Wisconsin Vehicle Registration: Complete Guide
Buying a vehicle is a serious but necessary risk to take if commuting is no longer economical. One must think through what vehicle to buy, lest they want to end up wasting money in the process.
Take your time in planning how you will invest your hard-earned cash. Begin by looking up the VIN of prospective motor vehicles. Check vehicle history to know if you are paying for what it is truly worth.
If you are in Wisconsin, it is necessary that you register your car with the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). How much time it will take to process registration will depend on many factors. It is generally pricier to get an automobile from a dealer. On the flipside, it does not take much work to process registration. If you acquire your unit from a private seller, you will have to do much of the paperwork yourself.
Check out all the information you need here at VINCheck.info if you want to:
- register your motor vehicle in Wisconsin
- re-register a salvage vehicle
- change your address or name on your car registration documents
- renew or replace your registration
Wisconsin License Plates
Wisconsin requires vehicles to display two license plates per unit. One plate must be installed at the front, while the other one is installed on the rear.
License plates, like the VIN, are used for identification. It provides the police with a means to locate the vehicle owner through DMV records.
Always display the latest registration sticker on your license plates. Make sure it contains the valid Wisconsin registration sticker format.
If your license plates have been stolen, mutilated, damaged, or lost; it is your responsibility to obtain a replacement. You’ll need to submit an Application for Replacement Plates Form (MV2188) either by mail or in person at one of the DMV customer service centers.
Alternatively, you may apply online if you are a certified registered owner. Make sure you can satisfy the following requirements:
- Working Printer
- One Standard white 8.5 x 11 inch paper
- Payment through any of these options:
- Valid Credit/Debit Card
- Direct Withdrawal ACH Payment
- Valid Email Address
- Valid Proof of Identity (at least one of these):
- Wisconsin Driver License
- Wisconsin Identification Card Number/Name
- Social Security Number
- License Plate Number
- Vehicle Identification Number
Please take note that once the online request is completed, the process is irreversible. It cannot be canceled or be refunded.
Who Qualifies as a Wisconsin Resident?
You are considered a resident if you meet any of these conditions:
- Your primary place of residence is in Wisconsin
- You work and pay your income taxes in Wisconsin
- You are registered in the state to vote
General Registration Requirements
Vehicle owners must register their vehicles in Wisconsin within 60 days of moving to the state. Penalties may apply if the owner decides to apply beyond the due date.
- Proof of Ownership:
- Vehicle Title
- Registration Card
- Title/License Plate Application Form (MV1)
- Proof of Identity:
- Acceptable Proof of Identity
- Driver’s License
- Photo ID Card
- US Passport
- Marriage Certificate
- Social Security Card
- Title Fee
- Vehicle Registration Fees
- Counter Service Fee (if applicable)
- Municipal or county wheel tax (if applicable)
- Proof of Sales Tax Paid to a former state of residence (if applicable)
- Payment by Check or Money order made payable to: Registration Fee Trust
Military Vehicle Registration in Wisconsin
Non-resident military personnel may keep their registration from their home state if they were assigned in Wisconsin. The same can be granted for Wisconsin residents working out of state. However, they must keep it up-to-date to be permitted by the DMV to operate.
Registering a Salvaged Vehicle in Wisconsin
A vehicle is deemed ‘salvaged’ by the DMV if it was declared a ‘total loss’ by the insurance provider. Once the ‘salvage’ title is granted, the car becomes prohibited from being driven.
If you think your ‘salvage’ unit is ready for the road again, take it to an authorized inspection agency. The agency will determine if the unit is fit for reuse on Wisconsin roads. They will also determine if there were any stolen parts in the vehicle.
As with other cars, the corresponding registration requirements will apply if the owner decides to re-register it.
Earning a ‘rebuilt’ title will restore the previous rights and privileges associated with the car. To that end, the DMV will issue license plates, sticker and other relevant documents.
Vehicle Registration Renewal in Wisconsin
Vehicle registration in Wisconsin must be renewed prior to due date. The DMV may send you a registration renewal notice days before it expires.
How Do I Change My Address with Wisconsin DMV?
To request a change of address on your vehicle’s DMV records, you must complete the Address Change Form (MV3058).
Once you are done, you may mail it to the following address:
Division of Motor Vehicles
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 7983
Madison, WI 53707-7983
If your intention is to change the mailing address for registration renewal notice, fill out the appropriate section on the same form or change it online.
Valid Proof of Identity for Wisconsin DMV
These are the documents that qualify as valid Proof(s) of Identity, according to Wisconsin DMV:
- Wisconsin Driver’s License
- Wisconsin Identification Card
- US Passport
- Military Discharge Papers
- US Government ID Card
- US Military ID Card
- Marriage Certificate
- Certified Copy of Judgement of Divorce
- Transportation Worker ID Card
- College ID Card
- Social Security Card
Make sure the document you will present is valid and contains your latest image. Expired IDs and those without your pictures may not be accepted.
Vehicle Registration Fees & Other Charges in Wisconsin
Wisconsin DMV charges multiple when you register your vehicle. Each case is different. These fees will be charged during your car purchase if you buy from a dealer. You must pay the DMV directly if you purchased your vehicle from a private party. The fees that are required from ALL vehicles include:
- $85 – Passenger Car Registration Fee
- $50 – Uninsured Motorist Registration Fee
- $10 – Late Registration Renewal Fee
- $2 – Duplicate Registration Certificate
- $10 to $30 – Wheel Tax
- $5 to $75 – Special Plate (varies)
- $20 – Title Replacement
- $69.50 – Original Title
- $69.50 – Regular Title Transfer
- $62 – Title Transfer Involving Spouse/Domestic Partner
- $62 – Title for Low-Speed Vehicle
10/1/2019 and later:
- $164.50 – Original Title
- $164.50 – Regular Title Transfer
- $157 – Title for Low-Speed Vehicle
- $157 – Title Transfer Involving Spouse/Domestic Partner
We hope that this guide will help you register your car in Wisconsin. Although each and every circumstance may require a different process and procedure, the steps to be followed and the documentary requirements are almost identical.