Renewing Your License in Wisconsin

Renew Your Driver's License in Wisconsin

When your WI driver's license expires, you need to renew your license with the Department of Transportation (DOT) Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

On this page you'll find information on how to renew your WI driver's license by mail and in person.

If you need to renew your WI commercial driver's license (CDL), please see our guide to Renew Your CDL in Wisconsin.

If you need to renew your ID card, please see our page on WI Identification Cards.

When to Renew Your WI Driver License

Your Wisconsin driver's license expires on your birthday. Depending on the type of WI driver's license you have, it will be valid for 2 years or 8 years:

  • Probationary Class D: 2 years.
  • Renewed driver's license: 8 years.

The Wisconsin DMV will mail you a renewal notice within 60 days before your driver's license expires.

If you are currently in Wisconsin, you can only renew your license in person. You cannot renew online or by mail.

If you are out of state and need to renew your WI driver's license, you can do so by mail. Please see the “By-Mail Renewal for Out-of-State WI Residents" section below.

Your renewal requirements will differ based on whether your license is:

  • Valid.
  • Expired.
  • Suspended.
  • Lost, damaged, or stolen.

NOTE: If you have lost or never received a renewal notice from the Wisconsin DMV, you can still renew your driver's license.

Valid Driver's License

If you hold a valid, unexpired WI driver license, you may renew it up to 1 year before the expiration date.

If you have a probationary Class D driver's license in Wisconsin, you may renew up to 90 days before it expires.

Expired Drivers License

If your Wisconsin driver license is expired, you can still renew, but you will have to pay the $5 late fee in addition to the renewal fee.

Suspended Driver License

If your driver license is suspended, you'll need to reinstate your driving privileges before you can renew.

Fore more information, please see our Suspended License in Wisconsin page.

Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Drivers License

If your WI driver's license is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can still renew it as long as you have other proof of identity (see the “In-Person Driver's License Renewal" section below).

Do not drive without a valid driver's license in Wisconsin. To request a replacement, please see our Replacing a Lost License in Wisconsin page.

How to Renew a Wisconsin Driver's License

Depending on your eligibility, you may be able to renew your driver's license in Wisconsin:

  • Online.
  • In person.
  • By Mail (Out-of-state residents only)

Online WI Driver's License Renewals

Wisconsin offers an interactive driver licensing guide that, depending on your circumstances, may be able to submit your renewal application to the DMV for you. Visit the interactive guide and click through the process to determine if you are eligible. Otherwise, follow the instructions for in-person renewals below.

In-Person Driver License Renewal

To renew your WI driver's license in person, visit your local WI DMV office and:

  • Complete a Wisconsin Driver License (DL) Application (Form MV3001).
  • Prove your name (if it has changed), with a document such as your:
    • Marriage certificate.
    • Divorce decree.
    • Court order.
  • Prove your legal U.S. presence (if you're a non-U.S. citizen).
  • Pay the $34 renewal fee with cash, check, or debit/credit card.

You should receive your new WI driver's license in the mail within 10 business days. The Wisconsin DMV will issue you a temporary license which is valid for 45 days, to use until you receive your new card. If you haven't received your renewed license, you can contact the WI DMV to check the status of your renewal.

If you want your renewed WI driver's license to comply with the REAL ID Act, see below.

Real ID-Compliant Driver License

If you want your Wisconsin driver's license to be compliant with the federal REAL ID Act, you will also need to prove your:

  • Name and birth date, with documents such as your:
    • Valid U.S. passport.
    • Birth certificate.
    • Permanent resident card.
  • U.S. citizenship or legal U.S. presence, such as your:
    • Naturalization certificate.
    • Citizenship certification.
    • Current foreign passport and I-94 card or number.
  • Social Security number (SSN), such as your:
    • Social Security card.
    • W-2 form.
    • Pay stub showing your name and full SSN.
  • Wisconsin residency, such as a:
    • Utility bill, issued in the last 90 days.
    • Bank statement, issued in the last 90 days.

All documents must be originals; photocopies will not be accepted. The WI Division of Motor Vehicles provides everything you need for acceptable REAL ID documents.

NOTE: There is no additional cost to receive a REAL ID Wisconsin driver license if you apply at the time of renewal.

License Renewals for Non-U.S. Citizens

If you are a non-U.S. citizen living in Wisconsin temporarily and want to obtain/renew a WI drivers license, you must provide proof of your legal presence in the U.S. that permits a stay of at least 1 year.

NOTE: You must have at least 6 months of your legal stay remaining to apply for a driver license.

Military & Out-of-State WI Residents

Wisconsin Military Members

Notice for Military Members Stationed in Germany

If you are currently stationed in Germany, please be aware that some states require you to have a valid U.S. driver's license in addition to your USAREUR license. Read our article for more information.

For active duty service members hailing from Wisconsin, your driver's license will NOT expire while you're deployed or stationed outside the state until EITHER:

  • 30 days after you return to Wisconsin
  • 90 days after your honorable discharge (whichever happens first).

To obtain this extension, have the DMV place a notation on your driving record by sending a signed statement that includes:

  • Your name and birth date.
  • Your permanent WI address.
  • A temporary mailing address.
  • An affirmation of your active duty status.

You can submit the above statement:

  • By fax to (608) 261-8201
  • By mail to:
    • Wisconsin Department of Transportation
    • Driver Eligibility Unit
    • P.O. Box 7995
    • P.O. Box 7995
    • Madison, WI 53707

A copy of your notated driving record will be sent to the temporary mailing address you provide, which you'll need to carry with your WI driver's license while you're out of state.

Should you choose to renew your driver's license while you're gone, follow the instructions for mail-in out-of-state renewals below.

By-Mail Renewal for Out-of-State Residents

If you will be out of state when your WI driver's license expires, you can renew by mail if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen.
  • Your Social Security number is on file with the Wisconsin DMV.
  • Your last renewal was completed in person.
  • Your license was not issued as “Valid without photo."

To renew by mail you will need:

  • A completed Wisconsin Driver License (DL) Application (Form MV3001).
    • Include your out-of-state address in the mailing address section.
  • To pass a vision exam in the last 90 days, and have your eye doctor complete the vision portion of the Wisconsin Driver License (DL) Application (Form MV3001) or a Certificate of Vision Examination by Competent Authority form (MV3030V).
  • To write a letter including:
    • The date you left Wisconsin.
    • The date you will return.
    • The reason you are out of state.
    • Your full name.
    • Your Wisconsin address.
    • Your out-of-state address.
    • Your phone number or email address.
  • Proof of your WI residency document, such as a photocopy of a:
    • Utility bill, issued in the last 90 days.
    • Bank statement, issued in the last 90 days.
  • A photocopy of your current WI drivers license.
  • A check for the $34 renewal fee payable to “Registration Fee Trust."

To send your documents to renew your WI driver's license by regular mail, send the above to:

Driver Eligibility Unit
P.O. Box 7995
Madison, WI 53707

To send your documents to renew you WI driver license by priority/overnight mail, send the above to:

Driver Eligibility Unit
4822 Madison Yards Way., Room 225
Madison, WI 53705

Your renewed license will be mailed to the address on your application by first class mail.


Driver License Application
DMV application for any class of an original, renewed, OR replacement Wisconsin driver's license OR instruction permit.
Certificate of Vision Examination by Competent Authority
The Wisconsin DMV's mandatory vision exam form for Class D, Class M, OR commercial driver's license. Must be completed by a medical professional.

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