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Title Transfers or obtaining a New Certificate of Title in Wisconsin

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Vehicle Registration Online Services Guide

A certificate of title issued by the state of Wisconsin is a document that proves legal ownership of a vehicle. A title must be obtained when an individual purchases a new vehicle. A title transfer must also be completed when a used vehicle is sold or gifted, or when a vehicle changes hands as a result of the death of the vehicle's owner.


For new vehicles, the licensed dealer that sold the vehicle typically will accept and submit the required titling information and fees on behalf of the buyer. However, buyers wishing to handle the titling independently can do so. Those interested in applying for a new title without the dealer's assistance should refer to the Title for a Vehicle Purchased from a dealer and Applying for Title and Registration pages on the Department of Transportation's Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website.


Sale/Purchase or Gift of a Used Vehicle

When you purchase a used vehicle, or obtain one as a gift, the title must be legally transferred into your name. This is done by obtaining the following documents, and submitting them along with the appropriate fees to the DMV:

  1. The current title, with the assignment completed by the seller or donor (signing the title over to you), and notarized.
  2. A completed title application form.
  3. If the title does not indicate the date of sale and selling price, a completed Bill of Sale, signed by both current and new owner and notarized.
  4. Proof of identification, like a valid driver's license or identification card.
  5. A Wisconsin license plate or annual registration fee.

Along with the appropriate transfer of title documents above, you will need to submit the following fees:

  1. $69.50 title fee ($62 for transfer to surviving spouse)
  2. $4 fast service processing fee
  3. State Sales tax
  4. Local county sales tax, if applicable
  5. $10 wheel tax, if applicable in your city or county of residence.

Other transaction or service fees may apply depending on where you file the application. Contact the local DMV service center to determine the correct amount of fees due.
Acceptable modes of payment are check or money order made payable to ‘Registration Fee Trust'.

Transfer of Title Following Death of Vehicle Owner

In the event of the death of the vehicle owner, the title is often transferred to the heirs or someone else identified in the owner's will. The procedures and fees for this type of transfer are similar to those outlined above. In addition, it is important to determine how the estate of the deceased has been settled by the heir(s).
In some cases, the heirs may need to complete a Statement for Transfer of Vehicle(s) to a Surviving Spouse or Surviving Heir form, and provide copies of both the death certificate (if the deceased was not a Wisconsin resident) and the will (or a notarized statement of its contents), if there is one.
For more information on title transfers following the death of a vehicle owner, refer to the Department of Transportation online, contact the local DMV service center.


Appropriate title transfer documents and fees should be submitted to the local DMV service center, a DMV-authorized third-party title-registration service provider, or mailed to the headquarters office for fast-service processing:

Wisconsin Department of transportation
Fast Service Processing
P. O. Box 7306
Madison, WI 53707-7306    

Additional Information

  • Contact the local DMV service center if you wish to add, remove or change a name on a vehicle title for reason other than those discussed above.
  • If there is an existing lien on the vehicle, there will be additional requirements for transferring the title
  • A valid title provides proof of ownership of the vehicle. However, remember that a title transfer does not entitle the new owner(s) to legally operate the vehicle. For this, refer to the appropriate license and registration information.

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