eMV Public FAQs - Registration information

​What happens if I don't report an accurate purchase price?

If the purchase price of a vehicle is under reported or questionable, you may be contacted by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) for additional information or payment of taxes due.

Questions regarding sales tax should be directed to DOR at (608) 266-2776.

What type of license plates can be transferred in eMV Public?

Regular auto, light truck, farm, recreational vehicle trailer, moped and motorcycle license plates. This includes most specialty type license plates, i.e. Green Bay Packer, Milwaukee Brewers, Women’s Health Foundation, etc.

The following specialty license plates cannot be transferred as part of the eMV Public application as WisDOT needs to verify eligibility of the owner of the plates:

  • amateur radio
  • antique and antique motorcycle
  • heavy truck
  • bus
  • collector
  • collector special
  • driver education
  • farm trailer
  • heavy farm
  • historic military vehicle
  • hobbyist
  • human service vehicle
  • low speed vehicle
  • light trailer
  • motor home
  • municipal vehicle
  • municipal cycle
  • municipal official
  • state owned vehicle
  • semi trailer
  • truck tractor
  • trailer
  • ex-prisoner of war

Recreational vehicle trailers (RVT) and mopeds (MPD) previously titled and registered in Wisconsin should have the license plates on the vehicles. License plates for these types of vehicles are to remain with the vehicle (transfer to the new owner).

Can I renew my license plates within eMV Public?

Yes, license plates that expire within 90-days can be renewed as part of the application process. If you are electing to transfer a license plate that expires within 30-days, you will be required to renew the license plates as part of the application process or to purchase new license plates.

What is a date of operation?

The date you first drove the vehicle as the owner of the vehicle; it is used to determine the license plate expiration date for autos and light trucks. Motorcycles, mopeds, recreational vehicles trailers and farm plates have a set expiration and will have a prorated registration fee dependent upon the application date. Note: the date of operation cannot be more than one year in the past and cannot be a future date.

Please refer to vehicle license plates fees for more information.

How can I operate my vehicle if I don't have a license plate to transfer?

If you are not transferring a license plate and request new license plates as part of the eMV Public application, you will receive a temporary license plate at the completion of the application process in an Adobe PDF document that you can print on your computer and place in the rear window of your vehicle. You will receive new license plates in the mail within two weeks after WisDOT processes your paperwork.

Motorcycles and mopeds are not required to display a license plate and will not receive a temporary license plate to print. The operator of the vehicle will need to carry a copy of the application (eMV Public receipt) on their person to show as proof of registration if they are stopped by law enforcement.

Mopeds (MPD) previously titled and registered in Wisconsin should have license plates on the vehicle. License plates for this type of vehicle are to remain with the vehicle.

Can I order a replacement license plate within the eMV Public application?

Yes, if you are transferring plates that are lost, stolen, damaged or faded, you can order replacement plates as part of the application process.  A fee will be charged for replacing your plates.

What is a plate type?

A plate type defines what type of vehicle the license plates are to be displayed on. WisDOT issues numerous license plate types, such as:

  • AUT = automobile plates
  • LTK = light truck
  • FRM = farm truck
  • CYC = motorcycle
  • TRL = trailer
  • MPD = moped
  • RVT = recreational vehicle trailer

See the computer inquiry codes for more information regarding all plate types including special plates.

Where can I find my plate type?

On your Certificate of Vehicle Registration along with the registration type for special plates; i.e. Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Women’s Health Foundation, etc. See also computer inquiry codes.

What is gross weight?

The weight a vehicle equipped for service plus the weight that the vehicle is carrying as a load.  On a truck, this includes the driver, any passengers and a full tank of gas.

Can I raise the weight of my license plate in eMV Public?

The eMV Public application does allow you to choose a higher or lower weight for light trucks (LTK) when transferring an existing plate. A sticker indicating the "new" weight class will be mailed with your other products, Wisconsin title, registration, etc. If you increase the weight of a light truck plate, the eMV Public application will calculate any costs associated with the change in weight class and will show on the Fee Information screen.

Can I transfer someone else's license plate?

Wisconsin law allows for license plates to be transferred between spouses, same sex domestic partners or direct family members when transferring a vehicle from a deceased parent/child. You must apply for a new license plate for all other transfers.

Recreational vehicle trailers (RVT) and mopeds (MPD) previously titled and registered in Wisconsin should have the license plates on the vehicles. License plates for these types of vehicles are to remain with the vehicle (transfer to the new owner).

What if I don't have a printer?

You will need to complete your eMV Public application on a computer that has a printer. You will need to print a copy of the receipt for your records and submit one to WisDOT to complete the application.

When does the temporary license plate expire?

In 90 days or upon receipt of your new metal license plates, whichever occurs first.

What should I do if my regular plates don't arrive before the temporary plate expires?

Contact the eMV Public support team at (608) 267-9418 or email emvpublic@dot.wi.gov.

What happens if I lose my temporary license plate or it gets destroyed?

Contact the eMV Public Support Team at (608) 267-9418 or email emvpublic@dot.wi.gov.

Where should I place the temporary license plate?

On the inside lower driver’s side rear window, or, if the vehicle does not allow for display on the inside lower driver's side rear window, display it as close as possible to the rear window, in a manner that is clearly readable from the outside of the vehicle. See eMV Public instructions for more information.

Can I cut/trim down the temporary license plate?

There is a fold line near the bottom of the temporary plate to reduce the size of the plate.

When can I physically move my license plates to my new vehicle?

Once you have completed the eMV Public application. We recommend that you carry a copy of your application (eMV Public receipt) in the vehicle until you receive your Certificate of Vehicle Registration and title. This is when the transfer has been officially completed in our records.

Why can't I order replacement plates for my personalized license plates in eMV Public?

In the initial phase of the eMV Public application, replacement personalized license plates are not allowed as programming has not been done for this type of transaction. We hope to include this enhancement in future phases of the e-MV Public application.

Questions?
Email  Wisconsin DMV email service​