Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Military license plate design frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Red/white/blue military license plate design (effective July 1, 2008)
Red/white/blue military license plate design (effective July 1, 2008)

When will WisDOT be returning to the more traditional red/white/blue design for military license plates?

Beginning July 1, 2008, WisDOT started issuing a new red/white/blue design for all new military license plate applications.

Why is the plate design changing from the white background to a red/white/blue background?

WisDOT began issuing military group license plates in 1989 with a red, white and blue background. When we began replacing these plates in July 2007, we received objections from veterans to the white background plate design, which is the standard design for most other special plates. We developed another plate design that retains more of the red/white/blue background that was present in the original plate design.

If I have military plates with a white background, can I keep that design?

Yes, if you prefer the white background military plate design. However, if you need to replace these plates later, due to damage, loss, etc., you will receive the new design plates.

I have military plates with a white background, how do I switch to the new red/white/blue design?

You may switch to the red/white/blue design by requesting replacement military license plates. Complete and mail the MV2118 (Replacement License Plate application) with a replacement plate fee of $10.

Since WisDOT is returning to plates with a red/white/blue background, can I display my original design red/white/blue background military plates?

No. There are differences between the two designs. For example, the word “Wisconsin” appears at the top of the plate for the July 2008 version (same as most other plate designs) and some of the military service/campaign decals have changed.

I like the white background military plate, but need to apply for replacement plates due to damage/theft/loss. Can I receive replacement plates with the white background?

No. Beginning July 1, 2008, all military replacement plates have the new red/white/blue background. New military plates with a white background are no longer available.

If I discontinued my military plates and would like to reapply for red/white/blue military plates is it necessary to submit a copy of my DD214, "Discharge Certificate," or equivalent with my application?

Yes. You must submit the MV2653 (Military License Plate application) and a copy of your DD214, "Discharge Certificate," or equivalent. Even though these documents may have been submitted with the original military plate application, they may not be available for us to view due to time limitations on our retention of documents. The military plate issuance fee of $15 would apply as described on the MV2653.

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Last modified: August 9, 2013

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