How to Get a Wisconsin Driver’s License Reinstatement

A Wisconsin driver’s license reinstatement usually costs between $28 and $200, but the procedure can take weeks or years depending on the original offense.
Written by Mariza Morin
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Getting your
driver’s license reinstated requires paying the necessary reinstatement fee, filing for SR-22 insurance, paying any court fines, attending an education or treatment program, and taking the appropriate driver’s examinations. 
You could temporarily lose your driving privileges due to a license suspension, revocation, cancellation, disqualification, or denial in America’s Dairyland. Losing your driver’s license can be overwhelming—to say the least—but there are many ways to regain your driving privileges. 

Why you might need a license reinstatement in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT)
issues license suspensions and revocations for a wide range of offenses. Some of the most common reasons to lose your license include excessive moving violations, violating Wisconsin’s
operating while intoxicated (OWI) laws
, and driving without insurance. 
When your
Wisconsin driver’s license is suspended
, you will not automatically regain your driving privileges. Instead, in order to officially reinstate your license, you must prepare a letter with all your relevant information (name, DOB, and WI driver's license number), include your reinstatement fee, and send it to the Wisconsin DOT.
In some cases, you will need to provide proof of insurance or an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). In more severe cases, such as losing your license altogether, you will have to go through the whole application process and meet the
driver's license requirements
Not sure if you need a license reinstatement? You can check the status of your driver’s license through Wisconsin DOT’s
Reinstatement Eligibility Inquiry

How to get a license reinstatement in Wisconsin

There are several ways to get a suspended Wisconsin license reinstated, depending on the nature of the suspension. In most cases, you’ll need to send in some documentation along with a reinstatement fee that can range from $28 to $200.

Point suspensions

Like many states, Wisconsin has a strict driver’s license point system—meaning drivers receive demerit points for every moving violation.
  • The point values vary, but if you accrue 12 or more points within a 12-month period, your license will get suspended.
  • Suspension time varies based on the type of license you hold at the time of conviction.
If your license was suspended for point violations: You can apply for reinstatement after the suspension period has expired. You may be able to remove some points from your
driving record
by attending an approved
traffic safety course
. Additionally, you must pay a $60 reinstatement fee and a convenience fee of 2% to cover fees charged by debit or credit card companies.
Reinstate your driver’s license
or send your documents and fees to:
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
DMV Communication Center
P.O. Box 7983
Madison, WI 53707-7983


Unlike suspensions, in which your driving privileges are taken away for less than one year, license revocations can last more than one calendar year. This is required for more serious offenses, like driving while intoxicated. 
If convicted of an OWI and/or a PAC (Prohibited Alcohol Concentration), your license will be revoked and you will be required to complete an
of your alcohol and/or drug use and complete an education or treatment program, known as the Driver Safety Plan (DSP). 
Take note: The driver’s license IID restriction time period begins upon conviction and continues until one year after you have been issued a reinstated regular license or an occupational license. 
If your driver's license was revoked, you can apply for reinstatement after the expiration of the revocation period. Follow the same procedure as for a point suspension by completing and sending in the appropriate documents and fees to the Wisconsin DOT. However, the reinstatement fee for OWI-related revocations or suspensions is a whopping $200, and you may have additional fees depending on the circumstances. 
Lifetime revocation is also possible if you continuously violate Wisconsin’s OWI laws: At this stage, you may apply for reinstatement after 10 years if you meet the general requirements for reinstatement. Additionally, you must not be convicted of certain felonies or misdemeanors during this ten-year period, and you must complete an alcohol or drug assessment no more than 45 days before applying for reinstatement.
Key Takeaway In most cases, you can get your license reinstated by paying the necessary fees. More severe cases will call for SR-22 insurance and completion of an alcohol or drug assessment and the Driver Safety Plan. 

How to get an occupational license in Wisconsin

Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a serious offense in Wisconsin. But at the same time, it can be difficult getting around without a car. 
If you’re facing a Wisconsin license suspension, you may qualify for an occupational license. This way, you can maintain your employment, education, and other important life activities within certain restrictions.
In addition to work or school, an occupational license would also allow you to drive to and from
You cannot use an occupational license for recreational purposes, such as visiting friends and family or attending a social event.
Your total driving time will be limited to 12 hours per day (need not be consecutive hours), with 60 hours total for the week.

When can you apply for an occupational license?

You may be eligible to obtain an occupational license if your driving privileges were suspended or revoked under the following circumstances:
Some suspension/revocation cases require you to serve a mandatory waiting period. The waiting period depends on your driving history and the reason for your suspension/revocation. The waiting period for an occupational license is usually 15 days from the effective date of your suspension or revocation. 
For certain OWI violations, such as blood alcohol content (BAC) and first-time alcohol or drug convictions, you are immediately eligible to apply for an occupational license. However, after your first alcohol or drug conviction, the waiting period varies from 45 to 120 days—depending on the severity of your specific case. 
Please note: Habitual traffic offenders (HTO) or Repeat HTO (RHT) are eligible to petition the court after two years. 
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What is an SR-22 certificate?

If your Wisconsin license has been suspended or revoked, you may be required to file proof of insurance or financial responsibility in the form of an
SR-22 certificate
with the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 
You must obtain your SR-22 certificate through an insurance company licensed to do business in Wisconsin. The certificate proves that you have liability insurance in the amounts of at least: 
  • $25,000 for death
  • $50,000 for personal injury
  • $10,000 for property damage
To obtain an occupational license or reinstate your driver’s license after driving privileges were revoked, proof of insurance (SR-22) is necessary. Most insurance companies that file SR-22 certificates will do so electronically within one to two business days.

How to save money on car insurance in Wisconsin

When you’re dealing with a license suspension or filing for an SR-22 certificate, finding the best insurance rate is of the utmost importance. Every insurance company uses different criteria to calculate your premium, and it is well worth doing an exhaustive comparison of every offer on the market. But honestly—who has the time for all that research?
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