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Wisconsin Vehicle Registration

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WI Vehicle Registration Summary

On ourWisconsin Vehicle Registration page, you’ll find information on registering a vehicle with the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles. You can also read about car registration for new residents, WI registration renewals, vehicle inspections, duplicates, address changes, and military member registration.

Registering a Vehicle in Wisconsin

You must register your vehicle through the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles.

The DMV allows you to register your vehicle online, by mail or in person.

Online Registrations in WI

As a new Wisconsin resident, you may NOT register your vehicle online if any of the following apply:

  • The vehicle title is in the name of a business.
  • You are less than 18 years old.
  • A Wisconsin dealer is registering the vehicle on your behalf.
  • You lease your vehicle.
  • There are more than two new owners on the title.

Once you confirm you qualify to register your vehicle online, please gather the following:

  • Your Wisconsin driver’s license or Identification card.
  • The last 4 digits of your Social Security number and date of birth.
  • Proof of ownership via the original title.
  • A lien release if there is a lienholder on the front of the title and you paid off the loan.
  • Payment for WI car applicable fees, and taxes

Please note, you must mail the following items after you pay and complete your online transaction:

  • Your Title and License Plate eApplication/Receipt.
  • A valid, original Lien Release, if the vehicle currently has a lien.

Mail both documents to:

WisDOT -eMV PublicPO Box 7907
Madison, WI 53707

Register by Mail in Wisconsin

If you choose to register your vehicle by mail, please be aware the processing times are much longer than if you register online or in person.

To register by mail, please gather the following:

Mail all of the above to:

WisDOT Smart MV1PO BOx 7949
Madison, WI 53707

In Person Registrations in WI

To register your vehicle, please visit your local WI DMV office and present:

  • A completed Title/License Plate Application (Form MV1).
  • Proof of identity.
  • Proof of ownership via the original title OR current out-of-state registration.
  • Proof of sales tax paid to your prior state, if you have owned the vehicle for less than 90 days.
  • Payment for WI car applicable fees, and taxes.

Current registration fee for passenger vehicles is $85.

Registering Vehicles Purchased from a WI Dealer

When you purchase a vehicle from a licensed Wisconsin car dealership, the dealer will submit all necessary documents to the WI DMV on your behalf.

Wisconsin car dealers will issue temporary WI registration and plates until your permanent decals arrive by mail.

To legally operate your vehicle, you must display your temporary plates within 2 days of purchasing your vehicle.

Vehicles Purchased from a Private Party

When you purchase a vehicle from an individual in Wisconsin, you must register it within 60 days of the purchase date.

To register your vehicle, you can either submit your documents by mail or visit your local WI DMV office. and present:

If you prefer to handle the process by mail, you can send everything to the address listed on your application form. Please note, DMV processing times for mailed applications may take longer.

NOTE: You do not need to show proof of vehicle insurance when registering your vehicle. However, the Wisconsin DMV requires you to maintain valid car insurance.

WI Vehicle Registration for New Residents

New to Wisconsin?

The Wisconsin DMV requires you to apply for a WI title and vehicle registration once you establish residency. You become a resident when your primary residence is in Wisconsin, you pay income taxes, or you register to vote in Wisconsin.

For specific details on how to register your vehicle online, by mail and in person, please read our section above, Registering a Vehicle in Wisconsin.

WI Registration for Military Drivers

In Wisconsin, military personnel who need to register a vehicle may follow the same process as civilians.

If you currently reside in Wisconsin, please refer to the section above Registering a Vehicle in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin residents on active duty and stationed outside the state may register their vehicle by mail as normal. See Registering a Vehicle in Wisconsin.

If you are a military member, you can also have someone else register a vehicle on your behalf. The Wisconsin DMV may require your friend or family member to show proof of military ID and duty orders.

Registration for Non-Residents

The WI DMV does NOT require service members who are stationed in Wisconsin (but reside in another state) to register their vehicles in WI.

Notably, all military personnel must maintain current registration and car insurance from their home state. If they become a resident of Wisconsin, they’ll need WI car registration.

See Vehicle Registration for New Residents to learn more.

Renewing Your Registration in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, you can renew your vehicle registration online, by mail, or in person at your nearest DMV office.

The Wisconsin DMV will send a vehicle registration renewal notice before your current vehicle registration expires. A late fee of $10 applies if your registration expires.

You can renew your WI vehicle registration online if:

  • There is an online renewal reference number on your renewal notice.
  • You have a valid credit card for WI car registration fees.
    • There is an additional $1.25 fee for online renewals.

If you did not receive your renewal notice, you are still responsible for renewing your registration before it expires. Please note, you can always use your vehicle license plate number OR current registration to complete your registration renewal either in person or online.

For further details about renewing your registration, see Wisconsin Registration Renewals.

Replace a Lost or Damaged Registration

If your WI registration card, license plate, or stickers have been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can apply for a replacement online, by mail, or in person at your local WI DMV office.

Online

To replace your WI registration card online, you must be the registered owner of the vehicle.

You may visit the WI DMV online replacement portal and be ready with the following:

  • A valid Wisconsin driver’s license or ID.
  • The last 4 digits of your Social Security Number (SSN) and your date of birth, OR:
    • Your full name, SSN and date of birth.
  • A valid email address.
  • Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  • Acceptable payment for your replacement registration card fee.

In Person

To replace your WI registration card in person, you’ll need to visit a nearby WI DMV office with your:

By Mail

To replace your registration by mail, please send a completed Duplicate Certificate of Registration Application (Form MV2026) and a check made (payable to ‘Registration Fee Trust’) for $2 to:
Wisconsin Department of TransportationPO Box 7911
Madison, WI 53707

Changes to Your WI Car Registration

Name Changes on WI Registration

You can make changes to your name or address on your WI vehicle registration online, by mail or in person at the WI DMV. Importantly, you must first change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Next, you can make the change on your WI driver’s license.

Changing your name on your license or ID card automatically changes the name on your Wisconsin DMV base record. Once you complete these steps, you can request updated vehicle registration.

NOTE: The WI DMV does NOT require you to obtain a corrected title or registration documents with your new name. If you want updated documents reflecting your new name, you must request them.

Online Duplicate Registration with Name Change

To apply for a duplicate registration or title online, have the following ready:
  • A valid Wisconsin driver’s license or ID.
  • The last 4 digits of your SSN and your date of birth.
  • A valid email address.
  • Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  • Acceptable payment for your duplicate registration card or title fee.
    • The fee for replacement registration is $2 and the duplicate title fee is $20.

Name Changes In Person or By Mail

To change your name in person, visit your local Wisconsin DMV office and bring:

  • Your Wisconsin driver’s license with your new name.
  • The current vehicle title.
  • Payment for the $20 title fee.

To request updated registration or title documents by mail, gather all of the following:

Then, mail everything to:

Wisconsin Department of TransportationPO Box 7949
Madison, WI 53707

Address Changes on WI Vehicle Registration

When you move to a new residence, you must file an address change with your post office. The Wisconsin DMV will mail a registration renewal notice to your most recent address on file with the United States Postal Service.

If you want to order registration documents with your updated address, please see Replace a Lost or Damaged Registration.

Vehicle Registration Fees in WI

Wisconsin determines fees for vehicles with a gross weight over 4,500 pounds by type of vehicle and weight. Fees for these vehicles range from $36.50 up to $2,578.

Below are some other registration and registration related fees in Wisconsin:

  • Passenger vehicles: $85.
  • Electric vehicles: $100.
  • Recreational vehicle trailer: $15.
  • Motorcycles: $23 (biennial).
  • Duplicate title fee: $20.
  • Duplicate registration fee: $2.
  • Renewal late fee: $10.
  • Wheel tax in applicable counties ranges from $10 to $40.

For a complete list of registration fees, you may visit the Wisconsin DMV website.

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Last Verified:
Jun 14, 2022