Active duty military personnel

While you're on active duty

​If your home of record is Wisconsin and you are a member of the military on active duty, you can have a Wisconsin driver license, ID, title and license plates.

​​Select the category below for more information:

You may renew your driver license up to one year in advance of your expiration date (either online, in person or by mail). You will receive your new license in the mail.

Your license does not expire while on active duty. Your license will expire:

  • 30 days after you return to Wisconsin or
  • 90 days after discharge from active duty, whichever is earlier

If your license has already expired, you can either renew your driver license through the mail or have the DMV put a notation on your driving record to extend your expiration date.

The late fee will be waived if your license has expired because you are on active duty.

Renew by mail

For your driver license:

  • Complete a Wisconsin Driver License Application MV3001
  • Record your temporary out-of-state address in the field labeled “Mailing address”
  • If your license has been expired more than one year, you must have a vision exam completed within the last 90 days. Results can be recorded either on the MV3001 or on the Certificate of Vision Examination by a Competent Authority MV3030V. Note that the "temporal field of vision in degrees" portion of the MV3030V must be completed. Incomplete forms will be returned
  • Mail your application to the address below

For your ID (not for driving purposes):

  • Complete a Wisconsin Identification Card Application form MV3004
  • Record your temporary out-of-state address in the field labeled "Mailing address"
  • Mail your application to the address below

Extend your driver license expiration date

To have your driver license expiration extended until you are no longer on active duty or return to Wisconsin:

  • Send a signed statement that includes your name, date of birth, current Wisconsin address and your temporary mailing address. The statement may be submitted by you or someone submitting it on your behalf, and should indicate that you are on active duty.
  • Submit to:
WisDOT - Division of Motor Vehicles
Driver Eligibility Unit
P.O. Box 7995
Madison, WI 53707-7995

DMV will place a notation on your driver record indicating that your license will expire 30 days after your return to Wisconsin or 90 days after your discharge. A copy of your driving record with this notation will be mailed to you at the temporary mailing address that you provide to us. You must carry this record with your expired Wisconsin license. You will not be issued a new license at this time.

Within 30 days of your return to Wisconsin, you will need to visit a DMV customer service center to renew. If you will not be returning to Wisconsin within 90 days of your discharge from active duty, you should renew by mail following the instructions above. Once DMV has processed your renewal, you will receive a new driver license with your new expiration date.

Duplicate (lost) driver license

If you have lost your license and it has not expired, you may complete an application and submit it through the mail (see lost or stolen driver license or identification (ID) card while out-of-state for the application, instructions and more information). A duplicate cannot be issued for an expired driver license; you must renew by mail following the instructions above.

Early renewal for a Probationary license

Customers who hold a Probationary driver license and are entering military service will often be encouraged to renew their Probationary driver license before leaving the state for boot camp, as many times they will need a valid driver license throughout their training. This process will allow customers to get their regular driver license before leaving the state.

You must get approval by email before going to a DMV service center.

Send to Provide the following information:

  • Copy of orders (or Reservation Sheet) for the applicant
  • Signed letter from the recruiting office on their official letterhead, to include:
    • Name of applicant
    • Driver license number of applicant
    • Reason for early renewal request, including any special circumstances we may need to know about and date that the request need to be completed by
    • What DMV Customer Service Center is most convenient for the applicant
    • Contact information for recruiting office and applicant (phone and email)
    • Signature of recruiter

If you wish to add class M to your Class D driver license while out-of-state on active duty, you must have completed a Basic RiderCourse​ within the past year. You will need to pass the Class M Knowledge Test when you return to Wisconsin. If you passed the Class M Knowledge Test at an out-of-state DMV, provide a copy of your results along with the other items you are mailing. You will not be required to obtain a Cycle Instruction Permit.

You must mail in the following documents:

  • A completed Wisconsin Driver License Application MV3001
    • Be sure to fill out your WI address on the “residential address” line
    • Be sure to fill out where you want your driver license mailed to on the “mailing address” line
  • A letter signed by you that includes:
    • A statement saying you are temporarily out-of-state on active duty and when you are planning to return to Wisconsin
    • Your contact phone number and email address in case there are issues
  • A copy of the completion card for the Basic Motorcycle RiderCourse course from the past year
  • A check or money order made out to “Registration Fee Trust” with the prorated fee

Pro-rated Class M fees are based on the remaining months of your regular Class D driver license. When does yours expire?

Months until license expirationTotal Fee
1 to 3$10
4 to 11$11
12 to 19$12
20 to 27$13
28 to 35$14
36 to 43$15
44 to 51$16
44 to 51$17
60 to 67$18
68 to 75$19
76 to 83$20
84 to 91$21
92 to 96$22

Depending on your chosen postage method, mail to one of the following addresses:

Regular first class delivery:
WisDOT - Division of Motor Vehicles
Driver Eligibility Unit
P.O. Box 7995
Madison, WI 53707-7995
For faster delivery, overnight or priority delivery:
WisDOT - Division of Motor Vehicles
Driver Eligibility Unit
4822 Madison Yards Way Rm S225
Madison, WI 53705

After everything arrives at our office filled out correctly, you will receive your updated license by mail within 1-2 weeks.

If you have a military license to operate a military commercial vehicle, you may use it to get a Wisconsin commercial driver license (CDL).

  • You must still pass the knowledge test(s)
  • You must be a Wisconsin resident
  • You cannot transfer any Hazardous Materials or use as a School Bus endorsement

See transferring your military license to a Wisconsin commercial driver license for more information.

Motor carrier fees and reports

If you are a Wisconsin-based carrier on active military duty and have already paid International Registration Plan (IRP) fees, but will not be operating, you may have the Wisconsin portion of the IRP fees refunded.

Late filing fees are waived for owner operators who indicate they’re on active duty. Charges for reinstating a fuel tax license may also be waived if a carrier failed to file reports because of active duty. A refund may also be requested for multiple trip oversize/overweight permits for the months that a trucker is unable to use a permit because of active duty.

If you or your vehicle are involved in an accident, and you’ve received a Notice of Suspension for failing to provide proof of liability insurance, please comply with the safety responsibility requirements.

If you are unable to meet those requirements prior to your active duty service, you or your designee may submit proof of the active duty orders which will delay the suspension of your driver license and/or plates until 30 days after you are discharged from active duty.

If you do not do either, your suspension will remain in effect until you are able to show proof of insurance or financial satisfaction of damages caused by the accident, and pay your reinstatement fee.

WisDOT - Division of Motor Vehicles
Uninsured Motorist Unit
P.O. Box 7983
Madison, WI 53707-7983


If your operating privilege is suspended, revoked or disqualified, you or someone on your behalf, will need to reinstate it. Being a member of active duty military does not change your driving status.

If you are required to file proof of financial responsibility (SR22) and your insurance is cancelled while you are on active duty, we must suspend your license again. To reinstate it, submit a new SR22 and reinstatement fee. If you know that your insurance is being cancelled and you surrender your license before we receive the cancellation, your license may be reinstated without a fee when we receive a new SR22.

After the suspension or revocation period is over and you have paid your fees, you can confirm that your Wisconsin driving privilege is valid by:

Request to extend Assessment and/or Driver Safety Plan

If you are on active duty or will soon be deployed, you may be eligible to receive an extension on your Intoxicated Driver Program assessment and/or Driver Safety Plan.

You or your designee may submit proof of the active duty orders which will provide an extension for you to complete your assessment and/or Driver Safety Plan. After DMV receives and reviews your orders, you will be provided with a letter confirming your new deadlines.

  • Submit proof or questions to:
    • Email:
    • Mail to:
    • WisDOT - Division of Motor Vehicles
      Alcohol and Drug Review
      P.O. Box 7983
      Madison, WI 53707-7983

The following are available while you are on active duty:

  • License plate renewal. Vehicle registration renewals may be completed by the military member or anyone on their behalf.
    • Emissions Testing RequirementsFind out if an emissions test is required to renew your plate.
      • If an emissions test is required and your vehicle is out-of-state, you may take a test out-of-state and send the results to the Wisconsin DMV. Your results must show
        • the VIN of the vehicle
        • a passed test result
      • If there are no testing facilities where you are temporarily stationed, you may request an exemption for the requirement.

To submit test results or request an exemption, please email

  • Refund of plate renewal fees If you paid your renewal before entering active duty military, you may request a refund of the unused portion of your plate fee. You will be required to send:
    • The Certificate of Registration
    • The license plate(s)
    • A letter requesting a refund showing the entry date into active military service
    • License Plate/Registration Refund Request form MV2030 completed and signed with reason for requesting refund as “due to military service”
    • Mail all of the above to the address on the form
  • Pay only for the time plates were used If your plates have expired and you were not using the vehicle while on active duty, you can pay an adjusted renewal fee and will not be charged a late fee. You must complete the Substitute Renewal Notice/Non-Operation Statement form MV2016, including the “Non-operation of Vehicle” statement. With the form, please include a copy of your active duty orders. Your fee will be prorated for the time remaining on your plate registration period. If you need help in calculating your prorated fee, please email us using the link at the bottom of the page.
  • Temporary license plates while on leave from the military. A military member may obtain a temporary plate good for up to 30 days, while home on leave. The temporary plate is issued at no charge. The vehicle does not need to be titled or registered in the name of the military member. You must complete form Temporary License Plate Application form MV2505 and include a copy of the leave order.
  • Special license plates.Special plates signifying military affiliation, including a plate authorizing parking in disabled parking spaces, are available to members with qualifying military service. The member need not be currently on active duty to be eligible. A surviving spouse is also eligible for military affiliation plates.
  • Titling a new vehicle while on active duty If you purchase a vehicle while temporarily out-of-state, you may apply for title/plates through our online application and print a temporary plate (for auto and light truck) to drive with immediately.

Special license plates

You, a relative, or a friend may change your military group or personalized plates to standard plates when plates are due for renewal. To request standard plates by mail you must submit:

  • The renewal notice or a Substitute Renewal Notice/Non-Operation Statement form MV2016 (en español MV2016s)
  • A written request for standard (automobile, light truck, or motorcycle) plates
  • The standard plate fee

Mail your request to:

WisDOT - Division of Motor Vehicles
Registration Renewal
P.O. Box 7911
Madison, WI 53707-7911

Envelope Email Wisconsin DMV email service

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