Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to take a motorcycle training course?
Wisconsin residents looking to obtain a Class M motorcycle license must first possess a motorcycle instruction permit. To graduate from a motorcycle instruction permit to a full Class M motorcycle license, drivers must pass a motorcycle skills test. However, drivers may get a waiver to skip the motorcycle skills test by showing a certificate of completion from an approved Wisconsin Department of Transportation Basic Motorcycle Rider Course, Scooter Basic Rider Course or 2-Wheel Basic Rider Course.

Drivers over 16 but under 18 must provide proof of enrollment in one of these courses before they can obtain a motorcycle instruction permit. Drivers Ed courses are offered at many different locations throughout the state.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Wisconsin

Am I required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle?
Wisconsin residents in possession of a Class M motorcycle license should be aware of local motorcycle helmet laws. Wisconsin state law requires all motorists under 18 as well as those in possession of a motorcycle instruction permit to be wearing a motorcycle helmet when driving both on- and off-road.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Wisconsin

Can I renew my commercial drivers license online?
No, Wisconsin CDL license holders cannot renew commercial drivers licenses online. To renew, CDL license drivers must report to a local WI DMV office with the following items:

  • Expired CDL license
  • CDL license renewal notice
  • CDL license renewal fee (fees vary based on CDL endorsement)

Drivers must also pass a vision test.

For more information: CDL Commercial Drivers License Application.

Can I take the DMV written test online?
No, Wisconsin residents do not have the option of taking the tests for a drivers permit online. Residents who would like to complete a drivers permit applicationmust visit a local WI DMV Service facility to take the computerized written, road sign and vision tests.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Wisconsin

Can I use my state CDL anywhere in the United States?
Wisconsin residents applying for a CDL license must fill out a Tier of Operation form at a local WI DMV office at the time of application. The tier of operation a CDL license holder chooses will dictate whether or not they can drive interstate (between state lines) or only intrastate (within Wisconsin state lines). The different choices for tier are as follows:

  • Tier 1: non-excepted interstate commerce (requires Fed Med card)
  • Tier 2: excepted interstate commerce
  • Tier 3: non-excepted intrastate commerce (requires Fed Med card)
  • Tier 4: excepted intrastate commerce

Drivers can also visit a local WI DMV office to change their various tiers of operation.

For more information: CDL Commercial Drivers License Application.

Do I need a motorcycle license to ride a scooter or moped?
All Wisconsin residents who drive motorcycles within the state must possess a Class M Motorcycle License. However, residents riding a moped do not need to have a motorcycle drivers license to operate the vehicle. Moped drivers will still need to have a Class D drivers license to operate the vehicle though.

In Wisconsin, mopeds are classified as weighing 150 pounds or more on a dry, level and hard surface with a limit of30 mph. Mopeds fit into two categories:

  • Electric bicycles with operative pedals and an engine less than 130cc
  • Type 1 automatic-transmission motorcycle and engine less than 50cc

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Wisconsin

Do I need to take a drivers ed course?
Wisconsin residents under 18 looking to purchase a drivers permit must be enrolled in a certified driver education program before they are allowed to obtain a learners permit. In this case, the drivers permit application must be signed by the course instructor before the driver can purchase the learners permit.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Wisconsin

How can I get a veteran designation on my ID card?
Wisconsin military veterans looking to get ID cards with a veteran identifier must first verify their veteran eligibility with the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. To contact the Veterans Center, dial 1-800-WIS-VETS or visit the VetExpress website. Veterans can contact their local County Veterans Service Officer for certification as well. Once eligibility has been established, veterans cango to a local WI DMV office to apply for a new ID card or an ID card renewal. ID card replacements can be obtained through the online Wisconsin ID card renewal/duplicate service.

For more information: How to Apply for a Wisconsin Identification Card.

How do I apply for a commercial drivers license?
Wisconsin residents looking to obtain a commercial drivers license (CDL) must go through the CDL application process. To apply for a CDL, drivers must:

  • Study the appropriate section in the Wisconsin Commercial Driver s License Manual
  • Take the corresponding knowledge exam or exams for the vehicle that will be driven
  • Obtain a commercial drivers license learning permit
  • Pass the following tests
    • Pre-trip
    • Backing out
    • Driving skills
  • Add CDL license classes and endorsements to the driver s class D license

The fee for an original class A, B or C commercial drivers license is $74, and it costs $30 for a commercial drivers license learning permit (fees may vary).

For more information: CDL Commercial Drivers License Application.

How do I apply for a learner’s permit?
Wisconsin residents seeking learners permits can fill out a drivers permit application at a local WI DMV Service Center. To be eligible to purchase a learning permit, drivers must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 15 years and six months old, or older
  • Show proof of U.S. citizenship, legal permanent resident status, conditional resident status or temporary visitor status (valid U.S. passport, certificate of U.S. naturalization or consular report of birth abroad)
  • Show proof of name and date of birth(valid U.S. passport, certified birth certificate or certificate of U.S. naturalization)
  • Show proof of identity (valid photo driver s license or photo ID, valid U.S. passport or photo college ID)
  • Show proof of Wisconsin residency (printed paycheck stub, utility bill, current valid homeowner s, renter s or motor vehicle insurance policy)
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of enrollment in certified driver education program (if under 18)
  • Signature of parent or adult sponsor (if under 18)
  • Must be enrolled in high school or high school equivalency program, or have already graduated (if under 18)
  • Pass knowledge, vision and sign tests
  • Pay $35 Class D learner s permit fee (fees may vary)
  • Complete Wisconsin Driver s License Application

Once all the requirements have been met and fees are paid, the Wisconsin DMV will issue drivers a receipt with their photo on it that will serve as a valid driving permit for 45 days until the official learners permit arrives.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Wisconsin

How do I apply for a motorcycle license?
In Wisconsin, motorists seeking a Class M motorcycle license must first possess either a motorbike instruction permit or a valid motorcycle license from another state. Residents looking to obtain an instruction permit to get a motorcycle drivers license must pass a motorcycle knowledge test, sign test and vision test. The minimum age to receive a motorcycle license is 16. Visit a local WI DMV office to apply in person.

To get a motorcycle license, drivers under 18 must have a sponsor, provide proof of Drivers Ed and Basic Motorcycle Rider Course completion. Motorcycle license instruction permits are valid for six months, and can be renewed multiple times.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Wisconsin

How do I get a duplicate ID card?
Wisconsin residents looking to replace ID cards that have been lost, stolen or damaged can do so in person at a local WI DMV office. Residents seeking to replace ID cards will be asked to present a few documents, including:

  • Two forms of primary identification
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of Wisconsin residence
  • $16ID card renewal fee (fees may vary)

Residents can also apply to replace ID cards through the Wisconsin ID card renewal/duplicate service. For residents who wish to apply through the mail, fill out an ID Card Application Form MV3004 and mail it and the ID card replacement fee to:

WisDOT PO Box 7995 Madison, WI 53707-7995

For more information: How to Apply for a Wisconsin Identification Card

How do I renew my driving permit?
Wisconsin residents who would like to renew a learners permit can do so by bringing their expired learners permit to a local WI DMV Service facility. At the facility, learners permit applicants can purchase a renewal drivers permit for $35. Re-testing is not required for learners permit renewals, though drivers under 18 must show either proof of enrollment in a certified driver education course or proof of course completion.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Wisconsin

How do I renew my ID card?
Wisconsin residents looking to renew ID cards can do so in person ata local WI DMV office. Residents will be asked to present a few documents for ID card renewal, including:

  • Two forms of primary identification (of which one can be a not-yet-expired ID card)
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of Wisconsin residence
  • $28 ID card renewal fee (fees may vary)

Residents can also apply for ID card renewal through the Wisconsin ID card renewal/duplicate service. For residents who wish to apply through the mail, fill out an ID Card Application Form MV3004 and mail it and the ID card renewal fee to:

WisDOT PO Box 7995 Madison, WI 53707-7995

For more information: How to Apply for a Wisconsin Identification Card

How do I renew my medical report for a commercial license?
Wisconsin CDL license holders with expired medical examiner s certificates can renew certificates by going in for a new examination. Medical examiners must be licensed and listed on the FMCSA National Registry. Doctors will issue medical examiner s certificates based on the health of the CDL license holder, with certificates valid for up to 24 months.

For more information: CDL Commercial Drivers License Application.

How do I renew my motorcycle license?
Motorcycle drivers license holders will receive a renewal notice one to two months prior to the license s expiration date. Motorcycle driving licenses are typically valid for eight years and expire on the holder s birthday. For motorcycle license holders under 21, licenses expire on their 21st birthday. Motorcycle driving licenses may be renewed up to a year before the expiration date. A $5 late fee is charged for motorcycle driving licenses renewed after the expiration date (fees may vary).

Drivers looking to renew Class M motorcycle licenses must bring the following to the DMV office:

  • Current expiring Class M motorcycle license
  • Motorcycle license renewal notice (or Driver License application form MV3001 if no renewal notice)
  • Social Security Number
  • Motorcycle license renewal fee of $18 (fees may vary)

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Wisconsin

How does a military member obtain a motorcycle license?
Wisconsin residents who are also active military members and in possession of a Class M motorcycle licensecan visit a local WI DMV office to fill out a Driver License application form MV3001.

Wisconsin military members with approaching motorcycle licenses while outofstate can also renew their motorcycle drivers licenses by mail. To do so, fill out a Driver License Application and have a vision specialist fill out a Certificate of Vision Examination by Competent Authority. Mail both documents along with the $18 motorcycle drivers license renewal fee (fees may vary):

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Driver Information Section

P.O. Box 7983

Madison, WI 53707-7983

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Wisconsin

How long do I need my learners permit before I can get my drivers license?
Wisconsin drivers under 18 who would like to upgrade from a learners permit to a regular driver s license must possess a learners permit for at least six months before become eligible for a probationary license. Drivers over 18 are eligible for a probationary license after having a learners permit for seven days. In addition, drivers under 18 must have 30 hours of driving experience (10 hours at night) with a learners permit before they are eligible for a probationary license.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Wisconsin

How long will it take to get my new ID card?
Wisconsin residents who have filled out an ID Card Application at a local WI DMV office will be issued a receipt with their photo after paying the ID card fee. The receipt can be used as a temporary ID card until the official Wisconsin ID card arrives in the mail. Temporary ID cards may also be used for voting. Residents should receive their ID cards within 10 business days of application.

For more information: How to Apply for a Wisconsin Identification Card.

How often do I need to renew my CDL license?
Wisconsin residents issued commercial drivers licenses will find the expiration date for their CDL license on the license itself. In addition, the state of Wisconsin issues renewal notices to CDL license holders two months prior to the expiration date as a courtesy.

CDL license holders who would like to renew their commercial drivers license must do so in person at a local WI DMV office. At the DMV, CDL license holders must pass a vision test, present their social security card, and pay the CDL license renewal fee (fees vary based on CDL license endorsement).

For more information: CDL Commercial Drivers License Application.

If I’m out of state and lost my ID, how can I get a new one?
Wisconsin residents who have lost their ID card while out of state can apply for ID card replacements by submitting an ID Card Application Form MV3004 through the mail. On the application, enter under the slot for “Mailing Address” where the out-of-state address the replacement ID card should be mailed to. The fee for a duplicate ID card is $16 (fees may vary).

For more information: How to Apply for a Wisconsin Identification Card.

Is there a minimum age I have to be to get a commercial drivers license?
Wisconsin drivers looking to apply for a CDL license must be 18 years of age or older. CDL license applicants must present a valid Class D drivers license at the time of application and testing, at which point the applicant s age will be verified.

For more information: CDL Commercial Drivers License Application.

What are the age restrictions to ride a motorcycle?
Wisconsin residents looking to get a Class M motorcycle license must meet be of age. To receive a motorcycle instruction permit, drivers must be 16 or older. Drivers with instruction permits who are less than 18 must also be enrolled in an approved Drivers Ed motorcycle course. Permit holders must also be accompanied by a person 25 years old or older who has held a valid Class M motorcycle license for at least two years.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Wisconsin

What are the available commercial license endorsements?
Wisconsin CDL license holders have six different endorsements available to qualify for through the Wisconsin DMV. CDL license endorsements are as follows:

  • Transporting Passengers (P)
  • Doubles and Triples (T)
  • Tank Vehicles (N)
  • Hazardous Materials (H)
  • School Bus (S)
  • Farm Services (F)

Each CDL license endorsement has a corresponding section on the General Knowledge test that must be completed before drivers can qualify for the endorsement.

For more information: CDL Commercial Drivers License Application.

What are the fees associated with an ID card?
Wisconsin residents looking to get new identification cards or to replace or renew ID cards will have to pay a fee. Residents who would like a new Wisconsin ID card must pay $28. Residents who would like to renew their ID cards will also have to pay $28, while residents who have misplaced, damaged or stolen ID cards must pay $16 for a replacement ID card. Fees may vary.

For more information: How to Apply for a Wisconsin Identification Card

What are the learners permit restrictions during my first year?
Wisconsin drivers in possession of a learners permit have a few restrictions placed on their driving privileges. Learners permit drivers must always be accompanied by a fully-licensed driver who sits in the vehicle s passenger seat and meets the following requirements:

  • At least two years of licensed driving experience
  • Qualified instructor at least 19 years old
  • Parent, guardian or spouse at least 19 years old
  • Person at least 21 years old (along with written authorization from driver s parent or guardian if they are under 18)
  • Person at least 25 years old if driving at night

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Wisconsin

What are the medical certifications required to obtain a CDL?
Federal and Wisconsin state regulations require residents with commercial drivers licenses who operate in certain tiers to have a copy of their Fed Med card when they drive. Drivers with CDL licenses who are required to carry a Fed Med card are over 21 and registered as Interstate Fed Med (“Tier 1”) drivers. Drivers who are in Tier 2, 3 or 4 are not required to have a Fed Med card but have less flexible options for driving routes (i.e. not being able to driver interstate).

Fed Med cards can be obtained by a CDL license holder during a Department of Transportation (DOT) examination by a licensed medical examiner. Medical examiners must be listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) National Registry. When the medical examiner issues the driver a Medical Examiner s Certificate, the driver also has the option of purchasing a Federal Medical card (Fed Med card). DOT examinations are valid for up to 24 months, though medical examiners may make certificates valid for less time depending on whether or not the driver has a condition.

Commercial drivers license holders who haven t picked a driving tier of operation must visit a local WI DMV office to select a tier and show the Fed Med card if required.

For more information:CDL Commercial Drivers License Application.

What are the penalties for getting a traffic ticket with a driver’s permit?
Wisconsin drivers operating with a learner s permit who have received a traffic violation must treat it the same way as a Wisconsin driver with a full license. However, drivers with a learner s permit face double the amount of demerit points for second and subsequent violations under Wisconsin state law. The exception to this rule concerns any violations that fall under Chapter 347 of Wisconsin statutes, which consist mostly of vehicle equipment violations.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Wisconsin

What are the requirements to operate a three-wheel motorcycle?
Wisconsin residents who own a three-wheel motorcycle must meet the same requirements as residents owning two-wheel motorcycles. To obtain a Class M motorcycle license, visit a local WI DMV office and fill out a Driver License application form MV3001.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Wisconsin

What documents do I need to get a learner’s permit?
Wisconsin drivers applying to purchase a beginner s permit for driving need to present a few documents at a local WI DMV Service facilityto be eligible. Required documents include:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship, legal permanent resident status, conditional resident status or temporary visitor status (valid U.S. passport, certificate of U.S. naturalization or consular report of birth abroad
  • Proof of name and date of birth (valid U.S. passport, certified birth certificate or certificate of U.S. naturalization)
  • Proof of identity (valid photo driver s license or photo ID, valid U.S. passport or photo college ID)
  • Proof of Wisconsin residency (printed paycheck stub, utility bill, current valid homeowner s, renter s or motor vehicle insurance policy)
  • Proof of enrollment in certified driver education program (if under 18)
  • $35 Class D learners permit fee (fees may vary)
  • Complete Wisconsin Driver s License Application

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Wisconsin

What documents do I need to get a motorcycle license?
To get a motorcycle driving license, you must bring the following documents with you tothe WI DMV office. Documents include:

  • Complete Class M Motorcycle License Application (Form MV3001)
  • Proof of US citizenship
  • Proof of name and date of birth
  • Proof of Wisconsin residency
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of Drivers Ed completion (if under 16)
  • Proof of enrollment or completion of a Basic Motorcycle Rider Course

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Wisconsin

What exams do I need to pass to get a motorcycle license?
Wisconsin residents seeking a Class M motorcycle license must go through the motorcycle license application process. Part of the process includes passing a motorcycle license skills test. Drivers must either pass the skills test or take an approved Drivers Ed motorcycle course.

There are three types of motorcycle Drivers Ed courses available, based on the type of vehicle the driver will be operating:

  • Basic Motorcycle Rider Course (BRC)
  • Scooter Basic Rider Course (SBRC)
  • 3-Wheel Basic Rider Course (3WBRC)

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in Wisconsin

What happens to my commercial driver license if I am convicted of a DUI?
Wisconsin residents holding commercial drivers licenses who are convicted of a DUI face CDL license disqualifications based on the type of license they hold. For general CDL license holders who are facing their first conviction, the penalty is a one-year disqualification of the CDL license. For HAZMAT drivers, the disqualification is three years, and for school bus drivers the disqualification is five years. Regardless of commercial drivers license class, all CDL license holders convicted of a second DUI will lose CDL license privileges for life.

For more information: CDL Commercial Drivers License Application.

What is an ID card?
Wisconsin identification cards are issued by the Department of Transportation to Wisconsin residents who do not have a valid drivers license. Wisconsin ID cards can be used for both personal identification and voting purposes. Wisconsin residents who are also US citizens and at least 18 years of age by the next election are eligible for a free Wisconsin ID card. When filling out the ID Card Application Form MV3004, check the box next to ID for FREE.

For more information: How to Apply for a Wisconsin Identification Card

What is the passing score for a written test?
Wisconsin drivers must take and pass the general knowledge test with a score of 80% to receive a learners permit. Drivers are only allowed to attempt the learners permit written tests five times within a one year period of time. After five attempts in a single year, drivers must get permission from DMV staff for additional attempts.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Wisconsin

What test do I need to take for my learners permit?
Wisconsin residents filling out drivers permit applications must pass a couple of tests to receive their learners permit. The tests include:

  • Knowledge test
  • Road sign test
  • Vision test

Tests can be completed at a local WI DMV Service facility.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Wisconsin

What tests do I have to take to obtain a CDL?
Wisconsin residents looking into how to get a CDL license will have to pass a number of tests to qualify. Initially, CDL license applicants must pass a 50-question general knowledge test. Then, based on the type of endorsement drivers wish to receive, they must pass one or more of the following tests:

  • Endorsement A Combination Vehicles (20 questions)
  • Endorsement P Transporting Passengers (20 questions)
  • Endorsement T Doubles and Triples (20 questions)
  • Endorsement N Tank Vehicles (20 questions)
  • Endorsement H Hazardous Materials (30 questions)
  • Endorsement S School Bus (25 questions)
  • Endorsement F Farm Services (10 questions)

All tests must be passed with a score of 80 percent or better. Additionally, drivers looking to apply for a CDL must also pass the pre-trip, backing and skills tests.

For more information: CDL Commercial Drivers License Application.

When does my ID card expire?
Wisconsin identification cards are valid for eight years and usually expire around the ID card holder s birthday. To renew a Wisconsin ID, residents may visit a local WI DMV office in person or fill out an ID card renewal application online with the Wisconsin ID card renewal/duplicate service.

For more information: How to Apply for a Wisconsin Identification Card

Where can I obtain an ID card?
Wisconsin residents looking for the locations to apply for DMV ID cards have a few options depending on whether or not they are applying for an initial ID card, an ID card renewal or to replace ID cards. For residents looking to obtain their first ID card, ID card applications must be submitted in person at a local WI DMV office. Residents looking to renew ID cards or replace ID cards can also do so in person at a local WI DMV office, as well as online through the Wisconsin ID card renewal/duplicate service. Residents looking to renew ID cards or replace ID cards can also do so by filling out an ID Card Application Form MV3004, then mailing it and the ID card renewal/replacement fee to:

WisDOT PO Box 7995 Madison, WI 53707-7995

For more information: How to Apply for a Wisconsin Identification Card.

Who can sign for my permit or license if I am under 18?
Wisconsin residents less than 18 looking to obtain a learners permit must get a couple of signatures before they will be issued a beginning drivers permit. It is a requirement for drivers under 18 to be enrolled in a certified driver education program to obtain a learners permit. The drivers permit application must be signed by the driving course instructor. Additionally, the application should also be signed by a parent or other adult sponsor.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in Wisconsin