Wisconsin License Renewal: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Division of Motor Vehicles sends a renewal notice about 2-months before your license is about to expire. The notice includes information about your license status and which methods of renewal are available.

You have 1 year to renew a valid Wisconsin license before expiration. Those with a probationary Class D license can renew up to 90 days before its expiration. Those waiting beyond its expiration can expect to pay an additional $5 late fee.

You can renew a Wisconsin license via:

  • In-person
  • Mail

This guide helps you understand what you’ll do during the WI driver’s license renewal steps. You’ll learn the documents, fees, and other requirements to get your license through the various methods.

How to Renew Your WI Driver’s License

Renewals are available to those with valid driver’s licenses.

You may need to apply for a WI license if you’ve allowed your license to lapse or have gone through the process of reinstating it because of a suspension or revocation. The renewal notice will detail everything you need to know about your renewal availability.

Here are the steps and requirements for each of the available renewal methods.

In-person Renewal

Consider making an appointment with your local WI DMV and then do the following when there:

  1. Complete a Wisconsin Driver License Application (MV3001)
  2. Provide proof of identification
    1. If changing your name: Marriage or divorce certificate, court order
  3. Provide proof of U.S. residency
  4. Pay the $34 renewal fee

Congratulations! You’ve successfully renewed your WI license by visiting one of the many DMV locations. You’re now free to legally drive on the roads again until it comes time to renew.

Those wanting to upgrade their license into a REAL ID license will provide extra proof of identification, U.S. citizen certificates, social security number, and WI residency documents. The REAL ID comes at no extra cost during the renewal process.

Mail Renewal

Mail renewal is available to those out-of-state when their license expires. You can renew by mail if you’re a U.S. citizen, did your last registration in-person, have an SSN on file, and the license is not marked “valid without photo”. Pass these requirements and do the following:

  1. Complete a Wisconsin Driver License (DL) Application (MV3001)
  2. Pass a vision exam
    1. 90 days prior
    2. Signed by an eye doctor or they complete the MV3030V form
  3. Include information about:
    1. Date of leaving/returning to WI
    2. Reason for leaving
    3. Identification
    4. Residency
    5. Out-of-state address
    6. Contact information (phone or email)
  4. Provide proof of WI residency
  5. Provide a copy of your WI license
  6. Write a $34 check for the renewal fee
    1. Address to: Registration Fee Trust

You will send this information to:

WisDOT

Driver Eligibility Unit

P.O. Box 7995

Madison, WI 53707

Or, can have it expedited by sending it to:

WisDOT

Driver Eligibility Unit

4822 Madison Yards Way., Room 225

Madison, WI 53705

WI Driver’s License Renewal Periods

The length of your renewal depends on the license type:

  • Driver’s license: 8 years
  • Probationary Class D: 2 years

These requirements vary if you have a suspended license. Or, if it’s been expired or needs a replacement because of it being lost, damaged, or stolen.

Find a Wisconsin License Office

Need answers to your questions about renewing your WI license? Or, want to do the renewal process in-person? Use our WI DMV Directory to find the nearest licensing office near you!