Parents and sponsors

(en español)

​All Wisconsin drivers under 18 years of age need sponsorship when issued an instruction permit or probationary license. By signing the driver license application as sponsor, the sponsor:

  • accepts liability for any and all negligence or willful misconduct leading to any damages caused by the minor when operating a motor vehicle
  • verifies the driver has at least 50 hours of driving experience, 10 of which must be during hours of darkness (when applying for a probationary license only)
  • signs and verifies on the application that the person under 18 years of age is enrolled in a school program, a high school equivalency program, or home-based private education program and is not habitually truant.
    • If the minor has graduated from high school or been granted a declaration of high school graduation equivalency the parent/guardian must still sign the application as sponsor

  • Parent (natural or adoptive parent if parental rights have not been terminated), step-parent, or legal guardian (person named by the court having the duty and authority of guardianship)
  • Step-parent
  • Legal guardian (person named by the court having the duty and authority of guardianship)
  • Sponsoring family parent of a foreign student

If the teen applicant is not living with a parent, or court-appointed legal guardian, the following people may sign as sponsor:

  • Grandparent
  • Aunt or uncle
  • Sibling 18 years of age or older
  • Spouse 18 years of age or older
  • Foster parent

If you are under 18 years of age, you must have a sponsor unless you:

  • Do not have a living parent
  • Do not live with your parent(s) and are a full-time student or earning a living
  • Are a ward of the state, county or court and have been placed in a foster home or in the care of a religious welfare service
  • Are married and your spouse is under 18 years of age

If you meet any of the above criteria, you must file Proof of Insurance instead of having a sponsor.

The adult who has signed on as the sponsor for a person under 18 years of age may withdraw that sponsorship at any time. To withdraw sponsorship, complete form MV3118 and mail it to the address listed on the form.

Sponsorship withdrawal will result in the cancellation of the license. A reinstatement fee would be required to re-apply for the probationary license. To reinstate a canceled license and be issued a new one, the minor and sponsor must visit a DMV customer service center (any except Milwaukee-Downtown service center), complete form MV3001 - Wisconsin Driver License application and pay a reinstatement fee.

Note: To avoid paying a reinstatement fee, the driver may voluntarily surrender their license instead of the parent/legal guardian withdrawing the sponsorship. To surrender a license, the minor must complete MV3581 Voluntary Temporary Surrender of License.

Withdrawal of sponsorship is not required to change sponsors.



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