Wisconsin Driver Licensing Law
Obtaining an Instruction Permit in Wisconsin
The first step to becoming a licensed driver in Wisconsin is obtaining an Instruction Permit. Once residents turn 15 ½ years old and are enrolled in a certified driver education program, they can apply for the permit. Applicants will need to supply the following:
- Proof of U.S. citizenship, legal permanent resident status, conditional resident status, or temporary visitor status
- Proof of identity, name, and date of birth
- Social Security number
- A signature of a parent, step-parent, or other adult sponsor
- Proof of enrollment in a school program
- The appropriate driver licensing fees
Applicants will then be required to pass vision and knowledge tests.
Once the application is complete and the permit has been issued, teens will be required to drive with a parent or guardian, qualified driving instructor, or a person 21 or older in the passenger seat. The first behing-the-wheel lesson must be conducted within 60 days of the permit being issued. In order to obtain a Probationary License, the driver must complete at least 30 hours of behind-the-wheel driving practice, while supervised. Ten of the hours must be driven at night.
NOTE: Teens operating a vehicle during hours of darkness must be accompanied by a qualified instructor or a licensed person at least 25 years of age who has at least two years of licensed driving experience.
This permit is valid for one year.
Obtaining a Probationary Driver License
Wisconsin residents who are at least 16 years old who have passed an approved driver education course are eligible to apply for a Probationary Driver License. The application process requires the same documentation as was required for obtaining an Instruction Permit, plus the additional driving log establishing the 30-hour practice requirement has been fulfilled. A driving test is also required.
Within the first nine months after being issued the license, drivers are permitted to drive alone and with one passenger other than immediate family members or a qualified adult. Drivers are also restricted to driving between 5AM and 12AM unless traveling between school or work and home.
All restrictions will be extended if the driver violates them, is convicted of a traffic violation, or the license is revoked or suspended for any reason.
Obtaining a Regular Driver License
Once a driver has held a probationary license through the first renewal, a period that is usually two or three years, they will be qualified for a Regular Driver License.
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