Apply for title and/or license plates (registration)

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.

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

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

​​

Wisconsin and out-of-state titles can be used to apply online. Note: you can apply online for both a Wisconsin title AND plates. 

You can easily apply online for either standard license plates or special plates (if eligible) for these vehicles (vehicle types marked with * will be able to print a Temporary Plate if eligible):

  • Automobiles and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs)*
  • Autocycles*
  • Light trucks (<8,000 lbs.*, or farm trucks at 12,000 lbs.)
  • Motorcycles (special plates not available online)
  • Moped (special plates not available online)
  • ​Recreational Vehicle Trailers (campers and mobile homes under 40 feet) (special plates not available online)

Most special plates​ are available for automobiles, SUVs, autocycles, and light trucks. eMV Public is not available for personalized plates or plates that require approval or eligibility verification (e.g. Military, Firefighter, Operating Engineer, Collector/Hobbyist). Please submit the appropriate application and fees by mail for these plates. See Special plates for specific plate requirements and applications.

​​​How to apply:

1. Review the restri​ctions.

2. Have these ready:

  • A printer with 8.5 by 11-inch paper to print off the required documents.
  • A Wisconsin Driver License or Identification card, last four digits of your Social Security number and date of birth. Here’s how to obtain a driver license with a valid out-of-state license.
  • The vehicle 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 20 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.
  • Payment Information
    • 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.

3. Complete the online process.

By selecting the "START NOW" button 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.
    • Junk vehicles are not eligible for WI title or registration.
    • Salvage vehicles are eligible for title only. 
4. Remember to mail the following items after you pay and complete your online transaction:

  • Title and License Plate​ 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​


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

​VIN error note: If you receive an error while entering the VIN, we are unable to recognize the vehicle. Please mail in your application.

YouTube logo DMV customer how-to guides

Wisconsin and out-of-state titles can be used to apply online. Use this online process to apply for both a Wisconsin title and to transfer existing plates. A temporary plate cannot be issued.

The following plate types can be transferred using the online services for these vehicles:

  • Automobiles and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs)
  • Autocycles
  • Light trucks (<8,000 lbs., or farm trucks at 12,000 lbs.)
  • Motorcycles (special plates not available online)
  • Mopeds (special plates not available online)
  • Recreational Vehicle Trailers (campers and mobile homes under 40 feet) (special plates not available online)

​​See Special plates for specific plate requirements and applications.​

How to apply:

1. Review the restrictions.

2. Have these ready:

  • A printer with 8.5 by 11-inch paper to print off the required documents
  • A Wisconsin Driver License or ID card, last four digits of your Social Security number and date of birth. Here's how to obtain a driver license with a valid out-of-state license.
  • The vehicle 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 20 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​
  • Payment Information
    • 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

3. Start now to complete the online process.

By selecting the "START NOW" button 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
    • Junk vehicles are not eligible for WI title or registration
    • Salvage vehicles are eligible for title only

4. Remember to mail the following items after you pay and complete your online transaction:

  • Title and License Plate 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​

 

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

VIN error note: If you receive an error while entering the VIN, we are unable to recognize the vehicle. Please mail in your application.

YouTube logo DMV customer how-to guide

Apply online for title only (no plates needed). In this application you will not be able to apply for new plates or transfer plates. See other options on this page if you need plates.​ Wisconsin and out-of-state titles can be processed online.

You can easily apply for a title-only with the online service for these vehicles:

  • Automobiles and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs)
  • Autocycles
  • 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​.

2. Have these ready:

  • A printer with 8.5 by 11-inch paper to print the required documents.
  • A Wisconsin Driver License or Identification card, last four digits of your Social Security number and date of birth. Here’s how to obtain a driver license with a valid out-of-state license.
  • The vehicle title, signed by the seller(s), including:
    • An odometer read​ing completed by the seller(s) on the back of the title for vehicles less than 20 model years old.
  • Payment Information
    • 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.

3. Complete the online process.

By selecting the "START NOW" button 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.
    • Junk vehicles are not eligible for WI title or registration
    • Salvage vehicles are eligible for title only​
    • You will not be able to legally operate the vehicle on Wisconsin roads
      • You will not be eligible for a Temporary Plate

​4. Remember to mail the following items 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


 DMV customer how-to guides

​In-person services at DMV service centers have been suspended due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.

Other options to apply in person:

Wisconsin allows third-party agencies to process title transfers and issue new plates ​for walk-in customers.

Note: Titles are printed and mailed from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Madison.

Complete the MV1 Application​ online or download MV1 in advance.

Check out video tutorials on how to complete each MV1 section.​​​​

​How to apply by mail for title/registration (plates)

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

Note: Processing times will be longer for mailed in applications. If you would like to apply online to receive your title and license plates faster (including a temporary plate) see above.

Have these ready:

  1. A printer with 8.5 by 11-inch paper to print off the required documents.
  2. The Certificate of Title (not a photocopy) signed by the previous owner.
    1. An odometer reading​ completed by the seller(s) on the back of the title for vehic​les less than 20 model years old.
    2. If there are any alterations on the title, complete Statement of Intent MV2489.
  3. A Wisconsin Title and License Plate application (MV1). Use this MV1 Application to pre-fill application and calculate fees. Included will be a summary sheet explaining how to submit all documents and payment. 
    • ​If you would like a special plate, include a form for your special plate.
    • ​If you do not use the MV1 Application, please print out and complete a Wisconsin Title and License Plate application MV1 sign (make a copy for your records) and include these fees:
      1. 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)

The Customer how-to guides will help you complete each section of the MV1 form.

Do not send cash. 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 are a new resident to Wisconsin, go to the new resident webpage​ for information on everything you need.

If you do not have license plates for a vehicle titled in your name (never had plates, or the plates were transferred to another vehicle) you must apply for new plates to operate the vehicle. See replacement plates if your plates were lost, stolen or damaged.

View list of special license plates​ that can be applied for through this online application.

Before you get started:

  • You must be the owner or lessee of the vehicle to apply for license plates.
    • Must be an individual, not a business
  • Review the restrictions​ page to check whether this online service will work for you.
  • A new license plate number, certificate of registration and stickers will be issued to you (add this further now)
  • ​A certificate of registration with your new license plate number will be emailed to you. Please keep it with you when operating the vehicle.
  • Please check your vehicle title to see if the body style on the title shows ‘UNKNOWN’ (see example). If so, please contact the Wisconsin DMV by using the below email before using this system. Include the title number or VIN.

Apply online

Have these ready:

  • A printer with 8.5 by 11-inch paper to print a certificate of registration and temporary license plate, when applicable
  • A valid email address
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN) for the vehicle found on the vehicle
  • Your Wisconsin Driver License or ID Card number
  • The last 4 digits of your Social Security number
  • Your date of birth

​OR

  • Your complete Social Security number
  • Your gender
  • Your date of birth
  • Your Zip Code
  • Payment Information
    • Credit/debit card (convenience fee applies) or
    • Checking/savings account and avoid the convenience fee
​You should receive license plate(s) and expiration stickers in the mail within 7-10 business days after completing the online application.


Apply for new license plates now

Once the online transaction is completed, you cannot cancel it or receive a refund. Verify that you have entered the information correctly before completing payment information.

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

Apply by mail

​Have these ready:

  • A printer with 8.5 by 11-inch paper to print off the required documents​
  • A completed Wisconsin Title and License Plate Application (MV1). Use this online MV1 Application​ to pre-fill the application and calculate fees or download MV1. Included will be a summary sheet explaining how to submit all documents and payment. This form must be signed by the current owner on record.
  • Payment information
    • ​Make check or money order (do not send cash made payable to: Registration Fee Trust
  • ​​Send to:
    WI Dept. of Transportation
    P.O. Box 7949
    Madison, WI 53707-7949

Note: If applying for personalized plates or plates that require approval or eligibility verification (e.g. Military, Firefighter, Operating Engineer, Collector/Hobbyist). Please submit the appropriate application and fees by mail for these plates. See Special plates for specific plate requirements and applications.

  DMV customer how-to video guides

If the vehicle is not titled in your name, select “Apply online for both title AND transfer existing plates” above.

If the vehicle title is already 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).

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

View list of special license plates that can be transferred through the online application.

Before you get started:

  • There is no fee for this service if you are transferring unexpired license plates
  • ​You must be the owner or lessee of the vehicle to transfer license plates
    • Must be an individual not a business
  • Review the restrictions page to check whether this online service will work for you
  • A new certificate of registration with your new vehicle information will be emailed to you
  • Please check your vehicle title to see if the body style on the title shows ‘UNKNOWN’ (see example​). If so, please contact the Wisconsin DMV by using the below email before using this system. Include the title number or VIN.

Apply online

​Have these ready:

  • A printer with standard white 8.5 x 11-inch paper to print a certificate of registration
  • A valid email address
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN) for the vehicle to which you are transferring the license plate
  • Your Wisconsin Driver License or ID Card number
  • The last 4 digits of your Social Security number
  • Your date of birth

OR

  • Your complete Social Security Number
  • Your gender
  • Your date of birth
  • Your Zip Code

Start Now

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

Apply by mail

​Have these ready:

  • A printer with 8.5 by 11-inch paper to print off the required documents​
  • Complete Title and Registration Application form (online ​with MV1 Application or download MV1) using the plate number you want to transfer. ​Included will be a summary sheet explaining how to submit all documents and payment. This form must be signed by the current owner on record. ​
  • If the plate being transferred has expired or will expire in 60 days, you must mail a check or money order (see the license plate fee) ​to renew and send with the MV1 application. Do not send cash, make check payable to: ​Registration Fee Trust
  • Send to:
    WI Dept. of Transportation​
    P.O. Box 7949
    Madison, WI 53707-7949

​NOTE: If transferring personalized plates or plates that require approval or eligibility verification (e.g. Military, Firefighter, Operating Engineer, Collector/Hobbyist). Please submit the appropriate application and fees by mail for these plates. See Special plates for specific plate requirements and applications.​

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

​Questions?
EnvelopeEmail  Wisconsin DMV email service​

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