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Motorcycle Registration in Wisconsin

All Wisconsin residents must register their motorcycles with the Division of Motor Vehicles before riding the roadways of the Badger State.

This guide will help you with the forms and processes you need to know!

Looking for motorcycle renewal info? It's the same process as any other vehicle! Visit our guide to Registration Renewals for details.

New Wisconsin Residents

Upon establishing Wisconsin residency, you must obtain license plates and registration for your motorcycle. You have the option of completing either:

  • Registration AND titling.
    • By doing these actions together, you can both drive AND sell your vehicle in Wisconsin.
  • Registration ONLY.
    • If you choose to only register your motorcycle, you can legally drive it on Wisconsin's roads, but you CANNOT sell it.
    • You'll still be charged a title fee—if you choose to title separately, it will then be issued at no additional cost.

You can register in person or by mail. You'll need:

  • Your out-of-state title and registration.
    • If you're registering only, the title isn't necessary.
  • A completed Title/License Plate Application (Form MV1).
    • Applicants under 18 years old must have this form signed by your parent/guardian and notarized.
  • Proof* of:
    • Identification—see the DMV's guide to acceptable paperwork.
    • Paid sales tax to your prior state of residence, IF you've owned the motorcycle for under 90 days.
  • Payment for the $23 plate fee, plus any other applicable taxes and fees (see below).

Visit your local DMV office with your paperwork, or send it to:

WisDOT
P.O. Box 7949
Madison, WI 53707

Your motorcycle registration in Wisconsin is valid for 2 years. Note that motorcycles are exempt from emissions inspections, so there are no further steps once your bike is registered in the state.

*NOTE: Though proof of insurance is not required, operating your motorcycle without proper motorcycle insurance could land you a ticket, fines, and a higher insurance rate.

WI Motorcycle Registration

After buying a motorcycle in Wisconsin, you must apply for a Wisconsin title and registration immediately.

The process depends on whether you got your motorcycle through:

  • A dealership.
    OR
  • A private seller.

Purchases from a Dealership

When you buy a motorcycle at a dealership in Wisconsin, they will typically submit all the necessary paperwork for you. Make sure to ask the dealership agent before you leave if any additional steps will be required on your end.

In general, the motorcycle titling and registration fees will be added on to the purchase price. Once the DMV has received your paperwork from the dealer, they'll send your license plates and permanent registration by mail.

Purchases from a Private Seller

When you purchase a motorcycle from a private seller, you must complete the titling and registration process yourself.

Wisconsin gives you the option of registering:

  • Online.
  • By mail or in person.

Online Registration

The WI Division of Motor Vehicles eMV Public application can help you register your new motorcycle from your computer. First, check your motorcycle's eligibility to confirm that this service is an option for you.

Before you begin, make sure you have a working printer to print your receipt, plus:

  • The signed-over vehicle title.
    • If the motorcycle is under 10 years old, include an odometer statement.
  • A lien release, if applicable.
  • Your driver's license or ID card.
    • You'll also submit your SSN and birth date.
  • A valid bank account or credit/debit card for payment.
    • The DMV charges a convenience fee for credit/debit transactions.

Once you've submitted your eMV Public registration application, you'll need to:

  • Print your receipt.
  • Gather the appropriate paperwork listed above.
  • Send all documents to the address on your receipt.

Temporary plates are NOT required to get your motorcycle on the road—but you DO need to keep your printed receipt on you at all times while riding as proof of registration until your permanent document comes in the mail.

Registration by Mail or in Person

If your motorcycle doesn't qualify for the online application, or you prefer to visit a WI DMV office, you can register your motorcycle in person.

You'll need:

  • The signed and completed title.
    • Include an odometer reading if the bike is under 10 years old.
  • A completed Title/License Plate Application (Form MV1).
    • If you're under 18 years old, you'll need your parent/guardian's signature, AND the application must be notarized.
  • Proof of identification—the DMV provides a list of documents.
  • Payment for the $23 plate fee plus any other applicable fees and taxes.

Head to your local DMV branch with everything listed above, or send it all to the applicable address listed on the application form—either for standard registration or special plates.

Motorcycle Registration Fees & Taxes

You may be required to pay the following fees and taxes when you register or renew your motorcycle registration in Wisconsin:

  • Motorcycle registration: $23 for 2 years.
  • Personalized plates: Additional $15 per year.
  • Title: $69.50.
  • Lien fee: $10.
  • Taxes: Based on purchase price—
    • Sales/use tax: 5%.
    • County tax (if charged): 0.5%.
  • Credit/debit convenience fee: Percentage of the total transaction cost. Ask the Wisconsin DMV for more info.

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