Passing Your Wisconsin Road Test: A Complete Guide

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Jul 01, 2021

In Wisconsin, all new drivers are required to complete a graduated driver’s licensing program through the Department of Motor Vehicles that gives them more freedom as they accumulate driving experience. 

To get your probationary license, you must pass the Wisconsin DMV road test. During the road test, an examiner will ride in the passenger seat of your vehicle to observe your driving skills. The examiner will determine whether or not you’re a mature and responsible driver–and whether or not you should be issued your license. 

Many new drivers find the road test to be extremely nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the most effective ways of alleviating stress on the day of your test is to know what to expect. In this guide, we’ll give you all the information you need to know. 

Requirements for Wisconsin Road Test

Before you schedule your test, it’s important to make sure that you’ve completed all the road test requirements. In Wisconsin, the requirements depend on your age.

If you’re under the age of 18, you must:

  • Be at least 16.
  • Have successfully completed a Wisconsin-approved driver’s education program.
  • Have an adult sponsor. 
  • Complete an application form.
  • Have practiced driving for at least 30 hours with your instruction permit.
  • Have held your instruction permit for a minimum of six months.
  • Have maintained a clean driving record for six months. 
  • Be enrolled in a school or private education program, or have graduated from high school.

If you’re over the age of 18, the requirements are slightly different. You must:

If you’ve completed the above requirements, you can schedule your road test appointment online. 

Note that you may be able to obtain a road test waiver online if you’ve completed certain requirements, such as passing a driver’s education program (including behind-the-wheel) and maintaining a clean driving record. 

The Day of Your Wisconsin Road Test

It’s finally time –  the day of your Wisconsin road test has arrived. Take a deep breath, and stay relaxed to avoid making any unnecessary mistakes. Also, make sure to bring the proper documentation so you won’t have to reschedule. 

What You Should Bring to the Wisconsin DMV?

If you don’t bring the following documents, you will not be allowed to take your road test:

Additionally, your accompanying adult sponsor will have to provide their license or ID card. 

You may have to provide the testing vehicle, depending on where you’re taking your road test. Some locations provide vehicles, others do not. Take a look at Wisconsin’s third-party road test providers to determine whether or not you’ll have to provide a vehicle. If you do need to bring your own vehicle, make sure that it is properly registered and insured and that it functions safely. 

What’s Tested on the Road Test in Wisconsin?

During your road test, you’ll be tested on a series of closed course maneuvers, such as Y-turns and parallel parking, as well as your overall driving abilities. 

Below you’ll find some driving skills that are commonly tested on the road test in Wisconsin, make sure to practice them at home until you know them by heart. 

  • Turns: As you approach a turn, make a traffic check and activate the correct turn signal at the proper moment. Move into the turn lane if there is one. Slow down smoothly, and, if necessary, stop at the correct distance from other vehicles, the stop line, or the crosswalk. 
  • Intersections: If you need to stop at an intersection, as in the case of a red light or a stop sign, stop smoothly and at the proper moment. If you do not need to stop, simply stay aware and check traffic before continuing through the intersection. 
  • Lane changes: Check your mirrors and your blind spot before signaling and moving gradually over into another lane. Be sure to leave enough space between your vehicle and other vehicles. If you’re in an intersection, wait until you exit the intersection before changing lanes. 
  • Y-turns: As you perform a Y-turn, make continual mirror checks and head checks especially when you’re backing up. Use your turn signals and drive slowly and carefully. 
  • Roadside stops and starts: Activate your turn signal and make a traffic check and blind spot check. Pull smoothly over towards the curb, slowing down and stopping once you’re within a foot of the curb. Set your emergency/parking brake and turn your wheels in the correct direction. When leaving your parking space, check your blind spot and activate your turn signal before pulling out into the road. 
  • Parallel parking: Use your turn signal and check traffic before pulling over. As you back your vehicle, keep looking out your rear window. Your vehicle should end up within a foot of the curb and within two feet of other vehicles. When leaving your parking space, activate your turn signal and check traffic before pulling out into the road. 
  • Backing: When backing, keep your vehicle moving in a straight line. Drive slowly and look over your shoulder out the back window. 
  • Parking lots: While driving in a parking lot, stay aware of other vehicles and pedestrians. Drive slowly, be prepared to stop, and yield right-of-way to any pedestrians. 

What Will Result in a Road Test Failure?

Making too many small mistakes can result in a failure on the road test. Additionally, a number of major errors can cause immediate failure, and these are listed below.

You could immediately fail your road test if:

  • At uncontrolled intersections, you don’t check for traffic or slow down. 
  • You violate any traffic law, such as breaking the speed limit, disobeying a traffic signal, driving on the wrong side of the road, or failing to give others the right-of-way when necessary.
  • You drive dangerously by bumping a curb or sidewalk, ignoring your examiner’s instructions, or not maintaining control of your vehicle. 
  • You get involved in an accident. 

After the Wisconsin Road Test

After your road test is completed, you’ll find out whether or not you passed. Your examiner may go over any mistakes you made as well. If you didn’t pass your test, don’t worry–not everyone passes on the first try. Simply study and practice your driving skills, and then schedule another road test. 

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about passing the Wisconsin driving test. We hope this guide has helped you out, and that you now feel comfortable with the steps moving forward. If you need any help studying for your upcoming exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study guide with online practice tests, a summarized handbook, and practical driving tips that will help you immensely during the actual road exam. 

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