In order to be eligible you must:
- Be a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
- Have relocated within 30 days or plan to relocate to an address unknown to the perpetrator in the near future;
- Not have created any government records with their new address;
- Be a resident of West Virginia or about to become a resident of West Virginia;
- Be at least 18 years old or a parent or guardian acting on behalf of a minor or incapacitated person;
- Be willing to designate the Secretary of State as their agent to receive legal documents and first-class mail;
- Be able to manage with a possible 5 day mail delay (mail first comes to the Address Confidentiality Program and is then forwarded).
Applying to the Program
Participants do not apply directly to the ACP. Application is made in person at a local domestic violence, sexual assault or victim service program located throughout the state.
The application process involves meeting with a victim service professional who can help the participant determine whether ACP should be a part of the participant's overall safety plan, explain the program services, explain the participant's responsibilities and assist with the completion of the application materials.
Program participation is for a period of four years. At the end of four years you must file a renewal application to remain a participant.
How does the program work?
After an applicant becomes a program participant, they are given an authorization card. The card has the designated Post Office Box address that is approved by the Secretary of State's Office. The address on the card becomes the legal mailing address for the participant. First class mail will be forwarded, at not cost, from the Secretary of State's Office within 5 business days. Packages, magazines and third-class mail will not be forwarded to this address.
Program participants need to use the authorization card anytime they are doing business with a state or local agency that requests their address for government transactions.
Participants may use the ACP substitute address for:
- Applying for and receiving child support
- Enrolling their children in public school
- Registering to vote
- West Virginia driver's licenses or ID cards
The quick reference guide has answers to some frequently asked questions after enrolling as a participant in the program. Application – ACP-2a and 2b