Proving Residency in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, you can use anything from proof of insurance to an employee ID to prove residency as long as it has your full name and current address.
Written by Brian Hicks
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
You’ll need two documents to prove residency in
. Both documents must contain your full name and current address. Examples include utility bills, proof of insurance, or government-issued correspondence.
To get your Wisconsin driver’s license, you’ll need to prove both your permanent residency and identity. While a U.S. passport can be used to prove who you are, there are types of documents required to prove where you live.

What documents can be used as proof of residency in Wisconsin?

Whether you’re getting your
Wisconsin driver’s license
for the first time, updating to a REAL ID, or changing your address, Wisconsin requires that you provide two proofs of your permanent residency in the state. 
Some documents need to be originals, while others can be printed out from electronic sources. Any of the documents listed below must have both your name and permanent address to qualify.
Printed electronic copies are acceptable for the following documents:
  • Paycheck, stub, or earning statement with employer’s name and address
  • Utility bill for water, gas, electricity, or landline phone services, including cable or internet services
  • Mobile phone bill
  • Financial statements such as bank statements for checking, savings, money market or brokerage accounts, credit card statements, or auto, home, or personal loan statements
  • Valid Wisconsin hunting or fishing license
  • Medical billing statement from a doctor or hospital
  • Service welcome letters from banks, credit cards, or utilities
  • Auto, health, or life insurance documents such as welcome letters, billing statements, or explanation of benefits
Original documents are required for the following documents (photocopies will not be accepted):
  • Deed/title, mortgage, or rental/lease agreement (including landlord’s name) for a Wisconsin property
  • Government-issued correspondence or product issued from a federal, state, county, or city agency
  • Department of Corrections documentation (letters from probation/parole agents on official letterhead)
  • Report card, school transcript, or certified school record
  • College enrollment documentation (including acceptance letters, financial aid documentation, or tuition statement) or Form 2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status with a Wisconsin address
  • Photo ID card issued by a Wisconsin accredited university, college, or technical college that contains the photo and address of the student
  • Employee photo ID card issued by current employer
  • Tribal identification card
  • Wisconsin driver’s license or ID card (can be expired if it has the current address)
  • If under the age of 26, a parent or guardian can present their Wisconsin driver’s license or ID with an address matching the individual’s address
Remember: All of these proofs of residency must have your name and address on it to be accepted—and be sure to double-check whether an original or photocopy is acceptable. You’ll need to provide two of these to prove your Wisconsin residency.

What documents do not count as proof of Wisconsin residency?

The list of acceptable proofs for residency is extensive, but it doesn’t include every possible document that lists your personal information. 
To prove residency, the document must have both your name and address.
  • If it’s missing either of these, it won’t be accepted as a valid proof of residency
  • It must also be one of the documents on the lists above—even if you have a business card that has your full name and address on it, the state won't accept it
If you want to make sure that you don’t have to make multiple trips to the Department of Motor Vehicles, you may want to bring an extra proof from those listed above. This should ensure that at least two of your proofs will be accepted and your identification can be processed that much quicker.

What qualifies for proof of identity in Wisconsin?

To get your driver’s license, update it, or enhance it, you’ll need to prove both residency and identity.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of the acceptable proofs of identity in Wisconsin according to Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation:
  • A valid (or less than eight years expired) photo driver’s license or ID card issued by Wisconsin or other U.S. jurisdiction
  • A valid U.S. Passport or Passport Card
  • Military discharge papers (including a certified copy of federal form DD-214)
  • U.S. government and military dependent identification card
  • Marriage certificate or certified copy of judgment of divorce
  • Social Security card issued by the Social Security Administration
  • W-2 form including name, address, and Social Security Number
All of these documents must identify a person by name and bear their signature, a reproduction of their signature, or a photograph of the person. If there is any question about the validity of the document, there may be an additional review or rejection of the proof.

How to save money on Wisconsin car insurance

There are various reasons that you might need to prove your Wisconsin residency, like getting a new driver’s license, upgrading to a REAL ID, or just changing your permanent address.
We can’t help you search for your Social Security card or an old utility bill, but
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