Teen license requirements and GDL restrictions

​Requirements to get an instruction permit for an applicant under age 18

  • Be at least 15 ½ years old
  • Have completed or be enrolled in an approved behind-the-wheel​ driver education course which begins within 60 days of the date y​our driver education instructor certifies your driver license application
  • Have your adult sponsor sign the driver license application
  • Present proof of:
  • Pass the knowledge test, highway signs test and vision screening

Restrictions of the instruction permit

A driver with an instruction permit may only drive when accompanied by a person with two years driving experience who holds a valid, regular license (not a probationary or occupational license) and who sits in the front passenger seat and is one of the following:

  • A qualified instructor 19 years old or older​. Up to three other people may ride in the vehicle if it is equipped with dual controls.
  • A parent, legal guardian or spouse 19 years old or older. Immediate family members may ride in the back seat.
  • A person 21 or older. This person must be designated in writing by a parent or legal guardian prior to accompanying a driver under age 18.
Helpful note: See the Parents Supervised Driving Program guide for step-by-step lessons to use during the supervised driving period.

Requirements to get a probationary license for an applicant under age 18

  • Hold the instruction permit for a minimum of six months before applying for a probationary license
  • Be violation free in the six months prior to applying for the probationary license
  • Accumulate a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience, 10 of which must be driving experience at night. For convenience, use the Road Ready Mobile App or print off a driving log sheet to track your hours of supervised driving.
  • Present proof of completion of an approved driver-education training course
  • Have your parent or adult sponsor certify on the driver application the completion of 30 hours of driving experience (10 at night)
  • Pass a road test unless eligible for the road test waiver
  • Pay required fees

Restrictions of the probationary license

A Graduated Driver License (GDL) is designed to help keep novice drivers (ages 15 1/2 to age 18) out of high-risk driving situations, such as driving at night or with multiple peer passengers, while giving them the opportunity to develop their driving skills in lower-risk situations.

Drivers under 18 have the following GDL restrictions during the first nine months after obtaining a probationary license.

From 5 a.m. to midnight, you can drive alone and go anywhere. Any number of immediate family members can ride along as well as the following people:

  • One person who holds a valid, regular license with at least two years of licensed driving experience and who is:
    • a qualified instructor or spouse 19 or older, or
    • a person 21 or older
  • One other person
​​From midnight to 5 a.m., you can drive alone only IF driving between home, school and/or work. The same people listed immediately above can ride along, too.

If driving anywhere else, one of the following people must be seated in the front passenger seat:
  • A parent or legal guardian
  • One person with a valid, regular license with two years of licensed driving experience and who is:
    • a qualified instructor or spouse 19 or older, or
    • a person 21 or older.
  • In addition, any number of the driver’s immediate family members and one other person may ride along.
Restrictions will be extended six months if:

  • You are convicted of a moving traffic violation, or
  • You violate any of the restrictions, or
  • Your license is suspended or revoked for any reason​

Additional information


​Email Wisconsin DMV email service​​​
Phone (608) 264-7447
Fax (608) 267-3812