Driver license renewal: online or in-person

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.

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.

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.

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.

  • You are a U.S. citizen
  • You are between the ages of 18 and 64
    • If you are under the age of 18, adult sponsorship will be required. You will be asked to provide your adult sponsor information, including their driver license or ID card number
  • Your probationary or regular license is unexpired or has been expired for less than one year
  • You hold a Class D or Class DM license only

You can also update your Wisconsin residence and/or mailing address with this online process.


You will NOT be able to use this online process to renew your regular or probationary license if:

  • You would like to make changes, such as:
    • change an eyeglass or contact lens restriction
    • update a personal identifier (e.g. weight or hair color)
    • a legal name change occurred since your driver license was last issued
    • update or disclose an invisible disability
    • update your photo, your photo is not on file, or does not meet current DMV photo standards
  • You would like to apply for an original (first time) REAL ID-compliant driver license
  • You hold a Commercial Driver License (CDL)
    • Your Federal Medical Card (Fed Med) is expired, or any class or endorsement of the commercial driver license (CDL) is voluntarily surrendered
  • Your driver license has been expired for more than one year
  • You are not a U.S. citizen and/or do not have a verifiable Social Security number on record with DMV
  • You are not eligible for driver licensing in any other state(s). For example, if your license is suspended, revoked, or disqualified in another state, you can't use this online process

If any of these restrictions above apply to you, you will need to renew your driver license in-person at a DMV Customer Service Center.

Note: Your request for a driver license or instruction permit is not complete until you receive a confirmation message at the end of the transaction. Once the online transaction is completed you cannot cancel the transaction nor receive a refund.

Start here - renew driver license

This online service is not available from 2 a.m. - 3 a.m. each day due to system updates.

This service may not be available on Sundays from 6 a.m.–9 a.m. due to regular system maintenance.

  1. Gather the paperwork
    • Current license or other document for proof of identity
    • If you have changed your name, you must provide:
      • Proof of name change, such as a certified marriage certificate or certified record of divorce
    • Complete your name change with the Social Security Administration at least one day before appearing at the DMV
    • If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must provide proof of your legal status in the United States
  2. Visit a DMV Customer Service Center with your completed driver license application MV3001
      • 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
    • Existing 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 renewal fee

Commercial driver licenses (CDL) cannot be renewed online. You must visit a DMV Service Center and bring the following with you:

If you have a hazardous materials endorsement (H):

If you have a school bus endorsement (S):

  • You must complete the school bus application MV3740
  • 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.

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.

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 MV3030V
    • 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.

Veteran Identifier

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 MyWisVet.

  • Contact your local County Veterans Service Officer to obtain certification of your veteran status for the identifier.

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