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How to Renew a Driver's License in Wisconsin

Drivers License Online Services Guide

Wisconsin Drivers License Renewal

To renew drivers license in Wisconsin, drivers must address the WI Department of Transportation (DOT). Your WI driver's license expires on your birthday, and to apply for a WI DMV license renewal, you must appear at a local DMV branch. Drivers may decide on other WI drivers license renewal methods in addition to the in-person service, proven they are eligible to do so. For more information on renewing driving license in WI, continue reading below.

How To Renew Your WI Driver's License



Renew Wisconsin Drivers License

Note: You will find the date of expiry in the front of your current driver's license.


A WI drivers license renewal can be completed for a probationary Class D driver's license or a regular Class D license to drive. The only difference between these two types consists of the restrictions listed on the back. To renew drivers license in WI, applicants must appear personally at their nearest WI DMV location. When renewing your Wisconsin drivers license in person, you will be required to complete a series of steps. Drivers may be allowed to renew drivers license online using the interactive driver licensing guide and submit their application electronically, depending on the eligibility. You may also utilize this online service to schedule an appointment with the local WI DMV branch and avoid facing long queues at the office. For more details on these two methods read the applicable sections below.

Fees

The cost to renew drivers license in Wisconsin may vary, and the WI DOT will charge additional fees depending on the payment method you choose. When renewing drivers license in WI, applicants will be charged a fee in the amount of $34 for an eight-year renewal of their regular license to drive. Be sure to apply for a Wisconsin DMV license renewal before your birthday, as your driving license expires on the same day. Failure to do so, you will have to pay a $5 late fee in addition to the usual amount. WI DMV branches accept several payment methods, including credit/debit cards, cash or checks. Note that a convenience fee is required when paying by a credit or debit card. Drivers submitting a drivers license renewal application will have the amount of the product fee and the convenience fee displayed before completing the transaction.

When To Renew Your WI Driver's License

Renewing drivers licenses in Wisconsin must be completed during an allotted period of time, determined by the type of driving license you hold. Make sure to apply for a Wisconsin DMV license renewal prior to the expiry date, which is the same as your date of birth. If not, you will be required to pay an additional late fee. WI drivers who possess a regular driving license may renew within one year of its expiration. Those who hold a probationary license to drive may conduct a WI DMV license renewal within 90 days after the expiration date. You will be issued a regular drivers license valid for eight years upon renewal. As a reminder to renew your WI driving license, DMV offices will mail you a courtesy renewal notice 45 to 60 days in advance.

Expired License

To renew drivers licenses, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation requires drivers to do so prior to its expiration date. They may renew expired drivers license either within 90 days or one year of its expiration, depending on the type of license drivers have. Drivers who have completed the renewal process will be issued a temporary license. Expired driving licenses in Wisconsin are only valid for active military members stationed out of state or overseas.

Temporary Permits

Once Wisconsin drivers complete the DMV license renewal steps, the DOT customer service center will issue a receipt as a temporary permit valid for 45 days. WI drivers can use the temporary license in the same capacity as a permanent driver's license during this time. The photo receipt received upon completing a WI DMV license renewal can be used for driving, voting, and identification until you receive your card in the mail.

Requirements To Renew A Wisconsin License

Wisconsin drivers license renewal requirements depend on the renewal method applicants are eligible for. To renew their drivers license, drivers must complete the necessary steps set by the Department of Transportation. If you do an in-person WI DMV license renewal, you must first appear at a local DMV office with the required documents in hand. You will have your vision screened for no charge and your photo taken at the branch. The state DOT may also oblige you to take a written and/or driving exam. To renew drivers license online in Wisconsin, eligible drivers may be able to submit the application through the interactive driver licensing guide.

Note: If your WI driver's license has been expired for more than eight years, you must retake a knowledge test, a driving skills test and a highway sign recognition test.

WI Drivers License Online Renewal

To renew drivers license online in Wisconsin, motorists must satisfy the conditions set by the state DOT. When renewing WI drivers license online, you must first visit the official WI DOT website, and complete a checklist of requirements. The Department of Transportation offers an interactive guide for the purpose of helping applicants check eligibility and submit their online application. Note that non-U.S. citizens and out-of-state residents will not be allowed to use the interactive tool.

Note: Your online drivers license renewal request will not be complete until you receive a confirmation message at the end of the transaction.

Renewing Your WI Drivers License In Person

Wisconsin drivers who wish to renew their drivers licenses, and are not qualified to apply online or by mail, must complete the process in person. For a personal WI drivers license renewal, you must appear at a local WI DMV location, and hand over the required documents. When renewing Wisconsin drivers license in person, applicants must do the following:

  • Pass a vision screening. The WI DMV office will screen your vision for free. Drivers may also complete a vision test at a vision specialist's office at their expense within 90 days prior to renewal. In such case, to renew drivers license they must enclose proof of visual acuity.
  • Have their photograph taken.
  • Pass a written/and or driving exam (if required).
  • Provide proof of legal name change (if they have changed their name).
  • Present a Medical Examination Report in case of any existing medical conditions.
  • Hand over a completed Driver License Application form.
  • Pay the renewal fee.

Once you satisfy the conditions, you will receive a temporary permit, and your license to drive will be mailed to your residence address.

Non US Citizen

To submit a Wisconsin drivers license renewal form, non-U.S. citizens must appear in person at a DMV customer service center. When renewing their driving licenses, they will be required to provide proof of legal presence status in the U.S. The state DOT does not allow non-U.S. residents to apply for a renewal online or by mail.

Out-of-State Wisconsin Drivers License Renewal

Temporarily out-of-state residents must apply for a drivers license renewal by mail. To renew your WI drivers license via mail, you must be a U.S. citizen and have your valid Social Security Number on file with the State DOT. The WI DMV branch will not process your drivers license renewal request if you have not completed your last renewal in person and your recent license was "Valid without photo." When renewing a driving license, applicants must do the following:

  • Complete a Wisconsin Driver License Application. Note that you must include your temporary out-of-state address in the "mailing address" field.
  • Have a vision test completed within the last 90 days.
  • Present proof of residency and proof of identity.
  • Provide a letter stating date of departure, return date, why you are temporarily out of Wisconsin, your phone number/email.
  • Mail the completed documentation with a check or money order for the renewal fee to the official WI DOT address.

Note: WI DMV offices will not process renewal requests if all documents are not included. Photocopies are acceptable.

Out-of-State Military Renewal

Renewing drivers license in Wisconsin is not so strict for military personnel on active duty. Your drivers license will only expire 30 days upon arrival in Wisconsin or 90 days after honorable discharge. For a WI drivers license renewal, military members can either use the mail or they can obtain a drivers license extension.

Out-of-state Military: Renew By Mail

When it comes to renewing WI drivers license by mail, members of the U.S. Armed Forces must complete an application form and fulfill the required steps. (To see the list of necessary steps, read carefully the Out-of-State Drivers License Renewal section). Note that if you have an expired drivers license because on active duty, your late fee will be waived.

Drivers License Extensions

Military members who cannot renew drivers licenses in Wisconsin by mail have the option to apply for a driving license extension. You will need to submit a signed statement including your name, date of birth, current residential address in Wisconsin, and your temporary mailing address. Once you do so, the WI DMV office will mail you a copy with a notation on your driver's record showing that your license will expire 30 days upon return or 90 days after being discharged honorably. Active military members must carry the record with the WI expired drivers license.

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