Registration Renewal in Wisconsin

Registration Renewal in Wisconsin

You need to have current license plates in order to legally drive in WI. If your license plates are 10 years old or older or are peeling or defaced you will have to replace them as part of the renewal process. Luckily, the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) makes the process easy.

There are several ways to renew your registration. Make sure to do so right away to avoid late fees or penalties for driving without proper registration.

WI Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice

You will receive a vehicle registration renewal notice from the Wisconsin DMV before your car registration expires. Your notice will contain important information about your renewal process, including your expiration date and renewal fee.

Didn't Receive a Renewal Notice?

If you do not receive the notice or if you lose it, you can still renew your registration using your:

  • Current registration.
  • License plate number.

If your registration has expired, you will have to pay a $10 late fee.

Note that it is illegal to drive with expired registration. You may be subject to criminal penalties if found driving without valid registration.

How to Renew Your WI Vehicle Registration

The Wisconsin DMV offers registration renewal:

  • Online.
  • By mail.
  • In person.

Your car may need to pass an emissions inspection before you can renew your car registration. See the “Wisconsin Emissions Inspections" section below for more information.

DID YOU KNOW?: Proof of car insurance may be REQUIRED when renewing your registration!

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Online Registration Renewal in Wisconsin

You can renew your registration online with Wisconsin DMV. An additional convenience fee will be added to your normal registration fee. (See “WI Vehicle Registration Renewal Fees" below.)

To renew online, you'll need:

  • The Renewal Reference Number (RRN) from your renewal notice.
  • A valid credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover) to pay the applicable fee.
    • (See “WI Vehicle Registration Renewal Fees" below.)

If you did not receive your renewal notice or if you have lost the notice, you can:

  • Find your RRN using the DMV's license plate lookup.
  • Use the Product Number on your current registration certificate.

NOTE: If the RRN is not on your renewal notice and you don't get a result in the license plate lookup, your license plate cannot be renewed online.

Once you have paid your renewal fees you will:

  • Print the renewal confirmation and keep it in your vehicle.
  • Receive a new Certificate of Vehicle Registration and license plate stickers within 10 business days.
  • Contact the DMV to check the status of your order.

By Mail Renewals

To renew your vehicle registration by mail, include:

  • Your renewal notice.
  • Check or money order made payable to “Registration Fee Trust" for your registration fee.
    • (See “WI Vehicle Registration Renewal Fees" below.)

Send your notice and payment to the address shown on your notice.

In Person Car Registration Renewal

You can renew your registration in person at:

You will need your registration renewal notice, as well as payment for your registration fees and service fees. (See WI Vehicle Registration Renewal Fees" below.)

DMV Service Centers

Wisconsin DMV service centers:

  • May charge a service fee in addition to your registration fee (see our section on fees below).
  • Accept cash, checks, most debit cards, and credit cards (MasterCard, American Express, and Discover).

Third party agencies

When you use a third-party agency, understand that they:

  • Can charge a maximum $10 service fee for renewal transactions.
  • Accept different forms of payment, depending on location. Make sure to call ahead.

WI Vehicle Registration Renewal Fees

Wisconsin vehicle registration renewal fees and taxes are as follows: 

  • Registration annual renewal fee for:
    • Cars: $85.
    • Electric cars: $175 (only applies to motor vehicles propelled solely by electrical energy).
    • Trucks:
      • 4500 lbs. and under: $75.
      • 6,000 lbs. and under: $84.
      • 8,000 lbs. and under: $106.
  • Motorcycles: $23 every 2 years.
  • Wheel tax: Varies; applicable only to certain WI counties and municipalities.
    • See the DMV's page on wheel taxes for a complete list of counties/municipalities that assess the tax during registration renewal and their corresponding wheel taxes.
  • Additional service fees for renewing:
    • Online: Convenience fee (a percentage of the total fees paid).
    • Third-party agency: $10 maximum fee.
    • License plate replacement fee: $8.

(No additional fees are required for renewal by mail.)

Accepted Methods of Payment

Your method of payment will depend upon your method of renewal:

  • Online: Use a valid credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover).
  • By mail: Pay by check or money order made payable to “Registration Fee Trust".
  • In person at a DMV Service Center: Pay by cash, check, or major credit/debit card.
  • In person at a third-party agency: Accepted forms of payment vary, depending on location. Make sure to call ahead.

Military Member Registration Renewal

Wisconsin residents who are active-duty military are required to renew their registration even if they are stationed out of state. You can renew online or by mail during your absence.

You can ask someone else to complete your vehicle registration renewal for you. Make sure that your designated person explains that you are on active duty. They will need your renewal notice or current registration card, plus payment for your fee.

Wisconsin Emissions Inspections

The Wisconsin DMV requires periodic emissions inspections. Required inspections are noted on the renewal notification.

The following counties require emissions inspections:

  • Kenosha.
  • Milwaukee.
  • Ozaukee.
  • Racine.
  • Sheboygan.
  • Washington.
  • Waukesha.

A car is also required to pass an emissions test after:

  • Transfer of ownership (must be completed within 45 days of the transfer UNLESS a test was performed within 180 days before the transfer).
  • First Wisconsin registration.

If you are required to have an emissions test, you must do so within 180 days of your registration's expiration date.

For further details about emissions tests in Wisconsin, please see our guide to WI vehicle inspections.

Duplicate Registration or License Plate

If your Wisconsin registration or license plate is stolen, lost, or damaged, you can request a replacement from the WI DMV.

Replace Your Certificate of Registration

Duplicate certificates of registration can be requested:

  • Online.
  • By mail.


You can reprint your certificate of registration by completing the Duplicate Certificate of Registration Application online.

NOTE: You MUST be the registered owner, lessee, or driver of the vehicle to use the online application. Only individual drivers, not businesses, may use this system.

You will need:

  • A printer to print a copy of your registration certificate.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF of your certificate.
    • You must print your certificate. The DMV will not mail it.
  • A form of payment:
    • Major credit or debit card.
    • E-check: Have your checking or savings account information ready.
  • A valid e-mail address.
  • Wisconsin driver's license or ID number.
  • Last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • Your date of birth.
  • The VIN of the car that you need a duplicate registration for.

The fee for a duplicate registration is $2, plus an online convenience fee.

By Mail

To request a duplicate registration by mail, you will need:

Send the application and payment to the address on the form.

Request a New License Plate

New license plates must be requested by mail.

Non-Personalized Plates

To request replacement plates, you will need:

Send the application and payment to:

Wisconsin Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 7949
Madison, WI 53705

You will get a new license plate number, so the DMV will also send you a new registration certificate* as well. The new license plates can take up to 6 weeks to arrive by mail.

*New registration certificates are not issued to drivers replacing personalized plates. (See below for more information.)

Personalized License Plates

Take the same steps to order your personalized replacement plates as those for regular plates (see above).

Because you will not be issued a new license plate number, you will not receive a new registration certificate.

NOTE: If your personalized license plate was reported as STOLEN, send your Replacement License Plate Application (MV2118) to:

Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Special Plates Unit
P.O. Box 7911
Madison, WI 53707

Wisconsin Registration Renewal: FAQs

Where do I get my registration sticker in Wisconsin?

You can obtain your renewed registration sticker through the mail within 10 business days if you renew online or by mail, or you can get it in person if you choose to renew at a local branch.

How much is vehicle registration renewal in Wisconsin?

Registration renewal fees in Wisconsin depend on several factors, including your vehicle type, where you live, and any additional service fees based on how you renew. The standard passenger vehicle registration fee is $85.

What do I need to renew my license plates in Wisconsin?

To renew your Wisconsin vehicle registration and license plates, you'll need your renewal notice and payment for your renewal fee. If applicable, you'll also need to have passed an emissions inspection.

Why is there an additional charge on my Wisconsin registration renewal?

If your license plates are 10 years old or older, they may be subject to a re-issuance process. This includes an additional $8 fee for replacement plates.


Duplicate Certificate of Registration Application
Request a duplicate Wisconsin registration certificate from the DMV.
Replacement License Plate Information and Application
Request replacement license plates from the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles.
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