West Virginia Car Insurance [Everything You Need to Know]

West Virginia car insurance requires you to purchase a minimum of 25/50/20 for bodily injury and property damage. You can expect to pay around $86/month for car insurance in WV.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top car companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

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West Virginia Summary StatisticsDetails
Annual Road MilesTotal in State: 38,760
Vehicle Miles Driven: 19.1 billion
Vehicles Registered: 1.5 million
Total Stolen: 938
State Population1,848,514
Most Popular VehicleChevy Silverado 1500
Uninsured Drivers10.1 percent
State Rank: 32nd
Traffic Fatalities Total: 303
Speeding: 84
Drunk Driving: 101
Average Annual PremiumCombined $1,103.05
Liability $491.83
Collision $330
Comprehensive $204.28
Cheapest ProvidersState Farm and USAA
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West Virginia, the Mountain State, is known fondly for its mining towns, its Appalachian music, and its love of high school and college football.

Whether you’re traveling through the Blue Ridge Mountains or along the Shenandoah River, you will want to make sure you have the best coverage while driving on those country roads.

We know that finding coverage isn’t always easy and there are so many questions to answer. How much is car insurance in West Virginia? Who has the cheapest car insurance? What are the WV car insurance laws?

The best way to assure yourself that you’re getting the proper coverage for your situation at the best possible rates is to compare West Virginia’s car insurance rates from multiple companies.

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Table of Contents

What do coverage options and auto insurance rates look like in West Virginia?

Whether you are of the Hatfield bloodline or are a sprouting branch of the McCoy tree, chances are you do a fair amount of driving if you’re a resident of West Virginia. West Virginians drive about 14,283 miles each year, which is a smidge below the national average of 14,485.

Due to having a shorter than average commute time, Mountain State residents are on the road less than most of their fellow drivers on the East Coast.

Every mile that you drive is a mile of potential risk in the eyes of the auto insurers. You need the proper amount of car insurance to mitigate that risk.

But wading through all the minutiae of the various regulations, requirements, and rates can be burdensome.

No need to worry. We’ll help you learn what is required, what you might want, and where you can find it for the best price.

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West Virginia Minimum Coverage

West Virginis is a “fault” state meaning that it follows a traditional fault-based system when it comes to financial responsibility for property damage and injuries resulting from a crash.

Basic coverage in West Virginia increased in 2016 to a required minimum car of 25/50/20 for all motorists. This mandates that all car owners carry the following minimum levels of liability insurance:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person in an accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle
  • $50,000 for total bodily injury or death per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle
  • $20,000 for property damage per accident caused by the owner of the insured vehicle.

West Virginia does not require you to carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage, but legislators do mandate all auto insurance companies in the state to offer consumers the optional maximum coverage of 100/300/50.

Declining to carry any form of uninsured/underinsured coverage means that you’re foregoing insurance that can protect you and your passengers if the at-fault driver has no insurance, or if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run.

Type of CoveragePrior to January 1, 2016As of January 1, 2016Increase
Bodily Injury Liability$20,000 per person
$40,000 per accident
$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
$5,000 per person
$10,000 per accident
Property Damage Liability$10,000 per accident$20,000 per accident$10,000 per accident
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist CoverageOptionalOptionalCannot be be determined
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Is it wise for any West Virginian to choose the bare minimum coverage? Maybe. Maybe not.

If you have assets or future assets that you wish to protect, you may wish to reconsider settling for only basic liability coverage or the cheapest option. Everyone has individual financial situations which will influence what insurance services they can afford, and what insurance carriers are available to them.

The experts at the Wall Street Journal recommend increasing your liability limits to the maximum optional offering of 100/300/50, and they offer the following advice for choosing your coverage limits:

Make sure you’re covered for an amount equal to the total value of your assets (Add up the dollar values of your house, your car, savings, and investments).

Please be aware that basic coverage only provides you with liability protection; It will not pay to repair or replace your car for an accident that you cause.

If you’re looking to repair or replace your car after an accident, then collision and comprehensive coverage are worth the investment. These policies come with a deductible and they pay out based on the current value of your car, not necessarily the price you might have paid for it.

Next, we will take a look at the what average motorist in West Virginia pays for car insurance. The actual amount you will pay will vary from these amounts; however, the upcoming figures will give you a strong foundation from which you can build.

Premiums as a Percentage of Income

When asked about his success, longevity, and wealth in the music and entertainment industry, Hip hop superproducer and entrepreneurial mogul Dr. Dre stated that “Money is easy to make, but harder to keep.”

The entertainer, born Andre Young, also claimed that “The only two things that scare me are God and the IRS.”

Both of these quotes illustrate the concept and importance of your Disposable Personal Income (DPI), which is the money you retain after taxes and other expenditures.

TypeInsurance Versus Income
Annual Full Coverage Average Premiums$1,032.45
Monthly Full Coverage Average Premiums$86.04
Annual Per Capita Disposable Personal Income$32,277.00
Monthly Per Capita Disposable Personal Income$2,689.75
Percentage of Income3.20 percent
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You are mandated by law to carry at least the basic coverage. A full coverage policy includes liability, comprehensive, and collision insurance. Here’s a peek at the average cost of each:

Bar graph of West Virginia's Average Annual Cost of Coverage

Let’s take a look at some important statistics about the car insurance companies themselves since we are now caught up on some important data for the individual customer.

Up first is loss ratio.

Loss Ratio

What is loss ratio? And how exactly does it impact your rate quotes?

The insurance loss ratio is the loss to the insurance company for claims that were paid out, divided by the premiums collected. A high loss ratio means that an insurance company has too many customers filing claims, which will subsequently lead to a rise in future premiums for all consumers.

Loss ratios are measurements used by insurers to assess the profitability of their businesses or policies. A loss ratio is a single number that can be used to identify performance — the lower the number, the better the performance.

Example: Suppose the owner of a small car dealership pays $50,000 in annual premiums to insure his or her inventory. Then, a polar vortex causes $75,000 in damages, for which the business owner submits a claim. The insured’s one-year loss ratio becomes $75,000 / $50,000, or 150 percent.

Add-ons, Endorsements, Riders

Just over 10 percent of drivers in West Virginia don’t have insurance, which is the 32nd highest total in the United States. This stat alone should make you reconsider declining the optional (but recommended) Uninsured Motorist Coverage.

Medical Payments Coverage is optional in West Virginia. Med Pay insurance applies regardless of whether the insured or another driver was at fault. This kind of coverage can protect motorists for damage and injuries caused by the increasing collisions involving the deer population in West Virginia.

Pay-by-the-mile car insurance plans offered by companies like Metromile are gaining in popularity daily; however, they are currently unavailable in West Virginia.

Other Usage-Based Insurance programs (UBI) are active and available to residents of West Virginia. Programs like Drivewise from Allstate or Snapshot from Progressive offer discounts to drivers based on how well and how often they drive.

Additionally, there are a handful of alternative enhancements that you can research to decide if any of them makes sense in your circumstance:

  • Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
  • Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
  • Rental Reimbursement
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
  • Non-owner Car Insurance
  • Modified Car Insurance Coverage
  • Classic Car Insurance

Male Versus Female Rates in West Virginia

On September 20, 1973, Billie Jean King soundly defeated Bobby Riggs in an epic, intergender tennis match dubbed the “Battle of the Sexes” in straight sets.

That triumph on the tennis court by King sounded a forceful blow for women’s rights and equality that reverberated beyond the world of athletic competition.

Unfortunately, that movement towards equality hasn’t quite reached the auto insurance industry. On average, male drivers are afforded better premium quotes than their female counterparts.

We compared rates for 25-year-old drivers with identical backgrounds, location, and driving history, using gender as the only independent variable. Here is what we found:

25-Year-Old Male$72.96$93.19
25-Year-Old Female$97.41$94.64
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When we extended our research by comparing rates for 55-year-old men and women with identical driving records and demographic information, the battle for equality did not fare any better:

55-Year-Old Male$42.80$65.30
55-Year-Old Female$52.80$66.94
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Maybe if Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka team up to defeat the McEnroe Brothers (John and Patrick) in a doubles match, then we’ll inch closer to equal premium rate quotes for men and women drivers. The results from this research are counterintuitive, as we think of the insurance industry often giving cheaper car insurance rates to women. Auto insurance costs truly do vary state by state.

Cheapest West Virginia Insurance Rates by Location

CityAnnual Cost for Liability Coverage
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Did you know that Wheeling was once the capital of West Virginia? Having your vehicle registered in the former capital as opposed to the current capital of Charleston will save you nearly $100 annually in premiums.

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What car insurance companies are the best in West Virginia?

Sifting through all of the information available for each car insurance company in order to select the most suitable one for your circumstance can be an arduous endeavor.

Where do you go to get the best rates? Who has the most competent customer service representatives? Will you qualify for any insurance discounts or upgrades? Unlike the familiar country roads of the place you belong, finding the answers to these questions can be difficult to navigate.

We will help you to choose the company that will best suit your specific needs, whether you need additional coverage or you’re seeking a safe driver discount.

When selecting the car insurance company that you’ll ultimately give your business, you should look for the company (or companies) that you know that you can lean on.

The public’s perception of a company can sometimes be an indicator of the quality of rates it offers to its customers. We’ll show how the largest companies rate in the areas of financial stability and customer satisfaction for comparative purposes.

Financial Ratings

AM Best is a credit rating agency. It evaluates insurance companies and grades them based on their financial stability. The table below shows the ten largest insurance companies in West Virginia as measured by direct premiums written with their AM Best rating.

CompanyDirect Premiums WrittenAM Best Rating
Allstate Insurance Group$92,007 A+
Erie Insurance Group$182,120 A+
Geico$124,709 A++
Hartford Fire & Casualty Group$38,099 A+
Liberty Mutual Group$54,356 A
Nationwide Corp Group$145,858 A+
Progressive Group$84,332 A+
State Farm Group$329,651 A++
USAA Group$48,434 A
Westfield Group$30,163 A
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Customer Satisfaction Ratings

JD Power 2018 Auto Insurance Study Result Mid-Atlantic Region

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Companies in West Virginia With the Least and Most Complaints

Trust is essential in any long-lasting relationship. Mutual satisfaction has to be a priority for both parties.

One hundred percent satisfaction is a lofty and elusive goal. When a customer has a negative experience with an insurance company, he or she can file a complaint. Those complaints, warranted or not, are factored into a company’s complaint ratios.

West Virginia permits customers to file a complaint both electronically or by paper application.

The complaint ratio is how many complaints a company receives per one million dollars of business.

Due to the sheer volume of business they conduct, a large insurance company will have more complaints than a smaller company; thus, what matters more than the number of complaints is the complaint ratio.

These are the companies that had the best complaint ratios in the state.

Name of InsurerComplaint Ratio
Name of InsurerComplaint Ratio
AmTrust0QBE Insurance32.86
Farmers Insurance Group0J. Whited Group7.43
Southern Farm Bureau0Sentry Insurance6.53
Georgia Farm Bureau0Mapfre Insurance6.25
Island Insurance Company0Liberty Mutual5.95
MS & AD Insurance Group0Hartford Fire & Casualty4.68
Indiana Farm Bureau0CSAA Insurance3.97
Safety Group0IMT Mutual Holding3.45
North Dakota Mutual0The Hanover Insurance Group2.43
Center Mutual0Infinity Property & Casualty2.03
De Smet Farm Insurance0GoAuto Insurance1.93
Bear River Mutual0State Auto Mutual1.74
Co-Operative Insurance0Safeway Insurance1.6
Kentucky Farm Bureau0.02Mountain West Farm1.47
New Jersey Manufacturers Group0.03Arbella Insurance1.33
Grinnell Mutual0.07Metropolitan1.3
Travelers0.09Plymouth Rock Insurance1.16
Consumers County Mutual0.1Horace Mann0.79
Pemco Mutual0.14American Family Insurance0.79
Alfa Insurance0.16Automobil Club of Michigan0.78
Texas Farm Bureau Mutual0.16Iowa Farm Bureau0.77
Oklahoma Farm Bureau0.21Progressive0.75
Michigan Farm Bureau0.26Westfield0.75
Vermont Mutual0.26USAA0.74
Frankenmuth0.27Tokio Marine Holdings0.71
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Complaint Ratios for West Virginia’s 10 Largest Auto Insurers

Here’s how the biggest auto insurance companies in West Virginia compare with one another in terms of complaint ratios.

Bar graph of West Virginia's Complaint Ratio for the Top 10 Car Insurers

For more information on this topic, take a look at the most recently released annual report from the state insurance commissioner.

West Virginia Car Insurance Rates by Company

Below is a list of the most expensive and the cheapest car insurance companies in Nevada by their average premiums.

Cheapest CompaniesRateMost Expensive CompaniesRate
Metropolitan$409.62Peak Propery & Casualty$2,101.87
Erie Insurance$429.91Liberty Mutual$2,057.99
Garrison Property & Casualty$492.08West Virginia Nationall Auto$1,591.26
Property & Casualty Insurance Company Of Hartford$518.40Esurance$1,532.24
American National Property & Casualty$583.94Allstate$1,505.84
Hartford Of The Midwest$584.50First Liberty$1,295.34
Twin City Fire Insurance$610.25Motorists Mutual$1,241.32
Encompass$632.18Westfield Insurance Company$1,200.00
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Largest Car Insurance Companies in West Virginia

Bar graph of West Virginia's Top 10 Insurers by Market Share
Have you been up and back on the Appalachian Trail in search of a licensed auto insurer? You’ve got 812 options from which to pick. Of all those companies, 19 of them are homegrown talent. But the bulk of them, 793 to be exact, are based out of the state of West Virginia.

Whether you go with a locally based company or an out-of-state option, the best way to guarantee you’re getting the most suitable coverage at the most competitive prices is to shop around.

You should make a habit of comparing quotes every six months to a year.

Will Smith informs us that “the more you know, the further you’ll go.” You can only miss potential opportunities in cutting the cost of your auto insurance if you decide to forego comparison shopping. There is more to gain than there is to lose when you look around.

This PSA from the Fresh Prince is a reminder that knowledge is power. In fact, knowledge of your state’s regulations for the road (and applying that knowledge) is powerful enough to help save you money on your car insurance premiums.

Let’s take a look at the laws of the land to keep you knowledgeable and to ensure your dollar will go further when purchasing insurance.

Are there any West Virginia laws that drivers should be aware of?

No need to list every traffic law in West Virginia. We’ll go over some of the most important ones that all West Virginians should know.

Car Insurance Laws

Car insurance companies in West Virginia have a lot of latitude to set the premium rates they will offer to consumers.

Yet even with this much authority, these companies must adhere to the regulations and expectations set by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which acts as a self-regulatory governing body.

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Car Insurance Rate-Setting Regulations

“Open competition” is the capitalistic process in which rates are formed; however, if the insurance commissioner decides that rates are excessive or could be harmful to the company’s solvency, he or she will step in and adjust those figures.

High-Risk Insurance

West Virginia State Code §33-6-31c. states that an individual may be considered a substandard risk if:

  • They have a record of traffic accidents;
  • Have a record of traffic law violations;
  • Have undesirable occupational circumstances; or
  • Have any other valid underwriting consideration.

In many other states in the US, an SR-22 form is mandatory for motorists deemed “substandard or high risk” after having committed serious moving violations, insurance violations, or after the suspension of a license in order to be reinstated.

However, there is no such requirement in West Virginia to obtain an SR-22 form.

While an SR-22 form isn’t a requirement in West Virginia in order to reinstate driving privileges, you will still need to meet other requirements. The requirements will vary based on the nature of the offense.

Depending on the severity of the crime and conviction, you may be required to serve a period of incarceration and have your license revoked temporarily before you can reapply for a new license. Plus, you may be responsible for both court fines and reinstatement fees.

You can track and monitor what type of offenses will earn you points on your license by checking the DMV’s Point System.

In West Virginia the following violations may lead to your license being revoked or suspended:

  • Point accumulation according to the DMV Point System.
  • Falsely obtaining a license.
  • Driving with a suspended or revoked license.
  • Failure to drive according to the restrictions on your license.
  • Failing to pay any type of court fees or court-ordered payment (such as child support).
  • Driving without insurance.
  • Failure to provide proof of insurance.
  • DUI offenses, such as driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit, or refusing to test for BAC.
  • Leaving an accident scene that resulted in personal injury or death.
  • Failing to satisfy any civil judgment made against you due to your involvement in an accident.
  • Negligent homicide or manslaughter involving a motor vehicle.

Note: This list is representative and by no means exhaustive.

Windshield Coverage

West Virginia mandates that for all cars less than three years old insurers must use original equipment manufacturers (OEM) replacement parts unless the consumer agrees in writing.

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Automobile Insurance Fraud in West Virginia

Did you know that fraud accounts for roughly 10 percent of operating costs for the insurance industry as a whole? Why does that matter to you as a consumer?

That 10 percent that insurance companies use to investigate, combat, and pay to fraudulent claims is essentially 10 percent of your premiums that are wasted.

And if those fraud numbers continue to escalate, it is more likely that the insurance will pass on some of that cost to you as the consumer in the form of increased premiums.

If companies didn’t have to waste your premium dollars on false claims, you could see a reduction in the rates you pay.

There are two classifications of fraud: hard and soft.

  • Hard Fraud – A purposefully fabricated claim or accident
  • Soft Fraud – A misrepresentation of information to the insurance company

Soft fraud is more common than hard fraud. Twenty to 40 percent of consumers admitted to lying to their insurer about one of the following:

  • Number of annual miles driven
  • Number of drivers in the household
  • How the vehicle would be used

Insurance fraud is a crime no matter how you slice it. Even the “little, white lie” you tell to get a lower rate can lead to harmful consequences. That kind of willful misrepresentation of facts is called known as “rate evasion” and is $16 billion annual expense to auto insurers.

If you suspect insurance fraud, you can report it through the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Fraud Unit.

To learn more about how to spot and prevent insurance fraud, visit the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for filing a claim in West Virginia is as follows:

Property DamageTwo years
Personal InjuryTwo years
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Vehicle Licensing Laws

When rumbling through the multitude of country roads, make sure your vehicle is registered and that you can brandish proof of insurance. Otherwise, you might suffer some costly consequences.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

The West Virginia DMV has an online portal for motorists to access forms and services that will allow you to renew your registrations and drivers’ licenses, update or change your address, pay your personal property taxes, and retrieve your driving history.

PenaltyFirst OffenseSecond Offense
Fine$200 to $5,000
– $200 penalty reinstatement fee if no proof of insurance
$200 to $5,000 fine and/or 15 days to one year in jail if second offense occurs within five years
License Suspension30 days with reinstatement fees, unless there's proof of insurance90 days and registration revoked until proof of insurance
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West Virginia Automobile Insurance Plan

Car insurance companies in West Virginia can refuse coverage to high-risk or substandard drivers like motorists with poor driving records.

If you are having a difficult time finding car insurance on the open market, you may apply for insurance through the West Virginia Automobile Insurance Plan (WVAIP), which helps guarantee that all licensed drivers have access to car insurance.

Teen Driver Laws

West Virginia utilizes a Graduate Driver’s Licensing (GDL) program. These laws were implemented to reduce fatalities, lower injuries, and have been proven to result in safer highways and roadways.

New drivers who participate in the GDL system must reach various milestones before they are allowed to graduate to a less restrictive license level, and eventually, receive a full unrestricted license.

Teen drivers must also provide a valid Driver’s Eligibility Certificate, which is issued by the local school board and proves the teen driver’s attendance.

All teenage applicants for a driver’s permit must have parental consent when submitting their applications, unless they are married, in which case, parental consent is waived.

There are three levels of driving permissions available for teens in West Virginia. They are Instruction Permit (Level 1), Intermediate License (Level 2), and Class E License (Level 3).

  1. Instruction Permit – An instruction permit is valid until the young driver reaches the age of 18. After the person turns 18, they have 30 days to complete the road skills examination, which is required to qualify for the Intermediate License.The Level 1 permit can’t be renewed. If the permit expires, the teen driver must reapply for a permit and hold it in good standing without a traffic conviction for at least 180 days before applying for an Intermediate License.
  2. Intermediate License – Teen drivers between the ages of 16–18 who have completed all the Instruction Permit requirements are eligible for an Intermediate License. To apply for a Level 2 License, the teen driver must complete either a driver’s education course approved by the State Department of Education or 50 hours of behind-the-wheel experience (including at least ten hours of night driving) certified by a parent, legal guardian, or another responsible adult who is older than 21.Applicants must provide valid identification and proof of residency and have at least 180 days of consecutive driving without a traffic conviction immediately prior to submitting their application for a Level 2 License. Drivers with an Intermediate License may drive alone only between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.Outside of those hours, the teen driver must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age, unless one of the exceptions applies. The exceptions include driving to and from a place of employment, driving to and from school and religious activities, and driving during emergency situations to prevent bodily injury or death of another.
  3. Class E License – Teens in West Virginia are eligible to apply for a Level 3 License once they’ve turned 17, have completed a driver’s improvement program, have earned a valid Driver’s Eligibility Certificate or proof of having completed school, have a clean driving record for the one year prior to submitting their applications, and have submitted the applications with all necessary licensing fees.A driver who turns 18 years old while holding an Intermediate License needs only complete the application and pay the fees to get a Class E license. A Level 3 License is valid until 30 days after the licensee turns 21 years old. The driver and all passengers must wear seat belts at all times.

RestrictionsLevel 1Level 2Level 3
Age1515 1/2 – must have held an Instruction Permit for a minimum of six months prior16 – must have held an Intermediate License for a minimum of six months prior
PassengersNo more than two passengers and must be supervised by a licensed adultFirst six months or until age 18 – no passengers younger than 20
Second six months – no more than one passenger younger than 20
All restrictions lifted when 17 AND have license for 12 months or 18 (whichever comes first)
HoursUnder age 18 – no driving between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.All restrictions lifted when 17 AND have license for 12 months or 18 (whichever comes first)All restrictions lifted when 17 AND have license for 12 months or 18 (whichever comes first)
Cell Phone UseHandheld ban
Texting prohibited for all drivers
Handheld ban
Texting prohibited for all drivers
Handheld ban
Texting prohibited for all drivers
Pre-requisitesIf under 18, must provide a valid Driver's Eligibility Certificate, which is issued by the local school board and proves attendance record50 total hours supervised driving, 10 must be at nightMust have Driver's Eligibility Certificate and clean driving record for up to a year prior
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Older Driver License Renewal

When it comes to its driving laws, West Virginia can never be accused of ageism. Older drivers in the Mountain State must renew their licenses every eight years, just like the rest of the general population.

Older motorists must also show proof of adequate vision at every renewal and are eligible to renew online every other renewal, just like every other motorist.

New Resident Licensing

New residents of West Virginia may have lots of questions about how and when to apply for a new license. According to the DMV:

A new resident who does not have possession of the out-of-state license or if it has expired, must obtain a certified driving record, dated no more than 30 days from the date of the application, from the state in which they were previously licensed.

If your out-of-state license is suspended or revoked, you cannot be licensed in West Virginia, until you receive clearance in the Problem Driver Points System (PDPS).

It is illegal to drive in West Virginia with a suspended or revoked license. All applicants must be verified with the PDPS. It is important to confirm that you are not under suspension in any other jurisdiction before attempting to obtain a license in West Virginia.

License Renewal

All motorists in West Virginia must renew their licenses every eight years, regardless of age. All must show proof of adequate vision at the time of renewal. And all are eligible for online renewal, every other renewal period.

Rules of the Road

West Virginia is a fault state, meaning that the driver at fault in an accident is responsible to pay for damages done to the other party. This is also commonly referred to as a tort state.

Keep Right and Move Over Laws

West Virginia law requires that you keep to the right, to the right if driving slower than the average speed of traffic around you. Driving in the left lane is only permissible when passing or when turning left.

Move Over laws means exactly what it says: a motorist should move his/her vehicle over whenever approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights on.

“If possible with regard to safety and traffic conditions, slow down and change lanes whenever possible for all law enforcement, emergency vehicles, first responders and tow trucks when they are flashing their lights.”

Speed Limits

Type of RoadwaySpeed Limit
Rural Interstates70 mph
Urban Interstates55 mph
Other Limited Access Roads65 mph
Other Roads55 mph
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Seat Belt Laws

West Virginia requires front-seat passengers eight years old and older to wear a seat belt. All other passengers between the ages of eight and 17 must also wear a seat belt. A violation is not a primary offense.

Not wearing a seat belt by itself cannot be a cause for your getting pulled over but should you be stopped for some other traffic violation, you can be ticketed for failure to wear a seat belt. The minimum fine is $25.

Car Seat Laws

All children seven years old or younger and less than four feet, nine inches tall are required to be seated in a child safety seat. West Virginia law states no preference for rear-facing car seats.


As of now, State Farm, Progressive, USAA and Geico are the only auto insurers in West Virginia offering insurance specifically for ride sharing

Automation on the Road

Currently, West Virginia has no laws or testing or deployment of any automation on the road.

Safety Laws

The Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) exists is to encourage, promote, and support highway safety throughout West Virginia. The Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor is another valuable resource that provides safety training, education, and technical support to West Virginians.

DUI Laws

The Blood-Alcohol Content (BAC) limit in West Virginia is 0.08 percent; the High BAC limit is 0.15 percent. The first two offenses are misdemeanors and every subsequent offense will be a felony. After a second offense, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) will be required.

Penalty TypeFirst Driving Under the Influence (DUI)Second DUIThird and Subsequent DUIs
Revoked License15 daysOne yearOne year
ImprisonmentNo minimum, but up to six monthsSix to 12 months of jailOne to three years
Fine$100–$500$1000–$3000$3000 –$5000
OtherIID possibleIID requiredIID required
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Drug-impaired Driving Laws

West Virginia has a marijuana-impaired limit of THC per se (3 nanograms).

West Virginia Can’t-Miss Facts

Here are some interesting tidbits for motorists in the state of West Virginia.

Vehicle Theft in West Virginia

Auto theft is a major problem for consumers. The one whose property is pilfered isn’t the only victim; customers all over a given municipality are penalized with higher premiums when the frequency of auto theft increases.

Top Cities for Stolen Vehicles in West Virginia

This chart below shows the top cities for auto theft within the state.

Bar graph of Top West Virginia Cities for Auto Theft

Top 10 Stolen Vehicles in West Virginia

Have you ever wondered if the vehicle you’re currently driving makes you more attractive to car thieves? Check out the table below to find out.

ModelNumber of Thefts
2003 Ford Pickup (Full Size)
2000 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)76
1996 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee36
2003 Dodge Pickup (Full Size)29
1999 Chevrolet Pickup (Small Size)29
2006 Chevrolet Impala24
2014 Toyota Camry20
1995 Ford Taurus19
2011 GMC Pickup (Full Size)18
2002 Chevrolet Cavalier17
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Risky and Harmful Behavior

For your information, we’ve compiled a list of all driving-related fatalities in West Virginia.

Fatalities Involving Speeding by County

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Fatalities by DUI by County

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Fatality Rates Rural Versus Urban

Roadway Type2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
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Fatalities by Person Type

Person Type20132014201520162017
Passenger Vehicle Occupant247202192186218
Bicyclist and Other Cyclist02113
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EMS Response Time

LocationTime of Crash to EMS NotificationNotification to ArrivalArrival at Scene to Hospital ArrivalTime of Crash to Time of Hospital Arrival
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Where does West Virginia rank in commute time? How does rush-hour traffic compare to the rest of the nation? What methods do they use to get to work? We’ll answer those questions and more.

Car Ownership

In West Virginia, 41.7 percent of households own two cars. That is a little higher than the national average of 40.3 percent.

Commute Time

Workers in West Virginia have a shorter average commute time than the normal US worker (25.3 minutes). Additionally, 3.3 percent of the workforce in West Virginia have “super commutes” in excess of 90 minutes.

Commuter Transportation

A majority of West Virginians drive to work alone — 83.3 percent. Only 8.57 percent of workers carpooled during their daily commute.

You now have comprehensive knowledge of what you need for insurance, what you can expect your rates to be, and how to safely obey the traffic laws governing your great state of West Virginia.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare car insurance quotes to ensure the vehicle that takes you home to the place where you belong has the proper coverage at rates that are almost heaven.


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