Your First-Time Wisconsin Drivers License Guide

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: September 6, 2023

All new drivers under the age of 18 must complete a driver education course in order to obtain a Wisconsin driver license. This course is a requirement of the graduated drivers license process mandated by the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles.

Drivers ed is a great way to expose teens to proper driving skills and attitudes through classroom study and behind the wheel experience.

How to Get Going in Drivers Ed Wisconsin

Before taking a drivers ed Wisconsin course, a new driver will first have to acquire a Wisconsin instruction permit. To apply for this permit, you must meet the following requirements:

While you certainly could prepare for the knowledge and road signs tests by studying the Wisconsin driver handbook, you could save a lot of time by taking advantage of a Wisconsin permit practice test. A permit practice test uses actual questions taken from DMV exams so that you may see exactly what you will be up against when you go into take your test.

After you have received your instruction permit, you will have 60 days to begin the behind the wheel portion of your driver training.

What You Will Learn in Wisconsin Drivers Ed

An approved Wisconsin drivers ed course is divided into classroom and behind the wheel instruction.
The classroom portion of the instruction is a minimum of 30 hours in length and will cover topics like:

The in-car portion of Wisconsin drivers ed is a minimum of 12 hours with six hours spent behind the wheel and six hours spent observing other drivers.

Getting Your License after Driver Education Wisconsin

After you have completed your driver education Wisconsin course, it’s time to get in some practice driving before you apply for your probationary license. You will need to drive a minimum of 30 hours supervised by a licensed adult and 10 of these hours must be completed after dark. By the way, you can use hours spent driving with your driving instructor. You can count as many as five hours spent in the car with your instructor, and they will be credited as 10 hours against your total.

Once you have completed your 30 hours of practice driving, you may apply for your probationary license if you also meet the following criteria:

If you have fulfilled all of these requirements, you can contact the Wisconsin DMV to schedule a road skills test and, after passing that, you’ll be on your way.