Wisconsin News Briefs

Wisconsin DMV Extends Hours Ahead of Election

Steps to obtain an ID to vote explained

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will extend hours next week at customer service centers that are open on Monday (November 7) and/or Tuesday (November 8). These centers will remain open until 6 p.m. The extended hours will enable those needing a photo ID, frequently those who are new to the state, time to visit a DMV.

Most Wisconsin voters already have some form of ID to show at the polls, including a Wisconsin driver license or ID. There is no separate “voter ID” and a federally compliant REAL ID card is not required for voting purposes. The Wisconsin Elections Commission explains the acceptable options to bring to the polls on its website.

Steps to obtain an ID to vote

Anyone without the required identification to vote may obtain an ID free from the DMV. Voters looking to get their first Wisconsin ID should begin at DMV’s website wisconsindmv.gov/idcards.

Next, bring the required documents to apply at your nearest DMV. Certain documents, such as a birth certificate, proof of identity and Wisconsin residency, are necessary to obtain an official Wisconsin ID card. If all documentation is not readily available, the ID Petition Process (IDPP) may be used to obtain a receipt valid for voting while the remaining documents or verifications are obtained. The voter should bring any documentation available to the DMV and complete the required application.

Finally, a receipt valid for voting purposes will be provided and may be used to show at the polls.

DMV offers this IDPP service and ID card for voting purposes free of charge. Anyone who doesn’t have an ID to vote in the fall primary election should start the process now. DMV’s toll-free voter ID hotline at (844) 588-1069 is available for questions on obtaining an ID to vote. Questions regarding voter eligibility, poll locations, voter registration information or other election information may be directed to the Wisconsin Elections Commission website.

November Law of the Month: Emergency responder safety

Emergency responders put their community first every day. Those who work on our highways directing traffic, providing critical care, or making repairs are risking their lives to ensure all travelers are safe on the roads.

Since 2017, preliminary data shows 377 first responders have been hurt and eight were killed while working in an emergency vehicle or at a crash scene.

A crash scene can turn dangerous quickly for law enforcement, EMS, or fire crews, because of the risk of secondary crashes. There are almost 800 secondary crashes in Wisconsin every year that happen when other drivers are not paying attention to the scene or backups and cause another crash.

Many of those crashes could have been prevented if drivers had slowed down and stayed alert around crash response scenes.

Gov. Tony Evers signed a new state law last year to improve protections for first responders and reduce distracted driving.

The law:

Bans handheld cell phone use while passing through an emergency or roadside response area, except to report an emergency.

Doubles fines for certain violations that lead to injury in an emergency response area.

Protect workers in construction, maintenance, and utility work areas.

This law is in addition to the state’s Move Over law that requires drivers to move over, or slow down if that’s not possible, when passing a vehicle with its warning lights flashing.

Emergency responder safety is Wisconsin State Patrol’s November Law of the Month to coincide with Crash Responder Safety Week.