Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

Late fee for license plate renewal

Renewing license plates for autos, light trucks, motorcycles and mopeds after the expiration date requires a $10 late fee. Vehicles registered over 8,000 pounds gross weight are exempt from late fees, but any vehicle operating after the expiration date is subject to law enforcement action. You may legally operate your vehicle on Wisconsin public roads once you submit the renewal fee.

There are a variety of ways to help you renew on time:

  • By mail - The least expensive way to renew license plates is by mailing the renewal notice you received in the mail. The only cost is for a postage stamp.
  • Online - You may renew online using a MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover credit or debit card or ACH payment (Automated Clearing House) from your checking or savings account. Your credit or debit card will be charged a convenience fee for this service. There is no convenience fee charged for ACH payment.
  • Third party agencies and businesses - DMV has contracted with agencies and businesses to provide license plate renewal services for walk-in customers. DMV agents are located in several communities around Wisconsin and some offer evening and weekend hours. These agents may charge a maximum service fee of $10 for a renewal transaction.
  • DMV customer service centers - Renewing at 5-day DMV service centers requires a $3 service fee. DMV customer service centers accept cash, checks, debit cards and the following credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Debit cards will be processed as credit.


All of the above costs are in addition to the regular license plate renewal fee specified in the renewal notice all vehicle owners receive. Check processing times to determine when you can expect your renewal to be processed.

Review your renewal notice carefully. Motorists are reminded of the late fee requirement on the renewal notice. The registration expiration date appears on the vehicle's Certificate of Registration and on the renewal notice. Not all license plates expire on the last day of the month. Auto license plates can expire on any day of the month. For example, an auto first operated on December 16 expires on December 15 in future years and not at the end of the month.

Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service
Call: (608) 266-1466

Last modified: November 17, 2014

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