Getting your driver’s license is one of the first steps to independence! Being able to drive is a valuable skill that opens many doors. If you live in Wisconsin, follow this process to get your permit, probationary license, and official driver’s license.
How to Get Your Learner’s Permit in Wisconsin:
- The applicant must be at least 15.5 years old and have an adult sponsor or parent to sign their application (this means that they accept liability for any and all driving actions of the minor.)
- They must have passed or be enrolled in a state approved driver’s ed course (the classroom/online portion must be within 60 days of behind the wheel training.) Check out our online driver's ed course here!
- They must present proof of US citizenship, legal immigration status, or legal temporary visitor status in the US (this can be done with a valid passport, US birth certificate, or a valid foreign passport with immigration documents.)
- Present proof of identity, such as ID or social security card.
- For more information on the specific documents you need, click here.
*If you are over 18, you do not need to show proof of enrollment/completion of a driver’s ed program, but you must pass the knowledge and highway signs test and vision screening, as well as provide the required documents.
How to Get Your Probationary License in Wisconsin (first license issued to new drivers regardless of age):
This is the first version of your license! It is valid for two years from your next birthday. Be warned that if you get a traffic violation with this license, points will be doubled on your second and subsequent traffic violations.
To apply, you must:
- Complete the MV3001 Driver’s License Application form
- Present proof of passing a driver’s ed course
- Have had permit for at least 6 months and have accumulated 30 hours of behind the wheel experience (10 of these hours must be at night.)
- Have had no moving traffic violations for 6 months prior to application for license
- Have your sponsor certify your application
- Pass a driving skills test
If you are under 18, for the first 9 months you will have restrictions on your license. From 5 AM to midnight - you can drive alone and travel anywhere. You can only have 1 other passenger in the car (other than immediate family members). If you want a third passenger in the car (who is not an immediate family member), they can only join if they hold a valid license with at least 2 years of driving experience and if they are either 21 or older OR are a qualified instructor.
If you get a traffic ticket, these restrictions can be extended.
You may renew your probationary driver’s license up to 90 days prior to its expiration - in which you will then be issued a regular driver’s license that is valid for 8 years.
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s handbook for more information.