1. Get Started With Car Registration Renewal Assistance Online

In order to renew your Wisconsin car registration, you need to complete a number of important steps when applying. In order to simplify the process, you will need to gather the necessary documents, calculate your required fee payment before being able to renew your Wisconsin car registration. Online assistance can help you complete all of these steps quickly and easily by providing you with all of the information you need to know about replacing your license. Start simplifying your application process today.

2. By Mail

Rather than get ahead with online assistance and services, some Wisconsin residents prefer to handle their DMV transactions via mail. Drivers can complete a few different procedures by mail, but payment methods are restricted, and the transactions have inconvenient and lengthy turnaround times for results.

3. Via a DMV Office

Certain transactions must be completed in person at a Wisconsin DMV office. However, before visiting a local branch, be sure to verify that the location offers the service you require. Not all DMV procedures can be completed at every location. Additionally, note that wait times are typically lengthy. So make sure to take advantage of online assistance to prepare for your visit.


Renewing car registration in Wisconsin is a process that must be completed on an annual basis as drivers who fail to do so can face serious criminal penalties or fines. There are several ways to renew car registration, including in person at the Department of Motor Vehicles, online and through the mail. Drivers are required to provide certain information in order to renew vehicle registration, and must carry sufficient liability insurance while driving on the interstates and highways. Learn more about how to renew car registration in WI as you read the sections below.

When to Renew Car Registrations in Wisconsin

Wisconsin requires drivers to renew vehicle registration annually, as registration credentials expire exactly one year from the first date of issuance. The DMV sends out Wisconsin vehicle registration renewal notices 30 days prior to the date of expiration. If this date falls on a weekend, drivers should make sure to renew by Friday to avoid facing late fees. The WI DMV also allows drivers to avoid expired car registration by subscribing for an electronic registration email notification that is sent up to three months prior to the registration expiration.

How to Renew Car Registrations in Wisconsin Online

Drivers may renew vehicle registration several different ways in Wisconsin. WI DMV vehicle registration renewals may be made online, by mail or in person. Regardless of the method, the state requires proof of valid insurance in order to renew a registration. Drivers who choose to renew car registration online in WI must provide the following information through the official website of the WI DMV:

  • Email address and phone number
  • Vehicle title number
  • License plate number
  • Payment card or payment check information

The Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles also requires periodic emissions inspections to be performed in the following counties: Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Washington and Waukesha. Drivers who are required to get an emissions test must do so within 180 days of the registration expiration date. The auto registration renewal reminder will let drivers know if an emissions test is required on their vehicle at that time.

How to Renew Auto Registrations in Wisconsin by Phone

Drivers are not able to renew vehicle registration in Wisconsin by phone. Although motorists can call the DMV to ask questions, they cannot renew auto registration documents or take care of an expired registration over the telephone.

How to Renew Car Registrations in Wisconsin in Person

Drivers who would prefer to renew expired car registration in person in the state of Wisconsin must visit a branch of the WI DMV. Applicants must show the agent the WI car registration renewal notice and payment, proof of insurance and a completed emissions test if the renewal notice states that one is required. Vehicle owners who have changed their personal information will also need to notify the WI DMV attendant at the time of renewal. DMV service centers can accept cash, check or credit card payments.

How to Renew Vehicle Registrations in Wisconsin by Mail

Wisconsin car owners who are ineligible to renew auto registration online and who do not wish to do so in person, may obtain registration renewal through the post. The WI DMV vehicle registration renewal notification form will have all of the required information on it. Simply follow the directions on the form and mail the requested documents along with a check or money order made payable to “Registration Fee Trust.” If you have not received a notice for renewing car registration, there is an option to download and complete a blank notice on the DMV website. Send all documents and payment to:

Wisconsin Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 3279
Milwaukee, WI 53201-3279

How to Renew a Wisconsin Car Registration as a Military Member

Active duty military personnel who are deployed out of state or overseas when their WI auto registration renewal is due can simply follow the instructions above to renew online or by mail. Military members may also be eligible for proration of the car registration renewal fee if they will not be operating the registered vehicle during the registration period. Documentation proving military status will be required.

How to Renew a Wisconsin Vehicle Registration on Someone Else’s Behalf

Relatives of active duty military members can renew auto registrations on behalf of the service member with the WI DMV. These Wisconsin car registration renewals can be made online, in-person or via the mail. In addition to paying any required fees, those renewing car registrations for active military members must also provide a copy of the soldier’s orders or other proof that the person responsible for the registration is on active duty.

Wisconsin Car Registration Renewal Fees

Drivers are required to pay a fee for their Wisconsin vehicle registration renewal at the time they request it. The state of Wisconsin currently has a set annual cost for vehicle renewals, but expired car registrations will have late fees added if the driver misses the payment deadline. In some cases, other fees apply, such as convenience fees or extra costs involved in obtaining special or personalized license plates.

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