You will receive a renewal reminder notice 45 to 60 days before your birthday in the year your driver license expires. It will be emailed/texted if you signed up for
eNotify (electronic notification program) or mailed to the last known address on your driving record.
Note: Drivers age 60 and over have until May 21, 2021, to renew their license due to COVID-19.
You may renew:
- Your regular driver license within one year of its expiration
- Your Instruction Permit (Class D) or Probationary License within 90 days of its expiration. Depending on your eligibility, you may be able to renew your instruction permit
The interactive Driver License Guide is a helpful tool for information on driver licensing requirements. The guide will provide you with a checklist of requirements and allow you to pre-fill any required application(s). You may also be able to use the guide to electronically submit your application and schedule an appointment, if eligible.
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 October 1, 2021, the
new deadline for this Federal requirement.
If you do not already have a REAL ID-compliant card and it is time for you to renew your driver license, you can upgrade to a REAL ID-compliant card for no additional fee if the upgrade takes place at the same time as your renewal. If you choose to apply for a REAL ID after your renewal, the cost of a duplicate card will apply.
When applying for a REAL ID driver license or ID for the first time, you must visit a DMV service center.
To obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver license when you renew, you must present additional documentation. One original document or certified copy (not a photocopy, fax or scan) from each category is required. Some documents may be used for more than one category, whereas some will only satisfy the requirements of a single category. The document categories include:
If you are a current Wisconsin resident who has never changed your name, you can get a REAL ID-compliant driver license by presenting:
- Your certified U.S. birth certificate
- Your Wisconsin driver license with your current address
- Your Social Security number
- Your proof of Wisconsin residency
As required by the Real ID Act, applications and documents will be electronically scanned and securely stored to detect and deter fraud and identity theft.
Steps to renew online:
If you are between the ages of 18 and 64, you may be able to renew your driver license online. There is no additional fee and no in-person visit required.
Steps to renew in-person:
DMV Customer Service Center with your completed driver license application
- Gather the paperwork
- You may complete the MV3001 online, print and take it to a DMV Customer Service Center
- The MV3001 is also available at all DMV Customer Service Centers
- You will have a new license photo taken
- You will have your vision screened by a DMV employee
medical conditions may require a Medical Examination Report
- A written and/or driving exam may be required (see Tests Required below or
driving with a disability)
3. Pay the
Commercial driver license renewal additional requirements
If you have a hazardous materials endorsement (H):
If you have a school bus endorsement (S):
- You must complete the school bus application
- Pass the school bus knowledge test
- Pass the highway sign recognition test
- Pass a pre-trip inspection of a school bus
- Pass an abbreviated school bus skills test. Contact an authorized
third-party testing company to schedule your skills test.
What tests are required?
If you have not held a valid driver license in more than 8 years, you will need to pass a
knowledge test, highway sign recognition test and
driving skills test.
Drivers missing a limb will be required to take a full driving skill test (known as a 'special exam' skills test) if they have not previously passed a road test after the limb was lost. Drivers with other physical or medical conditions will also be required to take appropriate tests ('special exam' tests, which may include the knowledge and signs tests) if there is question as to their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Vision test options
DMV staff will screen your vision for no charge at the DMV Customer Service Centers
- If you prefer, you may have the vision screening done at your expense by a vision specialist
- Visual acuity and field of vision must be recorded on a Certificate of Vision Examination By Competent Authority
- Your vision screening must be done within 90 days before you apply for renewal
- Present the completed form MV3030V with your application for renewal
Driver licenses are mailed
The Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
mails all driver license and identification (ID) cards from one production facility. 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. You should receive your driver license or ID card within 10 business days. Mail cannot be forwarded to an address that was not on your application form. All undeliverable mail is returned to DMV.
Your Wisconsin driver license may now include a veteran identifier. To get the veteran identifier on your driver license:
- Verify your eligibility with the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. Contact the Veterans Benefits Resource Center at 1-800-WIS-VETS or
- Contact your local
County Veterans Service Officer to obtain certification of your veteran status for the identifier.