Teen drivers (ages 15-17)

Information and resources for teen driversInformation and resources for parents of teen drivers

These are the steps teens (ages 15-17) should follow to qualify for a Wisconsin driver license:

In order to apply for an Instruction Permit (temps), teens must complete Class D Knowledge Test and Signs Test. Do the following:

After passing your Knowledge Tests, you can apply for your Instruction Permit (temps) to begin practicing your driving skills.

What to expect at the DMV

  • You will have your photo taken
  • You will need to pass a vision test
  • You will leave the DMV Service Center with your driving receipt and your Instruction Permit (Temps) will arrive by mail within 10 days
    • You will be able to drive with your driving receipt
    • Instruction Permit (temps) will be valid for 18 months but can be renewed if additional time is needed to practice or complete the requirements necessary to get a probationary license

Restrictions of the Instruction Permit (temps)

A driver with an instruction permit may only drive when accompanied by a person who:

  • Has at least two years driving experience
  • Holds a valid, regular license (not a probationary or occupational license)
  • 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

Note: See the Parents Supervised Driving Program guide for step-by-step lessons to use during the supervised driving period.

Graduated Driver License (GDL) and teen driving requirements FAQs

Teen drivers can take a road test to get a Probationary Driver License.

The fee for EACH driving skills test (road test) is $15 whether you pass or fail. You will also be charged $15 for each appointment cancelled with less than 24-hour notice and each failure to appear for a scheduled road test.

You may schedule your road test if you:

  • Are at least 16 years old
  • Have held your Instruction Permit (Temps) for at least six months
  • Have no violations within the past six months
  • Have at least 50 hours of driving practice with parent or guardian (10 of the 50 hours must be at night)
  • Will have completed Driver Education (both classroom and behind-the-wheel) and the course completion is on file with the DMV by the date of your road test. (Your school will submit your course completion electronically to the DMV)

If you cannot keep your road test appointment:

  • You need to reschedule or cancel at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment
    • If you do not cancel your appointment at least 24 hours in advance or you do not show up for the road test, you will be charged $15 for the missed test.
    • You will not be eligible to retest for at least 7 days, depending upon appointment availability
  • You can reschedule or cancel, access the online system by clicking ‘START NOW’ below to look for another appointment. Your current appointment will not be canceled until you confirm your new appointment.

Visit the road test page for more information.

If you are having trouble scheduling a road test appointment in your preferred area, new appointment slots are added daily. Please return to the website to review what new opportunities may be available for scheduling.

This service may not be available Sundays from 6 a.m.–9 a.m. due to regular system maintenance.

After passing your road test, you can change your Instruction Permit and apply for your Probationary Driver License.

  • Complete Wisconsin Driver License Application (MV3001)
  • Be enrolled in a school program or high school equivalency program and are not a habitual truant or have graduated from high school graduation equivalency or are enrolled in a home-based private education program
  • Pay the necessary fees
  • You will leave the DMV Service Center with your driving receipt and your Probationary License will arrive by mail within 10 days
  • You will be able to drive with your driving receipt

If your road test is scheduled outside of service centers hours, you will not be able to get your probationary license immediately after passing. You will either have to return to the DMV when it’s open or apply online 24 hours after passing. Check the DMV customer service centers for a complete listing of the days and times when our offices are open to the public.

Restrictions of the probationary license

Drivers between 16 - 18 years old have additional restrictions on their probationary license. These restrictions can also be called Graduated Driver License (GDL) restrictions.

Drivers under 18 have the following GDL restrictions during the first nine months or until they turn 18 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 one of 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, or
  • One person with a valid, regular license with two years of licensed driving experience and who is:
    • a qualified instructor, or
    • a 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

Graduated Driver License (GDL) and teen driving requirements FAQs

All Wisconsin drivers under 18 years of age need sponsorship when issued an instruction permit (temps) or probationary license.

Envelope Email Wisconsin DMV email service

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