Automobiles (passenger vehicles)
Light truck (8,000 pounds or less)
When you purchase or receive a vehicle as a gift, you must immediately apply for a Certificate of Title.
The seller must complete the assignment of title, including odometer disclosure (unless exempt) and signature and give you the original document with a lien release for each lien listed on the title. Never buy a vehicle without seeing and receiving a title signed by the previous owner.
To apply in person:
You will need the following items:
- The Certificate of Title (not a photocopy) signed by the previous owner
- Completed and signed Wisconsin Title & License Plates form
MV1 (make a copy for your records)
- Current identification, if applying in person at a DMV customer service center or to a DMV agent
- A license plate to transfer or the annual registration fee if you do not have plates or if your current plates expire within the next three months
- Sales tax
Local sales tax (if applicable)
Wheel tax (if applicable)
- Check or money order made payable to:
Registration Fee Trust
Use the MV1 form to apply for registration (license plates). If you already have valid Wisconsin license plates in your name, you can transfer them to another vehicle, if it is the same type (example: car to car, or truck to same weight class truck). Write the plate number you want to transfer on the application form.
Apply for plates
If you don't have license plates, we will issue them to you. You will receive a Certificate of Registration with the Certificate of Title. License plates will arrive two to three weeks after you receive the Certificates of Title and Registration. The title is the ownership document for your vehicle. It is an important document and should be kept in a safe place, but not in your vehicle. The Certificate of Registration should be kept in the vehicle as proof of current registration.
You must display Wisconsin license plates within 2 business days
To legally operate your vehicle you must display a permanent or temporary plate within two business days of purchase.
You may submit the MV1 application, along with the title and appropriate fees at any DMV customer service center offering registration service or at one of our DMV Agents. If you apply at a DMV customer service center, there is a $5 counter service fee in addition to title and registration fees. An agent will charge a $3 plate fee and/or a service fee up to $5.
If you already have a valid plate in your name to transfer, you may submit the application by mail. Valid license plates are transferable between spouses or domestic partners. If transferring a vehicle from another family member or seller you will need to purchase your own plates. Make copies of your application and keep them in your vehicle until you receive your Certificate of Registration.
Obtain service at:
When can I expect my certificate of title, registration, license plates or renewal stickers?
See processing times for DMV products.
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