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How Much Do Wisconsin License Plates Cost?

When you buy a used car in Wisconsin, you’ll get new license plates when you register the vehicle. Standard Wisconsin passenger vehicle plates are included in the $85 registration fee.
Wisconsin also has a variety of specialty and personalized plates to choose from, which cost more. Additional taxes and fees apply to both new and renewal registrations.

Let’s get into the details of license plate costs in the great state of Wisconsin.

The Cost of License Plates in Wisconsin

Wisconsin passenger license plates cost between $0 to $40, depending on what type of plate you choose.

Here are the options Wisconsin offers for passenger vehicle plates:

Standard passenger plates
Personalized plates
Specialty plates
Military plates
Disability plates

The fees vary based on plate type. Additional registration fees apply on top of the base plate costs.

How Much are Standard License Plates in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, the standard "Dairyland" passenger vehicle plate is included with the registration fee. Meaning that it’s free…sort of.

You'll receive the classic Dairyland plates when:

Registering a vehicle in your name
Replacing lost, damaged, or stolen plates
Trading down from specialty plates to standard plates

For more info on Wisconsin’s license plate types, visit the official Wisconsin Department Of Transportation page.

How Much are Personalized License Plates in Wisconsin?

Want to make a statement? Personalized plates cost $15. They are also referred to as vanity plates, allowing you to customize your ride with a unique letter and number combo.

When selecting the lettering for your custom Wisconsin plate, there are some restrictions:

You are limited to 7 total characters and spaces
No special characters or punctuation can be used
Offensive or inappropriate words and phrases are prohibited

How Much are Wisconsin Special Interest License Plates?

Show some team spirit or support a cause with a specialty plate. You can sport a plate that supports your favorite Wisconsin college, cause, or organization.

Wisconsin specialty license plates cost between $15 to $40 in addition to the $85 registration fee.

Here are the available designs:

4H Foundation
Amateur radio
Celebrate Children Foundation
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Choose Life Wisconsin Inc.
Civil Air Patrol
Collector special
Cure childhood cancer
Disabled parking
Donate Life Wisconsin
Ducks Unlimited
Elkhart Lake's Road America
Emergency Medical Services
Endangered resources
Golf Wisconsin
Green Bay Packers
Harley-Davidson/Share the road
Ice Age Trail
In God We Trust
Keeping the Lights On
Law Enforcement Memorial
Lions Foundation
Marquette University
Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Bucks
Musky Clubs Alliance
Nurses change lives
Operating Engineers
Rescue squad member
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Scouting alumni
Special Group
Trout Unlimited
Whitetails Unlimited
Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation

For more information about specialty license plates, visit the official Wisconsin Department of Transportation website.
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How Much are Wisconsin Military License Plates?

Wisconsin offers over 50 different military license plates to honor those who served, including the following options

Disabled veteran plates: available at no cost for eligible veterans
Ex-prisoner of war: no fee for verified POWs
Purple Heart: free for verified recipients
Veteran plates: no fee for verified veterans
National Guard: $15 one-time issuance fee

Wisconsin provides free military license plates to verified veterans, POWs, Purple Heart recipients, and other service members. There is a one-time $15 issuance fee for National Guard plates.

How Much are Wisconsin Handicap License Plates?

Wisconsin provides disabled license plates to accommodate residents with permanent disabilities. Eligible Wisconsin veterans can get disabled plates at no extra cost beyond regular registration fees.

To apply for disability license plates by mail, you need to send in the following:

1. Completed disabled parking license plate application (Form MV2162)
2. Completed health care certification section

Mail your application to:

Special Plates Unit - DIS
P.O. Box 7306
Madison, WI 53707-7306

How Much are Commercial License Plates In Wisconsin?

The cost for a commercial license plate in Wisconsin ranges from $75 to $1,732 per year depending on the type of commercial vehicle.

These plates are required to legally operate commercial vehicles on Wisconsin roads.

How Much are Motorcycle License Plates In Wisconsin?

The cost for a motorcycle license plate in Wisconsin is $23 every two years. This biennial registration fee of $23 covers the motorcycle plate and registration required for legal operation.

How Much are Trailer License Plates In Wisconsin?

A trailer license plate costs $50 per year in Wisconsin. Naturally, you only need one license plate for a trailer, and it goes in the rear.

How Much are RV Plates In Wisconsin?

Wisconsin recreational vehicle (RV) plates cost $97.50 per year. This annual fee covers motorhome license plates and registration.

What do I do With Old License Plates in Wisconsin?

When you sell your used car in Wisconsin, you must dispose of your old plates properly.

Here are the options for old Wisconsin plates:

1. Return: DMV service centers will take back the old plate when issuing a new one. This is the safest option.
2. Recycle: remove any stickers and recycle the plate through local recycling.
3. Keep: some choose to save the old plate as memorabilia. Be sure to invalidate any active stickers first.
4. Transfer: Wisconsin allows you to put your old plate on another vehicle you own. Make sure to check with your county clerk’s office for the proper paperwork for a plate transfer.

It’s always a good idea to deface your old license plate before returning or recycling it. This prevents someone else from illegally using it. Always remove registration stickers before disposing of your plate.

See our state-by-state guide to license plates to learn which states require removal from the vehicle and which states allow the plates to remain with the vehicle when it’s sold.

License Plate Trivia

Here are some interesting facts about Wisconsin license plates:

Wisconsin requires a front license plate in addition to the rear plate, unlike some states that require a rear plate only.
Passenger license plates measure 6 by 12 inches and are rectangular—in Wisconsin and across the US.
Motorcycle license plates are a bit smaller, measuring 4 by 7 inches.
The Wisconsin license plate has up to seven characters. (Across the US, license plate formats range from 6 to 8 characters.)

How to Apply for Wisconsin License Plates?

After you've purchased a car from a private seller, you'll get a new license plate when you register the vehicle in your name with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DoT). Here are the steps you'll take:

1. Gather the required documents, such as your vehicle title, insurance, and driver's license.
2. Visit your local DMV Service Center.
3. Submit the vehicle registration application.
4. Pay applicable registration fees, plate fees, and sales taxes.
5. Get your new plates and registration certificate from the DMV.
6. Attach your new Wisconsin plates to the rear and front of your vehicle. Wisconsin requires two plates.

How Much is a Title Transfer in Wisconsin?

The standard car title fee in Wisconsin is $164.50.

To transfer a vehicle title to your name online in Wisconsin, you will need the following:

A printer to print off your temp plate (if applicable) and your eApplication/receipt.
A valid email address to send your eApplication/receipt and temporary plate
A Wisconsin driver license or identification card, last four digits of your social security number and date of birth.
The vehicle title, signed by the seller
Payment Information
Your credit card or debit card will be charged a convenience/service fee for this service
Your PayPal will be charged a convenience/service fee for this service
Checking/savings account using ACH.

Read our complete guide to a Wisconsin title transfer for more info on the subject.

How Much are Annual Registration Fees in Wisconsin?

To register your vehicle at the Wisconsin DOT branch office, you must show proof of used car insurance.

The first time you register a passenger car, you need to transfer ownership if you’ve just acquired it.

Here are the fees you may owe when you register a car in Wisconsin. Note that you’ll owe sales taxes the first time you register a car that you purchase, whereas most other fees are due annually.

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Our innovative platform connects buyers and sellers and gives them all the tools to complete the deal, from in-app vehicle financing to secure messaging to integrated payments. You can also schedule a test drive and negotiate the price without ever disclosing your personal information.

Sell Your Car In Wisconsin

Here’s how you can sell your car in Wisconsin with a few simple steps:

1. Gather the required paperwork for selling a car in Wisconsin
2. Register on PrivateAuto and get verified
3. List your car
4. Set your terms
5. Vet incoming offers
6. Choose a buyer
7. Schedule a meeting
8. E-sign documents
9. Get paid, instantly
10. Transfer title

List your car for sale today!

License Plates FAQ

How much is a vehicle registration renewal fee in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin's vehicle registration fee is $85.00. Here are some other factors to be aware of:

1. If your decals have already expired, you will be charged a $10 late fee when renewing them.
2. You may be required to pay local fees with your renewal, depending on your county or municipality. These can range from $10 to $30.

How much is a black Wisconsin license plate?

Does Wisconsin require emission tests?

How do I avoid scams when buying a used car from a private seller?