Significant West Virginia Trailer Laws & Regulations

When buying a trailer in West Virginia, it’s important to know the laws and regulations that apply. After all, no one wants to be hit with a hefty fine for not following state trailer rules! Fortunately, understanding West Virginia trailer laws is easy. With just a few guidelines in mind, you can enjoy your new trailer without worry.

Does A Trailer Need A Title In WV?

All cars, trucks, trailers, and recreational vehicles must have a title and be registered when driven on any public road. All all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) manufactured after July 1st, 1989, as well as utility task vehicles (UTVs) manufactured after December 28th, 2010 are required to be titled but do not need to be registered.

Do trailers need inspection in WV? ​​All vehicles registered in West Virginia, or displaying a temporary registration plate or marker from the state, must be inspected and have a valid certificate of inspection affixed before being operated. This includes but is not limited to motorcycles, trailers, semi-trailers, and pole trailers.

Do trailers need license plates in West Virginia? The DMV will give the owner a license plate to affix to the trailer before towing it upon registration. These plates will be permanent and say "Permanent." If the owner purchases a used trailer, they must buy new license plates.

How much does it cost to register a trailer in West Virginia? The fees include a $15 title fee, a $10 lien fee (if applicable), and a regular registration fee of $51.50. The titling sales 6% sales tax on vehicles' values has been eliminated for new residents moving into West Virginia with vehicles already titled in their name from another state.

West Virginia Trailer Laws & Regulations


The total length of the car (including bumpers) is 65 feet, the trailer is 40 feet long, 96 inches wide (may extend to 102 on certain roads), and 13.5 feet high—excluding mirrors and other safety devices.


All trailers and semitrailers weighing 3,000 pounds or more must be equipped with brakes that the driver of the towing vehicle can use to control the trailer. These brakes must automatically engage if the trailer becomes detached from the tugging vehicle.

If a trailer is equipped with brakes, the means shall be provided for applying the rearmost trailer brakes in approximate synchronism with the towing vehicle's brakes and developing the required braking effort on the rearmost wheels at the fastest rate.

A motor vehicle or combination of motor-drawn vehicles must have the ability to stop at the following rates if they were on a dry, smooth, level-free road: (1) vehicles or combinations of vehicles with brakes on all wheels would need to decelerate at a speed of 14 feet per second; and (2) vehicles or combinations of vehicles not having brakes on all wheels would need to be able to decelerate at a rate 10.7 feet per second.

Hitch and Signals

The connection between vehicles towing a load must be secure enough that it can handle the weight being towed. The length of the drawbar cannot exceed 15 feet, with some exceptions for objects like poles or machinery that cannot be taken apart.

If a vehicle is towing another using a chain, rope, or cable as the connection, it must display a white flag or cloth that is not less than 12 inches square.


Mirrors are required on all vehicles so that the driver may see 200 feet behind the car at all times.


You need both tail and brake lights. You also need license plate lights and reflectors. If your trailer obscures the towing vehicle, turn signals are necessary.

Speed Limits

Please drive no faster than 55 mph, but you may go up to 70 mph where the signs say it.

Interesting articles