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wisconsin drivers license renewal - WI

Renew your Wisconsin Drivers license. Prepare all your DMV info. Get all the forms, rules and steps required for your WI drivers license renewal. There are two ways in which to renew your license. The easiest and most direct way is to go In Person to any DMV service center. Your other options is to renew by mail. However, only qualified drivers may renew by Mail. These qualifications will be discussed below in detail. Your other alternative is to use our site and download your checklist. We’ll supply you with all of the necessary forms, rules, and steps in order for you to be fully prepared for your license agency visit. Please continue reading below to get started with your Wisconsin license renewal.

Wisconsin Drivers License Renewal Information

Expiration Date

Regular Wisconsin driver's licenses are valid for eight (8) years. In other words, it will expire every 8 years on your birth day. If you are ever in doubt, just look at your license as it will clearly state its expiration date. 

Renewal Notice

Forty five (45) to sixty (60) days before the expiration of your license, you will receive a reminder via postal mail by the WI DMV. This reminder will describe the instructions needed to renew. It's very important to remember that your last known address will be used to mail the reminder. By law, you must update any address change with the DMV, ten days after moving. If you don't inform the Wisconsin Department of Transportation of this change, the renewal notice will never arrive and you will be missing out on knowing the details of your renewal. If you have not received your renewal notice, please download the MV3001 application and renew in person.

When To Renew

Regular driver license holders may renew one (1) year before your license's expiration date. If you have a probationary license, you will only be allowed to renew ninety (90) days before it expires. If your license expires, you will not be able to drive. 

Expired Wisconsin License

You should never allow your license to expire as you will be subject to a late fee and you might be required to take additional tests. The late fee is currently $5.00 for applicants wishing to renew after their birth date. If over eight (8) years have passed since it expired, you will need to retake the Knowledge test when applying for your renewal. 

Your license can be suspended for major traffic violations. If so, you will need to go through a series of steps to have your driving privileges restored. Part of this process involves serving your suspension or revocation period, showing proof that you have financial responsibility and paying your reinstatement fees. The fees differ depending on the severity of the crime. 

Renew Wisconsin Drivers License Online

This option is not currently available in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Drivers License Renew by Mail

Not every Wisconsin driver is allowed to use the by mail option. You must be temporarily outside of the state. If so, please continue reading. If you are in-state, your only option is to renew in person

Requirements to Renew By Mail 

You can only mail in your renewal application under the following conditions:

  • You are not currently in the state of Wisconsin. 
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • The Wisconsin DOT must already have your Social Security Number in their system.
  • Your drivers license cannot have been expired over eight (8) years ago.
  • Make sure that you meet the When to Renew requirements. 
  • You may only use this by mail feature if you last renewed in person. 


  1. Complete and download the following MV3001 Wisconsin Driver License form.
  2. Make sure to complete every section of the application. This includes your name, date of birth, social security number, Wisconsin address, out of state address, gender, race, eye color, hair color, weight and height.
  3. You must have a vision test. An eye care professional must complete the Vision section of the application or have him/her complete the following MV3030V Vision Examination form. Note: The exam cannot be older than ninety (90) days.
  4. The contents of your mail packet must include photocopies of the following items:
    1. Proof of Residency document. It must show your name and Wisconsin address. Please use any of the following documents (your current expiring drivers license cannot be used for this): Utility bill, mobile phone bill, bank statement, mortgage or rental agreements, homeowner's insurance, hunting or fishing license, etc.. For a complete list of items, Click Here. 
    2. Proof of identity document. Please use any of the following documents:  your current or expired drivers license, ID card, marriage certificate, social security card, school ID, etc..   For a complete list of items, Click Here. 
  5. Make payment for the Fee of $34.00. Add $5.00 if you are renewing late. The only forms of payment are Checks or Money Orders. Please make the payment out to Registration Fee Trust.
  6. For regular mail deliveries send the package to:

    Qualification and Issuance Section
    P.O. Box 7995
    Madison, WI 53707-7995
  7. For overnight deliveries send the package to:

    Qualification and Issuance Section
    4802 Sheboygan Ave., Room 809
    Madison, WI 53702

Once the DMV receives your package and approves the renewal, your newly renewed license will be sent to you by first class mail delivery. 

If you have not received your license or if you have any concerns, please contact the DMV:
Phone: (608) 264-7049
Website: Contact Wisconsin DMV

Renew Wisconsin Drivers License In Person

This is the only method allowed to all drivers renewing their license in the Badger State. The only exception is if you are currently away from the state. In that case you may use the renew by mail option. Please note that after January 14, 2013, you will have the option of upgrading to a federal Real ID. You can read about this on the Department of Homeland Security website. There will be no additional cost to get a federally compliant Read ID license.

Requirements to Renew In Person

  1. You must have a social security number.
  2. You cannot renew your license more than 1 year in advance.


  1. Bring your renewal notice (not required however).
  2. Complete and download the following MV3001 Wisconsin Driver License form. You will need to complete this form in order to renew.
  3. Go to any Wisconsin DMV service center.
  4. Bring your documents to show Proof of ID, and Legal Presence. If applying for a Read ID, you will need to show additional documents.
  5. A vision test will be required.
  6. Bring either Cash or a Check to pay the Fee of $34.00. Add $5.00 if you are renewing late.

You will not be handed your new license. Instead, the DMV will mail your card and will arrive in ten (10) business days. This is done to increase security and prevent identity theft. However, you will be given a temporary license/receipt that contains your picture. A sample of this receipt can be viewed here. You may use this receipt for forty five (45) days to drive or to show as proof of ID. 

New drivers license sample being provided by the Wisconsin DMV

If you have not received your license or if you have any concerns, please contact the DMV:
Phone: (608) 264-7049
Website: Contact Wisconsin DMV

Wisconsin Drivers License Renewal Documents

The types of documents needed at renewal time depend on the type of license you are getting. You can either opt to get a regular kind or the new Real ID federally complaint one

Regular Drivers License Documents

Read ID Documents

Auto Insurance

Carrying liability insurance is required by law in Wisconsin. Either the owner of the motor vehicle or the driver must drive a vehicle that is properly insured. Violations for non insurance holders will carry a fine of $500 or more. Always have your proof of liability insurance. 

Shop for a discount on auto insurance rates.


Other Driver License Topics in the State of Wisconsin

  • New Driver's License
  • Renew Driver's License
  • Learner's Permit