Wisconsin Driving Record

Wisconsin driving records are under the authority of the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a branch managed by the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT). A driving record in WI contains personal information about the motorist in addition to facts relating to his or her state-issued license. A Wisconsin DMV driving record is a summary of the subject’s ability to follow local driving laws, adhere to jurisdiction mandates and, in some cases, it is a testament to his or her driving aptitude.


1: Order Your Wisconsin Driving Record Online

The most convenient way to order driving records in Wisconsin is to submit your request online through a trustworthy provider. Online driving record orders can be completed in minutes, with digital records delivered instantly. Wisconsin driving history reports that are obtained online will include the following details: driving demerit points, past violation convictions (like DUIs), driver’s license restrictions and endorsements, driver’s license status and any applicable administrative actions. Click here to order a copy of your WI driving record today. 

2: By mail

Mail-in driving record applications are also available for Wisconsin residents who need to gain access to their personal driving history. However, this order method is less convenient, because it involves a lengthy processing time. Mail requests also require drivers to visit a local post office for delivery. To get WI driving records by mail, fill out a Department of Transportation (DOT) Driver Record Information Request form and submit it (with payment in the form of a check or money order) to the address listed on the application. Fulfillments are often delayed if incorrect or incomplete information is provided, so make sure to complete the application accurately.

3: Via a DOT Office

Ordering WI driving records in person is the most cost-effective option available. This is not the most convenient request method, as you will have to pay a visit to a local DOT office. To obtain Wisconsin driving records in person, you may have to endure long wait times and unreliable customer service. Furthermore, it is recommended that all drivers considering the in-person application method contact the DOT office in advance to make sure it fulfills driving history report requests.


Since motorists are not the only applicants who can check driving records, it is important for drivers to verify the contents of their DMV file. In fact, a number of eligible petitioners who know how to check your driving record may do so for a variety of reasons. The material within your personal driving record can affect you financially, legally and professionally. Given that a DMV record search can produce several types of WI driving abstracts, petitioners should be aware of the available information on and legitimacy of each variety. Additionally, DMV driving abstract applicants must be aware of which report types are available through specific methods. In fact, when looking at the WI driving record request form many license history applicants become confused, as the document is an application for both driver and vehicle records. Find out how to get a copy of your driving record in Wisconsin by reviewing the topics below:

  • What is on my Wisconsin driving record?
  • Why do I need a copy of my Wisconsin driving record?
  • How do I get my Wisconsin driving record?
  • What do points on my Wisconsin driving record mean?
  • What are the different types of driving records in Wisconsin?
  • What is not included on Wisconsin driving records?

What is on my Wisconsin driving record?

Wisconsin driving abstracts are a summary of the subject’s driver license history. A copy of driving records will list all entries that pertain to the state authorizing an individual to operate a motor vehicle on public roads. An individual’s personal driving history commences when he or she applies for a driving permit as a resident of the state. Seasoned Wisconsin drivers know the state implements a gradual licensing process that starts with an instruction permit then probationary license and then regular license. A complete driving record will note when the motorist progressed through the three-tier accreditation. The driving abstract will also state any past license suspensions or revocations in addition to the current regular or CDL status of the motorist’s license and permission to drive legally. A driver license check will also state any restrictions, endorsements and other specifics for special license classes like medical requirements and driving with a seasoned motorist.

WI Driving records contain personal information found on the motorist’s license card like his or her full name, gender, date of birth and current address. Driver history abstracts may have an ‘Additional Customer Information’ section that provides data such as whether the motorist is deceased, has moved to another state, fulfills his or her insurance requirements, goes by any other known aliases or abides by any eligible exemptions to new laws.

DMV license checks also list accidents and driving violations the motorist incurred even from other states. Each entry will state the violation dates, court findings, demerit points for the charge and subsequent conviction date. Auto accidents will include the accident file number if the collision occurred in Wisconsin. Most accidents and infractions expire from your driving record after five years. However, serious offenses and alcohol-related driving convictions remain on driving abstracts for 55 years.

Why do I need a copy of my Wisconsin driving record?

Checking driving records is similar to monitoring credit scores. Your DMV driving history should be an accurate reflection of your actions and events. If after getting a copy of driving records you notice an incorrect entry, you should appeal to authorities immediately. To illustrate, if a violation on your abstract driving record says you were speeding more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, but your ticket was actually issued because you failed to dim your lights, you will receive more demerit points and may lose authorization to drive. One of the most common reasons for a driving record lookup in Wisconsin is to check for total accrued demerit points, since too many within a specific time will result in suspension of driving privileges.

Your personal driving history influences your auto insurance premium since providers consider the risk to cover enrollees. A motorist with criminal driving violations will have a much higher rate than a driver with a clean record. What is a clean record? A clean driving record is void of accidents and infractions. After removing points from driving records, motorists can submit their driving record to their insurance provider to request a lower rate.

Clearing driving records is also beneficial for employment opportunities. Commercial driver license (CDL) holders know what is considered a clean driving record since businesses in the industry often order driving records of current and potential employees. However, driving records searches are not exclusive to CDL drivers. Other positions that require driving typically also require a DMV license check, such as valet attendants, delivery and ride-share drivers. Additionally, some companies may ask for a driving record release form if they issue a company car.

How do I get my Wisconsin driving record?

Wisconsin driving record checks are available through a number of methods. Applicants can order driving records online, in person or by mail. The easiest way to check drivers license status in WI is by applying online through a trusted third-party provider, like DMV.com. To order driving record online, petitioners must simply provide a few pieces of personal information, such as driver’s license number, date of birth and the last four digits of their Social Security Number. A printable driving record will be sent to the requestor within minutes of the application submission. Online driving records in Wisconsin will provide details about the motorist’s license status, license endorsements, license restrictions, past violations, demerit points and administrative actions.

Motorists who need a certified copy of driving records can make a request in person or by mail. However, petitioners cannot obtain driving records at all DMV services centers, as some offices only provide limited services. Likewise, open hours and days of operation vary at each location. Applicants can locate their nearest DMV service center and call in advance to verify driving record services. Petitioners can also fill out the request for driving record form before visiting a nearby service center.

For motorists who need a certified copy of driving records but cannot apply in person, they can mail in their MV2896 application form with the required fees to the driver records office in Madison.

What do points on my Wisconsin driving record mean?

After getting driving records, you may notice demerit points on the same line as each conviction. A point on driving records occurs when officials convict a motorist of a moving traffic violation. Motorists with bad driving records are susceptible to license suspensions and revocations, as part of the state’s driving demerit system. When a driver accumulates 12 or more points within 12 months, the Department of Transportation suspends his or her license. The length of the suspension is influenced by the number of points accumulated as well as the type of license or permit the driver carries. Motorists with a probationary license or permit who receive 12 to 30 points will have a six-month suspension, while those who accrue more than 30 points will have a one-year suspension. CDL and regular driver license holders are subject to the following:

  • Two month suspension for 12 to 16 points
  • Four month suspension for 17 to 22 points
  • Six month suspension for 23 to 30 points
  • One year suspension for 30 or more points

The number of points added to the drivers license record varies by the severity of the infraction. Points for violations range between zero and six, the latter number reserved for serious convictions. For instance, a motorist may receive a ticket for not having a working license plate light but will not have points added to his or her driving history. Motorists convicted of speeding 20 or more miles per hour over the limit will earn six points onto their license. Similarly, there are demerit points for violations specific to regular, commercial and motorcycle licenses.

Those curious about how to remove points from driving records have two options. DOT ceases to count points from convictions towards the cumulative total 12 months after the violation date. Motorists are eligible to remove points from driving records by taking a traffic safety course. By taking a defensive driving course in WI, drivers are able to remove three points from their driving record. However, this reduction is only available once in a three-year period.  

What are the different types of driving records in Wisconsin?

When completing a driving record request, you may notice that there are multiple options available. Both non-certified and certified drivers records can be purchased, and the timeframes they cover will vary. Applicants can request:

  • A 3 year driving record.
  • A 5 year driving record.
  • A 7 year driving record.
  • A lifetime driving record.

The lifetime driving record is a comprehensive report of all entries pertinent to a specific record-holder in the DMV file. It includes the data found in the shorter length records in addition to any time before the last seven years. This complete driving record type is common for CDL holders, employers and anyone who needs to furnish their entire driving history. CDL applicants, holders and other employable drivers typically must get copy of driving records that list their full driving history to supply to authorizing officials and potential employers. As mentioned above, a full driving record is only available by mail or in select DMV service centers.

Three, five and seven year driving records may be certified or uncertified. While the information on certified and uncertified driving records rarely differs, the credibility is the determining factor between the record types. Uncertified documents are less expensive and faster to order but do not fulfill legal requirements. Certified records have higher fees and may require additional documentation for eligibility and confidentiality reasons.

What is not included on Wisconsin driving records?

After checking drivers license status on a newly ordered report, some motorists may not find the information they require. Although the MVR form in Wisconsin allows petitioners to ask for both a vehicle and a driver’s record, each request should be separate. A motor vehicle report in Wisconsin can provide applicants with comprehensive data about an automobile. The VIN history of a vehicle is very similar to the license history of a motorist. It will present information about the automobile from its manufacturing to present day. This information can include:

  • Number of owners
  • Title information (ex. salvaged)
  • Odometer readings
  • Recall and lemon information
  • Known accidents
  • Vehicle usage (livery, law enforcement, etc)

After incurring a criminal traffic offense, some motorists believe that their WI driving record will provide comprehensive information about the incident. While the license history will note the offense, such as a DUI, it will not state all known facts. Interested parties must seek out car accident statements or DUI arrest records for a complete understanding of any given incident. Employers who see a driving conviction on a driving record may opt to request arrest records. Background checks can provide an individuals’ criminal history, credit score, financial obligations and other relevant data. CDL holders may be subject to both a background check and driver history request when applying for a position at a new company. Even property owners may run a background check for potential tenants when applying for a rental unit.