Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for Driver Education in Wisconsin?

People under the age of 18 must complete 30 hours of Classroom instruction, 12 hours of Behind-the-Wheel training, and all Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) requirements. For details, see Wisconsin handbook or New Drivers Manual by WPDSA – http://wpdsa.org/; a Wisconsin handbook is available online at:  http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/dmv/license-drvs/how-to-apply/handbook.aspx

What are the age requirements for Driver Education and licensing?

Students may begin Classroom at the age of 14 years 5 months. Effective July 28th 2021, students may get an Instruction Permit (Temps) at 15 years old. They are eligible for a Probationary License if they are 16 or 17 years old and have held their Instruction Permit for a minimum of six months.

What are the other requirements of the Wisconsin law?

  • The state requires that students make up all Classroom missed.
  • On the Temps application, students must verify that they have been free of any moving traffic violation for six months prior to applying. The school that will teach a student Behind-the-Wheel must sign the application (School Signature); the student must do Temps testing within 60 days of getting this signature. A parent or guardian needs to sponsor each student under 18 years of age for Temps and for the Probationary License; as part of sponsorship, parents must verify that students meet school attendance requirements. Students who receive Temps must take at least one Behind-the-Wheel lesson within the first 60 days.
  • At license application time, parents must verify that students have accumulated at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel experience, of which 10 hours must be night driving. For the first nine months of driving on the Probationary License, there are several restrictions regarding time of day and who may be in the car; if there is a moving violation or a violation of restrictions during those nine months, the restrictions are extended.
  • The requirements regarding temps and the probationary license are explained in the Wisconsin handbook.  A Wisconsin handbook is available online at:  http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/dmv/license-drvs/how-to-apply/handbook.aspx

 

How does the Behind-the-Wheel program work?

Students must first complete classroom and then communicate with the office to process through to get their Temps.

Students with Temps can schedule the first behind the wheel lesson through our scheduling software DRIVETRAK, stop in-person at the office, or can call. Students may take a maximum of two lessons in an instruction car in any week. Schedules for driving lessons are one week ahead. We begin booking lessons for the NEXT upcoming week at the beginning of the week; calling or signing up on the app early in the week offers students the best selection of lesson times.

Typically, lessons last two hours. A student will drive for one hour, with other students observing, and then observe someone else driving for the other hour. Ries Driving School prides itself on service to its students. They can be picked up at any of several Fond du Lac locations (home, school, work or Ries) and dropped off at Fond du Lac location afterwards. Students in outlying areas have designated pick-up and drop-off points.

It is required a student has their first behind the wheel appointment within the first 60 days on their Temps. 

Students must spread their lessons out so they have plenty of time to practice their skills in their family vehicles and they have their last lesson near the time of their Road Test. For a fee, Ries offers a Road Test Lesson: on the day of the test, a Ries instructor picks a student up in a Ries car one-half hour before the Road Test appointment; the student has the opportunity to calm down and warm up driving to the Department of Motor Vehicles for the test. The instructor waits while the student completes the Road Test in the Ries car, then accompanies the student to drop-off once the testing and licensing process is complete.

Do we need appointments for the Temps test and/or the Road Test? Where can students take the tests?

Temps and Road tests can be taken at any Wisconsin Licensing facility.  No appointment is needed for the Temps test. We help students fill out the Temps application in class and give instructions on what needs to be done and brought to make the process go smoothly. At the end of the Traditional in-person classroom program, we administer the Wisconsin state Sign and Knowledge tests; the Temps tests, to our students.

An appointment is needed for the Road Test. This can be made in different ways. Students must go directly online to the DMV website by clicking a button on our home page. Students are customarily released from school for a Road Test.

The DMV’s book out 11.5 weeks ahead for the Road Tests. When you’re 11.5 weeks ahead from the date you’re looking, they offer 1/3 of what’s available that date. Then when you’re 2 months ahead of that date, they open another 1/3 of their offerings. Then one month before the date you’re intending to go/eligible/or after they open the remaining 1/3.

Must students take both Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel through Ries, or can they do just one or the other?

Ries offers Classroom (online, traditional) and Behind-the-Wheel, together or separately. Most students take both, and there is a price break for doing them together. Students who do Classroom with a different provider must present their completion certificate to be admitted to our Behind-the-Wheel program. But we will service students who need one or the other. Just call the office to register, or use the sign-up page on this website.

Where are your classes held? What are the costs for Classroom and/or Behind-the-Wheel?

 

Many of our classes are held at Ries Driving School, 643 S. Military Road, Fond du Lac. We also have classes in Chilton, Oakfield, New Holstein, Kiel and Waupun. See the Class Schedule and Prices pages on this website for detailed information.  If you don’t find the information you need or need a price for our services for your student’s background, please call our office at (920) 921-2846.

 

If students need to drive on their Temps for six months, they probably will drive in wintery conditions before getting a license. Isn't that a little scary, for students and for parents?

It may be a bit scary, but in the long run it’s really a good thing. Once they’re licensed, young people have to face winter driving about six months of the year in Wisconsin. If they learn how to respond to snowy and icy conditions under supervision (a certified instructor can use the extra brake and help steer in a crisis), they will have the skills to handle challenges the weather presents. Our position is this: a driver who has learned to be smooth on the gas, the steering wheel and the brakes in winter is a better driver overall.

If our instructors consider conditions unsafe for practice driving, we will call and reschedule Behind-the-Wheel appointments.

A parent may also cancel a lesson because of safety concerns without penalty.

What about a student who has finished the program and doesn't feel ready for the Road Test? Or an adult who never got a license for whatever reason, maybe a new citizen? Or an adult who just hasn't driven much?

We offer Refresher Lessons and Starter Lessons by the hour. We specialize in nervous beginners… or non-beginners!

What about students with full schedules: school, extracurricular activities, jobs, etc.? How can they get their lessons and their family driving time in?

Wisconsin’s rules have changed to make it easier for students to do their family driving time. The regulations now call for a qualified person, not necessarily a parent, to be in the front seat as a guide.  For details, see Wisconsin handbook or New Drivers Manual by WPDSA – http://wpdsa.org/; a Wisconsin handbook is available online at:  http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/dmv/license-drvs/how-to-apply/handbook.aspx

We schedule Behind-the-Wheel lessons between 8 AM and 9 PM Monday through Thursday; 8 AM and 7 PM Friday; Saturday and Sunday as needed.

For student's pursuing their Temps please click here for more info:

For students enrolled in both Classroom and Behind the Wheel with Ries Driving School:

  • You must be at least 15 years old.
  • Have completed your classroom program.
  • Have the MV3001 Drivers License Application form signed by Ries Driving School with the School Signature.
  • Have ready (for the DMV) your original birth certificate and original social security card.
  • Have a payment ready for $35 to pay the fee at the DMV for your Instruction Permit.
  • Paid a minimum of two thirds of your program fees into your student account.

For students enrolled with Behind the Wheel Lessons only:

  • Enroll with our driving school by providing the first of two installments into the driving lesson program and sign a driving school contract with us. The state requires our school signature on the state Instructional Permit application form to notate you are going to receive instruction with us to satisfy the hours needed of professional instruction by our instructors.
  • Exchange to our front office a copy of your classroom completion certificate.
  • Have the MV3001 Drivers License Application form signed by Ries Driving School with the School Signature (call our office to coordinate this step).
  • Have ready (for the DMV) your original birth certificate and original social security card.
  • Have a payment ready for $35 to pay the fee at the DMV for your Instruction Permit.
  • Paid a minimum of half of your program fees into your student account.

When you get your Temporary Permit (after July 11 2021):

  • You must get 50 hours of drive time with a coach; 10 being at night. (We recommend more time both day and night to help best prepare for the road test).
  • Your first driving lesson must be within the first 60 days that you receive it at the DMV.
  • You must (state requirement) complete all classroom before your last driving lesson is scheduled.
  • Your Temporary Permit is valid for 18 months. Students who pursue Temps at 15, must be 16 when going for their Class D Probationary License.
    • If you obtained Temps at 15: schedule a behind the wheel lesson every 5-8 weeks.
    • If you obtained your Temps at 15 1/2 or older: schedule a behind the wheel lesson every 2-4 weeks.
    • Ensure that you get practice with a coach for 2-3 weeks before your first driving lesson.
Linda Dake
Linda Dake
2024-01-12
My 2 teens took the course at the same time. They were really nervous with one of their driver instructors. She constantly grabbed the steering wheel during their driving lesson.They both said they didn’t want her as their instructor again. None of the other instructors did that. I would suggest you stay with the same instructor on all 6 drives, if possible.
Alyssa Wittig
Alyssa Wittig
2024-01-04
My experience with Ries Driving School was great. The staff were always friendly and helpful. I enjoyed the text reminders they had, allow with the app you were able to use to schedule appointments. The driving instructors were wonderful as well.
DJ
DJ
2023-12-12
Absolutely amazing! The process was really easy, and the instructors were very kind and helpful . If you want to get your license, go to this place.
Julie Schmidt
Julie Schmidt
2023-11-19
Great communication and friendly staff!
Kimberly Cumber
Kimberly Cumber
2023-11-17
Overall a good place. My son enjoyed most of his instructors and felt they were good teachers. Would have been 5 stars but scheduling was a nightmare. The app would cancel appointments and reschedule automatically without me knowing almost every time I made one through the app. One time, we weren't able to make the new time and canceled at the last minute cause I didn't see the change in time, and we were charged for it. However, when I called about the app continuously canceling appts, they waived the $50 cancelation fee. After having 3 lessons canceled, i stopped using the app and just called in to schedule. Also, there aren't many options for appts locally. Most availability was in another city. Would be nice if the student was picked up instead of me having to make arrangements to get them to a lesson like other driving schools do. I will say, though, that the staff was really great at trying to make things work for us. The place itself is 5 stars, but the app they use is garbage.
Sara Millard
Sara Millard
2023-11-10
Very helpful
Denise Munro
Denise Munro
2023-11-06
All three of my children went through Ries Driving School over the past ten years. They are professional and I would highly recommend them to anyone.