Alcohol/Traffic Safety and Driver Education

The purpose of the Department of Public Instruction's (DPI) ATS program is to develop and implement K-12 prevention curricula and instructional programs to counter the problem of drinking and driving by youth. Under s. 118.01 (2)(d)6., Wis. Stats., each school board is required to provide an instructional program on the prevention of accidents and promotion of safety on the public highways, including the relationship between highway safety and the use of alcohol and controlled substances under Ch. 961.

Alcohol/Traffic Safety Grants

Districts may apply for funds to conduct alcohol/traffic safety-related projects, or portions of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA)-related grants that are traffic safety-related, in a variety of ways. One avenue is through the department's State AODA Consolidated Grant Program. The Alcohol/Traffic Safety Program also supports student-planned and lead projects through the agency's Student AODA Mini Grant Program. If you have any questions, contact the Alcohol/Traffic Safety Program Consultant, Dr. Randy Thiel at:, or (608) 266-9677.

Professional Development Activities

Through the Alcohol/Traffic Safety Education program, school traffic safety curriculum materials, in-service/professional development workshops, conferences, and training events are also provided. Go to Save-The-Date below for more information on dates, times, and specific events.

Traffic Safety Education/Driver Education

Wisconsin requires the satisfactory completion of a driver education course (classroom and laboratory) for persons under 18 years of age electing to be licensed after the age of 16. There is no longer a State Driver Education Categorical Aid Reimbursement Program in Wisconsin. The last state categorical aid payments to districts were made in March, 2004.

Although state categorical aids have been eliminated, the DPI will continue to administer public school driver education programs as it has in the past. Districts that are planning to continue offering driver education programs will still be required to submit and have on file in the department, an approved Program Approval Application (PII 1709).

As of July 1, 2014, all state-approved driver education programs are required to use the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicle’s online Driver Education Completion System (referred to as DEC).  DEC has replaced all course completion certificates that were issued to students who successfully completed both class and lab, as well as classroom paper completion letters on school letterhead, that were previously used and allowed. Programs having any unused PI 1714 certificates (DPI Student Completion Certificates) are to destroy them.

Information about the DEC system.

DPI Driver Education Program Approval Application (PII 1709)

In the spring of 2004, the Department of Public Instruction introduced its online driver education program approval application for use by public school districts, technical colleges, and private high schools wishing to be state-approved through the DPI. Each year, around March 15, the next fiscal year’s application is launched.

In the spring of 2014, the online program approval application and process was significantly streamlined. Every district and private high school seeking DPI apropval needs to complete and submit an annual online PII 1709.

Upon notification of the application having been launched, districts use a special program-specific URL to access their respective district’s online program approval application. Program staff access their respective applications and submit their data online. Upon receipt of program approval applications, the department reviews each application’s list of driver education instructors to ensure that all listed instructors hold current and valid DPI driver education teacher certifications. A copy of the program approval application is returned to the district office to verify the program has been approved.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Randy Thiel at (608)-266-9677, or Mark Freudenberg at (608) 267-9239


For questions about this information, contact Randall Thiel (608) 266-9677
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