Frequently Asked Questions
Please click on your question below. If you do not see your question, please contact our office and we would be happy to assist you.
- I am having a house built on my lot. How do I receive an address for my house?
- I own a piece of property without a house or building on the lot. Do I need an address for the property?
- Does my barn/workshop need to have an address?
- How can I find ownership of a property?
- The DMV needs verification of my address in order for me to obtain a new drivers license. What do I do?
- Who do I need to inform of my new address?
- Why can't I find my house using my GPS unit or an Online Mapping Service?
- Do I need to display my address?
- How should I display my address?
- When does a road need to be named?
- My construction company is building a subdivision in the county. How do the roads being built get assigned names?
- What types of signs can I use on my property?
- Our street sign has been badly damaged. What do I do?
- How can I get a current up-to-date map that shows all the roads in the County?
- How can I purchase digital data for the County?
Obtaining an Address
I am having a house built on my lot. How do I receive an address for my house?
Once your building permit has been issued, it goes into the queue for our office to review for addressing. If the sketch plat is detailed enough for us to calculate an accurate address, we will assign the address in-house based on the location of the structure and driveway in the sketch. If the sketch plat is not detailed enough for us to do in-house, our Addressing Specialist will visit the building site after the foundation has been inspected to take GPS coordinate readings of the structure and driveway; we will then use this data to generate an address for the structure. (For more information on how a physical address is assigned, please click here.)
Once the structure has been added to the mapping system, our office will send an address verification letter to the developer/owner stating the new address. Per our ordinance, the physical address must be posted on the structure in order to pass final inspection.
I own a piece of property without a house or building on the lot. Do I need an address for the property?
No, only structures are assigned a physical address. Empty lots will not have an address assigned until a structure foundation is in place.
Does my barn/workshop need an address?
Outbuildings are not typically considered addressable structures, but will be reviewed per ordinance and policy to determine if telephone, utilities, or other reasons cause the outbuilding to require a physical address. To view our guideline on addressable structures, please click here.
How can I find Ownership of a Property?
Our office does not provide ownership information of individual properties. To find that information, you need to contact the Jefferson County Tax Assessor’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (304) 728-3224. You may need to provide tax information (District, Map, and Parcel of the property) for location purposes. That information can be provided by our office if given a street address. You may also try the online Tax Map Viewer to research on your own.
Verifying an Address
The Department of Motor Vehicles needs verification of my address in order for me to obtain a new drivers license. What do I do?
If you own your home, you may contact or come to our office located at 116 E. Washington Street, Suite 201, Charles Town, WV to receive a letter of address verification prior to going to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Please note: Due to a change in our ordinance, we can only provide address verification letters to the owner of a property. If you are a renter, our office can no longer provide you with a proof of residency. For a list of accepted residency documents, see the WV DMV website. The DMV can also provide an Affidavit of WV Residency which you and your landlord can fill out as proof of your residency.
If your current driver’s license displays a Post Office Box as your address, you will need to provide the DMV with your new physical 9-1-1 address and be issued a new driver’s license.
Who do I need to inform of my new address?
You need to notify parties with whom you correspond that your address has changed. If you receive rural delivery of mail, the Post Office will only deliver mail to your old address for one year from the effective date of your address change.
The parties that you should notify may include:
- Utility Companies (Electric / Gas / Cable / Satellite TV / Broadband Internet)
- Telephone Company (change of address is possible through your monthly bill if Frontier customer)
- Mortgage Company
- Insurance Companies
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Jefferson County Tax Office
- Jefferson County Assessor Office
- Credit Card Companies
- Magazines/Newspapers and Periodicals
Why can’t I find my house using my GPS Unit or an Online Mapping Service?
There are two major data providers in GIS, GPS, and internet Mapping Services: Tele Atlas (owned by TomTom) and NAVTEQ (formerly Navteq). These providers generally purchase their data from local agencies, such as our office. If either supplier purchases our data, it may take them 3-6 months to verify and incorporate it into their databases. Then it may take an additional 3 months or more for their clients to purchase their data and update their GPS or web mapping products.
Emergency Services in Jefferson County use only our data for their mapping system. If your GPS unit or online mapping service cannot find your house, this does not mean that Emergency Services will not be able to locate you in an emergency situation. To verify if your residence or business is located properly on our map, please contact our office at (304)724-6759.
Displaying an Address
Do I need to display my address?
The County ordinance states that every structure must have their address properly displayed. A resident must display their number on their house near their front door. If the front door is farther than 50 feet from the road, the address must be displayed at the end of the driveway as well as at the front door. Details for how to display your address can be found in the Jefferson County E9-1-1 Addressing Ordinance. This ordinance is enforceable by fine.
How should I display my address?
A resident must place their address on their house at or near their front door, and at the end of their driveway if they are farther than 50 feet from the road. You should display it so that it is visible coming from any direction. You should also place the numbers on your mailbox if you receive your mail in a traditional mailbox and not a cluster unit.
Here are some details from the ordinance:
- Residential Structure – Each primary structure shall display the physical address number assigned to that structure. The numbers shall be in Arabic numerals at least three (3) inches in height, and of a durable and clearly visible material. The numbers shall be placed on, above, or at the side of the main entrance so the number is clearly visible from the road. Whenever a residence entrance is greater than fifty (50) feet or is not clearly visible from the road, a number shall also be placed along a driveway or property entrance. Address numbers are to be a contrasting color to the background on which they are mounted.
- Commercial and Industrial Structure – Address numbers for commercial and industrial structures shall be at least six (6) inches in height. The number shall be placed on, above, or at the side of the main entrance to the structure when possible. If such number is not clearly visible from the road, the number shall be placed along a driveway or on a sign visible from the road. Address numbers are to be a contrasting color to the background on which they are mounted.
- Apartments and Similar – The physical address number assigned to the building shall be displayed on the assigned structure and at least six (6) inches in height. Numbers and/or letters for individual apartments or units within these complexes shall be displayed on, above, or to the side of the main doorway of each apartment or unit.
- Mobile Home Park and Similar – The address number assigned to a trailer within an organized trailer park shall be one address number for the trailer park with each trailer assigned a lot or space number (ex: 106 County Lane Lot 5). The lot or space number must be posted and permanently affixed to the lot identifying the lot or space number. The main address to the trailer park must be posted at the entrance of the park. Address numbers are to be a contrasting color to the background on which they are mounted.
When does a road need to be named?
Any road or right-of-way utilized by three (3) or more houses/structures needs to be named. A Road Name Petition Form must be completed by the owners of any property adjacent to the right-of-way and submitted to our office.
The person building the third structure or the person(s) requesting the road name is responsible for the costs associated with the installation of the street sign. Our office can calculate the exact costs of signage to provide to the person responsible for payment. Once payment is received, our office will take care of having the sign properly installed to the appropriate standards.
My construction company is building a subdivision in the county. How do the roads being built get assigned names?
You will need to obtain a Subdivision Name Reservation Form and a Road Name Reservation Form from our office. Please select the proper form for the location you are building (an incorporated City versus unincorporated County). Once you have completed these forms, if you are building in the unincorporated County and are subject to County Plat Approval, submit the forms to the Departments of Planning and Zoning. They will approve or reject the name(s) and pass it on to our office for final approval. If you are in an incorporated city, print out the proper Road Name Reservation Form associated with that city, and submit it to that City for approval. Once the City approves the submission, they will forward it to our office for final approval. Once the approval process is complete, our office will send out a letter informing you of what was approved or rejected.
What types of signs can I use on my property?
Generally, our office will not interfere with any sign you wish to put on your property. We will only become involved when the sign could be causing confusion for emergency services or other citizens. Any sign that looks like a regular street sign should not be placed close to the road, where it could be confused for an actual road name. If this should occur, you may be asked to remove the confusing sign.
Our office also does not allow any signs to be attached to County street signs. Stop signs, Children Playing signs, and all other signs should be attached to their own pole and should not be blocking visibility of the County street sign. Violation of this rule may result in a fine.
Our street sign is missing or has been badly damaged. What do I do?
Please fill out the Street Sign Damage Form or contact our office by calling (304)724-6759. Please be prepared to provide the following information:
- Your name
- Your telephone number
- Name of the road
- Name of the intersecting road
- What color is the sign? Green or Brown
- Does the sign display both roads or only one road?
- How was the sign damaged (If known)?
- Is the sign still at that location?
- What part of the sign was damaged? The whole sign? Blade? Post? Anchor?
How can I get a current up-to-date map that shows all the roads in the County?
Our office has free online maps available for public use on our Public Research Portal.
How can I purchase digital data for the County?
Our office has layers of data available using a projection of NAD83 State Plane WV North FIPS 4701 Feet. Layers are available in .shp format and include the entire county. All available data layers can be freely downloaded from our Public Research Portal.
Please note: our office does not have parcel information. If you would like parcel information, please contact the Jefferson County Tax Assessor’s Office at (304)728-3224.