Title and receive license plates (registration) for your vehicle

When you purchase a vehicle, receive it as a gift, or you are a new Wisconsin resident, you must immediately apply for a new Certificate of Title in your name. This document proves that you own the vehicle. Never buy a vehicle without receiving a title signed by the previous owner.

If you bought this vehicle through a licensed Wisconsin dealer, the dealer submits the title and registration paperwork for you.

Select the box below for links and information on how to title and register your vehicle in Wisconsin.

​ Seller’s responsibilities:

  • Complete and sign the back of title in full, include the odometer reading (unless exempt). Note: If the Wisconsin title is lost, you can apply for a replacement title online.
  • Give the signed title to buyer. If there are any alterations on title, complete Statement of Intent MV2489.
  • Give buyer a lien release for any lien listed on the title. Note: Contact your lien holder (bank or dealer) to have your lien released electronically or have a paper release mailed to you. The original lien release must be mailed in, we will not accept a copy.
  • Complete Seller notification. You can print out the record for your files and a copy will be sent to the email provided.
  • If vehicle is owned by trust, complete Trustee Statement for Certificate of Title MV2790.
Note: This online service (eMV Public) can be used only if you have a Wisconsin title. If you have a title from a different state, your application must be mailed in (see separate box).

You can easily register online any of these vehicles in your own name upon completion of a private (non-dealer) sale:

  • Automobiles and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs)
  • Light trucks (8,000 pounds or less, or farm trucks at 12,000 lbs.)
  • Motorcycles
  • Mopeds
  • Recreational Vehicle Trailers (campers and mobile homes under 40 feet)

How to apply:

1. Review the restrictions to confirm this eMV Public online service will work for your vehicle.

2. Have these ready:

  • A Wisconsin title, signed by the seller(s), including:
    • An odometer reading completed by the seller(s) on the back of the title for vehicles less than 10 model years old.
    • A lien release if there is a lien holder listed on the front of the title and the loan is paid off.
  • A Wisconsin Driver License or Identification card​, last four digits of your social security number and date of birth.
  • Payment Information
    • Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, debit card. Your credit or debit card will be charged a convenience fee for this service.or
    • Checking/savings account using ACH (Automated Clearing House) and avoid the convenience fee.
  • A printer with 8.5 by 11-inch paper.

3. Complete the online process.

By selecting the link below, you acknowledge that you understand and agree to the following:

I agree that by completing this online application, I am obligated to mail the required documents to the department for completion of my vehicle transaction. The fees required for this transaction cannot be refunded.

This service may not be available on Sundays from 6 a.m.–9 a.m. due to regular system maintenance.

4. Remember to mail the following items to receive your vehicle title, registration and/or license plates after you pay and complete your online transaction:

  • Title and License eApplication/Receipt.
  • Valid original title signed by the seller. If there are any alterations on title, complete Statement of Intent MV2489.
  • A valid, original lien release if the vehicle currently has a lien.

Send to: WisDOT-eMV Public
               P.O. Box 7907               
               Madison, WI 53707-7907

Include these items:

  1. The Certificate of Title (not a photocopy) signed by the previous owner. If there are any alterations on the title, complete Statement of Intent MV2489.
  2. A Wisconsin Title and License Plate application use MV1 Online Application Guide to pre-fill application and estimate fees.  
    1. The appropriate registration fee for either a license plate transfer or, new plates, or renewal if your current plates expire within the next three months. To legally operate the vehicle on Wisconsin roads, it needs to be registered.
    2. Title fee
    3. Sales tax (if applicable)
    4. Local sales tax (if applicable)
    5. Wheel tax (if applicable)
    6. Electric or hybrid electric vehicle fuel surcharge (if applicable)


  Make check or money order payable to: Registration Fee Trust

Send to: WI Dept. of Transportation
               P.O. Box 7949
               Madison, WI 53707-7949

​If you have a title from a different state, your application must be mailed in. In-person service has been suspended at Wisconsin DMV service centers due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.


Include these items:

  1. The Certificate of Title (not a photocopy) signed by the previous owner. If there are any alterations on title, complete Statement of Intent MV2489.
    • Include the odometer disclosure (unless exempt)
  2. Wisconsin Title and License Plate application MV1 completed and signed (make a copy for your records)

           Make check or money order payable to: Registration Fee Trust

           Send to: WI Dept. of Transportation
                          P.O. Box 7949
                          Madison, WI 53707-7949

Options to apply in person:

In-person service has been suspended due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. When in-person service becomes available, Title/License Plate Application MV1 is available at service centers or you can:

    1. The appropriate registration fee for either a license plate transfer or, new plates, or renewal if your current plates expire within the next three months To legally operate the vehicle on Wisconsin roads, it needs to be registered.
    2. Title fee
    3. Sales tax
    4. Local sales tax (if applicable)
    5. Wheel tax (if applicable)
    6. Electric or hybrid electric vehicle fuel surcharge (if applicable)
You will need to show current identification to title a vehicle.

There is a $5 counter service fee. DMV customer service centers accept cash, checks, debit cards and the following credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Make check or money order payable to: Registration Fee Trust
            

Options to apply in person:

If you use our online system and apply for new plates, you will receive temporary plates with your confirmation. (Exempt: motorcycle, mopeds, recreational vehicles) 

If you are applying by mail, locate temporary license plate agents to receive plates.

You must display Wisconsin license plates or temporary plate within two business days of purchase to legally operate your vehicle. ​

Display instructions: Tape the temporary plate inside lower corner of rear window on the driver’s side:

 

Primary location for temporary plate

If you are unable to display the plate due to window size, tape temporary plate to rear passenger window on the driver's side (see example below):

 

Secondary location for temporary plate

​​Here is information on how to transfer titles for these special situations:

    • If you or someone else on the title is under the age of 18 and you would like new registration on your vehicle, complete section H on the Title and License Plate Application MV1 or Consent to Purchase Certification MV2924. These must be signed by a parent, guardian or legal custodian of the applicant under the age of 18. Their signature must also be notarized.
    • Use MV1 Online Application Guide to pre-fill application and have fee estimates provided or receive step-by-step instructions
    • See apply by mail or in person.

  • ​Trust

    • ​If you bought the vehicle from a trust or you would like to put your vehicle into the name of a trust, Trustee Statement for Certificate of Title MV2790 must be completed by the trustees with the full name of the trust. The name on this form must be an exact match to the name on the Title and License Plate Application MV1. We cannot accept the trust documents from a lawyer in place of this form.
    • See apply by mail or in person

Send to: WI Dept. of Transportation
               P.O. Box 7949
               Madison, WI 53707-7949

Online:

By mail:

  Send to: WI Dept. of Transportation
                  P.O. Box 7949
                  Madison, WI 53707-7949

If you already have a title for your vehicle in your name, and you have current Wisconsin license plates in your name from another vehicle that you no longer own or operate, you can transfer plates​ to the first vehicle. Both vehicles must be the same type (example: transfer plates from auto to auto, or truck to same weight class truck).
    There is no fee to transfer a plate with valid registration.

  • Plates are transferable between spouses or same sex domestic partners.
  • Examples where transferring plates is not valid and requires new registration: parent or grand parent to child; between friends.
    Online:

    By mail:

  • Complete Title and Registration Application form MV1 with the plate number you want to transfer on the application.
  • If the transferring plate has expired or is about to expire, make check or money order for the license plate fee payable to: Registration Fee Trust

​      Send to: WI Dept. of Transportation
                     P.O. Box 7949
                     Madison, WI 53707-7949

​ ​

Check when you can expect to receive your certificate of title, registration, license plates or renewal stickers. See processing times for DMV products.

Wisconsin DMV email service

 

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