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.

Firefighter license plates

Current design for firefighter plate (red and white background)  Current design for firefighter plate (white background only)


These license plates are available to anyone who is currently employed as a firefighter or is the surviving spouse of a firefighter who died in the line of duty.

You may select from two plate designs:

  • Black numbers/letters on a white background, first issued in 2007.
  • Black numbers/letters on a red and white background, available November 2011.

Things you should know

  • A $15 issuance fee is required when non-personalized firefighter plates are issued or reissued.
  • A $15 fee is required EACH year in addition to the regular annual registration fee if you choose to personalize your firefighter plates (see below).
  • If you currently have firefighter plates with the white background design and want to replace them with red and white design plates, the fee is $40.
  • The following vehicles qualify for firefighter license plates:
    • Automobiles
    • Motor homes (annual registration only)
    • Motor trucks
      • 4,500, 6,000 or 8,000 pound gross weight including dual purpose farm and dual purpose motor home.
      • 12,000 pound gross weight farm truck.
  • When you are no longer employed as a firefighter, you must exchange your firefighter plates for regular license plates, unless the retirement is due to an injury suffered during the course of duty. The chief or other authorized person should notify the WisDOT Special Plates Unit in writing or email if someone uses firefighter plates who does not currently qualify for them.
  • For more information, visit personalized and special plates FAQs.

How to apply

Firefighter plates are NOT available at local DMV service centers. To apply by mail, send the following items:

  1. If the vehicle you wish to register with firefighter plates is already in your name, send:
    • A completed Civilian License Plates Application form, MV2652 with signed Proof of Eligibility.
    • $15 issuance fee OR annual personalized plate fee.
    • The annual registration fee for your vehicle if you do not have plates or if your current plates expire within the next three months.
  2. If the vehicle is NOT titled in your name, send:
    • A completed title application form MV1 or MV11 (if purchased through a Wisconsin dealer).
    • All required documents and fees, including the annual registration fee or a valid plate to transfer for credit.
    • A completed Civilian License Plates Application form, MV2652 with signed Proof of Eligibility.
    • $15 issuance fee OR annual personalized plate fee.
  3. If you are only replacing your white background firefighter plates with the new red and white design, send $40 and complete the vehicle information on the Civilian License Plates Application. form, MV2652.
  4. Check or money order made payable to Registration Fee Trust.
  5. Mail with payment to:

    Wisconsin Department of Transportation
    Special Plates Unit
    P.O. Box 7911
    Madison WI 53707-7911

Personalized license plates

  • Personalizing your firefighter license plates with your choice of letters and/or numbers is optional.
  • A $15 personalized plate fee is required each year in addition to the regular annual registration fee.
  • Visit Personalized Plate Lookup to find out if your choice for a personalized license plate is available.
  • No refund or adjustment will be made for a change of choice or spacing after the plates are ordered, or if the application is unclear or incorrectly completed.
  • WisDOT may refuse to issue OR may recall after issuance, a request that may be offensive to good taste or decency, misleading or conflicts with any other license plate.
  • After you receive the Certificate of Registration, allow 4-6 weeks for the manufacturing and mailing process before the plates arrive.
  • If you later decide to re-register with regular numbered firefighter plates, return a copy of your Certificate of Registration with a request for non-personalized firefighter plates. Include the regular registration fee if your plates will expire within the next 3 months.

Temporary plate required

To legally operate your vehicle, you must display license plates within two business days of purchase. If you do not have current plates, apply to a DMV service center or an agent authorized by DMV to obtain a temporary plate while your firefighter plate order is processed. An agent may charge a plate fee and/or service fee.

Release of information

WisDOT uses the information on form MV2652 to issue firefighter license plates. Under open records laws, the department must make nonexempt information available upon request. If you want your name and address withheld from mailing lists of 10 or more individuals, complete page two of form MV2652.

Previous Back to Special and personalized license plates

Questions? Contact us: Wisconsin DMV email service
Call: (608) 266-3041
Fax: (608) 267-5106

Last modified: December 22, 2011

All external hyperlinks are provided for your information and for the benefit of the general public. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation does not testify to, sponsor or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on externally linked pages. Some pages contain links to other documents and media types (PDF, Word, Flash, Video, etc.) and require free plugins to work. Visit our software information page for assistance.