WI License plate guide. Custom or specialty plates and replacing lost or stolen license plates.
LOST OR STOLEN LICENSE PLATES
As soon as license plates are lost, stolen or illegible they must be replaced.
In order to replace your plates you must:
- You need not visit your local DMV office, but the replacement can be done by mail.
- Fill in an application for replacement plates and mail it along with the appropriate fee. Please see the list below for links to the appropriate forms for each type of plate.
- Pay the license plate replacement fees.
CUSTOM AND PERSONALIZED PLATES
These are the different types of plates in the regular series: Auto, Commercial, Trailer, Motorcycle, Permanent Trailer Identification, Disabled Person, Disabled Veteran, and Foreign Organization. Please see the proper application forms for regular series license plates. When you have completed the forms, take them to your local DMV office and submit them with the appropriate fees (see below).
Special Interest Plates
The following is a list of some examples of special interest plates: Arts, Collegiate, Firefighter, Ex-Prisoner of War, Celebrating Children, Green Bay Packers, Veterans, Lao Veteran, Endangered Resources Support, Ducks Unlimited and Wisconsin National Guard. For replacing a Special Interest Plate or Personalized Plate, you have to complete a form and send it to your local DMV office and along with the appropriate fees (see below).
The fees for replacing a license plate or getting new plates vary depending on the type of plate you need. For more information on these fees please follow the link for Special Interest Plate Fees.
Note: For disabled drivers, please see disability plates and fees.
WHAT TO DO WITH PLATES WHEN BUYING/SELLING A VEHICLE
Under Wisconsin Law you need to retain standard license plates from a vehicle when selling. The plates will not remain with the buyer once the ownership of the vehicle has been transferred. You can keep the plates for another vehicle. You need not send it back or give it back to the Division of Motor Vehicles.