Utility permits

Helicopter over work area

Policy | Apply for permit | DT1553 | Work zones (NEW) | Utility permit contacts 
Subscribe for updates | Utility relocation contacts| Wisconsin law

Utility permits are required to construct, operate or maintain a utility facility on state trunk highway (STH) right-of-way. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Gas/oil
  • Electric
  • Telecommunications, including CATV
  • Cellular
  • Fiber optics
  • Water, including permanent irrigation lines
  • Storm sewers not related to highway drainage
  • Sanitary sewers, including permanent animal waste pipes
  • Private facilities (non-public use/ownership)

WisDOT has a comprehensive Utility Accommodation Policy (UAP) that regulates the construction, operation and maintenance of utility facilities on all highways under WisDOT's jurisdiction. The UAP details the requirements necessary to obtain a permit. Once approved, the permit remains in effect as long as the facility is operated and maintained according to permit conditions and the UAP.

Utility Accommodation Policy

The UAP is part of the Highway Maintenance Manual (HMM) and its format resembles other WisDOT documents such as the Facilities Development Manual and Construction Materials Manual. This should allow for easier web searches involving all WisDOT manuals.

The HMM format places the UAP under Chapter 9, Right of Way Use & Permits, Section 15, Utility Accommodation. A complete list and links to all of the procedures is available at:

Revisions to individual procedures are also listed at this site.

Apply for a utility permit

Fill out form DT1553 and submit it along with the appropriate plans, drawings or other details to the transportation region office responsible for the county where the utility project will be located. For faster permit application processing, submit all materials electronically via email, or for larger files, a file transfer protocol (FTP) or Box site. If you do not have access to an FTP or Box site, WisDOT can provide one. Submit the permit form as a Word document with an electronic (typed) signature instead of scanning it. Supporting materials should be in PDF format. The application and supporting materials may be submitted by regular mail. If this is done, the application cannot be filled out in pencil.

Joint utility installations are allowed and encouraged especially in urban corridors with limited right-of-way or where many utility installations exist. When joint installations are planned, either underground in the same trench or aboveground sharing pole space, each utility owner must submit its own permit application.

Form DT1553

Form DT1553, Application/permit to construct, operate and maintain utility facilities on highway right-of-way, is available by clicking on either link below. If you need instructions on how to fill out the form, choose DT1553i. If you need a Word 97-2003 version of the form, contact the region office.

Work zone requirements and training (NEW)

See the main State ROW permits page for information on these topics.


 Direct questions regarding specific permit issues or requests to the transportation region office.
The link contains a map of the state with region boundaries and office contacts.

For questions on WisDOT's Utility Accommodation Policy or the application form, contact:

Bob Fasick
Wisconsin DOT
Bureau of Highway Maintenance
4822 Madison Yards Way, 5th Floor South
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 266-3438

Subscribe to Utility Accommodation Policy email list

Sign up to receive email notifications when the Utility Accommodation Policy or form DT1553 is updated along with information regarding other related documents.



Utility relocations on highway projects

Direct questions regarding the relocation of utility facilities associated with highway improvement projects to one of the utility coordinators in the transportation region office responsible for the project. These projects may or may not require a WisDOT utility permit.

Direct questions on WisDOT's utility coordination guide to:

Wisconsin DOT
Bureau of Technical Services
Utility Coordination Section
4822 Madison Yards Way, 5th Floor South
Madison, WI 53705

Associated Wisconsin law

Visit the links below for Wisconsin law associated with utilities and permitting on state right of way.