ETI Publications

Document Type

Technical Paper

Publication Date



The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute examined the driver’s license status of Wisconsin youth aged eighteen as of January 1, 2016, using license records from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles. Only 30% of Milwaukee eighteen-year-olds had a driver’s license (probationary or regular), compared to more than twice that rate (66%) for eighteen-year-olds statewide. Stark differences were seen in Wisconsin driver’s licensing rates by race/ethnicity, neighborhood levels of child poverty, and zipcodes with concentrations of “working poor” families. Disparate licensing rates give suburban and exurban youth in the Milwaukee metropolitan area a head start over city teens in securing jobs as they enter the labor force. The analysis provides baseline quantitative data for the Universal Driver Education program recently initiated by Milwaukee Public Schools.