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.

Checks returned for insufficient payment

If you wrote a check to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Registration Fee Trust, and it did not clear your bank, it will be automatically redeposited if it is under $1,000. Checks for $1,000 or more can be presented only once. DMV charges a $20 returned check fee for all returned checks, except for stop payments.

Notification by letter

If your check is unpaid, you will receive a letter within 30 days from the day you presented the check. The letter will give you specific information about the returned check, including the bank name, check number, check amount, reason for the return, total amount due and the product that DMV issued. You will have three weeks to pay the balance due indicated in the letter. If you know you have a returned check and did not receive a letter within 30 days after presenting the check, you may contact the DMV Revenue Accounting office at (608) 266-7587.

Suspension, cancellation and refusal of products

If DMV does not receive payment within three weeks, you will receive a second letter notifying you of a suspension or cancellation of the vehicle or driver license product(s).

  • If the check was for a vehicle product, DMV will suspend all vehicle titles and registrations in your name and add a $25 reinstatement fee to the total amount due.
  • If the check was for a driver license or identification card, DMV will cancel that product. In addition to the returned check fee, there will be a $60 reinstatement fee for a driver license or a $28 fee for a new identification card.

In addition to the suspension or cancellation of current products, DMV will not issue any future registration or driver license products to you until full payment for the returned check, returned check fee and any reinstatement fees due are received.

How to pay for a returned check

DMV accepts only money orders, cashier's checks or cash for returned checks. We do not accept personal checks, charge cards or debit cards for payment of returned checks. There are two options available for payment:

  1. Mail a money order or cashier's check to the address below. Please allow mailing time for your payment to reach the DMV by the due date.

    Division of Motor Vehicles
    Revenue Accounting Unit
    P.O. Box 7336
    Madison, WI 53707-7336

  2. Visit any DMV customer service center and pay by cash, money order or cashier's check.

DMV will remove a suspension or cancellation once we receive full payment by mail or in person at a DMV customer service center. You cannot pay for a returned check at vehicle emissions test stations or other DMV agent providing registration renewal services.

If you have questions about a returned check, contact the DMV Revenue Accounting Unit:

Check your eligibility for reinstatement of your driving privilege online.

Check your eligibility for renewing your license plate registration.

Check the status of your driver's license

Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service

For more information:

Last modified: May 7, 2008

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