Allow Chinese Citizens With Driver's Licenses To Drive In Wisconsin

Allow Chinese Citizens With Driver's Licenses To Drive In Wisconsin

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Colin White started this petition to Sen.Darling@legis.wi.gov and

I would like to see Wisconsin create a rule to allow foreign tourists, especially Chinese citizens, visiting Wisconsin to legally drive as long as they have a valid driver's license from their home country. As China is not a signatory to the international conventions listed on the Wisconsin's DOT website below, Chinese citizens with valid driver's licenses currently have no way to legally drive in Wisconsin.

Driving in Wisconsin with a foreign driver license

My wife is from China and her parents both received 10 year travel visas that let them visit the US for 6 month at a time. Every summer they come to visit us for at least a month and end up being somewhat stuck at home due to not being able to drive while we're at work. We have met many other young Chinese couples that encountered similar issues when their family members have visited. One friend living in Waukesha described his parents staying with them for months without any possibility of them getting out of the house to explore the Milwaukee area despite having a valid driver's license in China. After being limited to weekend activities his parents stated that they will not visit again. I have heard this same story from several couples.

According to the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office, the total number of Chinese tourists to America will reach 4.5 million by 2022. In 2016, "Chinese visitors spent $33 billion on U.S. travel, goods and services in 2016, according to official data." As a state, Wisconsin has many places that could draw Chinese tourists' attention including the Wisconsin Dells, many places up north during the fall foliage and Wausau; home of some of the world's finest ginseng. Removing the driving barrier and translating the website into more languages could potentially help boost tourism to our state from other countries.

Many states, including Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota, have a rule that allows people with a valid foreign driver's license to drive there. Illinois limits driving to 90 days before requiring a person to apply for a state driver's license. Michigan requests that licenses not in English be translated. Most importantly, neither state requires the International Driving Permit. The links below are to the respective state's statutes.

Illinois General Assembly Statute

Michigan Senate Bill 0501 (2015)

I believe removing driving barriers will leave a much better impression of Milwaukee and Wisconsin for family members that travel across the world to visit us as well as help entice more foreign tourists to visit our beautiful state.

Please sign our petition if you agree that people with valid driver's licenses from other countries should be allowed to drive in Wisconsin. If you know the name of more politicians that you would like notified please write their name (not email) when signing.

Thanks everyone!

 

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