Wisconsin Driving Record

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In Wisconsin, your driving record is a detailed history of your time on the road—you can buy a certified copy from Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation for $12, but only by mail or in person, not online. 
Your driving record can impact your life in many ways both on and off the road, including your car insurance rates. This is why it is imperative to get in touch with Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation (DOT) if you suspect there is an error or an issue with your driving record.
Below, the car insurance broker and comparison shopping app Jerry has put together everything you need to know about your Wisconsin driving record, including how to access it, how much it will cost you, and how this public document can impact your life.

What is a driving record?

Your driving record is a document detailing your personal information and driving history, for as long as you’ve been licensed to drive. All states have their own slightly different versions of residents’ driving records, but most of them contain information about the following:
  • Accidents
  • Collisions
  • Tickets
  • License suspensions

How do I access my driving record in Wisconsin?

You can get a certified copy of your Wisconsin driving record for $12 by mail or in person, but not online. You can also get an uncertified copy for $7, as well as access an online driving record abstract for $5.
To request a copy by mail:
Driver Records
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 7995
Madison, WI 53707-7995
To request a copy in-person:

Requesting a driving record for someone else

Requests for another person’s driving record can only be done in person or by mail. There is no online option.
To request the Wisconsin driving record of another person, you’ll need to do the following:
  • Attach a written consent document signed by the person whose driving record you are requesting
  • Pay the fee: 
  • $12 for a certified copy, $7 for an uncertified copy
  • Bring the above documents and fees to a DMV office or mail to:
Driver Records
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 7995
Madison, WI 53707-7995

Where else can I find my driving record in Wisconsin?

You can request a Wisconsin driving record from an insurance carrier or from an online third-party vendor, but you will likely pay more than you would by purchasing the record from Wisconsin’s DMV.

Car insurance agents

When you apply for a car insurance policy, the provider has access to your driving record. If you ask for a copy of it, they will likely hand one over. However, this will not be considered an official or certified copy of your Wisconsin driving record.

Online third-party vendors

You can also request a copy of your driving record from an online third-party vendor if you're in a hurry. Be sure to ask if the vendor has access to a certified copy of your driving record, as well as if the copy they have access to is up to date—it might not be.

What is on my record?

Your Wisconsin driving record contains the following information:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Wisconsin driver’s license number
  • Any former names you have had
  • The date and description of any past traffic incidents you have had
  • Any convictions
  • Any driver’s license restrictions
  • Any suspensions, revocations, or cancellations of your license
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Wisconsin points system

Wisconsin has a points system for varying levels of driving infractions. Commercial drivers can face more severe penalties than regular drivers.
In Wisconsin, most violations and accidents remain on your record for five years. Serious offenses can stay on your record for much longer, and an OWI conviction remains on your record permanently. 
The full list of points violations can be found on the Wisconsin State Legislature website, but here are some of the most common points violations in the state:
2 points:
  • Obstructing traffic
  • Driving too slowly
  • Driving with a defective speedometer
3 points:
  • Making a turn without a signal
  • Making illegal turns
  • Driving without a valid Wisconsin driver’s license
  • Driving more than 10 mph over the posted speed limit
  • Following another vehicle too closely
4 points:
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Driving 10 to 20 mph faster than the posted speed limit
  • Failing to yield to an emergency vehicle
  • Driving too fast for weather or road conditions
6 points:
  • Leaving the scene of an accident that you are involved in
  • Eluding police
  • Operating while intoxicated (OWI)
  • Reckless or careless driving
  • Driving more than 20 mph faster than the posted speed limit
  • Failing to stop at a rail crossing
For a six-point offense, you may be required to attend traffic court.
You can enroll in a traffic safety course in order to have three demerit points removed from your driving record. This can also help you avoid a suspension if you have 12 to 14 points.
You can only take Wisconsin's traffic safety course once every three years.

How can my driving record affect me?

Any driving infractions you commit can affect your driving privileges, as well as other parts of your life. If your driving record is full of demerit points, you could suffer when it comes to your insurance premiums, your credit rating can be indirectly affected, and you may find it more difficult to find a job.

Your insurance premium

The more points on your record, insurers will view you as high-risk, and raise your rates accordingly. Drivers with spotty driving records pay significantly higher insurance premiums than do drivers with clean records.

Your ability to drive

In The Badger State, your license will be suspended if you amass 12 points within a one-year period. Here are more specific lengths of suspension depending on the type of license you carry.
Probationary license or instruction permit:
  • 12 to 30 points—6 month suspension
  • 30+ points—1 year suspension
Regular or commercial license:
  • 12 to 16 points—2 month suspension
  • 17 to 22 points—4 month suspension
  • 23 to 30 points—6 month suspension
  • 30+ points—1 year suspension

Your credit rating

Your credit rating won’t be directly affected by your driving record. However, it can be affected in an indirect manner. If you rack up multiple tickets and driving fines and then don’t pay them, you’re asking for trouble. If a municipality or state doesn’t collect the money it is owed, it can send a collection agency after you, and your credit rating will definitely take a hit.

Your job prospects

If you’re looking for a job with a driving component, your driving record will need to be in tip-top shape. Otherwise, most employers will avoid any potential drivers with poor driving records.
Key Takeaway Your driving record can significantly affect your finances, transportation, and employment prospects. Keep your record as clean as possible.

What is the difference between driving records in each state?

Your driving record is tied to the state where you reside. If you're a Wisconsin resident, your driving record will be in Packer-land.
But make no mistake—this does not mean you’ll get away with committing a violation in another state.
Most U.S. states are signatories to what is called the Driver License Compact (DLC), an agreement that facilitates the sharing of information between states regarding license suspensions and traffic offenses. 
Wisconsin is one of five states that is not a signatory to this agreement, but Wisconsin can still share information with other states through other agreements. In other words, that massive speeding ticket you got in Texas will very likely still appear on your Wisconsin driving record.
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