Drivers Licenses


  • Students living in Wisconsin for 1 year or less
    International students can use their driver's license from their home country for up to one year providing that their country is party to U.S. international driving agreements (see list: ). If the home country driver's license is in a language other than English, the student should visit the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to get a form for translating the license. The student should carry the translation with the license. An International Driver's License is also valid for one year of driving in Wisconsin.
  • Students living in Wisconsin for more than 1 year
    Students may use their driver's license from their home country for the first year of residence (see above for more details). If students wish to drive after 1 year of residence, they must apply for a Wisconsin driver's license.

More Information

Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance: See: "How to Survive in America" article on Insurance Information.

If you drive a car in the United States most states require you to have insurance. Don't drive in the United States without insurance. People are often sued for hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars after being involved in car accidents. If you drive a five year old car or newer, you should carry coverage both for your car and liability insurance. If you drive a six year old or older car, it would be better to save your money and fix or repair your car yourself. You only need collision insurance--but you do need insurance.


Liability is the category which covers how much your insurance pays another person if you are "at fault" in an accident (YOU hit THEM).

It covers:

1) Damage to their auto (or property, say if you hit their house)

2) treatment for any injuries they suffer.

Limits specify how much the company will pay and are stated as split limits. The first number is the maximum the company will pay per person per accident up to three (3) people in the car. The second is how much the company will pay total, the maximum in any event.

Example: if you have liability insurance with "100/300" limits, that means in an accident the company will pay up to $100,000 for car damage or injury to per person in the other car (up to three). For one person they will pay $100,000, for 2, $200,000, for 3, $300,000. If there are four or more, the company will not pay more, but will split $300,000 among the occupants. (that is of course maximum limits; they will only pay what is necessary in the actual event if it is less.)

Collision is the category that covers damage to YOUR car if you are at fault in an accident. This covers running your car into anything: another car, a tree, a phone pole, etc. Collision comes with a deductible which you specify. The higher the deductible, the cheaper the rates, by a little bit.

Example: saying you have "500 collision" or "collision at 500" means you have this coverage with a $500 deductible.

Comprehensive is the category that covers non-collision (accident) events. It covers theft of your car or stereo, hub caps, etc., as well as striking an animal or having your car damages by providential events such as tree falling on it, a rock hitting the windshield, a riot destroying it, etc. It also comes with a deductible just like collision."

From "How to Survive in America."

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