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James Dickinson

If you have been charged with or are considering driving on a suspended license in Wisconsin, there are some important things to know.  This article will cover frequently asked questions that come up regarding a suspended license in Wisconsin including the punishment for driving with a suspended license in Wisconsin and driving with a revoked license in Wisconsin.  

What Is A Suspended License In Wisconsin?  

In Wisconsin, a suspended license means that your license is temporally invalid. Typically, in Wisconsin, suspensions are for less than one year.    

What Is A Revoked License In Wisconsin?  

In Wisconsin, a revoked license means that you have lost your license permanently until you take some action to get it reinstated.  

What Happens If You Drive With A Suspended License In Wisconsin?  

If you drive with a suspended license in Wisconsin, law enforcement may pull you over. Once an officer has probable cause to pull you over, they can also investigate other matters. Anything illegal in plain site or the odor of intoxicants or other drugs could lead to roadside testing or an arrest. Additionally, you will likely be issued a citation for operating with a suspended license.   To know your rights read our article, Your Rights in Wisconsin When Pulled Over in a Traffic Stop.

Is Driving With A Suspended License A Felony In Wisconsin?

Driving with a suspended license is typically a municipal violation with non-criminal penalties.    

Can You Go To Jail For Driving Without A License In Wisconsin?  

If you are driving without a license after it has been revoked, you may face a misdemeanor charge with penalties of a $2,500 fine and/or one year in jail. If you are caught driving and you have never obtained a license, the penalties are likely to be less severe. You would likely be looking at a municipal citation for a first offense, but these penalties may increase with multiple offenses.    

man driving car

How Long Does Your License Stay Suspended In Wisconsin?

A driver’s license suspension in Wisconsin typically lasts one year or less.    

How Long Does Your Driver’s License Stay Revoked In Wisconsin?

The length of a driver’s license revocation will determine the underlying offense that led to the revocation. Revocation can last from one year to a lifetime revocation.    

Can You Get Around A Suspended License In Wisconsin?

There are two main options if you have a suspended license in Wisconsin.    

You can take steps to get your license reinstated. The best way to find out what you need to do is to contact your local department of motor vehicles. They will be able to tell you the status of your license and what you need to do to get reinstated.    

Your second option is to get an occupational license. An occupational license is a restricted license that will allow you to drive to specific necessary locations for work, school, or childcare. You can start the process at  Wisconsin DMV Official Government Site – Occupational license

How Much Does It Cost To Reinstate A Suspended License In Wisconsin?  

The costs to reinstate a license vary depending on why you were suspended and are as follows:  

  • A standard reinstatement fee is $60  
  • Reinstatement due to cancellation is $28  
  • Reinstatement due to an OWI conviction is $200  

You can find more info on Wisconsin OWI laws here:  

Current OWI/DUI Laws in Wisconsin


Do I Need A Lawyer If I Am Charged With Driving With A Suspended License?  

When faced with an operating after suspension charge, having a lawyer assist with your case can be very helpful. An attorney can assist with getting your license reinstated, which prosecutors will often consider in the offer they propose to resolve the case.    

An attorney can also ensure that your rights are not violated and that challenging issues can lead to a dismissal or reduction of charges. Additionally, an attorney can often make court appearances for you on this type of charge which can prevent you from having to take time off from work.    

O’Flaherty Law understands the complex process surrounding a license suspension or revocation. Our Traffic law lawyers have years of experience assisting with driver’s license issues. We can prepare you for the expected and unexpected issues when going through this process.  


Call our office at (630) 324-6666, email, or schedule a consultation with one of our experienced family lawyers today. You can also fill out our confidential contact form, and we will get back to you shortly.  

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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