West Virginia

Highway safety laws differ from state to state. The summary information here can be used to compare laws in specific categories. We monitor legislative changes and update this information as needed.

DUI/DWI
BAC defined as illegal per se 0.08
Administrative license suspension 1st offense? 6 months
Restore driving privileges during suspension? after 30 days 1
RESTRICTIONS ON CELLPHONE USE AND TEXTING
Hand-held ban all drivers
Young drivers all cellphone ban drivers younger than 18 who hold either a learner's permit or an intermediate license
Texting ban all drivers
Enforcement primary
MAXIMUM POSTED SPEED LIMITS
Rural interstates (mph) 70
Urban interstates (mph) 55
Other limited access roads (mph) 65
Other roads (mph) 55
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
To get a learners license you must:
Have a minimum age of 152
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Before getting a license or restricted license you must:
Have a mandatory holding period of 6 months2
Have a minimum supervised driving time of 50 hours, 10 of which must be at night (none with driver education)
Have a minimum age of 16
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Restrictions during intermediate or restricted license stage:
Nighttime restrictions 10 p.m. - 5 a.m.
Passenger restrictions

(family members excepted unless otherwise noted)
first 6 months—no passengers younger than 20; second 6 months–no more than 1 passenger younger than 20
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted:
Nighttime restrictions 17
Passenger restrictions 17
REGULAR LICENSING RENEWAL CYCLE
Length of regular renewal cycle 8 years (effective 06/26/14)
OLDER DRIVER SPECIAL LICENSING PROVISIONS
Accelerated renewal none
Other provisions none
CHILD RESTRAINTS
Must be in child restraint 7 years and younger and less than 4'9"
Adult safety belt permissible 7 years and younger and 4'9" or taller
Maximum fine 1st offense $20
Seating preference law states no preference for rear seat
Children not covered all children covered
SAFETY BELT USE
Initial effective date 09/01/93
Standard enforcement? yes; effective 07/1/2013
Who is covered? In what seats? 8+ years in front seat; 8 through 17 years in all seats
Maximum fine 1st offense $25
Can nonuse decrease monetary awards for injuries in lawsuits? yes
MOTORCYCLE HELMET USE
Motorcyclists covered all riders
BICYCLE HELMET USE
Covered by state law 14 and younger
PICKUP TRUCKS: RESTRICTIONS ON RIDING IN CARGO AREAS
Restrictions on riding in cargo areas no state law
Gaps in coverage no state law
LOW-SPEED VEHICLES
On which roads are low-speed vehicles permitted? roads within the corporate limits of a municipality where the speed limit is 25 mph or less
What is the top speed permissible for low-speed vehicles? 25 mph

1Drivers usually must demonstrate special hardship to justify restoring privileges during suspension, and then privileges often are restricted.

2In West Virginia, learner’s permit holders younger than 18 may not drive between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and may not carry more than two passengers in addition to the supervising driver.