New to Wisconsin

SUMMARY: New Wisconsin Residents

When you move to Wisconsin, you'll need to transfer your out-of-state driver's license, and register your car with the DMV. You'll need to visit your local DMV office in person with various documents and payment for the fees. If you want to vote in WI or become an organ donor, you'll need to register first.

This page will help you get all the information you need to complete your tasks with the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Wisconsin State Departments

The Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the main licensing and motor vehicle agency you will interact with as you establish residency in your new state. They are responsible for such tasks as:

  • Vehicle registration and titling.
  • Driver's license or state ID card issuance.
  • Driving examinations.
  • Motor vehicle history reports.

Should you have a boat you wish to register in Wisconsin, you'll do so with the WI Department of Natural Resources (DNR). If you choose to register to vote and participate in Wisconsin elections, the Government Accountability Board is responsible for overseeing these processes.

WI Driver's License/ID Card

If you have an out-of-state driver's license, you'll need to have it transferred at your local WI DMV office within 60 days of becoming a Wisconsin resident. You'll need to surrender your current driver's license, pass the vision exam, and pay the driver's licensing fee. Visit our Applying for a New License page to check if you need to provide any other documentation.

Teen Drivers

If you're a teenager, you will be eligible for a WI driver's license once you've met all the requirements of the state's graduated driver's licensing (GDL) program. For more details, check out our Applying for a Teen License page.

If you need a commercial driver's license (CDL), follow the instructions on our Applying for a New CDL page.

Identification Cards

If you're a new resident and you don't plan on driving in Wisconsin, you can apply for an identification card instead of a driver's license. You'll need to visit a WI DMV office in person and provide some documents to verify your identity. For more information, including fees, visit our Identification Cards page.

Register Your Car in Wisconsin

When you establish residency in Wisconsin you'll need to register your vehicle with the DMV. For more information about this process, please refer to our Car Registration in Wisconsin page.

If you're the owner of an off-road vehicle, moped, recreational vehicle (RV), or other special vehicle, you'll also need to register it with the WI DMV, but the process may be a little different. You'll find all the important details on our guide to Other Vehicle Registrations.

Car Insurance

Now that you're changing states, this is a great opportunity to compare auto insurance quotes. Make sure you're getting the best value possible by visiting our Wisconsin Car Insurance center.

Required Emissions Inspections

In most cases, if your vehicle was manufactured after 1996, you'll need to undergo an emissions inspection; however, some vehicles are exempt from this requirement. For more information, please refer to our page on Car Inspections in Wisconsin.

Organ Donor & Voter Registration

Did you know that there are thousands of people on the organ donor waiting list in Wisconsin alone? Learn more about the topic or register today by visiting our Organ Donation in Wisconsin page. Remember, even if you were on the organ donor registry in your previous state, you'll need to re-register with the Wisconsin registry.

If you want to vote in Wisconsin, it's required that you register to vote here first. Our Voter Registration in Wisconsin page tell you where and how to do it.

Military Members Stationed in Wisconsin

Are you aware that active-duty military personnel are exempt from many state-imposed requirements for driver's licensing and vehicle registration? You'll find a lot more armed forces information on our Military Drivers in Wisconsin page.

DMV Offices & Resources

Need to find your local DMV? Our DMV Office Finder will help you locate any DMV office in the state.

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