West Virginia

West Virginia

Final grade: C+

Exclusion Grade


Relevance Grade


Due Process Grade



  • Bans many boards from using vague standards like “moral turpitude” and “good moral character” to disqualify applicants.
  • Imposes a five-year time limit for considering old convictions.

Areas of Improvement

  • Extend state’s protections to medical and security licenses. 
  • Raise relatedness test from “rational nexus” to “directly related,” a much more stringent standard. 

In 2019, West Virginia enacted its first overarching law to protect ex-offenders in the licensing process, earning a C+ for its final grade. However, the new law expressly does not apply to occupations regulated by the state medical board, physician assistants, osteopathic physicians and surgeons, private investigators, or security guards. Thanks to those loopholes, any felony, along with crimes of moral turpitude, can disqualify applicants for medical and security licenses.  

Statute: W. Va. Code § 30-1-24 (2019)

Overarching ban on blanket bans Yes, but excludes medical and security licenses
Ban on considering arrest records No
Ban on considering post-conviction relief records No
Time limit 5 years, except for sexual or violent crimes
Ban on vague, discretionary character standards Yes
Relationship between the crime and the license sought "Rational nexus"
Required factors for consideration
Rehabilitation Yes
Time elapsed since crime was committed Yes
Age when crime was committed No
Employment History No
Testimonials No
Due Process
Petition Process Yes
Burden of Proof Both unspecified
Right to appeal Yes
Written notice requirement No