In the state of Wisconsin all motor vehicles and trailers used upon the highways must be registered, except:
A vehicle operated in accordance with the provisions relating to registration of dealers, distributors, manufacturers, transporters or finance companies;
A vehicle operated in accordance with the provisions exempting nonresident or foreign-registered vehicles from registration;
A farm tractor used exclusively in agricultural operations, including threshing, or used exclusively to provide power to drive other machinery, or to transport from job to job machinery driven by such tractor;
a vehicle operated in accordance with S. 341.405 (IRP);
A trailer or semitrailer used exclusively for the transportation of farm machinery, implements, produce or supplies on a farm or between farms;
A trailer or semitrailer permanently equipped with a welldrilling outfit or designed for moving pea viners and used exclusively for either of such purposes;
A fork-lift truck, a specially constructed road or truck tractor used for shunting trailers or semitrailers in terminal areas or a trailer which is used principally off the highway;
A motor truck which is operated upon a highway only when directly crossing such highway;
A motor vehicle last previously registered in another jurisdiction or a repaired salvage vehicle operated to or from a location where it is to be inspected as required by statute, or an unregistered vehicle operated to or from a location where it is to be inspected as required by statute;
A motor vehicle owned by the United States;
A motor vehicle registered by a federally recognized Indian band or tribe and is exempt under a reciprocal registration exemption agreement under §341.409.
Vehicle registration fees are administered by the Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles. Registration period expires on December 31 of each year, unless eligible for quarterly or monthly registration periods. IRP registration is staggered on a monthly basis.
License plate display
When two registration plates are issued for a vehicle, one plate is attached on the front and one to the rear of the vehicle.
When one registration plate is issued for a vehicle, it is attached as follows:
To the front if issued to a truck tractor, road tractor, or a motor truck under the International Registration Plan (IRP).
For any other vehicle for which only one plate is issued, to the rear, except that a plate issued to or for a municipality may be attached to the front of the vehicle if the design or use of the vehicle is such as to make a plate attached to the rear difficult to see and read.
An apportionable vehicle means any vehicle, except recreational vehicles, vehicles displaying restricted plates, city pick up and delivery vehicles, buses used in transportation of chartered parties, and Government-owned vehicles, used or intended for use in two or more member jurisdictions that allocate or proportionally register vehicles and is used for the transportation of persons for hire or designed, used or maintained primarily for the transportation of property and:
Is a power unit having two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight in excess of 26,000 pounds or 11,793.401 kilograms; or
Is a power unit having three or more axles, regardless of weight; or
Is used in combination, when the weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds or 11,793.401 kilograms gross vehicle weight.
Trucks and truck tractors, and combinations of vehicles having a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or 11,793.401 kilograms or less an buses used in transportation of chartered parties may be proportionally registered at the option of the registrant.
On supplemental and amended applications, will issue temporary vehicle registration for vehicle(s) prior to payment of fees. Wisconsin can either fax or mail a temporary permit. Temporary permits are valid for 30 days and cannot be renewed or extended.
A hunter’s permit is issued to an owner-operator (lessor) who terminates a lease and has to surrender the apportioned license plate and cab card to the lessee. This permit enables a vehicle or combination of vehicles to use the highways in all jurisdictions for the purpose of finding a job. The hunter’s permit is valid for vehicles operating at unladen weight only and is non-transferrable. Wisconsin’s hunter’s permit is valid for 30 days. The hunter’s permit is valid for the power unit or power unit and trailer (unladen).
In this state commercial vehicles are registered on the basis of gross weight; license for tractors carries the major fee for the entire weight of the tractor semitrailer gross weight.
Semitrailers — One-time filing fee.
Full trailers have separate fee schedule with fees varying by weight.
Trailers or semitrailers having a gross weight of 3,000 lb or less have optional registration.
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