Many details surround obtaining Wisconsin DMV license plate services such as initial registration, renewing, replacing and transferring tags. The detailed information provided below on WI car registration plates and registration services acts as a basic guide to obtaining various types of vehicle registration in Wisconsin. Below you will find that whether you need new vehicle plates, are renewing your plates or are replacing your plate documentation, Wisconsin laws are specific in order to provide residents with a fast and convenient solution to car tag registration needs.

Types of License Plates in Wisconsin

Wisconsin new registration plate types include standard car tags, temporary license plates, personalized tags and dozens of organizational designs. Wisconsin drivers may license plate designs that reflect various sport teams, military groups, professions and charities. These special types of license plates require a small additional fee on top of the normal registration fee.

How to Apply for a License Plate in Wisconsin

The fastest way to get a license plate in Wisconsin is online. You may also apply for car tags in Wisconsin in person or by mail.  If you are wondering how to get license plate services online, simply log into the eMV Public online system. It will walk you through the process of obtaining new registration plates by allowing you to title and register your vehicle in your name.

Before you begin the online process to get license plate registration, have the following items available:

  • Wisconsin Certificate of Title signed by the seller with odometer reading and lien release, if applicable
  • A valid WI driver’s license or ID card, last four digits of your SSN and your birthdate
  • Valid credit card or ACH checking/savings account for payment
  • A printer with 8.5 x 11 paper

Once the online DMV car tag application is submitted and paid, mail the eMV Public eApplication Receipt along with the title to the address on the receipt. Then print and display your temporary car registration tag. Your license plate and sticker should come in the mail within 7 to 10 days.

To get your plates mail or in person, complete and sign the Title and License Plate Application (Form #MV1) and mail it along with associated fee. Alternatively, you can apply for your Wisconsin car tags at any DMV customer service center. Just bring the completed MV1 form and valid payment plus a $5 immediate processing fee.

A car dealer is required by law to file your application for WI plates within 7 days of sale and provide you with a temporary tag. You must get your own plates and registration if you purchase a vehicle in a private sale.

How to Renew License Plate Tags in Wisconsin

You may renew a license plate in Wisconsin online, by mail or in person. For online transactions, follow the steps for how to renew license plate tags on eMV Public and use a credit card or ACH bank account to pay fees.  The WI DMV will mail you your license plate renewal sticker within 7-10 days. For renewing a Wisconsin registration or tags by mail, complete and mail your renewal notification card to the address printed on it. Include payment by check or money order, made payable to Registration Fee Trust.

You can renew your plates at any DMC customer service counter or at one of many authorized agencies and businesses that provide plate renewal services. A complete list of businesses and agencies are on the WI DOT website and include sheriff’s departments, grocery stores and gas stations. The agent will give you a new DMV license plate sticker and Certificate of Vehicle Registration.

How to Replace License Plates in Wisconsin

You must promptly replace license plate tags in Wisconsin that have been damaged, lost, stolen or illegible. Your options for how to replace license plate tags are the same as with license plate renewal, namely online, by mail or in person. When replacing tags, a new plate number will be issued to you. Once you receive your new plates, destroy the old ones, if available.

How to Transfer License Plates in Wisconsin

To get license plate transfer services for a different title in your name, you can apply online, in person or by mail. A license plate transfer can only be done if you are the individual (not a business) owner or lessee of both vehicles. To transfer a car title and plates by mail or in person, complete form MV1 and mail or take it into a DMV customer service center for processing.

Wisconsin License Plate Fees

Each Wisconsin DMV car tag service has its own fee and these fees vary. Generally, the least expensive way to obtain any DMV license plate service is via the online system. Wisconsin implements a standard base fee for license plates. Replacement tags can range in price, depending on the design. Replacement specialty plates can often be more expensive than standard plates. If the registration on the tag-bearing vehicle is current, there is no fee to transfer it to another car.

License Plate Lookups in Wisconsin

You can get a license plate lookup in Wisconsin by completing Form MV2896, Vehicle/Driver Record Information Request. It will reveal the vehicle year and make, the plate expiration date and the renewal reference number (RRN) which is used for online renewals.

Last updated on Monday, September 24 2018.

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