Auto Insurance in Wisconsin (WI)
If You Are Paying More Than $1,031.06 on Auto Insurance in Wisconsin, You Are Paying Too Much.
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Auto Insurance Industry in Wisconsin
- An average consumer pays $1,189.00 on auto insurance
- 143 of every 100,000 vehicles are reported stolen every year
- Accident fatality rate of 0.96%
- Of all accidents: 60% are road-way accidents, 23% are intersection accidents, and 12% of all accidents involve at least 1 truck.
Driving is risky behavior that may lead to devastating accidents. The result is staggering medical and property damage expenses that is typically the responsibility of the person who caused the accident. This is why every state, including Wisconsin, requires some type of financial responsibility proof for each driver.
Wisconsin's Minimum Requirements on Auto Insurance
The state of Wisconsin has two different ways for residents to establish financial responsibility while driving. Some residents may choose to make a $60,000 cash deposit or file a bond with the state’s Department of Transportation. Others choose to carry an auto liability insurance policy that includes the minimum standards set by the state.
If you choose the liability insurance option, your auto policy must include the following minimum insurance requirements per accident:
- $25,000 for physical injury or death to one person
- $50,000 for physical injury or death to more than one person
- $10,000 for property damage
Generally, you must file a SR-22 form with your insurance provider to prove that you have insurance. Subsequently, the insurance provider electronically notifies the state that you have adequate insurance coverage.
If you are involved in an automobile accident or pulled over for a traffic violation, you must show proof of insurance. The police officer may issue a citation that includes a $500 fine if you are unable to show proof of insurance. You also face suspension of your vehicle registration and driver’s license if you do not have insurance.
Typically Wisconsin’s DOT will conduct an investigation that requires steps you must follow before your license and registration are reinstated. This may include compliance with safety responsibility measures such as signing an installment agreement or making a security deposit to pay for damages after an accident. The state may also require reinstatement fees totaling $110.
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Consumer Car Licensing Information in Wisconsin
Driving legally in the state of Wisconsin requires having a Class D driver’s license. First-time drivers are required to carry a probationary license for two years before receiving the standard license. If you are 18 or older, driver’s education classes are not required before a license is issued.
However, there are several steps that vary for different types of drivers in the state. All applicants for a Class D driver’s license must complete a driver’s license application. First-time drivers must take written, traffic sign, vision screening and road skills driving tests to receive a driver’s license. New residents over 18 with a current out-of-state driver’s license are only required to take the vision screening test.
An appointment is not necessary for the written test, but is required for the driving test. Before going to a local Department of Motor Vehicles, make sure you have the following original documents. Please keep in mind that copies are not accepted.
- Proof of identity such as a passport, social security card or military ID
- Proof that you are a U.S. citizen
- Proof of your legal name and date of birth such as a birth certificate
- Proof that you are a Wisconsin resident, which can be a pay stub, utility bill or bank statement
A Wisconsin Class D driver’s license costs $28. The two-year probationary license is also $28.
Motorcycle Licensing Information in Wisconsin
If you are over 18 and have a valid Wisconsin driver’s license, you may apply for a Class M motorcycle license. You can apply for a motorcycle license at any DMV service center with the following information:
- A completed driver’s license application
- A valid social security card
- Successful completion of a vision screening test
The application includes medical-related questions that every applicant must answer. These questions are not optional if you want to receive a motorcycle license in Wisconsin. Additional information from your medical provider might be necessary based on your answers to the questions. Additionally, a written knowledge test, on-cycle test and highway signs test may also be required.
As a new resident to Wisconsin, you will need to surrender your out-of-state motorcycle license. The state requires proof of successful completion of a basic motorcycle training course before the on-cycle test is waived.
Advanced motorcycle training is also available in the state for residents who already have a motorcycle license. Generally, these advanced courses teach complex skills for driving a motorcycle. Completing advanced courses successfully could lower your insurance premiums.
The fee is $22 for the license and an additional $15 if you need to take the on-cycle skills test.
Commercial Vehicle Licensing Information in Wisconsin
Commercial driver’s licenses are available to Wisconsin residents that meet age and other requirements. Basically, you can receive an intrastate CDL if you are at least 18 years old. This type of CDL allows you to only drive commercial vehicles within the state. If you are at least 21 years old, you may receive an interstate CDL, which allows you to drive a commercial vehicle within Wisconsin and across state lines. You must also have a regular driver’s license for at least one year prior to applying.
If you are a new resident to Wisconsin with a CDL from another state, you may apply for a CDL transfer at a local DMV.
Wisconsin requires every CDL applicant to receive a medical clearance and have a valid social security number. Applicants must also pass a general written knowledge test, an eye examination and an on-road skills test. You will also need to pass written knowledge tests for every CDL endorsement needed. These may include school bus driver, hazardous materials transport or passenger vehicle.
The fee for a Wisconsin Class A, B or C CDL is $74 plus an additional prorated fee based on the expiration date of your Class D driver’s license. The school bus driver endorsement test is $5 and the hazardous materials endorsement is $44.
More Resources on Auto Insurance in Wisconsin
Department of Insurance
- 125 South Webster Street Madison, Wisconsin 53703-3474
- Phone (Madison): (608) 266-3585
- Phone (Statewide): (800) 236-8517
- TDD: 608-266-3586
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