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In response to the many questions we have received about the new Addressing & Mapping system, please review the following:
Q: Why was my address changed?
A: First and foremost, to get emergency help to you faster when you dial 9-1-1. The days of “everyone knows where I live” no longer apply. Many new residents have moved into our area, and many of them are also emergency responders. They do not know where you live or “near John Doe's old barn”.
The West Virginia Legislature passed Senate Bill 460 in 2001, which requires all counties participating in the West Virginia Statewide Addressing and Mapping Project be responsible for making sure all residential and commercial structures are addressed in accordance to modern public safety addressing standards.
By following a national standard of addressing, local, State and Federal emergency responders can assist during times of disaster and be able to find your home in a timely manner.
Q: Are other counties doing this?
A: Yes. All counties in West Virginia are either in the process of converting to “city style” addressing or have already done so.
Q: Why did my house/box number change?
A: When there are problems with an existing city style address that could create confusion for emergency responders, re-addressing becomes necessary. If there are multiple problems on a given road, the entire road may be re-addressed.
These problems include, but are not limited to house numbers out of sequence, duplicate numbers, addresses that include “A's” and “B's” added to the same house or box number and odd and even house numbers on the same side of the street.
Q: Why was my road named?
A: If a shared driveway meets the criteria as outlined in the County ordinance (two or more addressable structures along the same driveway), it will be named and the homes accessed from it will be addressed using the new road name. Road names have been chosen based on local history, geographic significance residents' choice. When no suggestions were made available to the Addressing & Mapping Coordinator, a random name was chosen.
Q: Why is there such a large gap in between my house number and my next door neighbor's number?
A: Newly-addressed roads are assigned numbers using a 10.56 foot interval system, which allows for 1,000 addresses per mile (500 odd numbers on the left and 500 even numbers on the right). This system provides a means for emergency responders to quickly calculate the location of an emergency caller. (For example: 10789 Sesame Street, would be 10.7 miles north on Sesame Street on the left side of the road)
Q: How does the new address affect my mail?
A: If you receive home delivery, you have one year to update all correspondence to the new address. If you have a post office box, mail sent to it will not be affected. The process was done in full cooperation with the United State Postal Service at the State and local levels. In many instances, local mail carriers and Postmasters were consulted.
Q: Do I have to pay for a new Driver’s License or Registration?
A: No. Residents are not required to get a new license, but they are required to notify the DMV of their change of address. This can be done at no cost to the resident by completing the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles' Change of Address Form. This will update all driver’s licenses, titles, registrations and handicap placards in their system. It can be done in person at any WV DMV branch or by mail.
The form is available for download at: http://www.transportation.wv.gov/dmv/Forms/DMVForms/DMV-98-TRB-WF.pdf.
Q: Do I have to get new checks?
A: No. You should be able to use your current checks within the one-year transitional period.
Q: How do I display my new address?
A: You will need to follow requirements provided by the United States Postal Service for posting your address on your mailbox. Harrison-Taylor 9-1-1 and the Addressing & Mapping Coordinator have no control over mail delivery, mailbox location or how your address is displayed on your mailbox.
The Harrison-Taylor County Addressing & Mapping ordinance requires you to display your address. Residents must place an address sign on their homes, or if it is more than 50 feet from the roadway, a sign at the start of your driveway.
The purpose of this system is to enable quick and efficient location of those in need. If your address number is posted, emergency responders will be better able to locate your home.
Address markers can be either home-made or purchased from various vendors, both local and online.
We recommend three inch numbers made from reflective materials on a contrasting background.
Q: Are there other benefits to the new system?
A: Your new physical address will make it easier for package deliveries from companies such as UPS or FedEx.. Many residents have already discovered that when renewing your driver’s license, a physical address is required. Your new address will be locatable via GPS devices such as Garmin, TomTom, etc.