Obtaining a Wisconsin DL

Can I get a Wisconsin Driver’s License Online?

You can use the Wisconsin DOT Interactive Driver License Guide to see licensing requirements and pre-fill out the application. If eligible, you may be able to submit your application and documentation electronically. You will likely be required to visit a DMV office to complete your application. The fee for a new license is $35.

What do I need to get a Wisconsin Driver’s License?

  • You will need:
    Proof of U.S. citizenship, temporary resident, or lawful permanent resident status.
  • Proof of name and date of birth
  • Proof of Wisconsin Residency
  • Your US Social Security Number (Will be verified by the SSA)
  • Proof of identity
  • To complete the Wisconsin Driver application form (MV3001), which can be found here.
  • To pay a $35 fee.
  • To visit your local DMV Customer Service Center to submit the required documents.
  • To pass the requisite tests (vision, knowledge and signs, driving) if required.
  • To have your photo/signature taken.

What if I am under 18?

You can obtain an instruction permit, which allows you to drive with licensed adult supervision while you learn to drive, if you are 15 1/2 or older and pass the knowledge, signs, and vision tests.

To obtain a probationary license for those under 18, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Obtain an instruction permit (requires a knowledge and signs test) and hold it for at least six months with zero violations on your record.
  • Pass an approved driver education course that includes in-classroom and behind-the wheel training.
  • Have 30 hours of driving experience (10 of which should be at night).
  • Have an adult sponsor (parent, guardian, sponsor parent, step parent) who can verify driving hours, high school enrollment, and liability for their driving actions. You may qualify to file Proof of Insurance instead of having a sponsor (details here).
  • Be enrolled in high school or high school equivalent (includes home-based private education programs), or have graduated high school.
  • Complete form MV3001 and provide proof of name, DOB, identity, US citizenship, legal resident/visitor status.
  • Pay the $28 fee.

If you hold a probationary license in Wisconsin, you must:

  • Maintain absolute sobriety while driving.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • Not drive with more than one passenger other than a qualified adult or your immediate family.
  • Not drive between midnight and 5am, unless travelling between home and school/work.

Demerit points double for all moving traffic convictions after your first one. Probationary licenses expire two years from the applicant’s next birthday.

How long does it take to get a Wisconsin Driver’s License?

Once you submit your application with all approved documentation and pass all requisite tests, your license will be issued by mail and should arrive within 10 business days. The testing process can take longer if this is your first time acquiring a license: you need to account for time to practice after you complete the knowledge and sign test. You will be issued an instruction permit and will be allowed to drive under supervision of a Wisconsin-licensed driver over 18. Completing a driver education course (including in-classroom and behind-the-wheel training) is recommended to all new licensees, but it is mandatory for those under 18.

How can I transfer my out-of-state license?

If you have a valid out-of-state license and can provide proof of residency in Wisconsin, start online with the official interactive driver license guide, which will lay out the requirements, direct you to the online application, and help you make an appointment with your local DMV. You will still have to visit a DMV office to finalize your application, have your photo taken, and take all requisite tests. *One or more tests may be waived when applying with a valid out-of-state license.

Can I renew my Wisconsin Driver’s License online?

Yes. You will receive a renewal reminder notice 45 to 60 days before your birthday in the year your driver’s license expires. You can sign up to receive this reminder via email/text through the electronic notification program, or receive it by mail at the last known address on your driver record.

Wisconsin REAL ID

What is a REAL ID?

A REAL ID card is a standardized state ID card that complies with federal recommendations outlined in the 2005 REAL ID Act. It can be a driver’s license or a DMV-issued identification card. Beginning on October 1, 2021, if you do not have a passport, you will need a REAL ID-compliant card to visit any US military base or federal building, or to fly within the US. Wisconsin REAL ID cards are marked with a federally compliant symbol. Wisconsin currently offers both REAL ID-compliant and non-compliant driver licenses and ID cards. Non-compliant cards to not have the federally compliant symbol and are marked with the phrase: “NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES”. You can check to see if your Wisconsin ID is a REAL ID here.

How can I get a REAL ID in Wisconsin?

When it’s time to renew your driver license or ID, you can upgrade to a REAL ID for no additional fee, as long as the upgrade takes place at the same time as the license/ID renewal. If your current ID/license is not up for renewal in 2021, you can apply for one in person at your local Wisconsin DMV Customer Service Center. You may fill out the application online beforehand using the interactive license guide, which can also help you make a DMV appointment.

You will need to provide:

  • Proof of Name and Date of Birth, and Name Change if applicable
  • Proof of Legal Presence in the US
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of Address

For more information on requirements and the REAL ID process, visit: Wisconsin DMV Official Government Site – Real ID (wisconsindot.gov)

How much does a REAL ID cost?

  • The fee for a Class D standard 8 year license renewal is $34.
  • The fee for an ID Card 8 year renewal is $28.
  • The fee to update to a REAL ID driver’s license is $14.
  • The fee to update to a REAL ID identification card is $16.

WI Driver Exams

What exams do I need to take to obtain a Wisconsin DL?

Before your standard Class D license is issued, you will need to pass:

  • A knowledge test.
  • A road signs test.
  • A vision test.
  • A behind-the-wheel road test.

You may be required to pass and submit a medical examination if you are applying for a commercial license.

How do the driver knowledge tests work?

The knowledge and signs tests are required for:

  • New drivers getting their first instruction permit, which allows them to practice driving before the in-person road test.
  • New Wisconsin residents with a license from a foreign country.
  • Drivers with an out-of-state or Wisconsin license that has been expired for more than 8 years.

Different knowledge tests are required for different types of license classes and endorsements, and commercial drivers may be required to re-take knowledge tests when they renew their Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP).

Knowledge tests are administered in person at most DMV customer service centers via touch screen computer system. If multiple tests are required, the system will automatically advance to the next test in the session. Audio assist is available for those with limited reading proficiency—if you require audio assist you should request it from your DMV examiner.

You can prepare for the knowledge test by studying the Wisconsin Motorist’s Handbook and downloading the Practice Knowledge Test mobile app.

You can schedule an appointment for the knowledge and signs tests by submitting your Wisconsin driver license application online through the Interactive DL Guide.

If I already have a license from another state or country, can my driver tests be waived?

Usually, yes. If you have a valid out-of-state license or your out-of-state license has not been expired for more than 8 years, your knowledge, sign, and road tests can be waived. If your license is from a foreign country, check with the Wisconsin Interactive Driver License Guide to see what tests are required. Many foreign license-holders are required to take the tests, as driving rules can vary widely in different countries.

How can I schedule and/or prepare for the Wisconsin road test?

You can schedule your road test appointment through the Wisconsin DOT website here. If you are under 18 and applying for a probationary license, you may qualify to have your road test waived.

You cannot make a road test appointment until:

  • You have begun the Wisconsin DL application process.
  • You have passed the knowledge and signs test and hold a valid instruction permit.
  • (If you are under 18) you have held your instruction permit for at least 6 months, practiced driving for at least 30 hours, completed an approved driver education course and had no violations for that 6 months.

Appointments are held at most DMV customer service centers, and can be made up to 11 weeks in advance. Appointments tend to fill up quickly, but new times are added periodically throughout the week. You will need:

  • Your driver license number, ID card number OR social security number.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Your zip code on file with the DMV.

An email or cellphone number (required to receive confirmation and reminder of your appointment).

The road test fee is $15. You can cancel your appointment with at least 24 hours notice and reschedule if needed.

To prepare for the Wisconsin road test, you should practice driving with a Wisconsin licensed driver who is 18 or older. Remember to carry your valid Wisconsin instruction permit. You may want to consider attending a driver’s education program that offers both classroom and behind-the-wheel training.

The following website provides helpful information for preparing and passing your Wisconsin road test:
How to Pass Your Wisconsin Road Test the First Time – DriversEd.com

WI Driver License Classes

What types of driver licenses are available in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin driver’s licenses are divided accordingly:
The Class D license is for operation of cars, light trucks, and mopeds, for noncommercial use. It can be issued as a standard Class D (for those over 18 who have passed the in-person road test), an instruction permit (for those new to driving, so they can legally practice with supervision by a Wisconsin-licensed driver over 18), OR a probationary license (for those between 16 and 18 years old).

The Class M license is for operation of motorcycles (M1), scooters, and motorized bikes (M2). To obtain a Class M license, you must pass a knowledge test to attain your instruction permit, obtain insurance (or sponsorship from a parent/guardian), and complete a driver education course AND a Basic Motorcycle Rider Course.

CDL’s (Commercial Driver Licenses) are divided by vehicle type and weight, and include:

  • Class C licenses, for operating single commercial vehicles weighing 26,000 lbs or less, optionally towing one of 10,000 lbs or less.
  • Class B licenses, for operating single commercial vehicles weighing over 26,000 lbs and/or towing one vehicle of 10,000 lbs or less.
  • Class A licenses, for operating any combination of vehicles weighing over 26,000 lbs and/or towing vehicle(s) over 10,000 lbs.
  • CDL’s may not be operated by anyone under 18 in Wisconsin. Driver’s under 21 may obtain their CDL, but will be restricted to driving only within the state of Wisconsin.

What license endorsements are available in Wisconsin?

T: Double/Triple Trailers (For commercial motor vehicles).

N: Tank Vehicles (For commercial vehicles designed to transport any liquid or gaseous material within a tank, either permanently or temporarily attached to the chassis).

H: Hazardous Materials (For vehicles transporting hazardous materials that require placarding, or materials listed as an agent or toxin here.

S: School Bus (For commercial and noncommercial school buses).

P: Passenger Vehicle (For vehicles designed to carry, or actually carrying 16 or more passengers, driver included).

F: Farm Service (Restricted to farm service operation only with Classes B/C)

For more information on endorsements, visit: Wisconsin DMV Official Government Site – Endorsements (wisconsindot.gov)

WI Vehicle Insurance

Is it illegal to drive without insurance in Wisconsin?

Yes. You are required to have proof of at least minimum insurance, or “financial responsibility” when you drive. If you are stopped by law enforcement at a routine traffic stop, or are involved in an accident, and you do not have proof of insurance, you may be fined up to $500. Offering fraudulent proof of insurance can result in a fine up to $5000.

What is the minimum car insurance required in Wisconsin?

Only liability insurance is required to drive. Liability helps you pay for damages/injuries to a person or property that are your fault. Every state has different liability requirements. The state of Wisconsin requires you to have minimum liability coverage of:

  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person
  • $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person

Uninsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000 for bodily injury of one person/$50,000 for bodily injury of more than one person is also required. This covers injuries to you or anyone else if you are struck by a driver who does not have insurance. It covers you in your vehicle and as a pedestrian. *Note, the minimum requirement does not cover property damage.

For information on the minimum requirements, and all types of auto and other insurance in the state, visit The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. Read the Consumer’s Guide to Auto Insurance here.

How much does car insurance cost per month in Wisconsin?

According to WalletHub, car insurance in Wisconsin costs roughly $68 per month, or $820 per year. This can vary based on your driving experience, driving record, age, vehicle, and insurance provider.

What is full coverage auto insurance in Wisconsin?

Although only liability and uninsured driver coverage is required under Wisconsin law, you may want to consider further coverage, such as:

  • Collision coverage, which pays for physical damage to your vehicle caused by overturning, or a collision with another vehicle or object. (You may not need this coverage if your vehicle has decreased in value OR if you can afford to replace it).
  • Comprehensive coverage, or “other than collision” coverage, which pays for damage to your vehicle resulting from fire, vandalism, water, hail, glass breakage, wind, falling objects, civil commotion, or hitting an animal (including birds). This is important, because damage from striking a deer is frequently reported in the state of Wisconsin. Comprehensive coverage also helps pay if your vehicle, or parts of it are stolen.
  • Underinsured coverage, which covers you if someone causing bodily injury to your or others does not meet minimum insurance requirements.
  • Medical payments coverage, which pays medical OR funeral expenses for anyone injured or killed in an accident while riding or driving in your car. It also covers you and your family as pedestrians. The minimum limit for coverage (if you choose to have it) is $1000, and it usually only covers expenses not covered by health insurance. It will pay out even if you are at fault.

For more information, the best resource for prospective insurance buyers is The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.

WI Vehicle Registration

When is new vehicle registration legally required in Wisconsin?

Whenever you purchase a vehicle, new or used, receive a vehicle as a gift, or become a new Wisconsin resident, you must immediately apply for a new Certificate of Title in your name. This document of registration proves that you own the vehicle. License plates are evidence that registration fees have been paid and are a means of identifying the vehicle/tracing ownership. No vehicle may be driven in Wisconsin without permanent, or at least temporary, plates. Residents moving in from out of state have 60 days to transfer their registration.  

How much does car registration cost in Wisconsin?

The registration fee for automobiles is $85. Additional surcharges for hybrid/electric vehicles may apply. This fee is charged annually when you renew your registration. You’ll receive special stickers and instructions for placing them strategically on your plates, so that law enforcement can quickly recognize your up to date, paid Wisconsin registration.

How do I register my vehicle in Wisconsin?

You should always receive a title signed by the previous owner when you purchase or receive a vehicle. Licensed Wisconsin vehicle dealers typically submit the title and registration paperwork for you. You can start the vehicle registration process online using eMV Public. Have your Wisconsin title (signed by the seller), including an odometer reading if the vehicle is less than 10 years old. You may also need a lien release if there is a lien holder (a lender, such as a bank or person, with a secured interest on the vehicle) listed on the front of the title—the loan must be paid off. You will also need:

  • A Wisconsin Driver License or ID Card
  • The last four digits of your SSN
  • Your DOB
  • Payment of registration fees via debit card, credit card, or checking/savings account.

Once the online portion is complete, you will need to print and mail the title and license eApplication/Receipt, and include the original title signed by the seller and the original lien release if existing. Mail to:

WisDOT-eMV Public
P.O. Box 7907
Madison, WI 53707-7907

For further instruction on applying to register online, in person, or by mail, visit Wisconsin DMV Official Government Site – Title and register your vehicle with eMV Public (wisconsindot.gov).

How do I transfer my out-of-state registration?

You will need the original Certificate of Title signed by the previous owner. You may need a Statement of Intent (if there are any alterations to the original title). You can fill the application out here or use the MV1 Online Application guide, which will help you calculate the appropriate fees. Mail your application or visit a registration service agent at your local DMV.

When do I receive temporary license plates?

When you use the online system to apply for new plates, you will receive temporary plates with your confirmation. If you applied by mail, you can locate a temporary license plate agent to receive your temporary plates. You must display your permanent or temporary plates within two business days of purchase to legally operate your vehicle. To display, tape the temporary plat inside the lower corner of the rear windshield, on the driver’s side. If you are unable to display the plate due to window size, tape the temporary plate to the rear passenger window on the driver’s side.

How do I apply to receive new plates if my vehicle is already registered?

If the vehicle is already in your name, but you never had plates OR the plates were transferred to another vehicle, you must apply for new plates to legally operate the vehicle. Use the License Plates Only Wisconsin DOT Portal, or complete the Title and License Plate Application and send by mail with check or money order for license plate fee. You will need your Wisconsin DL or ID, the last four digits of your SSN, your DOB, license plate number, and VIN number. For duplicate or replacement license plates, use this application.

Special Wisconsin Plates

How can I get special Wisconsin license plates?

You can apply for special interest and/or personalized license plates at any time online or through your DMV customer service center. You can also add a special or personalized plate when you renew your annual vehicle registration, transfer registration, purchase a new vehicle, or order plates only. Check availability of your desired plate first. Once ordered, allow for extra time for the manufacture and mailing of your special plates. If mailing a check, make it payable to Registration Fee Trust (do not send cash).

What is the point of getting a special interest license plate?

The money for special plates goes to the cause the plate supports, and the plate itself helps to spread awareness about the cause. It is a fairly inexpensive way to generate buzz for the cause you care most about.

What special plates are available in Wisconsin?

Different plates are available at different customer service centers. Not all centers provide license plates or license plate renewal services. Check availability at DMV customer service centers near you before you show up in person, and look up processing times/license plate statuses here. Available special interest plates include the 4H Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Ducks Unlimited, Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and designations for military, police, firefighters and more. You can also use a special form to design your own special group plate.

For a full list of special plates, further information on their causes, and application forms, visit wisconsindot.gov/Pages/dmv/vehicles/title-plates/special-list.aspx.  

Citations in Wisconsin

What is a traffic citation?

The Wisconsin State Patrol issues traffic citations, or tickets, whenever you violate state traffic laws. Citations are forwarded to the Wisconsin DMV and are added to the driver’s record. Each citation must be resolved by a court action (paying court ordered fines, attending traffic course, suspension of license, appearing in court, etc.). Fines vary by violation and county court. There are two types of traffic violations:

  • Moving violations (vehicle is in motion when violation occurs: speeding, running a stop sign/red light, DUI, failing to yield, etc.)
  • Non moving violations (vehicle can be stationary, as in improper parking, but some in-motion violations, like inattentive driving, faulty equipment, or driving without a seatbelt, are considered “non moving” by the court).

What should I do if I receive a traffic citation?

You have three options when you receive a citation. You can:

  • Plead “guilty” and pay the fine. The violation may add points to your driver record, mandate enrollment in a traffic violator course, cause further action from the DMV (suspension of license if you already have a certain amount of points against you, for instance), and/or raise your insurance premiums. The citation will have instructions for how to pay and a payment due date on it. You can pay your citation instantly online at: www.wicourts.gov/ecourts/payonline.htm. You can also pay by mail, and sometimes phone. Make your check payable to the Clerk of Court. You should also pay careful attention to the details on your citation if you are required to attend a Failure to Yield/Right of Way or other traffic course. You will need to complete the course and send the Wisconsin DMV your certificate of completion before a specific due date.
  • Pleading “not guilty” and requesting a contested hearing. If you believe you do not deserve the citation, and have evidence to prove you were not in the wrong, you can request a hearing to contest the ticket before the ticket due date. You must either appear in court OR enter your “not guilty” plea by mail prior to your court date. Mail a photocopy of your ticket and any photo/document evidence that you were wrongly ticketed. You may consider hiring an attorney. You may also be able to fight the ticket through the Off the Record app, which uses real attorney advice to help you fight basic violation citations for a fee (you do not pay unless you win).
  • Do nothing, in which case the court may issue a warrant for your arrest, or find you guilty and suspend your driver’s license if you fail to pay the fine.

Points on Your DMV Record

How does the point system work in Wisconsin?

When you are convicted of a moving traffic violation, you will likely receive demerit points on your driving record with the Wisconsin DMV. The more demerit points you incur, the more severe the penalties become. Those with probationary licenses (issued to those between 16 and 18 years old) are assessed double demerit points if they receive more than one conviction. If you accumulate 12 or more demerit points within a 12-month period, your driving privilege will be suspended. The length of suspension depends on the number of points and type of license you have:

For those without a license or with a probationary license:
12-30 points on your record will incur a 6 month license suspension. More than 30 points will incur a suspension of 1 year.

For those with a regular DL or CDL (Commercial driver’s license):

12-16 points incurs a 2 month suspension. 17-22 points incurs a 4 month suspension. 23-30 points incurs a 6 month suspension, and more than 30 points will incur a suspension of 1 year.

How many points will I get for each violation?

This varies. Some of the most frequently assessed point violations in Wisconsin are:

2 points for obstructing traffic, parking on a highway in a traffic lane, or having a defective speedometer.

3 points for a traffic control violation (red light or stop sign), driving the wrong way on a one-way street, failing to dim lights or properly signal, following too closely, illegal passing, improper brakes/brake lights, driving without a license/with an expired license/with multiple licenses/with a suspended or revoked license, prohibited/illegal turns, speeding 1-10 mph over the limit, violating restrictions, possession of an alcoholic beverage while on duty in a commercial vehicle, or holding an unlawful commercial license/endorsement.

4 points for deviating from your traffic lane, driving the wrong way on a two-way highway/street, failure to yield the right-of-way or yield to an emergency vehicle, driving too fast for conditions, inattentive driving, failure to stop for a school bus, speeding 11-19 mph over the limit, or unnecessary acceleration.

6 points for DUI, reckless driving/racing, speeding 20 mph or more over the limit, violating an occupational license, attempting to elude an officer, or leaving the scene of an accident.

How long do points stay on your record in Wisconsin?

Most convictions/points stay on a driving record in Wisconsin for 5 years. Alcohol-related convictions, and some commercial driver convictions, remain on your driving record for 55 years.

Where can I check the status of my license/driving record?

You can check the current status of your driver license (valid/disqualified CDL/suspended/revoked) online here. You can also inquire about your driver record by calling (608) 264-7133. To obtain a copy of your driving record in Wisconsin, request it online here or complete a Vehicle/Driver Record Information Request by mail ($5 fee for each record), or call (608) 261-2566.

Is there any way to reduce the points on my driving record in Wisconsin?

In some cases, if your moving violation qualifies, you can have up to 3 points reduced from your driving record by attending a Failure to Yield/Right-of-Way course, in person or online. You should make sure you are eligible for this option by contacting the Wisconsin DMV before registering with any course.

Suspended/Revoked Licenses

What happens when a Wisconsin driver license is suspended?

A suspension of a license is the temporary loss of driver privilege. Suspensions can happen for a few different reasons: certain criminal convictions, excessive driving offenses on your record, or other court-related decisions. If you have repeatedly violated traffic laws within a short period of time, or the state believes you are habitually reckless/negligent, your license may be suspended. Suspensions and revocations can also happen in response to failed blood alcohol tests, or refusal to take a test, exceeding speed limits by more than 25 mph, or certain sexual assault charges.

What is the difference between a revoked and a suspended license?

Both revocation and suspension of a license make it illegal to operate a motor vehicle on public roadways. Revoked licenses typically have longer/stiffer penalties and require more work/conditions to reinstate. The length of suspension or revocation will vary, depending on a number of variables (the crime, your record, the court, etc.). You may have to complete a traffic or DUI education course, satisfy other conditions, and pay reinstatement/other fees.

What happens if you drive on a suspended or revoked license in Wisconsin?

Driving on a suspended license is a civil offense and will not incur jail time. Depending on the reason a license was revoked, driving on a revoked license can be a civil or criminal offense and incur steep fines and/or up to a year in county jail. If you cause significant damage or injury, the fines drastically increase, and you could face fines between $5,000 and $7,500. If you kill another person while driving under a suspended/revoked license, the fine can increase to $10,000 plus jail time. If you are arrested for driving under a suspended license, do not resist or flee, as this will only lead to additional charges. You may consider working with an attorney to know and protect your rights.

How do I reinstate my driving privilege?

Check your driver license status and eligibility for reinstatement with the Wisconsin DMV to see the requirements for reinstating your license. You may be required to file proof of insurance, or proof of Ignition Interlock Device installation if your suspension/revocation was substance abuse related. You may qualify to reinstate your license online, or you may need to visit a DMV Customer Service Center. If you have an unexpired Wisconsin driver license in your possession, you may also reinstate by mail. Fees may be required. For more details, visit Wisconsin DMV Official Government Site – How to reinstate your driver license or driving privilege (Wisconsin residents) (wisconsindot.gov).

Collisions in Wisconsin

What should I do if I am involved in a car accident in Wisconsin?

As best you can, stay calm and survey any damage or injury. You may need to move your vehicle (if possible) out of the way of traffic flow. You may only leave the scene if you require immediate medical attention.

If you are able, you should call the police and file a police report, even if the damage is minimal. Police assistance can help and protect you, and the police report/testimony can be useful in determining fault/filing suit.

Do not implicate yourself in the accident.

Write down and/or photograph any information that seems relevant: time of day, location, and the addresses/phone numbers/insurance/license plate numbers/names of all other drivers or pedestrians involved. Get the information of witnesses too.

Call your insurance agent to report the incident.

Always wait until everyone is safe to make all necessary calls and next steps.
If you sustain injury or your vehicle sustains damage, you may consider hiring an attorney.

You are required to file a crash report with the DMV for any accident causing $1000 or more in damage or injury to anyone.

What should I do if I witness a car accident in Wisconsin?

If you can safely pull to the side of the road and are comfortable providing help and/or a witness statement, you may carefully approach the scene. Be ready to call 911 to report any injuries or crucial traffic blockages, and to call for backup. Do not make handheld calls while driving. You can help the authorities and those involved in the crash by sticking around until the police arrive and giving an account of what you witnessed. Your presence may help to diffuse tension between the accident parties, comfort victims, and/or prevent someone from attempting to leave the scene.

When should I report an accident in Wisconsin?

According to Wisconsin State Statute 346.70(1), any crash resulting in the injury of any person, $1000 or more in damage, or $200 or more in damage to state/government property should be reported to the Wisconsin DOT. If you receive a letter from the WisDOT stating you were involved in a reportable crash and requesting you to complete a report, you must complete a crash report. You will need:

  • Your driver license number
  • Your VIN
  • Your SSN
  • Your vehicle insurance info

If the incident occurred while your vehicle was parked and unattended, you must be able to identify the driver or owner of the moving vehicle to submit a crash report.

You can start an online crash report with the Wisconsin DMV here.

How long will a crash stay on my driving record?

If you are determined at-fault in a collision, you may receive points against your license, and the reported at-fault crash will remain on your Wisconsin DMV record for 3 years.     

WI Firearms Permit

Do you need a permit to carry a gun in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin allows open carry and concealed carry of firearms under certain conditions.
First you should know:
A handgun lacks a stock (apparatus designed to be fired from the shoulder), is concealable, and can be fired without bracing against the shoulder. Handguns include pistols and revolvers. Because they can be readily concealed, they are more strictly regulated with harsher penalties for illegal carrying/use.

A long gun is any firearm with a stock, designed to be fired from the shoulder. All shotguns and rifles are long guns, including semi-automatic, pump-action, and bolt action types. Long guns are typically used for hunting and home defense.

  • It is legal to openly carry a handgun in Wisconsin without a permit. It cannot be concealed by clothing on your person, or out of plain view in your vehicle (above the window line and not concealed by furniture/debris).
  • You must be 18 years old to open carry a handgun or carry a long gun in Wisconsin.
  • You do not need a permit to purchase a firearm in Wisconsin (You DO need to be at least 21, provide state ID, and have a background check done by a licensed firearms dealer).
  • State law does not require registration of firearms by their owners.
  • If you plan to conceal a loaded handgun on your person or in your vehicle (in the glove compartment, for example), you will need a permit called a Wisconsin Concealed Carry Weapons License (CCWL). If you have a concealed carry permit from another state that Wisconsin honors via reciprocity, you may use it to carry a concealed weapon while in the state of Wisconsin as a non-resident.
  • You may not carry a concealed firearm at schools, courthouses, police stations, or other government building/facilities in Wisconsin.
  • You may only transport a long gun in a motor vehicle unloaded. If the vehicle is stationary, you are allowed to place a loaded gun on the top or exterior of the car, but not inside. Loaded guns are also not allowed on any boat unless the motor is not running, and any long gun transported by aircraft must be unloaded and in a case.

How do I get a permit for concealed carry in Wisconsin?

A Wisconsin concealed carry weapons license (CCWL) can be applied for online with the Wisconsin Department of Justice. A Wisconsin DOJ approved 4 hour firearms safety training course completion is required, unless you possess:

  • A Hunter Education certificate from Wisconsin’s Hunter Education program (or similar program recognized by the Department of Natural Resources).
  • A current or expired CCW license from another state that you can proved has not been revoked for cause with form DJ-LE-289.
  • A document of completion of small arms training through the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard.
  • A letter from either the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board or any police department stating you served as a police officer and completed your training.
  • A document of completion of private security training from the Department of Safety and Professional Services or similar out of state course requiring a Firearms Certification of Proficiency.

For more information on the Wisconsin CCWL requirements, training curriculum, and requirements for instructors, visit Training Requirements | Wisconsin Department of Justice (state.wi.us).

To apply for your CCWL by mail, visit CCW Paper Forms | Wisconsin Department of Justice (state.wi.us).