Wisconsin Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to file a police report if my license was lost or stolen?
Wisconsin residents who have dealt with a stolen drivers license should be concerned about potential identity theft or fraud. In the event of a stolen drivers license, drivers should report the theft to local law enforcement. Make sure to also receive a copy of the police report, as the Wisconsin DMV may ask to see it and may also waive the drivers license replacement fee. Wisconsin residents who have had their drivers licenses stolen can also request that the local DMV put a notation on the driver s record indicating the heightened potential for identity theft. The notation will then force anyone using the resident s identity (including the actual resident) to provide additional documents to verify their identities.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Wisconsin Driver’s License or ID Card

How can I obtain a copy of the driver manual?
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has provided residents with a comprehensive Motorists Handbook with all the information necessary to know how to apply for drivers licenses. Additional information includes Wisconsin driving rules and regulations, as well as a study guide for the written drivers license test.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Wisconsin

How can I renew my drivers license?
Wisconsin residents looking to renew expired drivers licenses can do so in person at a local WI DMV office. At the DMV office, residents will need to have a completed Wisconsin Driver s License Form MV3001. Present it to the official along with the drivers license renewal notice received in the mail (if applicable) and pay the $34 drivers license renewal fee (fees may vary). Drivers will also need to present proof of identity, proof of legal status in the United States (if not a U.S. citizen) and proof of name change (if applicable). Drivers will be issued a photo receipt which will serve as a temporary drivers license renewal until the permanent drivers license renewal arrives in the mail.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Wisconsin

How do I apply for a drivers license?
Applying for drivers licenses is dependent on meeting the below requirements:

  • Be 16 years old or older
  • Have passed an approved driver education course
  • Provide proof of U.S. citizenship, legal permanent residency, conditional residency or temporary visiting status
  • Provide proof of name and date of birth
  • Provide proof of identity
  • Provide proof of Wisconsin residency
  • Hold an Instruction Permit for at least seven days
  • Pass the driving skills test
  • Complete Drivers License Application (form MV 3001)
  • Pay the $28 fee (fees may vary)

Additionally, residents under 18applying for drivers licenses in Wisconsin must also have an adult sponsor and hold an Instruction Permit for at least six months.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Wisconsin

How do I get a hardship license?
Wisconsin residents with suspended drivers licenses (or revoked drivers licenses) may be eligible to receive an occupational (restricted) drivers license depending on the reason for their drivers license suspension. Occupational drivers licenses allow the driver to use a vehicle for a maximum of 12 hours a day and 60 hours a week to go to and from home, work or church. To find an occupational drivers license eligibility, Wisconsin residents can fill out the Occupational License Eligibility Check form.

For more information:Suspended License Information for Wisconsin

How do I get a replacement license if I am in the military and stationed elsewhere?
Wisconsin residents who are active military members stationed out of state and have a lost or stolen drivers licensecan apply for a drivers license replacement by mail or online.

Visit the WI DMV s website to order a drivers license copy.

To apply for a duplicate drivers license by mail, send a Wisconsin Drivers License Application Form MV3001 along with the application fee of $14 (fees may vary) to:

WisDOT

Qualification and Issuance Section

P.O. Box 7995

Madison, WI 53707-7995

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Wisconsin Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I obtain a duplicate license?
Wisconsin residents with lost or stolen drivers licenses should obtain a drivers license replacement as soon as possible. To get a duplicate drivers license, residents can apply in person at a local WI DMV office. Residents can also apply to replace licenses online. Duplicate drivers licenses applied for online are mailed out to residents at their Wisconsin address and cannot be forwarded. Residents with stolen drivers licenses are urged to report the theft to law enforcement to deter identity theft.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Wisconsin Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I reinstate after a revocation as a Habitual Traffic Offender?
In Wisconsin, a Habitual Traffic Offender is a person who has had at least four major traffic convictions (or 12 minor and major convictions) in a five-year time period. The offenses Wisconsin DOT considers major include:

  • DUI/DWI
  • Eluding an officer
  • Reckless driving

Habitual traffic offenders will receive a revoked drivers license for a five-year period. After two years drivers are eligible for an occupational (restricted) drivers license, and can reinstate revoked drivers licenses at the end of the revocation period.

For more information:Suspended License Information for Wisconsin

How do I reinstate my suspended license?
To reinstate suspended drivers licenses, check first reinstatement eligibilities by visiting the Wisconsin DOT Reinstatement Eligibility Inquiry page. There, drivers can find out all the requirements to reinstate their specific suspended drivers license.

The online inquiry will also inform drivers whether or not they can reinstate suspended drivers license online or will have to visit a local WI DMV office. In some cases, drivers will have to provide Proof of Insurance. Once the requirements are met, residents should pay the associated suspended drivers license reinstatement fees to receive their new license.

For more information:Suspended License Information for Wisconsin

How do I renew my license if I am in the military and stationed elsewhere?
Drivers license renewal requirements are waived for resident active military members and those stationed out ofstate until their service is done. Drivers licenses issued to active military members do not expire until 30 days after the military member returns to Wisconsin or 90 days after discharge. Once military members have returned to Wisconsin, they may apply for a drivers license renewal in person at a local WI DMV office.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Wisconsin

How do I replace my license if I am a non-U.S. citizen?
You may apply for a WI drivers license replacement by visiting a local WI DMV office and filling out a Wisconsin Drivers License Application Form MV3001. At this time, non-U.S. citizens are not allowed to apply for duplicate drivers licenses by mail or online, as they must provide proof of identity at the DMV office. The fee for drivers license replacements is $14 (fees may vary).

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Wisconsin Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I replace my license if I lost it out of state?
Wisconsin residents residing out of state who have a stolen or lost drivers license can apply for a drivers license replacement through the mail. Duplicate drivers license applicants must be U.S. citizens with their photo and Social Security Number on file with the Wisconsin DMV.

Drivers who have received a duplicatedrivers license by mail in the past two years are not eligible for a by-mail drivers license replacement. To apply for a duplicate drivers license while out of state, fill out a Wisconsin Drivers License Application Form MV3001 and write the out-of-state address under “Mailing Address.” Residents thenmail the application along with the $14 duplicate drivers license fee (fees may vary) to:

WisDOT Qualification and Issuance Section P.O. Box 7995 Madison, WI 53707-7995

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Wisconsin Driver’s License or ID Card

How does the DMV check my vision?
Wisconsin residents must meet minimum vision requirements to be eligible to get drivers licenses within the state. The established levels of vision include:

  • 20/40 vision ratio
  • 70 degree field of vision

Residents with vision less than the minimum requirement will be referred to a vision specialist for a corrective lens prescription. Residents are also required to take a driving test. Drivers who are required to wear corrective lenses while driving will receive a restriction code on their drivers license.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Wisconsin

How long will I have a suspended license for not taking a chemical test?
Wisconsin law states that all licensed drivers in the state have given implied consent to take a blood, breath or urine test if they have been arrested for a DUI. Refusing to take a chemical test on a first offense results in a year suspended driving license. For a second refusal in 10 years, the penalty is two years suspended driving license. For third (and any subsequent) offenses the penalty is a three year suspension. If a minor is in the car then the penalty is doubled.

For more information:Suspended License Information for Wisconsin

How soon can I renew my driver’s license?
Wisconsin residents looking to renew drivers licenses prior to the expiration date may do so up to a year before. To renew drivers licenses in Wisconsin, visit a local WI DMV office to submit an application, required documents and receive a vision test. Drivers license renewals are mailed to residents homes within 10 business days.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Wisconsin

If I file a police report, will my replacement fee be waived?
As of now, there are no policies within the Wisconsin DMV to waive replacement fees for stolen drivers licenses that are accompanied by a police report. Drivers license replacement fees in Wisconsin are $14, payable by cash or check only (fees may vary). To apply for a drivers license replacement, visit a local WI DMV office.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Wisconsin Driver’s License or ID Card

Is there an age limit to renew your license?
There is no age limit for renewing drivers licenses in Wisconsin. However, initial drivers licenses issued to state residents prior to their 21st birthday will expire on the resident s 21st birthday. Residents must be 16 or older to obtain a drivers license or learning permit.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Wisconsin

What address will my replacement license be mailed to?
Duplicate drivers licenses are mailed to whichever mailing address the DMV has on file for the resident and cannot be forwarded to other addresses. Drivers who have applied for a drivers license replacement will receive it within 10 business days.The Wisconsin DMV has been mailing out all licenses since 2012 to ensure REAL ID federal regulations are met, as well as to deter identity theft and fraud.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Wisconsin Driver’s License or ID Card

What are requirements for seniors to renew a driving license?
Seniors in Wisconsin have no special requirement for renewing drivers licenses. However, when applying for drivers license renewal at a local WI DMV service center, individuals will be required to take a vision test. In addition, applicants may also have to take a written knowledge test.

For more information: Senior Drivers in Wisconsin

What are some violations that may constitute in a suspended license?
Drivers in Wisconsin who violate certain laws can be penalized with a drivers license suspension. A few of the more common violations that result in a suspended drivers license are as follows:

  • Failure to pay fines
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • High blood alcohol concentration/Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
  • Insurance cancelled
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Underage alcohol use
  • Speeding excess

Wisconsin residents can check whether or not they have a suspended driving license by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) Driver License Status Check page.

For more information:Suspended License Information for Wisconsin

What are the consequences of driving with a suspended license?
Wisconsin residents with a suspended drivers license are urged to get a suspended drivers license reinstatement before continuing to operate a vehicle. Wisconsin differentiates between driving with a revoked drivers license and driving with a suspended license. Driving with a revoked drivers license can result in both criminal and civil charges, which can lead to jail time. However, driving with a suspended drivers license is a civil offense and will result in higher fines depending on whether it is a first offense or not. Suspended drivers license reinstatement fees are $60, while renewal fees are $34 (fees may vary).

For more information:Suspended License Information for Wisconsin

What are the fees for a duplicate drivers license?
Wisconsin residents who have lost or stolen drivers licenses must apply for a drivers license replacement either at a local WI DMV office or by mail. Drivers fill out a Wisconsin Drivers License Application Form MV3001 and submit it along with the duplicate drivers license fee. Drivers license replacements cost $14 (fees may vary).

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Wisconsin Driver’s License or ID Card

What are the reinstatement fees I will have to pay for a suspended license?
Depending on the length of time a Wisconsin resident has had a suspended drivers license for, he or she may have to pay a number of fees. The suspended drivers license reinstatement fee is $60 and the replacement license fee is $14. Both must be paid before a suspended drivers license can be used. Additionally, if the resident s suspended drivers license also expired during the suspension period, he or she must also pay the drivers license renewal fee of $34 (fees may vary).

For more information:Suspended License Information for Wisconsin

What are the suspensions eligible for a hardship license?
In Wisconsin, there are quite a few violations that result in a suspension but leave drivers eligible for an occupational (restricted) drivers license. Occupational licenses limit the driver to operating a vehicle for no more than 12 hours a day (or 60 hours a week) to specific destinations (work, church, and other locations indicated on the occupational license itself). To check eligibility for occupational driving licenses, Wisconsin residents can fill out the Occupational License Eligibility Check form.

For more information:Suspended License Information for Wisconsin

What do I need to do to get my driver’s license if I fail the driving test?
Wisconsin residents looking to get drivers licenses must pass the driving tests before they can receive a drivers license. Residents who fail the driving test can schedule an appointment at a local WI DMV service center to take it again. However, applicants are only allowed to take the same test five times in a single year.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Wisconsin

What documents do I need to get my drivers license?
Whenapplying for drivers licenses, bring the following documents to a local WI DMV service center when filling out a Drivers License Application:

  • Complete Drivers License Application
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship, legal permanent residency, conditional residency or temporary visiting status
  • Proof of name and date of birth
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Wisconsin residency
  • $28 new drivers license fee (fees may vary)

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Wisconsin

What documents do I need to present to renew my drivers license?
Required documents vary depending on whether the driver is getting a regular drivers license renewal or upgrading to a federal REAL drivers license. Federal REAL IDs and drivers licenses will be required in the future to enter any airports or federal buildings. Required documents include:

  • Proof of name and date of birth (for REAL ID)
  • Proof of citizenship (for REAL ID)
  • Proof of legal status in the United States (if not a U.S. citizen)
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Social Security number (for REAL ID)
  • Proof of Wisconsin residency (for REAL ID)
  • Proof of name change (if applicable)

Current Wisconsin residents who have never changed their name may get a REAL ID license with a certified U.S. birth certificate, their Wisconsin drivers license and a Social Security card.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Wisconsin

What documents will I need to present to replace my drivers license?
Residents of Wisconsin looking for a drivers licenses replacement must provide a few documents when applying. Required documents include:

Residents who would like a REAL ID-compliant duplicate drivers license must also provide proof of Wisconsin residency, proof of name and date of birth and proof of a name change (if applicable).

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Wisconsin Driver’s License or ID Card

What languages is the written test available in?
Wisconsin residents filling out Drivers License Applications must take certain tests to receive a drivers license. A couple of these tests are written, and are available in the following languages:

  • English
  • Chinese
  • Hmong
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Serbo-Croatian
  • Somali
  • Spanish

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Wisconsin

What penalties will I face if I do not renew my expired drivers license?
Wisconsin residents with expired licenses are urged to visit a local WI DMV office for drivers license renewal as soon as possible. Driving with an expired license can lead to a ticketed violation that can cost anywhere from $30 to $250. In addition, renewing drivers licenses once they have expired costs an extra $5 late fee, in addition to the $34 drivers license renewal fee. To renew expired drivers licenses, visit a local DMV office.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Wisconsin

What should I do if I have not received my renewed license?
Drivers in Wisconsin who have applied for a drivers license renewal should receive their licenses from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation within 10 business days. All undeliverable official mail is returned to the DMV. Drivers who have not received their drivers license renewal after 10 business days should contact the Wisconsin DMV at 608-266-2353.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Wisconsin

What tests will I need to take for my drivers license?
Wisconsin residents applying for drivers licenses in the state can do so at a local WI DMV service center. During the Drivers License application process, residents have to complete a driving test to receive their drivers license, as well as a vision test. Additionally, residents receiving a learners permit prior to receiving their full license must pass written knowledge tests and road sign tests.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Wisconsin

What type of noncommercial license will I need?
Wisconsin residents applying for drivers licenses will be issued one of two noncommercial drivers licenses: the original probationary class D drivers license, or the original regular class D drivers license. Probationary licenses are issued to:

  • New drivers (regardless of age).
  • Residents with a drivers license from another country who have passed the required Wisconsin driving tests.
  • Residents reinstating a revoked probationary license.

All other residents will receive a regular class D license. Other noncommercial licenses include motorcycle licenses and instruction permits.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Wisconsin

When can I reinstate my license after it has been suspended?
The amount of time a Wisconsin resident must wait to reinstate a suspended drivers license depends on the offense that cause the drivers license suspension to begin with. Wisconsin residents must wait until the suspension period has passed before attempting a suspended drivers license reinstatement. To check reinstatement eligibilities, Wisconsin residents can visit the Wisconsin DOT Reinstatement Eligibility Inquiry page. Here, residents can find out exactly what they need to do to reinstate suspended drivers licenses.

For more information:Suspended License Information for Wisconsin

When will I need to renew my license?
Wisconsin drivers have valid drivers licenses for eight years from issuance. Expiration dates are typically on the driver s birthday. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation sends out drivers license renewal notices 45 to 60 days before the license expiration date as a courtesy. Licenses should be renewed by the expiration date to avoid extra late fees.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Wisconsin

When will I receive a replacement license after applying?
Since 2012, the Wisconsin DMV has mailed out all new drivers licenses and drivers license replacements from a central production facility. The new policy is meant to keep in line with REAL ID federal requirements, as well as to deter identity fraud and theft. Residents who have applied for a duplicate drivers license will receive it in the mail within 10 business days of application. Drivers licenses marked as undeliverable are returned to the DMV.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated Wisconsin Driver’s License or ID Card

Where can I check to see if my license is suspended?
Wisconsin residents who suspect they have suspended drivers licenses or would just like to check the general status of their licenses can do so through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Visit the Wisconsin DOT Driver License Status Check form for more information. Residents with suspended drivers licenses can also find out what their next steps should be.

For more information:Suspended License Information for Wisconsin

Where can I get a new drivers license?
Toapply for drivers licenses in Nevada, visit a local WI DMV service center. At the center, residents can fill out Drivers License Applications, as well as take the required tests and pay the drivers license fee. There is currently no option to apply for a new drivers license online.Drivers licenses are mailed to the applicant s home within 10 business days. Residents can use the receipt issued by the Wisconsin DMV at the time of drivers license application and payment as their photo ID and temporary drivers license for 45 days after leaving the service center.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in Wisconsin

Will I be required to take a vision test for a drivers license renewal?
Wisconsin residents renewing drivers licenses will have to undergo a vision test during each drivers license renewal period. Residents have the option of receiving a free vision screening test from an examiner at a local WI DMV office. Residents may also have the vision screening done with a separate physician who must record the results on the Wisconsin Driver s License Application Form MV3001. Vision screenings must take place no more than 90 days prior to the drivers license renewal application submission.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Wisconsin

Will I get a drivers license renewal notice in the mail?
Wisconsin Department of Transportation issues courtesy drivers license renewal notices to residents with licenses expiring soon. Drivers license renewal notices are sent out 45 to 60 days prior to the drivers license expiration date, and include all the information necessary to renew drivers licenses.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in Wisconsin