The state of West Virginia has certain laws and requirements, as well as benefits for drivers in the state who are active duty as well as veterans. The laws and benefits cover a number of areas including veteran license designation, license plates, licenses, and registering vehicles.
Driver’s license veteran designation
Veterans in West Virginia can apply for a veteran driver’s license designation by bringing their REAL ID documents and their DD214, or military ID card, or their DMV registration card that shows their military license plate to the Division of Motor Vehicles. This designation allows the drivers to show their veteran status. This can be useful for getting discounts, for example.
Military honor plates
West Virginia offers a number of different military honor plates. Some of the plates available in the state include the following.
- Air Force
- Air Force Cross
- Coast Guard
- Combat Medic
- Disabled Veterans
- Former Prisoner of War
- Gold Star Family
- Medal of Honor
- Pearl Harbor Survivor
- Silver Star
- War on Terrorism (Afghanistan or Iraq)
- Women Veterans
- World War II Veterans
In West Virginia, license plates are free to any veteran who has an auto grant, as well as those who are permanently and totally disabled due to their service. You can learn more about the available plates at the West Virginia DMV site.
Military skills test waiver
One of the benefits of being in the military if you would like to get a commercial driver’s license is that you could have the skills test waived if you qualify. You will have to fill out the waiver form to provide the state with the required information. They want to make sure that you have been working as a driver in the military with similar commercial type vehicles, and that you have at least two years of experience. You have to apply within 12 months of leaving your driving post in the military.
The form also asks a number of questions that will help to determine your eligibility for the waiver. The form requests information regarding any type of violations you were convicted of in any motor vehicle and whether you have had more than one conviction. Your commanding officer will need to fill out a part of the form as well, essentially vouching for you and letting the DMV know what types of vehicles you have been driving in the military.
Military commercial driver’s license act of 2012
The Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012 makes it possible for active duty military members to receive a commercial driver’s license in West Virginia, even if they are not residents of the state. They will need to have a base, permanent or temporary, in the state though. This is an option for those in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Reserves, National Guard, Coast Guard, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Driver license and registration renewal when deployed
If you are on active duty and you are stationed out of the state when it is time to renew your license, the DMV will renew it for you on request. However, you do not necessarily need to have the renewal if you do not want to get it at the time. You are allowed to carry your expired license with you for up to six months after you’ve been honorably discharged.
When you are ready to renew your license, you will want to provide the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles with a copy of your military ID, two documents that prove your residency, and proof of your insurance. You will not receive a new license until you return to West Virginia, but you will get a certified driving record that shows your license has been renewed and the new expiry date.
When you are going to renew your registration when stationed out of state, you will need to contact the DMV and provide them with your old registration card or renewal notification. You also need to include a copy of your proof of insurance, military ID card, and $30 for the license plate. Keep in mind that the plate will go to the address that the DMV has for you.
Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration
Out of state residents who are stationed in West Virginia are allowed to drive with their out of state driver’s license in the state. You can also drive the vehicle with out of state plates. You can register your vehicle in the state without having a West Virginia license. If you would like to learn more about the West Virginia DMV, as well as how it applies to veterans, you can visit their site.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in West Virginia and was authored by Valerie Johnston.