DMV investigations recovered over $1 million for consumers last year

​Release date: April 12, 2022

Wisconsin Department of Transportation's (WisDOT) Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Dealer and Agent Section announces its Field Investigation Unit recouped nearly $1,180,000 for consumers in 2021 in the way of refunds, repairs and services following DMV investigations. This specialized unit recovers an average of $1.2M per year. 

“The Investigation Unit prides itself on being a resource to both consumers and dealers. Being able to mediate a resolution between all parties, in which everyone is satisfied with the outcome, is the Investigation Unit’s primary goal,” DMV Administrator Kristina Boardman said.

In addition to resolving consumer disputes, the Field Investigation Unit also regulates and educates more than 5,500 licensed motor vehicle dealers, wholesale auto auctions, and salvage dealers. They collaborate with federal, state and local enforcement agencies to deter criminal activity and protect consumers. They also investigate unlicensed dealers, odometer tampering and title fraud. 

Investigators help consumers by following up on complaints and mediating settlements with a dealer after consumers’ individual attempts fail. Among the most common complaints are:
  • Failure to disclose mechanical issues or material history
  • Failure to process title and registration applications
  • Selling without a valid dealer’s license
Online resources first stop to help consumers
DMV has many online resources at wisconsin.dmv.gov to help consumers. Check out the DMV consumer rights page for additional information. 

Consumers may be able to file a complaint against a dealer​, if there’s a problem obtaining title and/or registration, or warranty repairs. However, Wisconsin DMV is unable to help if the car was purchased from a private seller or from an out-of-state dealer. 

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581, opa.exec@dot.wi.gov