All Wisconsin driver’s licenses have expiration dates. When the license expires, you need to renew it with the Division of Motor Vehicles. The DMV is responsible for the record keeping and updating of all driver’s licenses across the state. You can renew your drivers license in person at your local DMV office.
When to Renew Your License
If you have a Wisconsin license, it will expire on your birthday. Licenses are either valid for two or eight years, depending on the type of license you have. Probationary Class D licenses are valid for only two years, while renewed driver’s licenses are valid for eight.
You’ll be mailed a notice of renewal within the sixty day period preceding your license expiration. If you’re currently in the state, you will only be able to renew your license in person. Online and mail options are not available to you. However, if you’re currently outside the state, there is an option to renew your license through the mail.
Even if you don’t receive a renewal notice, you can still renew your license. The renewal requirements will vary depending on whether your license is valid, suspended, expired, or lost.
For valid licenses, you can renew up to one year before the current expiration date. If your license is a probationary Class D license, you can renew in the ninety-day period before the current expiration date.
If your license is expired, you can renew it, but you’ll need to pay a late fee of $5.
If your license is suspended, you’ll have to fulfill your reinstatement requirements before you can renew.
If your license is lost or damaged, it’s still possible to renew it as long as you can provide a second proof of identification. You shouldn’t drive without a license; if you lose your license prior to its expiration, you need to order a replacement.
How to Renew Your License Online
The Wisconsin DMV’s website has an interactive licensing guide which you may be able to use to renew your license. You’ll have to meet certain eligibility requirements to do so. If you don’t meet those requirements, and you are currently in the state, you’ll need to renew in person.
How to Renew Your License In-Person
In-person renewal must be done at your local DMV office. You’ll need to bring the following documentation with you:
- A complete Wisconsin Driver License Application
- If your name has changed, proof of your name such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree
- If you aren’t a United States citizen, proof of your lawful presence such as your visa
- Payment for the $34 license renewal fee
Payment can be made through check, cash, or a debit or credit card. The new driver’s license should arrive in the mail within ten business days. You’ll be issued a temporary license from the DMV which will be valid for 45 days.
How to Renew Your License by Mail
You can only renew through the mail if you are an out-of-state WI resident. You must be a U.S. citizen, and your last renewal must have been completed in person. To renew by mail, you’ll have to submit the following documentation:
- A complete Driver License Application including your out-of-state mailing address
- Proof of passing a vision test within the last 90 days by having your eyedoctor complete the vision portion of the application
- A letter including your name, Wisconsin address, out-of-state address, the dates you left and plan to return, the reason you’re out of state, and your contact information
- Proof of WI residencies such as a bank statement or utility bill
- A photocopy of your driver’s license
- A check payable to “Registration Fee Trust” for the $34 renewal fee