Frequently Asked Questions

Are there times I won’t be allowed to renew registration?
Most vehicles are eligible for online car registration renewal through the Wisconsin DOT. However, there are certain instances when car registration renewal can be held up by extenuating circumstances. Residents who receive car registration renewal notices stating their vehicles need an emissions test must perform the emissions test at an authorized Wisconsin Vehicle Inspection Program facility.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

Can somebody else renew my registration for me?
If you are unable to renew car registrations on your own, you may have a third party renew car registrations for you by submitting a car registration replacement application online.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

Do boats need to be registered?
Wisconsin residents register boats through the Department of Natural Resources. There are three options to register a boat in Wisconsin:

  • Online through the Recreational Vehicle Registration process
  • At a Department of Natural Resources Service location
  • By filling out a Boat Registration Application and mailing it (along with supporting documents) to:
    • Registration Processing Center

PO Box 78701

Milwaukee WI 53278-0701

Boat registration fees are dependent on the length of the boat and whether or not the boat is motorized. Check the fee schedule on the Boat Registration Application for specific fee details.

For more information: How to Register a Boat or Water Craft in Wisconsin

Do I need to file a police report if my registration was lost or stolen?
Wisconsin residents are not required to file police reports for lost or stolen car registrations. However, Wisconsin officials urge residents to file a police report in the event of a lost or stolen car registration. To file a police report, visit a local law enforcement agency. After filing the report, residents must take a copy to a local Wisconsin DMV agency to make a note on their driving record for identity theft prevention purposes.

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

Do I need to return my license plate if I move out of the state?
No, Wisconsin DOT does not require residents to surrender their license plates upon moving out of Wisconsin. Keep the plates on the vehicle until the car registration has been transferred to the new state. From there, the license plate can be kept as a souvenir, discarded or possibly recycled if the new state has a license plate recycling program.

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in Wisconsin

Do I need to turn in my damaged registration?
Wisconsin residents with a damaged registration do not need to surrender it to the Wisconsin DMV. To replace car registrations, residents can submit a duplicate car registrationeither online or by mail. Once a duplicate car registration is obtained, residents can destroy the damaged copy.

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

Does a motorized scooter need to be registered?
In Wisconsin, a motorized scooter is considered to be a traditional scooter with an electric motor or gasoline engine attached. Motorized scooters are not allowed to be operated legally on public roads in Wisconsin, as they do not meet federal safety requirements for road operation. Therefore, motorized scooters do not need to be registered with the state. However, mopeds are considered to be motor vehicles with an engine that does not exceed 50 CCs if automatic, or 150 CCs if operated by foot pedals. Mopeds must be registered with Wisconsin DOT. The owner must also obtain a title.

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in Wisconsin

Does my vehicle qualify for a smog inspection?
Wisconsin driversregistering cars must undergo a vehicle emissions test before receiving their car registration. All vehicles getting car registration in Wisconsin for the first time must go through an emissions inspection before being issued license plates. Additionally, all vehicles in Wisconsin must have an emissions test done every two years (or every other registration renewal). Vehicle emission standards in Wisconsin are set by the Department of Natural Resources. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) has contracted Systech International to carry out vehicle emissions tests in the state.

For more information: Vehicle Emissions Testing in Wisconsin

How can I renew my vehicle registration?
Wisconsin residents who would like to renew car registrations can do so online, by mail or in person. To renew car registrations online, refer to the car registration renewal notice mailed out to your earlier. Notices will include a Renewal Reference Number (RRN) that can be used to renew car registration. If no license plate renewal notice has been received, the RRN can be found using Wisconsin s DMV license plate lookup service. From there, residents can use the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) Online License Plate Renewal service to renew car registrations and license plates online. Residents will have to use a credit or debit card to pay the $75 car registration renewal fee, along with a convenience fee for using the card (fees may vary).

To renew car registrations by mail, Wisconsin drivers must send the pre-printed license plate renewal notice along with the $75 car registration renewal fee to:

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

P.O. Box 3279

Milwaukee, WI 53201-3279

To renew car registrations in person, visit a local WI DMV office or authorized agent.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

How can I transfer my registration to another state?
The Wisconsin DOT serves residents of Wisconsin by registering cars within the state. Residents leaving the state may elect to keep their Wisconsin plates if they plan on coming back to Wisconsin. However, residents who are leaving permanently should transfer their car registration over to the state they will be living in permanently. To do so, contact the local Department of Transportation office in the destination state and ask about the car registration transfer process.

For more information: Wisconsin State-to-State Transfer of Title

How do I apply for a disabled person parking placard or plates?
Wisconsin residents getting car registrations who have been certified by an authorized health care professional as permanently disabled individuals are eligible for disabled parking license plates. Recipients of disabled parking plates must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Own the car the license plate is issued to
  • Lessee of the car
  • Regularly transported by the owner or lessee of the vehicle
  • Employee provided a car by their employer
  • Beneficiary of a trust that owns the car

Completea Disabled Parking License Plates Application and have your physician fill out the section marked Health Care Certification. Residents have the option of getting one permanent Disabled ID permit, as well as personalizing their license plates. Applications can be submitted along with the following documents:

  • Copy of car registration
  • Annual car registration fee of $75 (if initial registration, or car registration is set to expire in next three months)
  • Additional $15 for personalized plates (if applicable; fees may vary)

Make checks or money orders out to Registration Fee Trust, then mail the application and supporting materials to:

WisDOT

Special Plates Unit – DIS

P.O. Box 7306

Madison, WI 53707-7306

For more information: Information for Disabled Drivers in Wisconsin

How do I file a police report if my car registration was stolen?
For residents of Wisconsin dealing with stolen car registrations, the theft should be reported to a local law enforcement agency. Once a report is filed at the police station, the resident should keep a copy and show it to officials at Wisconsin DMV when applying for the duplicate car registration so they can make a note on the driver s record.

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

How do I obtain a duplicate car registration?
Wisconsin residents dealing with lost or stolen car registrations can apply for a duplicate car registration through the Wisconsin online Duplicate Car Registration Request form. A resident using the online request form must be an individual and the registered owner, lessee or driver of the requested vehicle. Residents should also have the following

  • A printer (registration certificate will be available to print after application process)
  • $2 application fee (fees may vary)
  • Valid email address
  • Wisconsin driver license/ID card number
  • Last four digits of Social Security Number
  • Date of birth
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Residents who do not wish to use the online application can also print, complete and submit a Duplicate Certificate of Registration Application to the following address:

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

PO Box 7911

Madison, WI 53707-7911

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

How do I obtain car registration?
To get newcar registrationin Wisconsin, you must choose to receive either a quarterly, consecutive monthly or yearly car registration. To get car registrations, Wisconsin residents need to fill out a License Plate Application and submit it with the car title and appropriate car registration fee to a local WI DMV office.

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in Wisconsin

If I do not renew on time, will there be an additional fee?
Wisconsin residents are urged to stay on top of their car registration renewal dates. Car registration renewal notices are mailed out by the Wisconsin DOT at least 30 days prior to the expiration date, and there are numerous online services that allow residents to find out their expiration dates as well as renew car registrations online. If a resident has allowed the expiration date to pass without renewing car registrations, a $10 late fee is assessed (fees may vary).

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

Is there a different process I must follow if I lost personalized plates?
Wisconsin residents who have lost personalized license plates have to go through a slightly different process for replacement. To apply for replacement personalized license plates, residents must print and complete a Replacement License Plate Application. Applications should be mailed to:

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Special Plates Unit

PO Box 7911

Madison, WI 53707-7911

Fees for replacement license plates vary between $2 and $6 depending on the type of personalized plate. If the personalized plate has been stolen, check the box on the application labeled “Also notify your local law enforcement agency.”

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

Should I carry the registration on me or in the car?
Wisconsin does not have specific regulations on where a car registration should be kept. However, it is recommended that the car registration be kept in the vehicle to provide easy access in the event that a law enforcement official needs to see it. Typically, motorists keep car registrations in the glove compartment.

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in Wisconsin

What are the most common reasons why I would need to replace my registration?
Wisconsin residents should apply for a duplicate car registration in the event of the following:

  • Original vehicle registration has been lost
  • Original vehicle registration has been stolen
  • Original vehicle registration has been damaged beyond legibility

In the event of any of the above, residents should apply for a duplicate car registration either online or by mail.

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

What are the required fees for my vehicle registration?
Wisconsin residents who are getting car registration for new vehicles have to pay associated fees. For most residents, the new registration certificate fee will be $75; however, fees may vary depending on the vehicle being registered. For a complete list of fees by vehicle weight, refer to the License Plate Application.

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in Wisconsin

What are the required fees to get replacement registration?
Residents of Wisconsin who are applying for duplicate car registrations can do so either online or by mail. Duplicate car registration applications require a fee of $2 that must be submitted along with the application and all supporting materials (fees may vary). Payments can be made by debit or credit card, or with a checking account through the Automated Clearing House. Credit and debit card payments are subject to a convenience fee as well.

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

What are the required fees to renew my registration?
There are a several fees associated with renewing car registrations in Wisconsin. The largest of them is the annual $75 car registration renewal fee. There is also a convenience fee attached to transactions done by credit card or debit card. Additionally, residents renewing car registrations in person have to pay a maximum service charge of $10.

Certain Wisconsin counties charge a wheel tax on top of normal car registration renewal fees. Lastly, residents who register after the car registration renewal deadline are charged a $10 late fee. Fees may vary.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

What documents do I need to present to get a replacement car registration?
To get duplicate car registration, vehicles have to acompleted Duplicate Car Registration Application form to the Wisconsin DMV. However, residents will also have to provide the DMV with the following:

  • Valid email address
  • Last four digits of Social Security Number
  • Date of birth
  • Wisconsin drivers license/ID card number
  • VIN

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

What documents do I need to present to get new registration?
Toget car registrations in WI, you must present the following documents and fees, including:

To submit car registration applications and fees, visit a local WI DMV office.

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in Wisconsin

What documents do I need to present to renew my car registration?
Renewing car registrations in Wisconsin does not require many documents. The Wisconsin DMV sends out license plate renewal notices several weeks prior to the car registration renewal date. The notice to renew car registration is all that s necessary for a car registration renewal, along with the $75 renewal fee and any convenience fees charged due to the driver s method of renewal (fees may vary).

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

What should I do if I have not received my registration tags or stickers?
Once a Wisconsin resident has completed an online car registration renewal, he or she will receive a confirmation page that can be printed and used as temporary proof that the owner is in the process of renewing car registrations. Residents should receive their new car registration and license plate sticker within 10 business days. If the documents haven t been received within 10 days, contact the Wisconsin DMV at 608-266-1466.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

When does my car registration expire?
Wisconsin residents wondering when the car registration renewal date is for their vehicle can check the documentation for their car registration. Additionally, the Wisconsin DOT mails out car registration renewal notices at least 30 days prior to the registration expiration date. Residents may also check the details of their car registration renewal through the Wisconsin online DMV license plate lookup service.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

Where can I find a local tax county collector office?
Wisconsin residents looking for areas to find out more information about duplicate car registrations can visit a local Wisconsin DMV location. Wisconsin DMV locations are available by county or city. Not all services are available at all DMV locations.

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

Will I need to fill out an application to replace my car registration?
Yes, Wisconsin residents must fill out a duplicate car registration application to replace a lost, damaged or stolen car registration. Residents can submit a Duplicate Car Registration application online. They may also print out and complete a Duplicate Certificate of Registration Application and submit it to the following address along with the fees and other relevant information:

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

PO Box 7911

Madison, WI 53707-7911

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

Will I receive a renewal registration notice in the mail?
As a courtesy, the Wisconsin DOT mails out license plate renewal notices to registered addresses of Wisconsin drivers at least 30 days before their car registration renewal date. Wisconsin drivers who have not received a license plate renewal notice can fill out a Substitute Renewal notice, fill it out and mail it to the Wisconsin DOT with the car registration renewal fee. Residents may also use the Wisconsin online DMV license plate lookup service to find their Renewal Reference Number and apply for a car registration renewal online without a license plate renewal notice.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin

Will my registration expire on my birthday or birth month?
Your car registration renewal date will typically be a specific day annually. The date will be one year from the date when your last registration began. There are exceptions to this rule for certain specialized license plates.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin