Wisconsin Car Insurance

Auto Insurance Coverage in WI—The Basics

Throughout its history, Wisconsin has been a leader in the nation when it comes to transportation. It's no wonder the Wisconsin state motto is "Forward." One of the world's first self-propelled vehicles—a steam-powered buggy—was invented by Dr. J.W. Carhart of Racine in 1871. In 1918, Wisconsin became the first state to establish a numbered highway system, and in 1958, it was the first state to complete construction of its primary Interstate routes. But whenever and however you drive in Wisconsin, you'll need the proper auto insurance to cover you and your vehicle in case of an accident. You can get a Wisconsin car insurance quote online.

Required Wisconsin Auto Insurance Coverage

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $10,000 per accident
  • Medical payments: $1,000 per person*
  • Uninsured motorist: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

*Note: Medical payments coverage can be rejected in writing.

Wisconsin Graduated Licensing Program for Teen Drivers

The two levels of the Wisconsin Graduated Licensing Program are the Learner's Permit (or Instruction Permit) and the Probationary Driver's License.

Learner's Permit

The minimum age to apply for a Learner's Permit in Wisconsin is 15 years and six months. Applicants must be enrolled in or have completed a driver's education course. They must also have an adult sponsor who accepts liability for any and all driving actions of the minor. Adult sponsors can be a parent or legal guardian, or if one is not available, a grandparent, aunt or uncle, sibling over 18, spouse over 18, or foster parent. Applicants will be required to pass a sign and knowledge test and a vision screening prior to being issued a permit.

Permit holders may only drive while accompanied in the front seat by a driving instructor, parent, legal guardian, or spouse over age 19 who has at least two years of driving experience, or a licensed driver age 21 or older who has written authorization from a parent or legal guardian. If driving at night, the accompanying adult must be at least 25 years old with two years of driving experience.

Probationary Driver's License

Wisconsin residents under age 18 are eligible to obtain a probationary license if they are at least 16 years old, have passed a driver's education course, have held a permit for at least six months, and have completed the required 30 hours of driving practice, 10 of which must be at night. The applicant will be required to pass a driving skills test before being issued their probationary license.

While probationary licensees are allowed to drive unsupervised, they are only allowed one passenger other than immediate family or a qualified adult driver. They are not allowed to drive between midnight and 5:00 AM unless they are traveling between home and school or work or accompanied by a parent, guardian, driving instructor or other licensed driver age 21 or older. These passenger and driving hour restrictions apply until the driver turns 18. The probationary license expires two years from the applicant's next birthday.

Wisconsin Registration Information

New to Wisconsin? Register your vehicle.

You will need proof that you own the vehicle.

  • The vehicle title or registration card from your previous state of residence is acceptable proof.
  • If you submit your registration card as proof of ownership, Wisconsin law still requires a title fee. If you later submit a title to DMV, a Wisconsin title will be issued at no additional charge.
  • If you have owned your vehicle for less than 90 days, you will need to bring proof of sales tax paid to your former state of residence.

You will need to verify the identification number.

  • You will need to verify the identification number on the vehicle against the identification number shown on the title or certificate of registration when filling out the Wisconsin application for title and registration.

You must complete the MV1 application.

  • You may submit the MV1 application, along with the title or registration card and appropriate fees, by mail or at any DMV service center.
  • If you submit your title when you apply for Wisconsin license plates, you will be issued a Wisconsin title.
  • If you submit only a registration card with your application, you will be issued Wisconsin license plates and a registration card, which will allow you to operate the vehicle legally, but the registration card is not good for selling the vehicle.