How to reinstate unpaid parking tickets, judgements and towing and storage fees

When local authorities and courts are unable to collect unpaid parking tickets, non-moving traffic forfeiture judgments, and towing and storage fees, Wisconsin law allows them to have the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspend the vehicle registration. Authorit​ies may be city parking, university pa​rking, towing companies, etc.

An authority issuing a parking ticket will send two notices to the registered owner of the vehicle. If, after 28 days, the judgment or towing and storage fees remain unpaid or the defendant does not appear in court, the issuing agency may tell the DMV to suspend the registration of the vehicle involved in the unpaid parking ticket and/or refuse registration for all vehicles registered to the same owner. Most authorities tell DMV to do both through the Traffic Violation and Registration Program (TVRP).

Customers will receive a letter from DMV informing them of the action taken.

A suspended registration means it is illegal to operate the vehicle.

When a person's registration is refused, operation of a vehicle may be legal if the registration is not suspended or expired, but the person may not:

  • Renew the registration of any vehicle.
  • Register another vehicle.
  • Change the registration of any vehicle.
  • Obtain replacement license plates for any vehicle.
  • Transfer registration to another vehicle

In addition, DMV will suspend any non-expiring registration (for example: Collector plates) owned by that person after 30 days.

  • First, pay the full amount due on all unpaid parking tickets, court judgments, or towing and storage fees to the local authority or court.
  • When DMV has received notification that the ticket has been satisfied from the local authority, DMV will remove the suspension. Note: Wisconsin DMV now has an online process to remove the suspension in real-time. Ask your local authority if your paperwork is processed online or by paper through mail or fax.

After paying the unpaid citation, judgment, or towing and storage fees, the authority or court sends a notice to DMV within three business days. Authorities electronically submitting satisfied claims will have the suspension lifted. Registration privileges submitted by mail or fax may take seven to 10 days from the payment date (this includes mailing time).

Please visit request incidents that prevent you from obtaining a DMV product to obtain current information regarding your eligibility status to obtain vehicle and/or driver related products. You will need the following items to inquire about any restrictions (incidents) through this online system:

  • If available, your Wisconsin driver license number or Wisconsin identification card number, the last four digits of your social security number, and date of birth.
  • If you do not know your driver license or identification card number, you will need to enter your proper name including first, last and middle initial, your complete social security number, and date of birth.

Questions? Contact us:

Email Wisconsin DMV email service
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Phone (608) 264-7447