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Wisconsin Drivers Education

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To be able to drive in Wisconsin, you need a strong education and training. To get your license, you will need to pass a knowledge test as well as a driving skills test. You also need to have 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training.

If you violate the law, points will be added to your WI driver’s license. To help address those and have them removed, you can take an approved Wisconsin driver’s ed course. This helps lower your car insurance rates and may help you keep your license in some cases.

Testing and Preparing to Drive

To take the driver’s education course in Wisconsin, you have to be at least 15 ½ years old and be enrolled in school or graduated. You should pass a vision test, road signs test and knowledge test.

After you get your Wisconsin learner’s permit, you will need to start your “behind-the-wheel” training within 60 days.

The curriculum includes classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel instruction.

Graduated Driver License

Wisconsin has a graduated licensing program. It starts with the WI instruction permit, which is available at 15 ½ years of age. At 16 years old, drivers may obtain the probationary license if they have had their instruction permit for six months or longer and have no violations on their record. They also need to show that they have at least 10 hours of night driving and 20 hours of day driving. Only up to five of those hours spent with an instructor count towards the total hours driven.

To get a probationary license, you must pass a driving skills test.

At 18, drivers may receive an unrestricted license.

Remedial Driver Programs

There are three driver safety courses offered in Wisconsin through the Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Technical College System. These include:

  • Traffic safety school
  • Multiple offender program
  • Group Dynamics
Traffic safety school

Traffic safety school is a defensive driving course that anyone can take in Wisconsin.

Multiple offender program

The multiple offender program in Wisconsin is for those who have been convicted of a second OWI charge.

Group Dynamics

Group Dynamics is a course offered to those who are convicted of their first OWI charge.

Completing these programs helps reduce demerit points, which may help drivers keep their licenses.

If the court has ordered the courses, they may or may not acknowledge the course for the purposes of removing demerits from your license. However, insurance carriers will lower your rates if they find that you have completed a program to be a safer driver or have reduced the number of demerits on your license. This is something to consider, since insurance costs may be high if you have too many demerits (or you may not be able to get insured at all).

Defensive Driving Courses

Defensive driving courses approved in Wisconsin can be taken online or in person. They help reduce demerit points on your license if you have offended or simply make you a better driver. Traffic safety school, which is mentioned above, is the main defensive driving program in Wisconsin.

Last Verified:
Sep 17, 2022