Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

Wisconsin knowledge tests

Wisconsin knowledge test stations Wisconsin knowledge test stations

New link icon  Practice driver's test - mobile device application

New link icon  Commercial driver license (CDL) practice knowledge test mobile device application

A knowledge test is required for:

  • New drivers getting their first instruction permit.
  • New Wisconsin residents with a license from a foreign country.
  • New Wisconsin residents with an out-of-state license expired more than eight years.
  • Drivers wanting to add a new class and/or endorsement to their existing driver license.
  • Renewal of a school bus (S) and/or hazardous materials (H) endorsement.
  • Drivers renewing their Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) may be required to re-take knowledge exams, depending on how many times they have renewed their CLP. Re-testing is required every other time a CLP is renewed (not counting the original issuance). This includes knowledge tests for any classes and endorsements on the CLP.
  • Drivers with a Wisconsin license expired more than eight years.

Automated knowledge testing system

Knowledge tests administered at most Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) service centers are given on a computerized system. The system uses touch screens and provides instant feedback about whether an answer is correct or not. In situations where multiple tests are required, the system will automatically advance to the next test in the session. For those with limited reading proficiency all tests can be administered with an audio assist option. (An examiner will add the audio assist option upon request.)

DMV administered tests and languages available

All tests administered by DMV are offered on the automated system:

  • Class D (auto and light trucks)
  • Commercial driver license (CDL) classes and endorsements
  • Commercial driving school instructor
  • Farm service CDL
  • Motor vehicle salesperson
  • Motorcycle
  • Signs test

Currently, the Class D and signs tests are available in:

  • English
  • Chinese
  • Hmong
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Serbo-Croatian
  • Somali
  • Spanish

With the exception of hazmat and school bus, CDL tests are available in:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Russian
  • Polish
  • Serbo-Croatian

The motorcycle test is offered in:

  • English
  • Spanish

Limitations on number of tests one can take

Prior to visiting a DMV service center to take a knowledge test, study the appropriate handbook so you are prepared and know the material about which you will be tested.

You are only allowed to take the same test five times within a one-year period. If you do not pass the required test(s) in five attempts, you must get special permission from DMV staff prior to taking the test again. Before you are granted special permission, you will need to show what you have done since your last attempt to improve your ability to succeed on your next attempt. (e.g. you received additional instruction or tutoring.)

Recommended time to allow for testing

Knowledge tests for Class D (regular license) and Class M (motorcycle license) each take about 45 minutes to complete. The tests are conducted on a walk-in basis. No appointment is necessary. CDL knowledge tests take at least one to one and a half hours. Allow enough time to complete tests prior to when the DMV service center is scheduled to close.

Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service
Call: (608) 266-2353

For more information:

Last modified: October 7, 2014

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