The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) requires motorists who are younger than 18 to complete a WI driver’s ed course. It is a mandatory step toward obtaining a driver’s license without driving restrictions. The class generally covers state traffic laws, defensive driving techniques and vehicle emergencies.

New drivers may complete drivers’ ed online or in a classroom setting. The DOT in Wisconsin does not offer its own course. However, there are several providers that have been approved by the state to offer the course.

There are three major components to a drivers education course in Wisconsin: classroom learning, behind-the-wheel instruction and observation. Parents of teen drivers in Wisconsin play an active role in the course if their child completes it online, as they will be required to vouch for any behind-the-wheel training their child undergoes. More information on the drivers ed classes can be found by reviewing the sections below.

Who needs to take drivers ed in Wisconsin?

Motorists who are younger than 18 years of age must complete the driver’s ed test and course to obtain a driver’s license. This is part of the state’s Graduated Driver License program, which progressively trains motorists to drive on public roadways. In addition to completing the course, novice drivers younger than 18 years of age must also have a legal guardian verify that they have completed all parts of the course.

Types of Drivers Ed Classes in Wisconsin

Wisconsin teen driving school is comprised of three main components.

  • The classroom portion covers the course materials such as traffic laws, signals and road markings along with a series of other traffic-related topics.
  • The behind-the-wheel instruction gives new motorists the opportunity to take the road and gradually get comfortable behind the wheel.
  • During the observation portion, motorists must simply observe the instructor or another student on the road.

New drivers may fulfill these requirements by completing the driver education course through their high schools, online or through an approved private provider. It is important to keep in mind that not all providers offer the three components of the course.

Wisconsin Online Drivers Ed vs. In-Person Courses

The difference between taking an in-person course versus an online drivers ed course is convenience. Motorists who take the online course benefit from the flexibility of choosing their own hours and working at their own pace. Providers like also offer additional course materials for online students such as unlimited permit practice tests. However, taking an in-person class is the preferred method for students who enjoy group discussions and speaking to their instructors one on one.

What will you learn in a Wisconsin drivers ed school?

A Wisconsin driver’s ed course educates new drivers on the rules of the road and helps them gradually build experience behind the wheel. Students can expect to learn about:

  • State traffic laws.
  • Defensive driving techniques.
  • Traffic signals.
  • Road markings.
  • Accident prevention tips.

The course will also cover the dangers and legal consequences of driving while distracted, fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The second portion of drivers ed school allows students to get practical experience behind the wheel. This helps them gain exposure to the road in a controlled setting and gain confidence along the way. Finally, in the observation portion, students will learn about certain driving techniques by watching other students or the instructor drive a vehicle.

Wisconsin Drivers Education Requirements

Drivers education classes in Wisconsin have mandatory learning hours for each component of the course. Students must complete at least 30 hours in the classroom portion over a three-week period. However, instructors must limit the session to two hours per day.

The second part is the six-hour behind-the-wheel portion, which must be verified by an instructor or legal guardian. Finally, students must complete six hours of the observation portion. The Wisconsin DOT allows motorists to substitute the required observation hours with additional driving time. However, the limit is one hour of driving for every two hours of observation.

Benefits of a Wisconsin Driver Education Course

The Wisconsin teen drivers ed course allows new drivers who are younger than 18 years of age to fulfill state requirements to obtain a driver’s license. Without the successful completion of the course, new drivers cannot finish the state’s graduated driver licensing program. In addition, the course is a great way to slowly gain experience driving in a controlled setting.

Another potential benefit to completing drivers ed is lower car insurance premiums. Some insurance companies offer a discount on premiums for students who have proof of completion.

Students who take the online driver’s ed course could also benefit from additional course materials. For instance, provider offers unlimited permit practice tests to online students and a full-money back guarantee for unsatisfied customers.

How to Enroll in a Wisconsin Driver Ed School

The enrollment process for a DMV drivers ed course varies by provider as some courses are fully online and others are in person. Students will first have to decide their preferred learning method. That will determine how the enrollment process works. Students taking an online course must generally perform the following steps:

  • Visit the provider’s website.
  • Register for the course.
  • Input some personal information such as name and address.
  • Pay for the course.

Some providers will require enrollees to complete the process over the phone or in person. Once all these steps are complete, students can gain access to the WI drivers ed course materials.

Wisconsin DMV Drivers Ed Certificates

Students who successfully complete their driver’s ed class in Wisconsin will receive a certificate of completion to present to the Wisconsin DOT. The document certifies that the motorist has met all requirements of the course and is eligible to apply for a driver’s license. In addition to the certificate, legal guardians must also submit a log certifying that their teen driver has completed at least 30 hours of supervised driving with at least 10 of those hours after sunset.

Drivers Ed for New Wisconsin Residents

If you have recently moved to Wisconsin and are younger than 18 years of age, you must complete a driver’s education course. The DOT does not accept out of state certificates. As such, you must choose a state-approved provider and complete the course to obtain a license.

Wisconsin Drivers Ed vs. Traffic School

Driver’s education in Wisconsin has a purpose that is vastly different from that of traffic school. Driver’s ed caters to new drivers who have little knowledge of state traffic laws. It is also likely that they have no experience operating a vehicle. As such, the course slowly introduces these concepts and provides practical experience. Traffic school targets a different audience of drivers.

Drivers with extensive driving experience typically complete traffic school to fulfill a court order following a traffic violation or to benefit from lower car insurance premiums. Moreover, traffic school is a driver improvement program that motorists can generally complete in a few hours whereas driver’s ed takes a few weeks.

Wisconsin Driver Education Fees

Driver’s ed prices can vary greatly from one provider to the next. It is important to review providers’ credentials before registering for a course, such as their customer success rate. Students from, for instance, have a 99 percent exam pass rate for learner’s permits in Wisconsin, which indicates that the provider has an effective curriculum.

Last updated on Monday, March 2 2020.