Occupational License

(en español)

An occupational license is a restricted driver license that may be available to you if your privilege to operate a motor vehicle is suspended or revoked. An occupational license enables you to maintain your employment and household. Unlike a regular license, an occupational license limits when, where and what type of vehicle you may drive (343.10(1)(a) Wis. Stats).

Important: You must have a SR22 Certificate (proof of insurance) on file with the DMV to qualify for an occupational license.

Check your eligibility for an occupational license

With an occupational license, you may drive:

  • to and from work
  • to and from school, college or university
  • to and from places that you need to visit to maintain your household, "Homemaker duties," such as:
    • grocery store, gas station
    • transporting children to and from school or day care
    • pharmacy, bank
    • laundromat
    • dependent/minor child visitation
  • to and from your place of worship
  • to attend to necessary family needs such as medical appointments
  • to the agency where you are completing your Intoxicated Driver Program (IDP) assessment and Driver Safety Plan (DSP)

You may not use an occupational license for:

  • recreational purposes such as
    • visiting family or friends
    • attending a social or sporting event
  • operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CDL)

Hours you may drive

Your occupational license will state the specific hours you are permitted to operate a motor vehicle.

Your total driving time is limited to:

  • 12 hours driving per day (need not be consecutive hours)
  • 60 hours total driving for the week

Your occupational license will limit where you may drive:

  • Specific Wisconsin counties in which you need to drive
  • Other states in which you need to drive
    • If you list another state on your occupational license, you will need to check with the state to make sure you can legally drive in that state with a Wisconsin occupational license.

If you operate a motor vehicle outside the specified hours or for a purpose not listed on the occupational license, you can be cited for operating after suspension or revocation.

Wisconsin residents may be eligible to obtain an Occupational License if your operating privilege was revoked or suspended under the following circumstances:

Check your eligibility for an Occupational License if your license has been suspended or revoked.

An Occupational License cannot be issued:

  • If you are not a Wisconsin resident.
  • If you are a juvenile who committed offenses under Ch. 938 Wis. Stats.
  • If you are suspended for failing to pay a forfeiture (such as a traffic ticket or municipal citation).
  • If your license has been canceled (rather than revoked or suspended).
  • If you have never held a driver license.
  • If you are currently eligible to reinstate your driver license.
  • If you have two or more revocation or suspension cases from separate incidents in a one-year period.
  • If you have not served all mandatory waiting periods for an Occupational License.
  • For a commercial driver license (CDL).
  • If you are permanently revoked under 2017 Wisconsin Act 172.

Some revocation/suspension cases require that you serve a mandatory waiting period before you are eligible for an Occupational License. The waiting period begins on the effective date of your revocation/suspension case.

If you have multiple revocation/suspension cases, you must serve all waiting periods. The waiting period(s) may vary depending on your previous driving history and the reason for the current revocation/suspension.

For revocation or suspension violations not listed in this chart, your waiting period is 15 days.

Wisconsin operating while intoxicated (OWI) type violations (on or after July 1, 2010):
Blood alcohol content (BAC)eligible immediately
Alcohol convictions
Firsteligible immediately
Second or moreafter 45 days
Drug convictions
Firsteligible immediately
Secondafter 60 days
Third or more after 90 days
Causing injury while intoxicated under s.346.63(2) with no prior OWI offence or refusalafter 60 days
Causing injury while intoxicated under Section 346.63(2) Wis. Stats. with prior OWI offence or chemical test refusal* (see chart)after 60 days
Negligent homicide under Section 940.09 Wis. Stats. * or great bodily harm under Section 940.25 Wis. Stats. *after 120 days

Implied Consent refusals:

Firstafter 30 days
Second*after 90 days
Third or more*

after 120 days

Miscellaneous violations

Demerit pointseligible immediately
Underage alcohol operationeligible immediately
Habitual traffic offender (HTO) or Repeat HTO (RHT) under Ch. 351 Wis. Stats.eligible to petition the court after two (2) years
Nonpayment of child supporteligible immediately

*Note: If you have two of the starred violations within any five-year period, the wait time is one year.

  1. Check your eligibility
  2. Complete the Application for Occupational Operator License form MV3027. On this form, list:
    • the counties or states in which you will be driving
    • the time(s) of day you will be driving
    • your occupation and employer
    • other occupational uses, such as church, homemaker duties, student and emergency service provider
    • participation in a Driver Safety Plan
  3. Complete the Wisconsin Driver License application form MV3001
    • If you are under 18 years old, a sponsor signature is required
  4. Complete any required tests, including vision screening
  5. Provide proof of your identity
  6. Provide proof of legal presence in the United States
  7. Provide SR-22 Certificate (proof of insurance)
  8. Pay the nonrefundable application fee
  9. Submit the above at a DMV Customer Service Center and, for the greatest likelihood of same-day service, plan to arrive at least two hours before the center is scheduled to close. Once processed, you will be issued a receipt that is valid for driving; the card will be mailed to you.


If the court has ordered you to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), review how to obtain an IID (see above). Once an IID is installed, information will be electronically transmitted to the DMV. Wait at least one business day after installation before visiting the DMV for an occupational driver license. Your eligibility can be checked online prior to your visit.

  • An IID is required in every vehicle titled and registered to you, unless exempted by the court.
  • An IID is not required on motorcycles, mopeds, or autocycles.

You may be allowed to operate outside the hours listed on your occupational license if you are:

  • employed by a unit of government
  • providing services to a unit of government
  • employed by a public utility or medical services provider

and the work you are doing involves providing essential life-sustaining emergency services to the public.

If you are driving outside the times listed on your occupational license, you must be providing life-sustaining services during an emergency. Emergency operation during unlisted hours is only allowed to and from home, work and any emergency site.

An emergency service provider must list less than 60 hours for non-emergency operation to allow for driving time during an emergency. Total hours of operation for both emergency (unlisted) and non-emergency (listed) cannot exceed 12 hours per day and 60 hours per week.

An emergency services provider may be required by law enforcement to verify hours of operation and prove that they were, or are currently, providing essential life sustaining services.

If you are denied an occupational license because you have:

  • Three OWI convictions within five years
  • 24 or more demerit points within one year

You may petition the circuit court in your county of residence for an occupational license if all required waiting periods have been met.

Your petition to the court must include:

  • A copy of your driver record. Obtain a copy
  • The occupational license denial letter you received from the DMV
  • A completed Wisconsin Driver License Application form MV3001
  • A completed Application for Occupational Operator License form MV3027
  • The required occupational license issuance fee

If the court grants your request for an occupational license, take the court order to a DMV Customer Service Center.

Important: Filing a petition with the court and paying court fees does not guarantee issuance of an occupational license. If you were denied an occupational license because you have two or more revocation or suspension cases from separate incidents within a one-year period, petitioning the court will have no impact on eligibility. Under these circumstances, even if you petition the court and the court grants your petition for an occupational license, DMV will continue to deny its issuance in accordance with state law (see 343.10(2) Wis. Stats.)

Your occupational license will be issued if you meet all other eligibility requirements.

To make any changes

You will need to reapply for the license at a DMV customer service center and:

If your current occupational license was issued after petitioning the circuit court in your county of residence after a denial, the court must approve any changes.

If you are changing your occupational license only to accommodate travel to complete your Driver Safety Plan and you did not list Driver Safety Plan as one of the purposes on your current occupational license, the occupational license issuance fee will be waived.

To replace a lost card or change your name or address

You will need to get a duplicate (replacement) occupational license:


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