University of Wisconsin–Madison

DRIVER’S LICENSE

 

Wisconsin Driver’s License or Identification Card

United States driver’s license requirements vary by state.

For Wisconsin, always check www.wisconsindmv.gov for the most accurate information.

 

  • If you already have a driver’s license from your home country, please review the following:

    If you are an international student from one of certain eligible countries who has a valid driver’s license from your home country, you may be able to drive with your home country driver’s license for up to one year.
    Check the following link to see if your country qualifies:
    http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/dmv/license-drvs/how-to-apply/foreign.aspx 

    The Department of Motor Vehicles advises you to obtain an International Driving Permit in your native
    country prior to arrival in the U.S. or attach an English translation to your foreign driver license.

    After one year, you must obtain a Wisconsin driver’s license.

    Individuals from South Korea, France, and Germany can take advantage of foreign driver license reciprocity.

     

  • Wisconsin driver’s license: how to apply

    Minimum stay requirement:  You must have an I-20/DS-2019 that is valid for at least one year and has at least six (6) months’ time remaining to apply for a driver’s license.
    Use this interactive Driver License/ID Guide to learn how to apply:
    https://app.wi.gov/DLGuides/ 

    If you provide the appropriate documents, you will need to pass knowledge, vision, and sign tests  and pay the fees.
    Required documents for a driver’s license application:

    • Form MV 3001 
       – You are considered a “Temporary Visitor”
    • Passport
    • I-20 or DS-2019
    • I-94 record (get your record here: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov)
    • Additional proof of identification, such as your Wiscard
    • Social Security card (SSN) or Certificate of Non-eligibility for SSN
       – Check your eligibility for an SSN 
    • Proof of Wisconsin residency such as a copy of your utility bill, a bank statement from a Wisconsin bank, or the original of your rental agreement
       – Check full details here
  • Wisconsin Identification card: how to apply

    Minimum stay requirement:  You must have an I-20/DS-2019 that is valid for at least six (6) months and has at least three (3) months’ time remaining to apply for a Wisconsin identification card.
    Use this interactive Driver License/ID Guide to learn how to apply. 

    Required documents for an identification card:

    • Form MV 3004 
       – You are considered a “Temporary Visitor”
    • Passport
    • I-20 or DS-2019
    • I-94 record (get your record here: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov)
    • Additional proof of identification, such as your Wiscard
    • Social Security card (SSN) or Certificate of Non-eligibility for SSN
       – Check your eligibility for an SSN 
    • Proof of Wisconsin residency such as a copy of your utility bill, a bank statement from a Wisconsin bank, or the original of your rental agreement
       – Check full details here
     
  • DMV location and contact information

    Madison West service center (Dane County)
    4802 Sheboygan Avenue
    Madison, WI 53705
    General driver license of ID card questions: (608) 264-7447

    Other contact information for DMV:

    http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/about-wisdot/contact-us/dmv-contact.aspx

    http://www.wisconsindmv.gov/

  • Auto Insurance

    Make sure you have appropriate auto insurance. Check www.wisconsindmv.gov for more information.

  • Parking on campus

    Parking on campus is extremely limited. Students are discouraged from driving to campus. See Transportation Services for full details.

  • Winter Driving in Wisconsin

    The following section is excerpted from the Motorist’s Handbook from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation October 2016 edition, page 40.  
    Each year about 30 snowstorms drop about 50 inches of snow in Wisconsin. Winter driving calls for special techniques.

    Winter Driving Safety Tips
    • First is worst. In the first storm of the season, most drivers have forgotten their safe winter driving skills. They’ll drive too fast and try to stop too quickly.  Go slowly. Increase following distances. Drive defensively. Relearn your skills.
    • Go slowly. Drive well below the posted speed limit. Posted limits are intended for summer months on dry pavement. Avoid sudden, sharp turns. Use light braking by gently pumping the brakes.
    • Plan ahead. Plan on trips taking extra time. Leave earlier. Consider an alternate route. STAY HOME if conditions are too bad.
    • Use your head, use your feet. Never use cruise control on slippery roads.
    • Lighten up. Turn on your headlights. To prevent glare, avoid using your high beams during a night storm.
    • Wear your seatbelts.
    • Give snowplows room. Snowplows are wide. They often need to operate very close to the center line. Sometimes they throw up clouds of snow, which affects your vision. Slow down and give them as much room as possible. On roads with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or more, the law requires drivers to stay at least 200 feet behind a snowplow when its red or amber lights are on.