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.

License plate renewal options

The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sends license plate renewal notices at least one month before the current license plate expiration date. Automobile license plates expire one full year (365 days) from the first date of operation. The actual expiration date may be any day of the month and not necessarily the last day of the month. If needed, see lost renewal notice.

A late fee is due for most renewals received by DMV after the date of expiration. You may legally operate your vehicle on Wisconsin public roads once you submit the renewal fee.

Use the License plate look up to:

  • Check when your plate expires.
  • Get the Renewal Reference Number (RRN) number so you can renew your plates online.
    • Note: The RRN number is only available for plates that are eligible to be renewed online.
  • Check to see if an emissions test is required for the vehicle.
  • Check whether your plate is suspended or valid.

Options for renewing vehicle registrations

Online renewal:

You will need the RRN number shown on the license plate renewal notice sent to you and a valid MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover card. Your credit or debit card will be charged an additional $1.25 online convenience fee. We will mail a new license plate sticker and Certificate of Vehicle Registration within 7-10 business days.

NEW - Go Paperless. If you are eligible to renew your license plates online, you may also be eligible to receive renewal notices by e-mail instead of receiving paper notices. See eNotify for more information.


Mail the renewal notice and fee to the address shown on the notice. You will receive a new plate sticker and Certificate of Vehicle Registration within 10 business days.

In person:

Title - registration service providers

DMV has authorized several agencies and businesses to act as agents to provide basic vehicle registration services. You will receive a new license plate sticker and Certificate of Vehicle Registration from the agent. These agents may charge a maximum service fee of $10 for a renewal transaction and $19.50 for a title transaction. Service hours and methods of payment vary.

DMV services centers  (find out what plates are available at each DMV)

Present the license plate renewal notice and fee at any of the DMV service centers offering vehicle registration services. You will receive a new license plate sticker and Certificate of Vehicle Registration. There is a $3 service fee per renewal application.

DMV customer service centers accept cash, checks, most debit cards and the following credit cards: MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

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

Last modified: October 1, 2013

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