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.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and ISS have partnered to create a brief video tutorial outlining the processes of obtaining a driver’s license or Wisconsin State ID, and how to register and insure vehicles in Wisconsin. Click below to view the video. With questions, please contact the resources listed at the end of the video for assistance.

 

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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, Germany, and Taiwan (Republic of China) 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.