigned a new address by the United States postal service or other legally constituted authority, the person shall notify the division in writing of the old and new address and of the number of any license held by the person. The notification of change of address shall be made at least twenty days prior to the final date on which mail with the old address is deliverable by the United States postal service.

(c) The provisions of section one, article five of this chapter relating to imprisonment do not apply to persons who violate the provisions of this section.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 14 §17B-2-14. Records and indices to be kept by the division.
The division shall file every application for a license received by it and shall maintain suitable indices containing, in alphabetical order:

(1) All applications denied and on each a notation of the reasons for such denial;

(2) All applications granted; and

(3) The name of every licensee whose license has been suspended or revoked by the division and after each name a notation of the reasons for the action: Provided, That upon application for a license by an individual eighteen years of age or older, any record of a previous license denial, suspension or revocation related solely to the school attendance of the applicant may not be released to any third party.

The division shall also file all abstracts of court records of convictions received by it under the laws of this state and in connection therewith maintain convenient records or make suitable notations in order that an individual record of each licensee showing the convictions of such licensee shall be readily ascertainable and available for the consideration of the division upon any application for renewal of license and at other suitable times.

WVC 17 B- 2 - 15 §17B-2-15. Authority for rules.
The commissioner may propose legislative rules for promulgation that are necessary to carry out the examination, license and endorsement provisions of this chapter and the provisions regarding motor vehicle registration in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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