250,000 Wisconsin drivers eligible for online license renewal aid COVID-19 pandemic

250,000 Wisconsin drivers eligible for online license renewal aid COVID-19 pandemic

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The state transportation department estimates that nearly 250,000 Wisconsin drivers are eligible to renew their license online this year, allowing them to avoid the line at the DMV.

The Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicles earlier this month launched new programs aimed at reducing in-person visits to state motor vehicle offices during the COVID-19 outbreak. Under one program, drivers between the age of 18 and 64 may be eligible to renew their license online at wisconsindmv.gov/renewDL.

“Renewing online is an important option for those who prefer to minimize public interaction at this time,” Wisconsin DMV administrator Kristina Boardman said in a statement.

In order to be eligible, a driver must also be a U.S. citizen with a regular Class D license, as well as have no medical restrictions or further deterioration in vision.

In response to restrictions caused by the pandemic, about 80,000 people have received extensions until July 25 to renew their expired licenses, DOT said.

Applicants seeking a driver’s license that is REAL-ID compliant must visit the DMV. The deadline for getting a REAL-ID, which can be used as a form of identification for air travel, has been extended to Oct. 1, 2021.

The DOT also announced earlier this month that 16- and 17-year-olds will be able to secure a driver’s license with the option of waiving the required in-person road test.

The DMV traditionally conducts about 2,100 road tests per week, with almost 65% of those for people under the age of 18. Of those, 98% pass the road test on their first or second attempt.

Earlier this month, the DMV estimated it had a backlog of 16,000 road test requests, with about 10,000 of those eligible for a waiver.

In order to receive a probationary driver’s license with the road test waiver, applicants still must hold an instructional permit for at least six months before testing and complete driver-education classes, behind-the-wheel training with a licensed instructor, and at least 30 hours of driving with a parent or sponsor.

The waiver is not mandatory and parents can still opt to schedule a road test appointment.

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