Picture this: You just moved to Madison, Wisconsin and you need some help with the practicalities of life (we can’t just sit back and eat cheese curds all day, unfortunately). That’s where we come in. Keep reading for Madisonian 101, our guide to all things 608 citizenship.
Make sure you’re eligible and registered to vote, find your polling location, and preview upcoming elections and sample ballots.
Driver’s licenses and vehicle registration
New residents in need of a Wisconsin driver’s license will need to provide proof of legal status, a Social Security document, and two documents confirming their residential address.
To register your car in the state of Wisconsin, you’ll need to bring proof of Wisconsin car insurance, proof of your identity (in the form of a driver’s license, passport, or ID card), and a Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification form to any Wisconsin County office (such as at DMV offices on the East side and West side of Madison).
Initial registrations may be subject to an $85 fee.
You can make an appointment at any of Dane County’s offices to obtain a Wisconsin driver’s license. Registration for your vehicle is conducted on a walk-in basis.
Establishing yourself with a primary care provider is one of those things you’ll be glad you did when you need one. Reach out to the professionals at UW Health, UnityPoint, or SSM Health, to name a few. Pro tip: Websites like DocSpot filter physicians by location, patient reviews, insurance, language, and more.
Prepare your student for the school year by registering them with Madison Metropolitan School District. Here, you’ll find your school zone (based on your home address), a list of registration and immunization requirements, and the student entry form. With your required documents in hand, you’ll then make an appointment at your student’s zoned school to complete the registration process.
For information on Madison’s private schools, check out GreatSchools.
Library card registration
If you think libraries are only for renting the occasional book, think again. Register for a library card at your nearest Madison branch, or apply for a temporary card (valid for 30 days) online, to take advantage of:
- Genealogy services
- eBooks, music, and movies
- Online databases
- Private meeting spaces for groups
- State park passes
Thanks for thinking green. For everything you need to know about recycling in Madison, from where to place your bin to pickup times and accepted materials, check out our guide.
Moving is exciting, but no one wants to unpack by candlelight. Establish your services with Madison Gas and Electric by creating an account or updating your address in your existing account. Pro tip: Madison Gas and Electric offers up some incentives to save you money and energy every month.
No connectivity issues here. Check out some of the internet providers on US News and World Report:
- AT&T - Fiber connection. Download speeds up to 1.0 Gbps
- HughesNet - Satellite connection. Download speeds up to 25 Mbps
- Spectrum - Cable connection. Download speeds up to 1.0 Gbps
- Starlink - Satellite connection Download speeds up to 134 Mbps
- T-Mobile - 5G home internet connection. Download speeds up to 100 Mbps
The ultimate Madison initiation
Having a Wisconsin driver’s license and a 608 area code may qualify you on paper, but you’re not officially a Madisonian until you’ve taken part in some local fun that is only found in Mad City.
We like all kinds of sports out here. Whether it’s at Camp Randall Stadium cheering on the Badger football team, at Breese Stevens Field watching Madison Forward FC’s soccer club, or at the rink watching high-caliber hockey, we are proud of our many local athletes.
Start your journey to fandom with our guide to Madison sports.
608 Food and Drink
Here’s a list of the best food and drink specials in Madison.
Madison has four distinct seasons and locals love all of them. Tie up your boots and head out on one of Madison’s many trails.
We can be your virtual trail guide.
Is there something you’re still left wondering about to get you properly established in Mad City? Ask us your question and we’ll do our best to answer it for you, like a good neighbor.