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.

Obtaining a driver license with a valid out-of-state license

New residents receiving their first Wisconsin driver license.

Documents required:

Other requirements:

  • You must be at least 16 years old.
  • If under 18 years old, you must have held an instruction permit or previous license for at least six months and been violation free for the 6 months prior to application for your Wisconsin license.
  • If under 18 years old, you must have completed an approved driver education course which includes classroom and behind the wheel training.
  • You must be at least 18 years old if you have not completed an approved driver education course.
  • You must apply for a Wisconsin driver license in person at a DMV customer service center. We accept cash, checks, debit cards and the following credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Debit cards will be processed as credit. At the DMV customer service center:
    • Complete form MV3001 (Wisconsin Driver License application), including:
      • Your name and date of birth.
      • Your Social Security Number (SSN).
      • Medical questions. For some medical conditions, you will be asked to have your doctor provide medical information, and/or you may be required to take knowledge and highway signs tests and a skills exam.
      • The sponsorship section, if you are under 18 years old.
    • Pass a vision screening, which will be given free of charge.
    • Surrender your out-of-state driver license and/or identification card.
    • Pay the fee.
    • Have your photo taken.

Tests required

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

License type issued

A Class D probationary license good for two years from your next birthday is issued to new residents who surrender a license equivalent to Class D:

  • Is expired more than 6 months OR
  • are under 21 years of age OR
  • have under three years licensed driving experience

A Class D regular license is issued to all others.

The primary difference between a probationary license and a regular license is that extra demerit points are charged against probationary license holders for second and subsequent traffic law convictions.

Driver licenses are mailed

Additional information

If you were convicted of a serious driving offense in another state, we will need to obtain more information from the state where the offense occurred. When the required information is received, you will be notified in writing if you are eligible for a Wisconsin driver license.

If you apply for a Wisconsin driver license and have an OWI-type conviction in another state, you have to provide proof that you have undergone an assessment and completed an alcohol program. This law applies even if you have met all the requirements in the state where you were convicted of OWI.

If you are returning to Wisconsin after having lived in another state or country and have held a valid Wisconsin license in the past eight years, you can apply for a duplicate or renewed Wisconsin license by completing form MV3001.

Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service

Last modified: November 14, 2014

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