GDL Requirements and Restrictions

​Requirements to get an Instruction Permit for an applicant under 18 years of age

  • Be at least 15 ½ years old
  • Have completed or be enrolled in an approved behind-the-wheel driver education course which begins within 60 days of the date your driver education instructor certifies your driver license application
  • Have your adult sponsor sign the driver license application
  • Present proof of citizenship or legal immigration status (name, date of birth and identity)
  • Pass the knowledge test, highway signs test and vision screening

Restrictions of the instruction permit
A driver under 18 may only drive when accompanied by a person with two years driving experience who holds a valid, regular license (it cannot be a probationary or occupational license) and who sits in the front passenger seat and is one of the following:

  • A qualified instructor 19 years old or older. Up to three other people may ride in the vehicle if it is equipped with dual controls.
  • A parent, legal guardian or spouse 19 years old or older. Immediate family members may ride in the back seat.
  • A person 21 or older. This person must be designated in writing by a parent or legal guardian prior to accompanying the teenage driver.

Requirements to get a Probationary License for an applicant under 18 years of age

  • Hold the Instruction Permit for a minimum of six months before applying for a Probationary License
  • Be violation free in the six months prior to applying for the Probationary License
  • Accumulate a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience, 10 of which must be driving experience at night. You may document the hours on a driving log sheet available on the DMV web site and in the Wisconsin Motorists’ Handbook.
  • Present proof of completion of an approved driver-education training course
  • Have your parent or adult sponsor certify on the driver application the completion of 30 hours of driving experience (10 at night)
  • Pass the driving skills test
  • Pay the necessary fees

Restrictions of the probationary license

Drivers under 18 have the following restrictions during the first 9 months after obtaining a Probationary License:

From 5 a.m. to midnight, you can drive alone and go anywhere. Any number of immediate family members can ride along as well as the following people:

  • One person who holds a valid, regular license with at least 2 years of licensed driving experience and who is:
    • a qualified instructor or spouse 19 or older, or
    • a person 21 or older
  • One other person

​​From midnight to 5 a.m., you can drive alone only IF driving between home, school and/or work. The same people listed immediately above can ride along, too.

If driving anywhere else, one of the following people must be seated in the front passenger seat:

  • A parent or legal guardian
  • One person with a valid, regular license with two years of licensed driving experience and who is:
    • a qualified instructor or spouse 19 or older, or
    • a person 21 or older.
  • In addition, any number of the driver’s immediate family members and one other person may ride along.

Restrictions will be extended 6 months if:

  • You are convicted of a moving traffic violation, or
  • You violate any of the restrictions, or
  • Your license is suspended or revoked for any reason​

Driver Information Section
P.O. Box 7983
Madison, WI 53707-7983

Email Wisconsin DMV email service​​​
Phone (608) 264-7447
Fax (608) 267-3812