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.

Gold Star license plates

Gold Star license plate


Gold Star license plates are available to anyone who has had an immediate family member (spouse, grandparent, parent, sibling, child, stepchild, stepparent, grandchild or the spouse of a grandparent, parent, sibling, child, stepchild, stepparent or grandchild) that died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces or in forces incorporated as part of the U.S. armed forces if the immediate family member meets any of the criteria specified in 10 USC 1126(a)(1) to (3) for a gold star lapel button. The qualified individual must be an owner, lessee, or trust beneficiary.

Vehicles that qualify:

  • Automobiles
  • Motor homes (annual registration only)
  • 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

Things you should know:

  • Gold Star license plates can feature regular numbers or a personalized message.
  • No issuance fee is required when non-personalized Gold Star plates are issued.
  • A $15 fee is required EACH year in addition to the regular annual registration fee for personalized plates.
  • If the vehicle receiving Gold Star license plates is already titled/registered in your name, complete the vehicle section on MV2951.
  • If the vehicle is not titled in your name, complete the title application - form MV1 and form MV2951. Send them with all the required fees to the address on form MV2951.
  • You must complete and sign the Affirmation for Gold Star License Plates on the application - form MV2951.
  • Plates may be transferred from an auto to a truck or vice versa upon payment of the full registration fee unless vehicle is converted from an auto to a truck or vice versa. The real registration must be changed to reflect the current plate type.
  • For more information, visit personalized and special plates FAQs.

How to apply:

Gold Star Family license plates are not available at local DMV service centers. To apply by mail, send the following items:

  1. Completed the Gold Star Plate Application form, MV2951 with signed Affirmation for Gold Star License Plates as proof of eligibility;
  2. Personalized plate fee, if requesting personalized plates;
  3. Annual registration fee if you do not have plates or if your current plates expire within the next three months;
  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 Gold Star license plates 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.

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 Gold Star plate order is processed. An agent may charge a $3 plate fee and/or may also charge a $5 service fee.

Changing from personalized plates to non-personalized Gold Star plates or to regular plates

If you wish to re-register your vehicle with regular license plates at renewal time or within three months of the renewal expiration date, send a copy of your Certificate of Registration or renewal notice with a request for standard plates along with the registration. Subtract $15 from the fee shown on the renewal notice. If you wish to re-register other than at renewal time, submit the request and a copy of the Certificate of Registration.

Release of information

Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) uses the information on form MV2951 to issue Gold Star 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 2 of form MV2951.

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: July 14, 2011

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