Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Display of license plates and validation stickers

License plates

State law* requires that when WisDOT issues two license plates, both plates must be attached to the vehicle, one on the front and one on the rear. The plates must be maintained in a legible condition and displayed so that they can be seen and read. License plate brackets that cover any part of the readable message on a license plate are illegal.

Validation stickers

Most registration license plates receive validation stickers for display on the rear plate only if two plates are issued (customers receive registration validation stickers when they receive new license plates). WisDOT replaces license plate expiration stickers after payment of registration renewal fees. When receiving new stickers, WisDOT recommends removing the old sticker first, instead of affixing the new sticker over the old one. Cleaning and drying the license plate will also improve adhesion.

State law also requires that you place registration month and year stickers on the rear license plate in the manner directed by the WisDOT. Stickers:

  • Must be affixed to the REAR license plate, right side up.
  • May not cover any letters, numbers or other registration information.

For specific sticker placement information based on vehicle type, see the following:

* Statutory reference section 341.15, WI Statutes. Violation is subject to enforcement action and a fine up to $200.

Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service

Last modified: April 4, 2012

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