Find a licensing center
To find a DMV, use the DMV search offered by the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation found here.
Getting a license for the first time
The first time drivers are able to drive in Wisconsin is at the age of 15 ½ with an instructional permit. At 16, they can receive a probationary license, and at 18, an unrestricted license.
To get an instructional permit, you have to enroll in a certified driver’s education course with:
- 30 hours in the classroom
- Six hours of driving training
- Six hours of training with an observant
Those who are under 18 need to have a sponsor. The adult sponsor makes sure that all driving hours are verified for the DMV.
At 15 ½, you can get an instructional permit after enrolling in driver’s education. You need submit the Driver License Application form MV3001 and have it signed by the instructor and your legal guardian, sponsor or parent.
You will also need to pass a vision test and knowledge test before you can drive. There is a $35 fee for your instructional permit.
At 16, you can get the probationary license. You have to have six months of training with the instructional permit before you can get this. You also have to take a road test. If you have any violations on your record, you will not be able to get the license until six months have passed from the time of the traffic stop.
Fill out the Driver License Application form and the Wisconsin Graduated Driver Licensing Supervised Driving Log. Take the driving skills test, and then pay a $28 fee. Wisconsin also requires you to prove that you are enrolled in school or have your diploma.
Once you are 18, you can get your unrestricted license. You should:
- Turn in the probationary license
- Take a vision test
- Pay $28 to the DMV
- Complete the Driver License Application
Visit the DMV to have your photograph and license updated.
Renewing your license
If you want to renew your license, you can do so by mail or in person.
In person, you will need to complete the Wisconsin Driver License Application linked above. Then, prove your name if it has changed since your last license. You also need to prove that you are in the United States legally if you’re not a citizen. Finally, pay $34 for the renewal fee.
Your new license will come within 10 days.
By mail, you can get your license renewed if you are currently out of state. You must prove that:
- Your Social Security Number is on file with the DMV
- You completed the last renewal in person
- Your license hasn’t been issued as “Valid without photo”
- You are a citizen of the United States
To renew by mail, you need to complete the Wisconsin Driver License Application and include your out-of-state address. You should also pass a vision test and include the Certificate of Vision Examination by Competent Authority Form.
Also, you will have to:
- Write a letter that states the date you left Wisconsin
- Give the date you will return
- Give the reason you’re out of the state
- Provide your full name
- Give your email and phone number
- Provide your new out-of-state address
- Give your Wisconsin address
- Provide proof of WI residency, such as a utility bill
- Include $34 made out to the Registration Fee Trust
Send all of this to:
4822 Madison Yards Way, Room 225
Madison, WI 53705
Do you need a Real ID?
You do not need a Real ID unless you would like to be compliant with the federal REAL ID Act. If so, you will need to go to the DMV to have your license renewed.
Replace a lost or stolen license
To replace a lost or stolen ID or license, you may be able to apply online or by visiting a local DMV with your proof of identity. Online orders are mailed to the address within the online application.