Hobbyist license plates

Hobbyist license plate 

Hobbyist license plate numbers are assigned to the vehicle owner for a lifetime and the registration does not expire. A letter suffix is added to the number (i.e., 1A, 1B, etc.) for each subsequent hobbyist vehicle owned by the same person. Hobbyist plates cannot be personalized.

Types of hobbyist vehicles

Street modified vehicles

  • Must be at least 20 model years old.
  • Can still be recognized as the original vehicle year and make.
  • Are altered from the original vehicle.
  • Are typically known as "hot rods" or "street rods".

Replica vehicles

  • Must replicate a vehicle at least 20 model years old.
  • Are reproductions of vehicles originally made by another manufacturer. (Indicate the year and make that the vehicle replicates in Section A of the application.)

Reconstructed vehicles

  • Are constructed from a vehicle at least 20 model years old.
  • Are no longer recognizable as the original vehicle.
  • If newly reconstructed, the application must include a bill of sale for all major parts used in the construction of the vehicle.
  • May need an inspection by a Wisconsin State Patrol inspector. You will receive a letter requesting an inspection, if needed.

Homemade motorized vehicles

  • Must have been constructed from new or used parts with a body and frame not originating from or resembling a previously manufactured motor vehicle.
  • Homemade motorcycles must replicate a motorcycle 20 or more model years old.
  • May need an inspection by a Wisconsin State Patrol inspector. You will receive a letter requesting an inspection, if needed.

Refer to Wisconsin Statutes 341.268 for vehicle definitions and Administrative Rule Trans 149 for homemade or reconstructed vehicle requirements.

Things you should know:

  • The owner of a Hobbyist vehicle must own or lease one other motor vehicle for regular transportation with current, valid registration in Wisconsin under the same name(s) as the hobbyist vehicle. If jointly owned, each owner must own or lease a vehicle with valid registration in Wisconsin to qualify.
  • Hobbyist registration fees are twice the regular annual registration fee for the type of vehicle, plus a one-time fee of $50 for the first Hobbyist plate.
  • Truck-type vehicles with Hobbyist plates are registered by gross weight.
    • To determine the gross vehicle weight, use the weight of the vehicle, a full tank of gas, driver, passengers and any load you plan to carry. Hobbyist truck-type vehicles cannot haul more than 500 pounds.
  • Hobbyist registration does not expire for as long as you own the vehicle.
  • Hobbyist license plates are not valid for operation during the month of January. To operate the vehicle in January, use the Collector or Hobbyist Vehicle Temporary License Plate Application form MV2750 to apply for temporary registration for a maximum of five consecutive days in January.
  • Vehicles with Hobbyist plates cannot be used for commercial purposes or operated for hire.
  • Except for motorcycles, which receive one plate, WisDOT issues two Hobbyist license plates that must be displayed on the vehicle.
  • ​For more information, visit personalized and special plates FAQs.

How to apply

Hobbyist license plates are not available at DMV customer service centers.

To apply for Hobbyist license plates by mail, please send the following items:

  1. Complete and sign the Hobbyist Registration Application form MV2388. Check the type of hobbyist vehicle on page 1.
  2. Send the above items with your original title (not a photocopy) and Hobbyist registration fee to:
  3. Wisconsin Department of Transportation
    Special Plates Unit
    P.O. Box 7911
    Madison WI 53707-7911

  4. If the vehicle is not titled in your name, you must also complete form MV1 Wisconsin Title and License Plate Application (or MV11 for dealer sales) and include appropriate fees.
  5. If the vehicle qualifies as a reconstructed or homemade vehicle, the vehicle must pass a safety and equipment inspection with the Wisconsin State Patrol. You will receive a letter requesting an inspection, if needed.
  6. Registration fees​

    ​Vehicle type​Gross weight*First plate​​Second​ and subsequent plate, or transfer from a vehicle you no longer own
    ​Automobile​N/A$220 $170
    Former military vehicle

    ​4,500 pounds

    6,000 pounds

    ​over 6,000 pounds​$262​$212
    ​Motor home​5,000 pounds​$147​$97
    over 5,000 pounds​$160​$110
    ​Truck tractor​6,000 pounds​$286​$236
    over​ ​6,000 pounds​$298​$248

    ​For ​​more information:

Special Plates Unit
Email Wisconsin DMV email service
Phone (608) 266-3041
Fax (608) 267-5106