Vehicle Code in Wisconsin

What is the Vehicle Code

The Wisconsin vehicle code explains all the rules and regulations associated with vehicles and roadways. You'll find laws and requirements for anything auto related, including penalties, fines, and fees. New laws are added regularly to the Code, and old laws removed, so it is wise to stay updated.

Where is the Code?

The Wisconsin vehicle code is broken into four sections, all four of which can be accessed online using the free Adobe Reader.

Accessible To All?

You can find a copy of the full vehicle code in Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations on the Wisconsin State Legislature website. You can also find the rules of the road section and the regulations pertaining to cars and light trucks or driver licensing and regulation.

The vehicle code is also available at any local Wisconsin Law Library in book form or formatted in electronic data.

In book form, the updated laws are printed onto slim inserts that are placed in the back of each book or into an update volume found at the end of each section or chapter. If the code that is already printed in the current books is affected by changes in the law, then that code is noted in the permanent books, the insert is printed, and the future printings will include the changes and include the altered laws and the new laws.

What Does the Code Cover?

The vehicle code contains every Wisconsin law that applies to vehicles, roads, driving, transportation, commercial vehicles, commercial driver licenses, streets, bicycles, pedestrians, highways, public streets, off-road vehicles, motor homes, or anything else related to roads and the movement thereon.

How to Use the Code

While the code is pretty intimidating at first look, if you break it down into the component parts, it becomes easier to understand.

Since the codes are laws, the writing is usually a form of "legalese" and can be a bit difficult to decipher at first; however, it is a code that can be cracked.

Start by imagining that you want to open a small used car lot, but you need to know the rules and laws that will be involved in opening a lot. You'll need to narrow your search by making a list of the individual things that you'll need to investigate. For a used car lot, here are a few:

  • Business licensing.
  • Obtaining stock and auction permits.
  • Lot zoning restrictions.
  • Repair department rules.
  • Financing rules, can we carry paper.
  • Warranties and guarantees.
  • Registration and titling.
  • Liens and clouded titles.
  • Lemon laws for used cars.
  • Repair rules.
  • Disclosure for former salvage.
  • Odometer disclosure.

Finding things in the vehicle code is much like using an Internet search engine. You'll need to break down each search question into the largest parts. If you're looking for registration and titling, you would need to begin by searching for those terms, then pinpoint it to how those rules apply to a used car dealer.

With a little practice, you'll learn how to find what you're looking for.

Check Your License Status

Whenever you need or want to check the status of your driver's license, you can order a driving record report. This record will spell out if your driver's license is currently valid. Should your license have been revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what's on record at the WI Division of Motor Vehicles. This report will also show points against your license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.

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