Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

Titles and plates for new residents

When you become a Wisconsin resident, you must register your vehicle and get Wisconsin license plates. You are a Wisconsin resident if:

  • Your principal residence is in this state
  • You pay your income taxes here
  • You are registered to vote here

To apply

You will need the following items:

  • The vehicle title or registration card from your previous state of residence. NOTE: When you submit your previous title, you will receive a Wisconsin title and certificate of registration (in addition to license plates). If you submit only your registration card with the application, you will receive a Wisconsin certificate of registration but will not receive a Wisconsin title. A certificate of registration allows you to operate the vehicle legally, but is not valid for selling the vehicle. If you later submit your out-of-state title to the DMV, we will issue a Wisconsin title at no additional charge when mailed to the address below.
  • Completed and signed form MV1.
  • Current proof of identity, if applying in person at a DMV customer service center or to a DMV agent.
  • Title fee. NOTE: If you submit your registration card as proof of ownership, Wisconsin law still requires a title fee. If you later submit your out-of-state title to DMV, we will issue a Wisconsin title at no additional charge except counter service fee, if applicable.
  • Vehicle registration fees, based on the type of vehicle. We cannot give credit for unused registration on your previous state's license plate.
  • Municipal or county Wheel tax, if applicable.
  • Proof of sales tax paid to your former state of residence if you have owned your vehicle for less than 90 days. Tax paid to another state will be applied to any state or local use tax due.
  • Check or money order made payable to: Registration Fee Trust

You may submit the MV1 application with the title or registration card and appropriate fees:

  • By mail to WisDOT; P.O. Box 7949; Madison, WI 53707-7949. Check our Processing time for DMV products page to see the current amount of time it is taking to receive your title or license plates.
  • At any DMV service center offering registration service. There is a $5 counter service fee in addition to title and registration fees.
  • At any of our DMV agent locations. These agents may charge a maximum service fee of $10 for a renewal transaction and $19.50 for a title transaction. Some agents accept credit/debit cards or checks. Others will accept only cash and/or checks or money orders.
  • At one of our DMV Temporary License Plate Agents. Agents will charge a $3 temporary plate fee and a service fee up to $5 in addition to the title and registration fees.
Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service
Call (608) 266-1466

Last modified: October 18, 2011

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