Green Driver State Incentives in Wisconsin

For those who operate eco-friendly vehicles, Wisconsin offers several green driver incentives including emissions testing exemptions, tax refunds, weight exemptions, biodiesel fuel use incentives, and even special grants, loans, and tax credit programs for businesses such as farms.

Note that just as the state’s green driver laws can change, so can its incentives. Be sure to periodically check back with this page as well as the Alternative Fuel Data Center (AFDC) and your local Department of Transportation (DOT) office.

Wisconsin Vehicle Emissions Testing

The DOT determines when it's time for your vehicle to undergo a smog and emissions check, but you'll ALWAYS have to register your vehicle before your first-time vehicle registration and during registration renewal. Any other time? You'll receive notice.

However, if you drive certain green vehicles, you're off the hook. The following eco-friendly vehicles are exempt from smog checks:

  • Diesel-powered vehicles with a model year 2006 and older.
  • Motorcycles and mopeds.
  • Electric-powered vehicles.
  • Non-motorized vehicles.
NOTE: Because they can run on electricity AND gasoline, hybrid vehicles must undergo emissions testing.

For more information about smog and emissions testing as well as vehicle inspections, visit our section on Car Inspection in Wisconsin and the state's Vehicle Emissions Testing section.

Also check our Smog Check Stations widget below if your vehicle isn't subject to exemption.

Alternative Fuel Tax Refund for Taxis

If you use alternative fuel to operate a taxi for the purpose of transporting passengers, you might be eligible for a reimbursement for the amount you paid in state fuel tax.

You must file your refund claim within one year of purchasing the alternative fuel (according to the AFDC) and it must be for at least 100 gallons of alternative fuel.

Reference Wisconsin Statutes 78.75(1m)(a)1 for more details.

Alternative Fuel Tax Exemption

Your alternative fuel is safe from certain taxes. According to Wisconsin Statutes 78.82, counties, cities, towns, villages, and other subdivisions cannot charge any of the following taxes on purchasing, selling, handling, or consuming alternative fuels:
  • Excise.
  • License.
  • Privilege.
  • Occupational.
Again, for more detailed information, refer to Wisconsin Statutes 78.82.

Idle Reduction Weight Exemption

If you equip your vehicle with idle reduction equipment, Wisconsin allows you to exceed the state's axle and gross weight limits by 400 pounds (lbs.); this compensates for the extra weight of the idle reduction technology.

To qualify, you must:

  • Prove the weight of the idle reduction equipment with written certification.
  • Demonstrate that the idle reduction technology is fully functional at all times.
For more information, refer to Wisconsin Statutes 348.15(3)(f).

Biodiesel Fuel Use Incentive

School districts that use biodiesel fuel to operate school busses might be able to obtain financial aid from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for the incremental cost of buying biodiesel as compared to buying petroleum diesel fuel.

NOTE: If funds are insufficient during any given fiscal year, the DPI will prorate the available funds among eligible school districts,

For more information, refer to the Department of Public Instruction as well as Wisconsin Statutes 121.575.

Ongoing Grants, Loans, and Tax Credit Programs

Some business ventures
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