Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.
Wisconsin knowledge tests
A knowledge test is required for:
- New drivers getting their first instruction permit.
- New Wisconsin residents with a license from a foreign country.
- New Wisconsin residents with an out-of-state license expired more than eight years.
- Drivers wanting to add a new class and/or endorsement to their existing driver license.
- Renewal of a school bus (S) and/or hazardous materials (H) endorsement.
- Drivers renewing their Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) may be required to re-take knowledge exams, depending on how many times they have renewed their CLP. Re-testing is required every other time a CLP is renewed (not counting the original issuance). This includes knowledge tests for any classes and endorsements on the CLP.
- Drivers with a Wisconsin license expired more than eight years.
Automated knowledge testing system
Knowledge tests administered at most Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) service centers are given on a computerized system. The system uses touch screens and provides instant feedback about whether an answer is correct or not. In situations where multiple tests are required, the system will automatically advance to the next test in the session. For those with limited reading proficiency all tests can be administered with an audio assist option. (An examiner will add the audio assist option upon request.)
DMV administered tests and languages available
All tests administered by DMV are offered on the automated system:
- Class D (auto and light trucks)
- Commercial driver license (CDL) classes and endorsements
- Commercial driving school instructor
- Farm service CDL
- Motor vehicle salesperson
- Signs test
Currently, the Class D and signs tests are available in:
With the exception of hazmat and school bus, CDL tests are available in:
The motorcycle test is offered in:
Limitations on number of tests one can take
You are only allowed to take the same test five times within a one-year period. If you do not pass the required test(s) in five attempts, you must get special permission from DMV staff prior to taking the test again. Before you are granted special permission, you will need to show what you have done since your last attempt to improve your ability to succeed on your next attempt. (e.g. you received additional instruction or tutoring.)
Recommended time to allow for testing
Knowledge tests for Class D (regular license) and Class M (motorcycle license) each take about 45 minutes to complete. The tests are conducted on a walk-in basis. No appointment is necessary. CDL knowledge tests take at least one to one and a half hours. Allow enough time to complete tests prior to when the DMV service center is scheduled to close.
Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service
Call: (608) 266-2353
Last modified: October 7, 2014
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