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Obtaining a New Drivers License

New and current state residents who need to obtain a drivers license in Wisconsin must do so with the Division of Motor Vehicles. A Wisconsin drivers license grants driving privileges to qualified applicants. Residents applying for a state driving license must pass driving exams and pay necessary licensing fees to receive their credentials. New residents who hold a driving license from a different state may follow slightly different license application procedures. Without a valid driving license, residents who operate a vehicle can receive severe penalties and fines. Drivers can read below for more information.

New and current state residents who need to obtain a drivers license in Wisconsin must do so with the Division of Motor Vehicles. A Wisconsin drivers license grants driving privileges to qualified applicants. Residents applying for a state driving license must pass driving exams and pay necessary licensing fees to receive their credentials. New residents who hold a driving license from a different state may follow slightly different license application procedures. Without a valid driving license, residents who operate a vehicle can receive severe penalties and fines. Drivers can read below for more information.

Required Documents to Get a New Drivers License

As you book an appointment to visit your local DMV customer service center to apply for a new drivers license in Wisconsin, note there are several documents you must present to the DMV representative. In order to complete your application for a license to drive, gather the documents listed below:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship

Required DMV Exams to Get a New License

Getting drivers licenses is an exciting time. In order to obtain your new WI drivers license and begin driving on state highways and roads, there are several DMV drivers tests you must first pass, including:

  1. Driver knowledge exam: Note that the DMV knowledge exam is a computerized test, and can be administered with audio assistance upon request. The knowledge test is available in several languages, upon request.
  1. Vision screening for drivers: As a driver in Wisconsin, your vision is required to meet a 20/40 standard, with a 70-degrree field of vision. If your vision is not up to DMV standard, you may be required to provide a referral to a vision specialist, take a driving skills test or receive restrictions on your Wisconsin drivers license.
  1. Road skills test: To test your skills on the road, some preparations to take include: how to turn, rules of the intersections, how to change lanes, how to park and how to back up. By reviewing your Wisconsin Drivers Handbook, you will learn which actions may earn disqualifications on your DMV road test.

Out-of-State Resident Requirements for a License to Drive

If you are a driver moving to Wisconsin, and have a regular, Class D license, you are required to apply for drivers licenses within 60 days of arrival. Note the required documentation listed above for new drivers as reference of what to bring to the DMV customer service center.

Drivers licensing requirements:

  • You must be at least 16 years of age
  • Apply in person at a DMV customer service center
    • Complete Driver License Application (form MV3001)
    • Surrender your current drivers license or ID card
    • Have your picture taken
    • Pass a vision screening and a hearing test
    • Pay the appropriate fee

Note: If you are less than 18 years of age, your instructional driving permit must have been held for six months and free of violation for six months prior to applying for your WI drivers license. You must also provide proof that you completed a driver education course as approved by the state, with both behind-the-wheel and in-classroom training.

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship – As a legal, permanent resident, as a conditional resident or as a person with temporary visitor status.
  • Proof of Identity – This document must display your signature or photograph, and may be presented in the form of a Social Security card or an unexpired Wisconsin ID card.
  • Proof of residency in Wisconsin – Addressed mail, such as a utility bill or paystub will suffice.
  • Date of birth and proof of name – As listed on your valid U.S. passport, U.S. birth certificate or certificate of naturalization.
  • Social Security Card – You will need this government document to provide your official Social Security Number.