Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements for Driver Education in Wisconsin?
Young 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. They may get an Instruction Permit (Temps) at 15 years 6 months. They are eligible for a Probationary License at the age of 16; but, according to the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law, they must have driven a full six months on Temps to get it.
What are the other requirements of the Wisconsin law?
- The state requires that students make up all Classroom misses.
- 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 30 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 get their Temps first; they can get Temps and start driving before their Classroom program is finished. Ries Driving School has arranged Classroom instruction to help students qualify for Temps about halfway through the program.
Students with Temps call the Ries office, or someone calls for them, to arrange Behind-the-Wheel lessons. Students may take a maximum of two lessons in an instruction car in any week. Ries office staff begin booking lessons for the NEXT week at the beginning of THIS week; calling 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.
Except for taking one lesson during the first 60 days of their Temps, students can schedule Behind-the-Wheel lessons to suit their needs. Many students 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 Classroom program, we administer the Wisconsin state Sign and Knowledge tests, the Temps tests, to our students.. At the end of the 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 may call (608)-264-7478, go directly online to the DMV website, or go through this website by clicking a button on our home page. Students are customarily released from school for a Road Test.
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 North Fond du Lac and in various cities within a 40 mile radius of our home location. See the Class Schedule and Prices pages pages on this website for detailed information. If you don’t find the information you want, just call.
If students need to drive on their Temps for six months, they probably will drive in wintry 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.