How to Register a Car or Truck in West Virginia

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Want to get your car on the road in West Virginia? It’s an easy process done in-person.

A West Virginia car registration requires you to file and submit a few different forms and fees depending on the type of vehicle. Registration is a requirement whether you’ve purchased a vehicle new or used, through a private or dealer sale. The registration process shouldn’t take longer than a few, total hours if you read this guide and prepare ahead of time.

Your main tasks include satisfying:

  • Proof of identification
  • Registration/Title application
  • Proof of ownership
  • Paying the taxes and fees

…plus, any applicable vehicle testing and disclosures.

You will register your vehicle, in-person, at a West Virginia Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles (DOT) office. Failing to register on-time can result in late fees and potential issues.

We’ve outlined the West Virginia registration process, keeping it as easy-as-possible.

Registering Your Car in West Virginia: Step-by-Step

Your vehicle registration depends on if it was purchased from a dealer, through a private sale, or transferred/gifted. If coming from out-of-state, new residents must get WV auto insurance, transfer their title, and complete the registration (mostly following the same steps detailed below).

Vehicle Registration (Private Parties)

Keep files handy when you’re purchasing the vehicle to make the registration process easy, then:

  1. Find and visit a local WV DOT office
  2. Provide the title:
    1. Signed by both buyer and seller
    2. Odometer reading if it’s more than 10 years old
  3. Complete and submit the Application for Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle (DMV-1-TR)
  4. Pay the vehicle registration fees and taxes

Military members and residents currently living out-of-state will follow the same procedure to keep their vehicle legal. If you have questions, call 304-558-3900 for more information.

Vehicle Registration (Dealerships)

Dealerships submit your title and registration documents on your behalf. Dealers will also include the fees and taxes during the purchase. If they don’t, bring copies of the documents to your local DMV and complete the in-person registration process.

You may receive a tax credit during registration if you’re trading in a WV-titled vehicle.

Vehicle Registration (Out-of-State Dealer)

Those wanting to buy their vehicle out-of-state and register it in West Virginia will:

  1. Go to a WV DOT office
  2. Provide vehicle documents:
    1. Statement of Origin
    2. Invoice for the purchase price
  3. File the Application for Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle form
  4. Pay the registration fees and taxes

You will pay taxes in WV even if you’ve paid them out-of-state. You’ll also need to get your vehicle inspected within 10 days of its registration to drive it in the state.

West Virginia Vehicle Registration Fees

Standard fees and variable taxes apply when registering your vehicle – including:

  • Standard plate: $51.50
  • Duplicate title/card: $10
  • Duplicate plate: $10.50

Plus, any local taxes you may owe for the vehicle purchase.

West Virginia Vehicle Inspections

You do not need a vehicle inspection when registering the vehicle. Yet, you will need a vehicle inspection after it’s registered for it to be legal in the state. These safety inspections are done, annually, typically 3 – 10 days after its purchase (in-state vs out-of-state vehicles).

West Virginia does honor vehicle inspections from Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. If you’ve moved to WV from these states you can skip the vehicle inspection.

Set a Reminder for Registration Renewal

You’ll want to mark your calendar else wait to receive a renewal notice when it comes time.

You can check the exact date listed on the registration so keep this in mind and mark your calendar!

See our WV registration renewal guide for more info when you’re ready.