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Wisconsin Driver’s License & Registration for New Residents

New Wisconsin Resident? Apply for WI title & license plate now and take up to 60 days to transfer an out-of-state license. Here's how and the costs.
Wisconsin driver's license & registration guide for new residents

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❗️Quick Info: New Wisconsin Resident? Apply for WI title & license plate now and take up to 60 days to transfer an out-of-state license.

From the bustling streets of Milwaukee to the tranquil shores of Lake Superior, Wisconsin offers a diverse blend of experiences. As you make your new home amidst its scenic beauty and rich culture, the next step is to familiarize yourself with the legal driving requirements. This ensures a seamless transition into your Wisconsin life and solidifies your identity as a proud resident of this great state.

Process for Obtaining a License in Wisconsin

  • Start From Home: Use the Wisconsin DMV Interactive Driver License Guide or complete the Wisconsin Driver License Application before heading to the DMV.
  • Visit a License Office: To make your residency official, head to one of the Driver License offices within 60 days of becoming a resident.
  • Documentation: You’ll need your out-of-state driver’s license (which will be surrendered), proof of identity, social security card, and two proofs of Wisconsin residency.
  • Eye Examination: An essential step, a vision test is mandatory for all new applicants. Bring your corrective lenses if required.
  • Cost: A regular (class D) driver’s license will set you back $34. Expect to pay slightly more when upgrading to a REAL ID.

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Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

After obtaining your Wisconsin driver’s license, it’s time to complete your title and registration.

  • Start Online: If you have your title, you can apply online for a Wisconsin title and license plate. For leased vehicles or those with a lienholder, start your application online before heading to your local Wisconsin DMV (printable MV1 application).
  • Visit the DMV: Head to the nearest DMV service center with all necessary documents:
    • The Original Certificate of Title issued to you (not a photocopy)
    • Driver’s license/identification card as proof of identity
  • Emissions Testing: The need for emissions testing can vary. It’s recommended to verify from the Wisconsin DMV.
  • Cost: Between license platevehicle titlecounter service, and other fees, expect to spend between $275 to $400 depending on your vehicle’s engine type (hybrids and electric vehicles carry extra fees).

Emissions Testing

Vehicles in Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Washington, and Waukesha require emissions testing. But don’t stress; emissions can be completed up to 45 days after completing your registration.

Minimum liability coverage amounts

To drive in Wisconsin, your liability insurance must meet the minimum standards of:

  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person
  • $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person

Conclusion

Getting your Wisconsin license plate is an essential step in joining the vibrant community of the Badger State. It’s more than just a piece of metal; it symbolizes your commitment to your new home and community. From enjoying the thrill of a Green Bay Packers game to indulging in the state’s famous cheeses, your Wisconsin plate will be with you every step of the way. Welcome to Wisconsin, and here’s to the journeys ahead!

About The Author

Travis French

Travis French

On a 750-mile trek across 4 states, I felt the void: good info on places to live was missing. So, I started gathering. Today, I'm still searching for my perfect place alongside you and adding each bit of helpful information I discover along the way. —Writer, Home Advisor, & Owner of First&Sold. NVRED Lic #S.0182305

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