Free Auto Insurance Comparison
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Mar 25, 2020
We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
|Wisconsin State Statistics|
|Miles of Roadway||115,212|
|Most Popular Vehicle||Silverado 1500|
|Uninsured % / Underinsured %||14.3%|
|Total Driving Related Deaths||Speeding: 180|
|Full Coverage Average Premiums||Liability: $374.37|
Wisconsin has two state nicknames: the “Badger State” and “America’s Dairyland”. Wisconsin is the 20th most populated state in the United States, is bordered by two Great Lakes (Superior and Michigan), and leads the nation in cheese production.
When it comes to researching car insurance, a lot of the information you might seem a little cheesy.
This comprehensive and definitive guide to car insurance in your state drains the whey and leaves only the tasty cheese curds of what you need to know about car insurance.
We will talk about car insurance coverage, the top car insurance companies, car insurance laws, rules of the road and more.
But before you get started, how about saving some money on car insurance? Start today by entering your ZIP code.
Wisconsin Car Insurance Coverage and Rates
When it comes to car coverage and rates, it may be a pain to figure out what is the minimum coverage, or how much insurance you need.
Well, you are in luck, because the following sections explain just that and take the guesswork out of things for you.
Wisconsin Car Culture
The overall driving culture in Wisconsin is one of friendliness. Drivers tend to, for the most part, be courteous and polite on the road. You may find yourself being waved over and let into a turn lane or be allowed to go before the person behind you.
When it comes to the car culture in Wisconsin, it is treated with reverence. Wisconsinites LOVE their cars. Not only was Wisconsin home to automobile manufacturers in the early days of cars, but also is the place of the creation of the most recognizable motorcycle brand on the planet: the Harley Davidson.
Wisconsinites are proud that their state is the birthplace of the Harley, and welcome fellow Harley and motorcycle riders to Wisconsin with open arms.
Their love for cars and motorcycles is shown at any one of the numerous festivals held in the state throughout the year. Every town in Wisconsin has its own festival for whatever hobby you can think of, and every festival seems to have some kind of car show or parade.
So if you have a love of cars, Wisconsin might be the state for you.
Wisconsin Minimum Coverage
Driving without insurance in Wisconsin is not a good idea.
Not only will you receive a $500 fine for driving without insurance, but it is also illegal to drive without it the state of Wisconsin.
When it comes to which states have the highest and lowest amount of people insured, an organization known as the Insurance Information Institute came up with a list of top 10 states where the highest and lowest percentage of the population were insured, along with where the others stay fell in terms of how many people are insured.
Wisconsin ranks number 15 on the list of the lowest amount of the population insured, with 14.4 percent of the population uninsured and driving without insurance. You need insurance to protect you and those who are in the car with you.
At the minimum, you will need liability insurance. Liability insurance covers you if you are in an accident and there is bodily injuries or property damage.
When it comes to when insurance covers you and the other driver if you are in an accident, Wisconsin is an at-fault state. This means that if you are at-fault in an accident, you are responsible for paying for any property or personal damage.
The mandatory amount of insurance a driver must carry in Wisconsin is as follows:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person.
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident.
- $10,000 for property damage per accident.
This minimum liability coverage is known as 25/50/10.
If you own a motorcycle, you are required to get the same amount of coverage as you would for a car.
Also, uninsured motorist coverage is required in Wisconsin, due to a large amount of the population being uninsured. As said by the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance:
“This kind of coverage applies to bodily injury you, your family, and other occupants of your vehicle incur when hit by an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver. It also covers you and your family if injured as a pedestrian when struck by an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver.”
If stopped by a police officer, you must show your proof of insurance. Wisconsin is a state that allows you to show electronic proof of insurance. For this, you are allowed to show the officer a digital card through your insurance app on your phone, if offered by your insurance company. Double-check with your insurance company to see if they offer this service.
Something to know: If you have insurance but cannot provide proof of it, the maximum fine you will have to pay is $10.
Required Forms of Financial Responsibility in Wisconsin
The easiest form of financial responsibility is to have car insurance (at least the minimum amount required).
Other things can also serve as proof of financial responsibility, such as a cash bond from an insurance company or deposit of $60,000 posted with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
Premiums as Percentage of Income in Wisconsin
After we get paid, hopefully, we have a little bit of leftover money after we put money toward our bills.
The leftover money is called disposable personal income, the money that you can put toward your wants.
Disposable personal income is the amount of money you have left to spend after you have taken care of your necessary expenses and after paying your taxes.
Over the course of three years, from 2012 to 2014, Wisconsin in terms of annual disposable income had a range between $37,000 to $39,000. This is about in the range of the countrywide average of $39,000 to $40,000 from the years 2012-2014.
But the good news for Wisconsinites: it looks like the unemployment rate is falling, with an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent as of 2017. Low unemployment means more people working, which means more money to spend.
American Consumer Credit Counseling advises that if you can, save 20 percent of every paycheck. Use the calculator above to find out how much disposable personal income you would have each month, and then times that amount by 20 percent to know how much you would need to save.
|Core Coverage in Wisconsin|
The above table illustrates data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on the average insurance costs in Wisconsin as of the year 2015.
The national average insurance costs are as follows:
- Liability: $516.39
- Collision: $299.73
- Comprehensive: $138.87
- Full Coverage: $954.99
Wisconsin runs behind the national average, even if only by a few dollars, in all four categories.
Remember that Wisconsin has minimum requirements for insurance coverage.
If at all possible, experts suggest purchasing more than the minimum liability amount of 25/50/10.
The data in the table below is from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and current as of 2015. It shows the average costs of additional liability loss ratios in Wisconsin.
|Additional Liability Coverage in Wisconsin||Loss Ratio|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage||67.21|
|% of uninsured and rank||14.3% (15)|
A loss ratio means the percentage of claims an insurance company is paying out. If the loss ratio is over 100 percent, the company is losing money. If the loss ratio is too low, the company is not paying claims.
The national average for Med Pay is 74.05 and for 67.33 for Uninsured/Underinsured. Wisconsin seems to be running right in line with the national average.
Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders
If you want to add additional coverage to your insurance policy, good news.
There are powerful and cheap extras you can add to your insurance policy.
Here’s a list of useful coverage available to you in Wisconsin:
- Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
- Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
- Rental Reimbursement
- Emergency Roadside Assistance
- Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
- Non-Owner Car Insurance
- Modified Car Insurance Coverage
- Classic Car Insurance
- Pay-as-You-Drive or Usage-Based Insurance
– Wisconsin Automobile Insurance Plan
While there is no government-mandated low-cost auto insurance plan in Wisconsin, make sure to check with your insurance provider to see if they offer any kind of discounts. Most auto insurance companies will offer such things as good-driver discounts, senior citizen discounts, student discounts, and military discounts.
Free Auto Insurance Comparison
Compare quotes from the top auto insurance companies and save!
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
Demographic Rates – Male vs. Female vs. Age
Men pay more than women for car insurance.
That seems to be the myth that is going around.
Let us look at the data and see if this myth holds true for the state of Wisconsin.
|Company||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||Married 60-year old male||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male|
|American Family Ins||$958.90||$1,002.57||$907.25||$914.15||$2,844.04||$3,134.61||$1,135.28||$1,209.31|
|Mid-Century Ins Co||$1,914.63||$1,915.25||$1,697.53||$1,797.98||$9,058.32||$9,384.83||$2,174.00||$2,277.36|
|SAFECO Ins Co of IL||$1,770.81||$1,933.28||$1,431.26||$1,626.57||$5,989.99||$6,720.07||$1,882.36||$2,040.80|
|Artisan and Truckers Casualty||$1,760.63||$1,676.02||$1,442.61||$1,504.23||$6,692.88||$7,551.66||$2,112.73||$2,290.54|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$1,345.30||$1,345.30||$1,195.81||$1,195.81||$3,833.87||$4,845.21||$1,516.77||$1,732.41|
It seems like, from the data, no matter your age and whether you are married or single, you will be paying a bit more for car insurance.
The companies with exceptions to the rule are State Farm (married 35-year-old and married 60-year-old males pay the same amount as females), Artisan and Truckers Casualty (35-year-old married males pay a little less than females), and USAA (married 35-year-old males pay a few dollars less than females).
All Zip Codes – Cheapest Rates by Zip Code
There are 793 zip codes in the state of Wisconsin. However, we are just going to go over the top cheapest and most expensive zip codes.
|Cheapest ZIP Codes in Wisconsin||City||Average by ZIP Codes||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|54311||GREEN BAY||$2,510.86||Nationwide||$4,176.89||Farmers||$3,349.88||American Family||$1,428.76||GEICO||$1,670.01|
|53085||SHEBOYGAN FALLS||$2,513.86||Nationwide||$3,861.19||Farmers||$3,570.64||American Family||$1,300.22||USAA||$1,633.42|
|54113||COMBINED LOCKS||$2,518.18||Nationwide||$4,220.90||Farmers||$3,392.03||American Family||$1,320.94||GEICO||$1,652.89|
|54301||GREEN BAY||$2,519.58||Nationwide||$4,176.89||Farmers||$3,474.80||American Family||$1,312.84||GEICO||$1,683.22|
|54115||DE PERE||$2,521.59||Nationwide||$4,176.89||Allstate||$3,373.77||American Family||$1,356.11||GEICO||$1,670.01|
|54304||GREEN BAY||$2,526.11||Nationwide||$4,176.89||Farmers||$3,474.80||American Family||$1,399.48||GEICO||$1,683.22|
|54123||FOREST JUNCTION||$2,540.14||Nationwide||$4,174.98||Farmers||$3,399.89||American Family||$1,289.92||USAA||$1,751.92|
|54302||GREEN BAY||$2,540.45||Nationwide||$4,176.89||Farmers||$3,474.80||American Family||$1,544.78||GEICO||$1,683.22|
|54303||GREEN BAY||$2,541.33||Nationwide||$4,176.89||Farmers||$3,474.80||American Family||$1,385.56||GEICO||$1,683.22|
|54313||GREEN BAY||$2,545.82||Nationwide||$4,176.89||Farmers||$3,349.88||American Family||$1,325.38||GEICO||$1,670.01|
|54140||LITTLE CHUTE||$2,561.22||Nationwide||$4,220.90||Allstate||$3,683.58||American Family||$1,323.76||GEICO||$1,652.89|
|53020||ELKHART LAKE||$2,564.46||Nationwide||$4,174.98||Farmers||$3,469.07||American Family||$1,343.88||USAA||$1,633.42|
Where does your zip code stand in terms of annual average rates? You can search for your zip code in these tables to find out how much you’re paying, on average, annually.
|Most Expensive ZIP Codes in Wisconsin||City||Average by ZIP Code||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|54434||JUMP RIVER||$3,572.87||Progressive||$7,590.37||Nationwide||$5,797.61||American Family||$1,557.59||State Farm||$2,072.49|
|54532||HEAFFORD JUNCTION||$3,569.38||Progressive||$7,590.37||Nationwide||$5,797.61||American Family||$1,442.50||State Farm||$2,072.49|
|54439||HANNIBAL||$3,561.28||Progressive||$7,590.37||Nationwide||$5,797.61||American Family||$1,453.20||State Farm||$2,072.49|
Interesting Fact: Milwaukee has 28 zip codes.
All Cities – Cheapest Rates by City
The least expensive city for car insurance is Kaukauna. Green Bay also shows up on the list for the least expensive city for car insurance.
|Cheapest Cities in Wisconsin||Average by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|Sheboygan Falls||$2,513.86||Nationwide||$3,861.19||Farmers||$3,570.64||American Family||$1,300.22||USAA||$1,633.42|
|Combined Locks||$2,518.18||Nationwide||$4,220.90||Farmers||$3,392.03||American Family||$1,320.94||GEICO||$1,652.89|
|Howards Grove||$2,521.05||Nationwide||$3,861.19||Farmers||$3,499.01||American Family||$1,261.88||USAA||$1,631.12|
|De Pere||$2,521.59||Nationwide||$4,176.89||Allstate||$3,373.77||American Family||$1,356.11||GEICO||$1,670.01|
|Forest Junction||$2,540.14||Nationwide||$4,174.98||Farmers||$3,399.89||American Family||$1,289.92||USAA||$1,751.92|
|Green Bay||$2,541.34||Nationwide||$4,176.89||Farmers||$3,474.80||American Family||$1,385.56||GEICO||$1,683.22|
|Little Chute||$2,561.22||Nationwide||$4,220.90||Allstate||$3,683.58||American Family||$1,323.76||GEICO||$1,652.89|
|Elkhart Lake||$2,564.46||Nationwide||$4,174.98||Farmers||$3,469.07||American Family||$1,343.88||USAA||$1,633.42|
When it comes to looking at which cities hold the top 10 spots, Milwaukee has the second-most expensive annual car insurance rates.
|Most Expensive Cities in Wisconsin||Average by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|Brown Deer||$4,178.79||Allstate||$6,485.52||Nationwide||$6,015.52||American Family||$1,890.47||USAA||$2,264.43|
|Jump River||$3,572.87||Progressive||$7,590.37||Nationwide||$5,797.61||American Family||$1,557.59||State Farm||$2,072.49|
|Heafford Junction||$3,569.38||Progressive||$7,590.37||Nationwide||$5,797.61||American Family||$1,442.50||State Farm||$2,072.49|
|Hannibal||$3,561.27||Progressive||$7,590.37||Nationwide||$5,797.61||American Family||$1,453.20||State Farm||$2,072.49|
|St. Francis||$3,461.08||Nationwide||$6,195.71||Farmers||$4,649.36||American Family||$1,759.85||USAA||$2,049.94|
|Elmwood Park||$3,363.02||Nationwide||$5,481.23||Allstate||$4,580.92||American Family||$1,795.49||USAA||$2,140.26|
|Hertel||$3,344.17||Nationwide||$5,946.74||Farmers||$4,574.93||American Family||$1,595.78||State Farm||$2,116.33|
|Stone Lake||$3,252.68||Nationwide||$5,946.74||Farmers||$4,176.65||American Family||$1,595.06||USAA||$2,133.57|
|Shell Lake||$3,246.88||Nationwide||$5,946.74||Farmers||$4,014.10||American Family||$1,568.99||USAA||$2,133.57|
|Maplewood||$3,246.07||Progressive||$7,590.37||Nationwide||$4,497.68||American Family||$1,344.11||State Farm||$1,778.65|
Best Wisconsin Car Insurance Companies
There are a lot of car insurance companies out there, and you may have your own meaning of the word “best”.
When the word “best” comes to your mind, maybe it means a company’s financial rating. Maybe it means customer ratings. Maybe it means how cheap, or expensive, certain companies are.
Keeping in mind your definition of “best”, we can help you with making that decision. Read on to find the best providers in Wisconsin.
The Largest Companies’ Financial Ratings
The financial rating means, simply, how well a company is doing financially in a particular year, and the A.M. Best Financial Rating is the official way of measuring this.
|Company||A.M. Best Rating|
|American Family Insurance||A+|
|West Best Mutual Insurance||A|
Two companies, Geico and USAA, have an A.M. Best Financial Rating of A++.
Companies with Best Ratings
J.D. Power and Associates gave a study to car insurance customers in multiple U.S. Regions. This study asked car insurance customers to rank car insurance companies.
In the North Central Region, where Wisconsin is located, Auto-Owners Insurance has a rank of 850 on a 1,000 point scale, which means customers consider it “among the best”. Other companies customers consider “among the best” are COUNTRY Financial, Cincinnati Insurance, and Erie Insurance.
Companies with Most Complaints in Wisconsin
When it comes to customer complaints, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides a list of the top companies and the number of complaints they receive each year.
This list is as of 2017.
|Company||Number of Complains|
|American Family Insurance||73|
|West Bend Mutual Insurance||6|
State Farm has the most complaints, while Acuity had the least amount of complaints.
If you have a complaint about your insurance, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance of Wisconsin advises you to first go to your insurance company. If that does not help, you can file a complaint with the office.
Cheapest Companies in Wisconsin
|American Family Ins||$1,513.26|
|Mid-Century Ins Co||$3,777.49|
|SAFECO Ins Co of IL||$2,924.39|
|Artisan and Truckers Casualty||$3,128.91|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$2,126.31|
If your definition of “best” relates to the cheapest price, American Family Insurance has the cheapest average annual price for insurance in Wisconsin.
Mid-Century Insurance Company is the most expensive.
Commute Rates by Companies
|Group||10 Mile Commute||25 Mile Commute|
Allstate offers the cheapest rates for both 10-mile commutes and 25-mile commutes. Nationwide and Progressive offer the same rates, no matter the commute, while Farmers is the most expensive, no matter the length of the commute.
Coverage Level Rates by Companies
|Company||Low Coverage||Medium Coverage||High Coverage|
American Family has the cheapest average annual rates, no matter whether you need low, medium, or high coverage.
Credit History Rates by Companies
|Company||Good Credit||Fair Credit||Poor Credit|
In Wisconsin, Nationwide is the least forgiving company in terms of rates if you have poor credit. American Family is the most forgiving. They also offer the best fair credit rates and the best good credit rates.
Driving Record Rates by Companies
American Family is the company you want to take a look at if you have a clean driving record, for they offer the cheapest annual rates.
|Company||Clean Record||With 1 Accident||With 1 DUI||With 1 Speeding Violation|
American Family also offers the cheapest rates, even if you may have a less-than-perfect driving record.
Nationwide is the most expensive company, no matter what is on your driving record.
Largest Car Insurance Companies in Wisconsin
|Company||Direct Premiums Written||Market Share|
|American Family Insurance Group||$583,243||18.73%|
|State Farm Group||$468,020||15.03%|
|Allstate Insurance Group||$146,726||4.71%|
|Acuity a Mutual Insurance Co||$111,548||3.58%|
|Erie Insurance Group||$97,480||3.13%|
|West Bend Mutual Insurance Co||$92,535||2.97%|
|Liberty Mutual Group||$78,174||2.51%|
American Family Insurance holds the greatest percentage of the market in Wisconsin, while USAA holds the least amount of the Wisconsin market.
Number of Insurers by State
Domestic and foreign comes down to whether you want to put your stock in something local or something available nationwide.
Domestic means that the insurer is based in the state of Wisconsin while foreign means a company that is based in another state.
There are 174 domestic insurers and 813 foreign insurers in Wisconsin.
There are a LOT of laws involving car insurance, and trying to find your way around all of those laws can be confusing.
Let us help you by talking about the Wisconsin laws for car insurance, vehicle licensing, and more.
Car Insurance Laws
Before you dive in and get started you can read up on the laws, and then you can read further to get the laws of Wisconsin in more detail.
We will talk about how state laws are determined and about such things as windshield coverage, and insurance fraud.
How State Laws for Insurance are Determined
Laws have to pass through the state’s House of Representatives and the Senate before they become law.
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance of the State of Wisconsin is responsible for any and all insurance laws in the state.
Windshield & Glass Repair Laws
When it comes to Wisconsin law, insurers can use aftermarket parts. Also, according to Car Windshields, you can insist on original manufacturer parts and/or a repair shop of your choice, but you are responsible for paying the difference in cost.
If you are deemed “high risk” by any auto insurance company and you cannot get auto insurance the normal way, the Wisconsin Automobile Insurance Plan (WAIP) may be the solution for you.
It was established on October 1, 1949, “for the purpose of providing automobile insurance to risks who cannot be placed in the standard or high-risk automobile insurance marketplace”.
They offer the same liability as regular auto insurance companies, but you are required to have this type of insurance for four years and have a satisfactory record. Go to the WAIP website to find out more.
Free Auto Insurance Comparison
Compare quotes from the top auto insurance companies and save!
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
Wisconsin does not have a government-mandated low-cost auto insurance program, so it is up to you to ask your insurance provider if they provide any kind of discounts. When in doubt, be sure to ask. Insurance companies may have discounts you do not know about!
Automobile Insurance Fraud in Wisconsin
Auto insurance fraud is a crime in Wisconsin.
According to the state of Wisconsin, it is illegal to:
It’s a crime in Wisconsin to knowingly:
- Present a false or fraudulent claim or proof supporting a claim to be paid under an insurance contract.
- Prepare a false or fraudulent account, statement, proof of loss, etc, knowing it’ll be used to support an insurance policy claim.
- Present a false or fraudulent claim or proof supporting a claim or information to affect a future claim for an employee benefit program.
- Make any misrepresentation on an application for membership or to gain membership or a non-insurance benefit for oneself or another from a fraternal benefit society, such as Catholic Financial Life, Knights of Columbus, Sons of Norway, or Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
Insurance fraud ends up costing you money. When people commit insurance fraud, insurance companies lose money. Those losses are then passed down to the customers.
The amount of fines and jail time depends on the amount of money fraudulently received.
- $2,500 or less: up to nine months in jail, and up to $10,000 fine.
- $2,500 or more: up to four years in jail, and up to $10,000 fine.
If you feel like you have been the victim of insurance fraud, report it.
The Statute of Limitations in Wisconsin
It is important to know what a statute of limitations is, so you know how much time you have to file charges.
The statute of limitations is a set amount of time you or the other party have to file charges and make your case.
It protects you and the other party by giving each of you a set amount of time to file charges. Once that time limit passes, no one can file charges.
In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations is three years for both a personal injury case and a property damage case.
Wisconsin Specific Laws
Hey there, Wisconsin.
Want to know the strange vehicle and driving laws of your state?
- It is illegal not to give livestock the right of way, as per Wisconsin statute 346.21.
- No one can camp in a wagon on any public highway or risk a fine of up to ten dollars.
- In Hudson, Wisconsin, no one can sit on another person’s parked car without their consent.
- In LaCrosse, Wisconsin, it is illegal to tie up your horse along Third Street.
- In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it is illegal for a car to be parked on the street for over two hours unless a horse is tied to the car.
Wisconsin’s Vehicle Licensing Laws
When it comes to the laws involving your vehicle, that is what these sections are for.
We will talk about REAL ID, license renewal procedures, and more.
Wisconsin REAL ID
Starting October 1, 2020, federal agencies will endorse what is known as the REAL ID Act.
This requires you to have a REAL ID to either board flights or enter federal buildings.
You do not need this ID if you do not do either of the above things.
A Wisconsin REAL ID has a star in the upper right-hand corner, like most other REAL IDs.
To know about the requirements for the Wisconsin Real ID, follow this checklist.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
If you have insurance but happen to not show it to the officer, you will be issued a $10 fine.
But what if you are driving without insurance?
You can expect to receive a fine of up to $500 if you are caught driving without insurance. Your license will be suspended until you file a high-risk insurance SR-22 form with the Department of Transportation.
And before you can drive again, you will have to pay $60 in reinstatement fees.
Teen Driver Laws
You are now at the age where you can drive.
But before you can get behind the wheel and drive, you have to first have a permit and gradually go up the graduated license ladder before you can get your license.
There are three levels to the graduate license law:
- Instruction Permit: Apply at age 15 years and six months. You must provide appropriate documents, and pass a written/vision test.
- Probationary License: Drive conviction-free on a learner’s permit for six months. Complete a driver’s ed course and pass a road test. Apply at age 16. Provide appropriate documents, and have 30 hours of practice driving.
- Full License: You will receive a full license at the age of 18.
With each level comes restrictions:
- Instruction Permit Restrictions: Drive only with parent/guardian or someone 19 or older (25 or older after dark). Have 30 hours of practice driving, 10 of which must be at night.
- Probationary License Restrictions: Have to complete the practice driving. Can drive alone but for the first nine months cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by parent or licensed adult.
- Full License: No restrictions.
Older Driver License Renewal Procedures
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the rules for older drivers and license renewal in Wisconsin are straightforward.
- Older Population License Renewal: you can renew every eight years.
- Proof of vision required: at every renewal.
- Mail or online renewal permitted: online, every other renewal.
– New Residents
When you move to Wisconsin, you will need to register your vehicle and get a new license. You must do all this within 60 days of moving to Wisconsin.
You will need to:
- Fill out a Driver’s License Application.
- Bring proof of identity and residency.
- Pass a vision screening.
- Pass a knowledge exam.
– License Renewal Procedures
You can renew your license every eight years.
Proof of vision is required at every renewal.
To find out more about the requirements, visit the Wisconsin DMV site.
– Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)
When you accumulate 12 or more points on your driving record in a 12-month timespan, your license will be suspended.
You can get points added for inattentive driving, speeding, and operating with improper brakes or lights. For the full list, visit the Wisconsin DMV site.
Rules of the Road
As you are traveling the roads of Wisconsin, make sure you are following the rules of the road as well.
Find out more about the rules of the road in Wisconsin
Fault vs. No-Fault
Remember, Wisconsin is an at-fault state. That means whoever is at fault is the one who has to pay the personal or property damages.
Seat Belts and Car Seat Laws
Wearing a seat belt and making sure any young children that need to be are in car seats is necessary to keep everyone in the car safe.
Seat belts are required for the driver and all passengers eight years and older. Violation of this is a primary offense, meaning that the officer can stop you if you are not wearing a seat belt. LTe’s take a look at some of the requirements for child safety restraints in Wisconsin.
According to the IIHS:
Children that are younger than one year old and all children who weigh less than 20 pounds are required to be in a rear-facing child restraint. Children ages one through three who weigh at least 20 pounds but less than 40 pounds are required to be in a rear-facing or a forward-facing child restraint. Children ages four through seven who both weigh at least 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds and who are less than 57 inches tall are required to be in a forward-facing child restraint or booster seat.
If stopped and children are not restrained, the maximum base fine is $10.
When it comes to riding in the back of a truck, you cannot do it unless it involves riding in enclosed areas, farm operations, parades, deer hunting, employees, and people riding in truck bodies in spaces meant for items and merchandise.
Keep Right and Move Over Laws
In Wisconsin, the laws are as follows according to AAA:
State law requires drivers traveling in the same direction and approaching an authorized emergency vehicle or roadside service vehicle, including a tow truck, that is displaying flashing lights and parked or standing on or within 12 feet of a roadway, to vacate the lane closest to the stationary vehicle, if safe to do so, or reduce speed. Also included in the law are utility vehicles and road maintenance vehicles.
There is no keep right law. You only need to keep right if you are driving slower than the traffic around you.
In Wisconsin, the speed limit is 70 miles per hour on rural interstates, urban interstates, and limited access roads. It is 55 miles per hour on all other roads.
Need a ride?
Wisconsin’s ridesharing program, Rideshare Etc., can help.
You can set up a carpool or vanpool, by transit, or set up to have a biking partner.
Automation on the Road
As of now, there are no automated vehicles deployed in Wisconsin. However, Wisconsin has something called the Wisconsin Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds, where automated vehicles are being tested.
Laws exist to help keep us safe, and the safety laws in Wisconsin are no exception.
Read on to find out the laws about DUI, marijuana, and distracted driving.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance is a crime in Wisconsin. It is called Operating While Intoxicated (OWI).
Wisconsin had 304 alcohol-related fatalities in 2001, and 24 lives (8 percent) could have been saved that year had there been a .08 BAC law.
How many drinks does it take to equal .08 BAC?
A lot of it depends on your weight.
The penalties for OWI are harsh in Wisconsin, even if you are a first-time offender:
- Revocation of driver’s license for six to nine months.
- Fine from $150 to $300.
- An additional OWI charge of $365.
- A mandatory drug and alcohol assessment.
- Ignition interlock device (if BAC is over .15).
- A license reinstatement fee of $200 after revocation.
There are different penalties and degrees of OWI in Wisconsin, and it depends on what the situation is when you get your OWI.
Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws
If you are caught with possession of marijuana, you are subject up to six months in prison, and/or a $1,000 fine.
Governor Tony Evers is looking to reform Wisconsin’s marijuana laws.
And some lawmakers want to see marijuana fully legalized.
Distracted Driving Laws
Texting while driving is banned in Wisconsin. Hand-held phone use is banned for drivers in highway construction areas and learner’s permit/intermediate license holders.
Distracted driving claimed 3,166 lives in 2017.
FInes can range anywhere from $20 to $400.
Driving in Wisconsin
Driving, depending on your state of mind, can be a real pain in the butt.
What is it like to drive on the roads in Wisconsin?
The following sections discuss vehicle theft, road fatalities, traffic, and commute time.
Vehicle Theft in Wisconsin
|Vehicle||Model Year||Number Stolen|
|Chrysler Town & Country||2002||313|
The information listed above is as of 2015 from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
The 2002 Dodge Caravan is the most popular vehicle stolen in Wisconsin, with 1,035 stolen.
The 2000 Honda CR-V is the least popular vehicle stolen in Wisconsin, with 172 stolen.
|Beaver Dam Township||0|
|Black River Falls||4|
|Fond du Lac||24|
|Fox Valley Metro||2|
|North Fond du Lac||2|
|Prairie du Chien||1|
|St. Croix Falls||0|
|Town of East Troy||1|
|Town of Madison||15|
|Town of Menasha||8|
The information listed above is as of 2016 from the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division.
Milwaukee has had the most vehicle stolen, with about 6,000 stolen. There are a lot of cities in Wisconsin, however, that have had either very few vehicles stolen, or none at all.
Road Fatalities in Wisconsin
When it comes to driving, accidents happen. Unfortunately, some of these accidents are fatal.
The following sections talk about different kinds of fatal accidents you might expect in Wisconsin.
Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition
In Wisconsin, it is either raining…
But when do most bad accidents happen?
|Weather Condition||Daylight||Dark, but Lighted||Dark||Dawn or Dusk||Other / Unknown|
In Wisconsin, most crashes tend to happen during the day under normal conditions. The second time crashes most occur is in the dark but under normal conditions.
Fatalities (All Crashes) by County
|Fond Du Lac||10||10||12||10||11|
This shows the fatalities over the course of five years, with data from the NHTSA.
Traffic Fatalities: Rural vs. Urban
This shows the fatalities over the course of 10 years.
Accidents seem to occur more in rural areas of Wisconsin than in urban areas.
Fatalities by Person Type
|Light Truck - Pickup||64||64||70||57||71|
|Light Truck - Utility||71||62||56||85||70|
|Light Truck - Van||27||27||25||38||40|
|Light Truck - Other||1||0||1||1||0|
|Bicyclist and Other Cyclist||10||4||15||11||7|
This shows the fatalities over the course of five years.
Passenger cars have the highest rate of fatalities in this five-year time span, while buses had the lowest rate of fatalities in the five-year time span.
Fatalities by Crash Type
|Involving a Large Truck||83||55||56||69||82|
|Involving a Rollover||153||147||152||170||169|
|Involving a Roadway Departure||344||314||344||358||325|
|Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)||136||140||152||171||178|
This shows the fatalities by crash type over the course of five years.
A large number of crashes have to do with single-vehicle crashes and crashes involving roadway departures.
Five-Year Trend for the Top 10 Counties
This shows the five-year trend for the top 10 counties of 2017 when it comes to fatalities.
Fatalities Involving Speeding by County
|Fond Du Lac||2||3||5||4||2|
This shows the five-year trend of fatalities for speeding by county.
Milwaukee has had the most deaths, overall, due to speeding.
Fatalities Involving Alcohol-Impaired Driving by County
|Fond Du Lac||1||0||3||3||2|
Milwaukee County had the most deaths due to alcohol-impaired driving over this five-year timespan.
Teen Drinking and Driving
If you are under 21, you are expected by the state of Wisconsin to maintain what is called absolute sobriety. That means you cannot drive with any amount of alcohol in your system.
The penalties for OWI are the same as if you were an adult.
EMS Response Time: Rural vs. Urban
|Time of Crash to EMS|
|EMS Notification to|
|EMS Arrival at Scene|
to Hospital Arrival
|Time of Crash to Hospital|
|Rural||5 minutes||11 minutes||44 minutes||58 minutes||355|
|Urban||4 minutes||6 minutes||30 minutes||39 minutes||200|
Shorter response and travel times may have contributed to urban areas having fewer fatal crashes than rural areas in Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin, you most likely you live in a two-car household, drive alone to work, and spend a little less than the national average commuting.
The information that follows is from Data USA, in regards to the year 2017.
Most Wisconsinites own two cars, around 44.3 percent of people. Surprising that they do not own more, considering how much Wisconsinites love their cars.
The national average for commuters in the United States is 25.2 minutes. In Wisconsin, the average commute time is 21.1 minutes. Additionally, 1.62 percent of the workforce in Wisconsin has what is called a “super-commute”, where workers have to commute for 90 minutes or more each way.
Most people who live in Wisconsin choose to go to work alone: 81.1 percent of the Wisconsin workforce, in fact.
Traffic Congestion in Wisconsin
On the three major traffic congestion lists: INRIX, TomTom, and Numbeo, no cities in Wisconsin rank for the worst in traffic congestion.
But what is it like driving in Wisconsin?
Continue to be polite on the road, Wisconsinites, and we hope this comprehensive car insurance for Wisconsin has helped you.
Start your search for car insurance by comparison shopping car insurance rates today.