The Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) mails all driver license and identification (ID) cards from one production facility.
How long will it be before I get my permanent card in the mail?
You should receive your driver license or ID card within 10 business days. All undeliverable mail is returned to DMV.
Will I be issued a temporary license or ID card?
- You will leave the
DMV customer service center with a paper receipt valid for 45 days.
- The photo receipt is acceptable photo identification for voting and serves as your license or ID until your card arrives in the mail.
- Customers who renew an existing license or ID card will also leave the DMV customer service center with their expired (or soon to be expired) card, invalidated with a hole punch by the DMV processor.
NOTE: The receipt is not acceptable as proof of identity for a Social Security Number replacement card, if applying in person at your local Social Security office. If you plan to request a Social Security Number replacement card, please wait for your driver license or ID card to arrive in the mail before visiting a Social Security office. You may be eligible to apply for a Social Security Number replacement card
NEW: Wisconsin driver license and ID cards issued Spring 2023
Beginning Spring 2023, Wisconsin's new driver license and ID cards have updated security features, including:
- A distinct ‘flipping effect:’ Looking at the embossed feature just above the ribbon, when angling the card one way, you see the secondary photo. While at another angle you see the month and year of birth.
- Transparent windows visible on the card’s right edge and back bottom edge. Wisconsin is the first to have this unique security feature.
- The familiar orange DONOR dot is now nestled in the larger sugar maple leaf which you can feel.
Who gets a new driver license/ID card?
- All Wisconsin driver license/ID cards will be valid until their expiration date. Persons with expiring cards will be notified as usual to renew. The process does not change. There is no need to come in early to get a new product.
- Use the interactive
Driver License Guide for a personalized check list of documents needed and help with forms.
Features on Wisconsin cards beginning Fall 2015:
- Contains black and white photos
- Features a beautiful rendition of the Wisconsin State Capitol building, the Wisconsin State flag and a Sugar Maple leaf
- Text "Not for Federal Purposes" is printed on non-REAL ID compliant cards in compliance with Department of Homeland Security
REAL ID regulations.
Wisconsin DMV issues REAL ID compliant products (marked with a
µ) in accordance with the federal
Real ID Act of 2005. If you plan to fly within the U.S., visit a military base or other federal buildings, the Department of Homeland Security will require identification that is REAL ID compliant (or show another acceptable form of identification, such as a passport) beginning
May 7, 2025, the
new deadline for this Federal requirement.
STAR in the upper right corner of the card indicates that the card is
compliant with Federal
REAL ID Act requirements
NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES indicates that the card is
not compliant with Federal
REAL ID Act requirements
LIMITED TERM indicates that the license or ID card holder is a non-immigrant (Temporary Visitor) with legal status in the United States
NON-DOMICILED indicates that the CDL license holder is a non-immigrant (Temporary Visitor) with legal status in the United States