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.

eMV Public frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Purchase price information

My city/village/town/unincorporated village isn’t listed, what should I do?

The eMV Public application is designed to bring up the city/village/town that is located in the county selected. If you select a community that is unincorporated, the application will change it to the nearest, largest community. This change will show on the Confirmation screen and on the receipt.

What is a purchase price?

The money paid for the purchase of the vehicle, minus any trade-in allowance.

What is a trade-in allowance?

The dollar value of a motor vehicle traded for a motor vehicle.

What is a sales tax exemption reason?

An exemption that keeps you from having to pay state, county or local tax.

What is a sales tax exemption qualifier?

Additional information that describes your eligibility for being tax exempt:

Family transfer exemption reasons:

  • Spouse (note: if you are changing ownership to yourself because the seller is deceased and you are the surviving spouse, do not use eMV Public, as you will be charged more for the title transfer fee. Mail your application to WisDOT)
  • Ex-spouse
  • Parent
  • Child (this includes child’s spouse)
  • Mother-in-law or father-in-law
  • Stepparent
  • Stepchild
  • Sole proprietor (you are the only owner of a company (not a corporation) and the ownership is changing from the company to a family member)

Miscellaneous exemption reasons:

  • Even trade – Personal property traded for a vehicle with no money exchanged
  • Gift – The vehicle was given to you with no money exchanged
  • Heir – You inherited a vehicle. Purchasing a vehicle from an estate is taxable. Note: If you are changing ownership to yourself because the seller is deceased and you are the heir, mail your application to WisDOT.
  • Native American – You are a member of one of the federally recognized Native American tribes or bands listed below and living within the boundary land of their reservation. The vehicle must be delivered to the reservation to qualify for the exemption. If there is a co-owner who is not a Native American, half of the selling price is taxable.
  • Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
  • Forest County Potawatomi Community
  • Ho-Chunk Nation
    • Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
    • Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
    • Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
    • Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin
    • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
    • St. Croix Chippewa Indians
    • Chippewa community (Mole Lake)
    • Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans Oneida
  • Paid to Seller – You paid taxes to someone who is not a licensed Wisconsin vehicle dealership or out-of-state vehicle dealership. This includes auctions and Wisconsin businesses that sell trailers but are not licensed as dealerships. Include a copy of the receipt showing this payment with your e-MV Public receipt, title, payment and any other forms listed on the receipt.
  • Prize – The vehicle was won in a contest. The prize donor is responsible for taxes and must title the vehicle in their own name first, unless the donor is a Wisconsin dealer.
  • Trust - Transferring a vehicle from a trust to anyone named in the trust or from the trust to a trustee. A vehicle transferred from a parent’s trust to a child is taxable unless the parent’s title the vehicle in their name first then transfer the vehicle to the child. The transfer from the parent’s to the child is tax exempt as a family member. The MV2790 Trustee Statement for Certificate of Title should be included with the items you mail to DMV.

Do I have to list an exemption?

No, not every person using the e-MV Public application will be tax exempt. If you have a tax exemption other than Family, Charitable or Miscellaneous, you cannot use the e-MV Public application.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) reviews all tax exemptions. You may be penalized for fraudulent entries. Call DOR at (608) 266-2776 with any sales tax exemption questions.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation collects sales tax due on a vehicle purchase on behalf of DOR. Any taxes paid are submitted to DOR. If sales tax is paid in error, tax refund requests must be made directly to DOR.

Questions? Contact the eMV support team
Last modified: September 6, 2012

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