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Performing a license plate lookup can help reveal crucial details about the vehicle, which can be helpful in various situations. For instance, when buying a used car, conducting a license plate search can help verify the vehicle's history, find out if it was stolen or was in any accidents, and more. Similarly, a towing company can use the search to find out information about an abandoned vehicle.

What kind of data can you find in the Wisconsin license plate search?

A typical Wisconsin license plate search reveals detailed vehicle records and history, with personal information generally restricted for privacy. Our data comes from the DMV, NHTSA, NMVTIS and multiple third-party data sources.

Information available includes:

  • Title, sales and lien records
  • Ownership History
  • Current and past owners (only for valid DPPA requests)
  • Vehicle Specifications
  • Theft, accident & salvage records
  • Recalls & Warranties
  • Market Value
  • Service History
  • Odometer History

But wait, you can also submit a community report!

If you encounter a bad driver driving recklessly or cutting you off, you can flag a report against the license plate on our platform. Not only can you write about the incident, but you can also upload supporting images and videos. While the report may not have any legal bearing, it can help alert other drivers in the community and make them aware of such drivers.

Other ways to search an Wisconsin license plate:

While LookupAPlate provides a fast and easy method to lookup license plates, individuals can also request license plate records from the DMV. However, this process can take anywhere from three days to two weeks and requires a physical form to be filled out. On the positive side, the report usually has much detailed information on title transfer.

Through Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

People can also request license plate records from the Wisconsin DMV directly. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a subdivision of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), is the custodian of motor vehicle records registered in the state. While Wisconsin follows Open Record Laws allowing residents to access public records, personal information in license plate records is deemed confidential.

You'll need to provide a valid reason or must have a permissible reason as defined in the DPPA (Driver's Privacy Protection Act) to obtain such information. You can find more information about the eligibility requirements in this MV2896 form (section C).

The vehicle or driver records request can be placed online, over mail or in person. Fill out the form MV2896 and submit it to:

Vehicle Records, WisDOT
PO Box 7995
Madison WI 53707-7995

The cost per record is $2. Online searches take up to 3 days, while records sent by mail can take up to two weeks.

Things to keep in mind while searching!

Did you know that 83% of searches on our platform that yield no results are due to an incorrect state selection? This is mainly due to the increasing number of license plate designs that often camouflage the state of vehicle registration. 

It's important to ensure the license plate you're looking up is registered in the badger state and not an out-of-state plate. While it may seem obvious to be able to tell which state the license belongs to, with newer designs and the introduction of specialty plates, sometimes it can be tricky.

To help you out here’s a quick guide to different license plate designs in Wisconsin.

How to identify a Wisconsin license plate?

A standard Wisconsin license plate has a pretty basic design - white background with a small lake and farm graphic on the top right. On the top left, the state name "WISCONSIN" is written in all caps in red. At the center of the plate, the serial number is embossed in black and at the bottom, "America's Dairyland" is printed in red.

The license serial number is a unique seven-character alpha-numeric code issued by the Wisconsin DMV. The license number typically follows this format: ABC-1234.

License Plate Types:

There are several different types and designs of license plates in Wisconsin.

License plate design varies based on the vehicle class:

  • Automobiles
  • Buses
  • Dealers
  • Heavy trucks and trailers
  • Light trucks
  • Miscellaneous
  • Motorcycles

Specialty Design & Vanity Plates:

  1. Vanity plates: Personalized or vanity plates are also available in Wisconsin. One can choose a personalized plate number as long as it is not already taken, does not contain any obscene or offensive language and is as per the DMV guidelines.
  2. Official: Issued to municipal, state-owned and state patrol vehicles.
  3. Tribal/Indian band: These are issued to recognized Indian tribes and bands. Ex:
    • Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
    • Ho Chunk Nation
  4. Universities: Collegiate license plates recognise Wisconsin colleges and universities. Ex:
    • Eau Claire
    • UW-Madison
  5. Special plates: There are over 48 different types of special plates in Wisconsin that support and honor various causes, professions, organizations, colleges and businesses.
    • Amateur radio
    • Antique
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