West Virginia DMV launches online permit exam

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 5:39 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Learning how to drive is something almost everybody gets excited about, especially when you’re a teenager. The wind through your hair, the radio blasting, and overall having the freedom to do and go just about anywhere.

Before you can do any of that, you’ll need to take a knowledge and skills test, so that while you’re having fun driving, you’re being safe on the roads.

Testing anxiety can sometimes get the better of us, causing major stress on ourselves; however, the new learner’s permit online test will allow you to take the test in the comfort of your own home.

In a news release on February 25, the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles announced a KnowTo Drive Online Portal, located on the West Virginia DMV’s website. This will allow anyone under and over the age of 18 to take their knowledge test online.

“We love to be able to offer our customers new technology that makes things even more convenient...we all hope we are getting towards a better place with the pandemic, but the more we can offer online the better. People like to stay home where it’s safe and they’re comfortable and it’s convenient,” said Natalie Holcomb, Public Information Specialist for the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles.

When it came to offering the knowledge test online, it was talked about and looked into before the pandemic began. Holcomb said that when the pandemic hit, it became more of an urgency and more of a need to come up with something to help out the customers. The more that can be provided online, the fewer people would be at the regional offices and would also help promote more social distancing.

Holcomb says in order to take the test online, you are required to have a computer with a working webcam. The test uses a facial recognition system to make sure that it’s you that is taking the test, and to prevent cheating of any kind.

If you are under the age of 18, you must have someone over 18 and with a valid U.S. driver’s license supervising you while taking the test. There will be a screen where the supervisor will fill out their information such as their name, address, date of birth, last five digits of their social security number, and their driver’s license number. The supervisor does not have to be on camera with the person actually taking the exam.

According to Holcomb, once you pass the exam, your regional office will call you and let you schedule an appointment to come in and validate all your documentation and take a photo. After that’s completed, you will be handed a temporary learner’s permit as the actual one will be mailed to your mailing address in a few days.

In order to pass you will need a score of 19-out-of-25, a 76 percent. If you fail, you must wait one week before attempting the exam again.

Holcomb explained that you can still take the exam in person at the regional office and the test is the same whether you take it in person or online. The purpose of the online test is to allow people to take their knowledge test online and, in the comfort, and safety of their home.

She said for the past five to 10 years, the DMV has been trying continuously to add services for their customers online at their convenience. Holcomb hopes that this online service will continue post-pandemic.

“There’s always that need to come into the offices, but for some of our services, the more we can put them online, the easier it will be then for the folks that have to go into the offices and cut down on the lines and cut down on the wait times. It’s just more convenient for everybody all around.”

If customers need technical assistance with the online testing process once they’ve started the test, you can email

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