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In the state of West Virginia all motor vehicles and trailers used upon the highways must be registered, except implements of husbandry and federally owned vehicles. Registration period is from July 1 through June 30, except light trucks with a gross weight not over 8,000 pounds and not operated for compensation which are on a staggered registration basis. Renewal applications will be accepted in May of each year. West Virginia based non-IRP vehicles, including trailers, must file West Virginia Property Tax Reports.
West Virginia issues one license plate to be displayed on the rear of the vehicle, except truck tractors and road tractors display the plate on the front.
West Virginia is a member of the International Registration Plan (IRP). The IRP is a base state system for vehicle registration fees allowing a carrier to apply for vehicle registration and pay fees to a single jurisdiction.
Carriers from the IRP states and provinces, operating one or more vehicles having a gross weight in excess of 26,000 pounds, or three or more axles regardless of weight, or used in combination when the weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds, may be prorated in lieu of full registration (or obtain a temporary permit).
Interstate IRP carriers base plated in West Virginia will pay West Virginia property tax on power units only, collected within the IRP Process.
Temporary Permit: A temporary permit may be issued upon request to new carriers or for new vehicles added to the apportioned fleet, authorizing temporary apportioned vehicle registration, pending issuance of IRP credentials. However, apportioned temporary plates will not be issued on vehicles being renewed under IRP. The apportioned temporary plate will be valid for a period of 40 days, with a fee per vehicle.
Hunter's Permit: Upon request, a hunter's permit may be issued to allow owner-operators not operating as a lessor and not registered, the ability to operate an unladen vehicle. This registration is a permit issued free of charge for the registered gross weight not in excess of the empty weight of the vehicle. This temporary registration permit will be honored as a valid registration in all other IRP jurisdictions.
Agency: The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles; see Regulatory Agencies for address(es).
1st fee structure
1st fee structure is based on gross weight and offers partial year fees.
2nd fee structure
Ad Valorem tax (Effective January 1, 2020)
Purchase Price x Ad Valorem Factor x Pro-Rate (Mileage) Factor x Time Factor = Ad Valorem Fee
Permanent trailer plate (non-transferable)
Effective April 1, 2006
Applies for Class C: trailers, semitrailers and pole trailers that carry over 2,000 pounds GVW.