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How to get a Wisconsin Driver's License

Wisconsin Drivers License
  • Wisconsin Driver's License Guidelines
  • How to Prepare for the Written Exam
  • Required ID and Paperwork

WI Driver's License Rules and Requirements

Find out the steps to get your drivers license, pass your DMV written test, replace your out-of-state license and the required paperwork to bring to the DMV office to get your driver's license.

Try Sample Test!

All applicants need to be familiar with the Wisconsin Driver's Manual. Think you know the material? Take our DMV practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

Get your WI Driver's Permit

You must be at least 16 years of age to apply for a Wisconsin Drivers License.

If this is your first driver's license, you will need to apply for a Wisconsin learner's permit (instruction permit) which requires enrollment in a certified driver education program and passing a written exam on traffic signs, motor vehicle laws and safe driving techniques.

Once you receive a valid learners permit, you will then need to pass a road skills test and a vision test to receive a WI driver's license. Applicants under 18 must provide proof that you have held a learner's permit for at least 6 months and have completed an approved driver education course before taking the road skills test.

Prepare for the Written Knowledge Test

All new drivers are encouraged to study for this driver education exam so you don't miss the opportunity to get your learners permit as soon as you reach the approved age. Online practice tests are available that provide real sample questions from the DMV Exam - Take the Wisconsin practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

New Wisconsin Residents

New residents with out-of-state license must obtain a Wisconsin driver's license within 30 days of establishing a permanent residence in Wisconsin. When heading to the DMV, be sure to bring the license from your former state as you will be required to surrender it in order to obtain the new license.

The vision test is required to change a valid out-of-state license to a WI driver's license, however the written exam and road skills test may be waived at the discretion of the examiner.

If you are under 18 years of age, you must have completed an approved driver education course which includes classroom and behind the wheel training.

If your license is expired more than 8 years, you will need to take the knowledge and highway signs test and a skills exam.

International Drivers

Foreign motorists from any of the countries who are party to the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic (Geneva, 1949) and the Convention on the Regulation of Inter-American Motor Vehicle Traffic (Washington, D.C., 1943) who visit the United States as tourists can drive legally using their valid domestic driver's license for a period not to exceed one year from the date of arrival. They may drive either a personal or rental car.

After one year, they must meet the same licensing requirements as a Wisconsin resident.

Required Paperwork

Before you head to the Wisconsin DMV Office, make sure you have all of the following required documents to get your driver's license:

On the Road


On the Road

Once your licensing requirements have been met, you will receive your new:

  • Restricted License (16 to 17 years of age) expires two years from the applicant's next birthday.
  • Full driver's license (18 and older) valid up to 8 years.

Remember... the safe operation of a vehicle requires practiced skill, knowledge, and a respectful understanding of the limitations imposed by the other drivers and the environment.

Wisconsin Driver's License Resources

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