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By Samuel Todd
Updated on Jun 3, 2022
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett, Senior Editor.
In West Virginia, you can customize your license plate to support wildlife preservation, whitewater rafting, the US Marine Corps, and a whole lot more.
Custom license plates aren’t just an ID tag for your car—they’re a chance to make a statement. And, whether you’re a passionate conservationist, an elementary school teacher, or a retired Air Force member, you’re in luck! West Virginia has an outstanding selection of personalized plates for you to choose from.
So, which ones are the best? And how can you go about getting one of your own? Here with the answers you need is Jerry, our car insurance comparison super app. Plus, if you stick around, we’ll even show you how to find the cheapest car insurance in the state!
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What are West Virginia license plates and why do I need them?
In short, a license plate is your car’s identification. It lets the state and other drivers know that your car is registered, explains what type of registration you have, and connects you to your car.
License plates are super helpful for several reasons:
- Speeding up the process of determining who’s at fault in a car accident
- Helping the authorities find you in the event of an emergency
- Allowing police officers to track down stolen cars
Though you don’t need a front license plate in West Virginia, state law requires that your plate is securely fastened and easily visible. Before you hit the road, it’s crucial to make sure that your plate (or plates!) are up to snuff!
What license plates does West Virginia have?
Now that we’ve tackled the basics, it’s time for the fun part: picking the perfect plate for you. If you just want a plate that will get the job done, you can go for West Virginia’s classic blue and yellow plate with the words “wild, wonderful” inscribed below the lettering.
If, however, you’re feeling extra creative, you can opt for a special license plate. The West Virginia DMV divides its special plates into four categories:
- General interest license plates that support specific causes, like breast cancer awareness and wildlife preservation
- Association and organization plates, which are for members of certain groups, including firefighters and amateur radio workers
- Military license plates, for members of the various branches of the US Military
- Colleges and university plates, if you want to show off your school spirit
General interest license plates
- Antique vehicle: Anyone who owns a vehicle that was manufactured more than 25 years ago can get these vintage black and white plates to complete their throwback vibe.
- Educator: If you’re a licensed educator in WV, you can get this design, which features an apple, a ruler, and the fitting tagline, “education is a great investment.”
- Protect pollinators: Want to support West Virginia’s wildlife in a less conventional way? The “protect pollinators” plate is the way to go—and it’s got a fantastic illustration of a bee!
- Whitewater rafting: For adrenaline junkies in the Mountain State, you can bolster the state’s tourism and share your enthusiasm for rafting with this adventurous plate.
- Wildlife: These are some of the state’s coolest plates. For $76.50, you can get a design that boasts a bluebird, box turtle, brook trout, deer, or eastern elk—and give towards West Virginia’s wildlife while you’re at it!
License plates for associations and organizations
- Amateur radio: Here’s a great way to get a little advertising: if you’re an amateur radio operator, you can have your FCC call sign broadcast across the back of your car for just $51.50.
- Bowlers: If you’re majorly into professional bowling (or just a huge fan of The Big Lebowski), you can display your passion with a $66.50 West Virginia bowler plate.
- Rotary International: If you’re a member of Rotary International (or the spouse of a member), these plates give you the chance to demonstrate your commitment to “service above self.”
Military license plates
- Air Force retired: If you’ve retired from the US Air Force, you’re eligible for one of these custom designs, which come with the official Air Force seal.
- Marine Corps League: This design is specifically for members of the Marine Corps League who want the motto of every Marine—Semper Fidelis—inscribed on their license plate.
- Purple Heart: If you’re a recipient of the Purple Heart, you’re one of the few citizens who is eligible to receive a Purple Heart license plate from the West Virginia DMV.
License plates for colleges and universities
Whether you’re a Nittany Lion from Penn State or a Virginia Tech Hokie, you can represent your school proudly with one of West Virginia’s custom plates. We won’t break down the details of each one, but these are the available schools:
- Alderson-Broaddus College
- Concord College
- Davis and Elkins
- Marshall University
- Penn State
- Virginia Tech
- Wesleyan College
- West Virginia State College
- West Virginia University
- West Virginia Tech
How do I get a West Virginia license plate?
Getting West Virginia plates is pretty easy! All you need to do is register your car and then fill out the application for a special plate.
To register your car, head to your local West Virginia DMV branch with these items:
- Your driver’s license
- The car’s title
- Proof of residency
- Payment (a $15 title fee, $51.50 registration fee, and potentially a $10 lien fee and 6% sales tax)
And that’s all there is to it. Once your car is registered, you’ll be on your way to custom license plate greatness. Remember, if you’ve just moved to West Virginia, you must register your car within 30 days—so it’s best to not dilly-dally!
How to customize your car insurance for savings in West Virginia
Whether you’re passionate about Marines or marine life, we’re sure there’s one thing we can all agree on: it’s fun to save money. And guess what? Jerry, our car insurance super app, was designed to do just that—save you money on your car insurance policy.
All you need to do is download the app, sign up in 45 seconds, and let Jerry get you the lowest rates from over 55 top insurers. Once you’ve picked your favorite, we’ve got a responsive team that will be happy to help you switch companies.
Then, it’s celebration time! You’ve just joined the fleet of over two million Jerry customers that save an average of $800+ on car insurance. Bravo!
“Jerry saved me so much time and money! I went from $230 to $150, still with full coverage! The whole process was amazingly simple!” —Ronda S.
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How many license plates does West Virginia have?
Do I need a front license plate in West Virginia?
No. West Virginia is one of 19 states that requires only a rear license plate, as long as it’s securely fastened and easily visible!