Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Military license plates

New issuance plates (effective July 1, 2008)
New issuance plates (effective July 1, 2008)

51 different service and/or medal designations are available
Some 51 different service and/or medal designations are currently available

New issuance plates (effective December 4, 2006)
Military group plates issued from December 4, 2006 to June 30, 2008.

Plates issued from 1989 to December 3, 2006
Military group plates issued from 1989 to December 3, 2006. No longer valid to display (as of July 1, 2008).

Beginning July 1, 2008, WisDOT will issue a new red/white/blue design for all new military license plate applications. See military license plate design frequently asked questions for information on how to switch from the white background military plate design to the new issue design.


These plates are available to a qualified vehicle owner, lessee, or trust beneficiary who is a:

  • Veteran or retired military or medal recipient
  • Member of the active or reserve military
  • Military academy students or alumni

Vehicles that qualify

Military plates are available for:

  • 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

Note: For U.S. Veteran motorcycle plates, see form MV2930.

Things you should know

  • No special parking privileges are provided with military plates. See Disabled Veteran license plates or Disabled parking identification cards for information about special parking privileges for persons with disabilities that impair the ability to walk.
  • Some 51 different service and/or medal designations are available (see form MV2653 for detailed listing.)  Pictures of decals.
  • Plates are transferable to surviving spouse.
  • For information about special license plates for ex-prisoners of war, Medal of Honor or Wisconsin National Guard members, contact the Special Plates Unit.
  • Military license plates can feature regular numbers or a personalized message.
  • A $15 issuance fee is required when non-personalized Military plates are issued. WisDOT will transfer funds to the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Trust Fund. This fee may be tax deductible for certain tax filers; consult your tax advisor.
  • A $15 fee is required EACH year in addition to the regular annual registration fee for personalized plates.
  • Plates may transfer 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.
  • If the vehicle receiving military license plates is already titled/registered in your name, complete the vehicle section on form MV2653.
  • If the vehicle is not titled in your name, complete the title application - form MV1 and form MV2653, then send them with all the required fees to the address on form MV2653.

How to apply:

Military license plates are not available at local DMV service centers.

If the vehicle is titled in your name, send:

  1. Completed the Military License Plates Application form, MV2653 with signed Proof of Eligibility or photocopy of eligibility documentation (see page 1 of the form);
  2. Issuance fee, if requesting non-personalized plates;
  3. Personalized plate fee, if requesting personalized plates;
  4. Annual registration fee if you do not have plates or if your current plates expire within the next three months;
  5. Check or money order made payable to: Registration Fee Trust;
  6. Mail with payment to:

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

If the vehicle has not been titled in Wisconsin or if you are purchasing the vehicle send:

  • Wisconsin title OR out-of-state title.
  • A completed form MV1 with signed proof of eligibility signed.
  • Completed form MV2653.
  • Regular registration fee (See DMV fees)
  • Title fee.
  • $15 original issuance fee or $15 if ordering personalized license plates.
  • Appropriate sales tax or claim valid exemption.
  • A check or money order payable to: Registration Fee Trust. Mail to:

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

Personalized license plates

  • Personalizing your military 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.

Change from personalized to regular plates

If you later decide to re-register with standard license plates, return a copy of your Certificate of Registration with a request for standard 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 at a DMV service center or an agent authorized by DMV to obtain a temporary plate while your military plate order is processed. An agent may charge a $3 plate fee and/or may also charge a $5 service fee.

Release of information

WisDOT uses the information on form MV2653 to issue Military license plates. Under open records laws, WisDOT 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 MV2653.

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 12, 2011

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