Every Wisconsin driver will have to visit the DMV at one point or another to resolve matters relating to automobiles or identification. With its long lines and copious paperwork, the DMV may seem daunting, especially to novice drivers or new residents. However, with time, experience, and research, the process becomes a lot smoother, and you’ll find yourself preparing paperwork beforehand and breezing through all the steps. Applying for vehicle titles, renewing licenses, lifting suspensions, and taking the road skills test are just a few of the matters handled by the DMV, and it’s important to understand how it all works.
Locate Your Nearest Wisconsin DMV Branch
You can find the DMV office nearest you using the convenient online branch locator. It even allows you to search for the specific product or service you require, as policies vary among branches and not all of them offer every task. It is wise to contact a potential branch prior to your visit to inquire about operating hours and specific services. You don’t want to make a trip only to find it is either closed or does not provide what you need.
Make an Appointment for Your Road Test
Unfortunately, the only DMV-related services available for appointments are road tests, which are required for getting a drivers license. Road tests can be reserved, cancelled, or rescheduled via the Wisconsin DMV online reservation system. You may reserve a spot up to 11 weeks in advance. Be sure to bring all necessary documents to the exam. Drivers interested in commercial drivers licenses will need to take their test with a state-approved third party provider, not the DMV itself. Study well and get all the practice you need ahead of time so you pass on your first attempt.
Forms Essential for the Wisconsin DMV
Although paperwork can be an inconvenience, staying on top of forms for the Wisconsin DMV is the best way to avoid hassle and settle your issues efficiently. Showing up to the DMV without preparing the necessary forms can waste hours of time, which can also hold up the line for everyone else. If you take time to find out which forms are required for your particular case, you will have the chance to prepare any information you don’t have memorized, such as specific personal or vehicle records. Forms are available in the Wisconsin DMV library of forms, so print the ones you need to ensure a smooth and quick trip the next time you visit the DMV. Read about the most common applications at Forms.
Wisconsin’s Demerit Point System
Whenever you are convicted of a traffic violation, points are accrued on your driving record. Most states use this system to punish unsafe drivers and keep repeat offenders off the streets. In Wisconsin, points can remain active for 5 years from the date of conviction, and collecting more than 12 points within a year leads to license suspension for a minimum of 2 months. You can reduce 3 points by attending a traffic safety course, but you may only use this once every 3 years. Common violations include 6 points for eluding an officer, 4 points for failure to stop in the presence of a stopped school bus, and 3 points for following too closely. Consult the DMV website for a more detailed listing of the Wisconsin point system.
Get a Copy of Your Wisconsin Driving Record
Your driving record displays any resolved and outstanding citations, suspensions, demerit points, and other traffic convictions related to your driving history. Requesting a copy of your Wisconsin driving record is a foolproof way to know the current status of your drivers license and prevent future suspensions and other issues. Although you may believe your record is stable, it is easy to forget about your traffic violations if a lot of time has elapsed. Be aware that employers and insurance companies can view your record, so it is financially prudent to keep your driving history clean.