Parents and sponsors

​(en español)

New: Sponsors have the option to sign a road test waiver.

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

  • accepts liability for any and all driving actions of the minor 
  • verifies the driver has at least 50 hours of driving experience, 10 of which must be during hours of darkness
  • confirms the driver is enrolled in a school program or high school equivalency program, graduated from high school or been granted a declaration of high school graduation equivalency, or is enrolled in a home-based private education program
  • and is not a habitual truant​

People who can sign 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).
  • Sponsoring family parent of a foreign student.

If the teen applicant is not living with a parent, or court-appointed legal guardian, other "approved adults" are:

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

The interactive driver licensing guide is 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). Depending on your eligibility, you may also be able to use the guide to electronically submit your application and schedule an appointment with the DMV for expedited service.

Persons without an adult sponsor

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 may file Proof of Insurance​ instead of having a sponsor

Withdrawing sponsorship

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 probationary license. A reinstatement fee would be required to re-apply for the probationary license. (Note: To avoid paying a reinstatement fee, the driver may voluntarily surrender their license instead of the adult driver withdrawing their sponsorship. To surrender a license, please complete MV3581.) Withdrawal of sponsorship is not required to change sponsors.​

Reinstating a license canceled by withdrawal of sponsorship​

To reinstate a canceled license and be issued a new one, visit any DMV customer service center, except Express offices. You will need to complete form MV3001 ​- Wisconsin Driver License application and pay a reinstatement fee. (DMV customer service centers accept cash, checks, debit cards and the following credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Debit cards will be processed as credit.) If you are under 18 years of age, an approved adult will need to sign as your sponsor. If you do not have a sponsor, Proof of Insurance (SR22) is required.​​​​​​


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