A Guide to the Graduated steps to obtaining a Wisconsin Drivers License

March 29, 2018 - 8 minutes read

The number of accidents involving teen drivers is 16%. Because of this, Wisconsin, along with many additional states, employs a Graduated Driver’s License or GDL program in which teens must meet certain milestones before obtaining a full driver’s license. The GDL Program was created to allow novice drivers to gain knowledge and driving experience while under the supervision of an experienced mentor as they progress through these important learning stages.

Age Requirements:
Instructional Permit: 15 1/2 years old
Probationary License: 16 years old
Unrestricted License: 18 years old

Step #1 – Let’s start with the Wisconsin Instruction Permit.

If you’re at least 15 1/2 years old and enrolled in Driver’s Ed, you are eligible to get your instruction permit. Here’s what you need to do:

– Provide acceptable identification, including proof of name, birth date, Social Security number, and Wisconsin residency.
– Submit a completed Driver License Application (Form MV3001), signed by your driver’s education instructor and your parent, legal guardian, or other approved adult sponsor.
– Provide proof of enrollment in a high school, high school equivalency program, home-based private education program, or already have earned a high school diploma or equivalent and not be a habitual truant from school.
– Pass a vision test.
– Pass the knowledge and traffic sign tests.
– Pay the $35 instruction permit fee. DMV service centers accept cash, checks, debit cards, limited major credit cards.

Step #2 – Once you’re 16 years old, have had your instruction permit for 6 months, and have completed Driver’s Ed, it’s time to get your probationary license.

NOTE: You cannot have had any violations for the 6 months prior to applying. Here’s how to get your license:

– Complete the driver’s license application (Form MV3001) and have your parent or guardian sign it to accept responsibility for you.
– Provide acceptable identification with proof of name, date of birth, Social Security number, and residency.
– Submit a completed Wisconsin Graduated Driver Licensing Supervised Driving Log (Form HS-303).
–  Provide proof of enrollment in a school or technical program, or provide your diploma or GED.
– Pass a driving skills test.
– Pay the $28 fee for the probationary license. DMV service centers accept cash, checks, debit cards, limited major credit cards.

During this phase, you will need to adhere to the following restrictions for the first 9 months:

– You are not permitted to drive with more than 1 passenger except immediate family or another qualified adult.
– You may not drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless you’re driving between home, school, or work.

All restrictions will be extended if you violate them, are convicted of a moving traffic violation, or your license is revoked or suspended for any reason. You must hold your probationary driver’s license for 2 years, starting from the date of your next birthday; therefore, the earliest you can obtain your regular driver’s license is 18 years old.

Here are 5 Important Answers regarding your Teen’s Probationary Driver’s License

1. If I have a probationary license, how many of my friends can ride with me during daylight hours?

During the first nine months you have your probationary license, or until you turn 18, only one of your peers can ride with you from 5 a.m. until midnight. However, any number of your family members can also ride with you as can your spouse, a qualified instructor, or someone over 21 as long as they have a valid regular license and two years of licensed driving experience. After the restriction is removed from your license, there is no limit on how many friends can ride with you.

2. Can I drive alone and go wherever I want to go?

Yes, from 5 a.m. until midnight, you can drive alone and go anywhere you want.

3. Can I drive alone or go wherever I want between midnight and 5 a.m.?

During the first nine months you have your probationary license, or until you turn 18, if you are driving between home, school and/or work. If you are driving anywhere else, you must have one of the following with you:

– A parent or legal guardian
– A person who holds a valid regular license with two years licensed drive experience who is either a qualified instructor, a spouse age 19 or older, or a person age 21 or older.

After the restriction is removed from your license, you may drive wherever you wish any time during the day or night.

4. Who can ride with me at night?

From midnight to 5 a.m., unless you are driving between your home, school, or work, your parent/legal guardian or some other qualified licensed person must be with you. You can then also have any of your immediate family members, or one other person with you.

5. If I am under 18 years of age, do I need to have 30 hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience before I can get my probationary license?

Yes. Your parent, legal guardian or other sponsor will need to certify that you have had at least 30 hours of driving experience. Ten of the 30 hours must be spent driving during hours of darkness.

Step #3 – After you’ve held your probationary license through its renewal cycle and have turned 18 years old, you may obtain your regular driver’s license. 

You will need to visit your local DMV office and:
– Turn in your probationary license.
– Complete the driver’s license application (Form MV3001).
– Take a vision test.
– Pay the $28 renewal fee. DMV service centers accept cash, checks, debit cards, and select major credit cards.

If you or your teen driver has been injured in car accident, contact Jacobson, Schrinsky & Houck today at: 414-223-4444 or online at: www.jsh-law.com/contact-us

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