A personalized license plates is one of the best ways to add some fun flair to your vehicle. With a personalized license plate, you can use the front and back of your vehicle to project a sentiment to the world. This sentiment can be a word or phrase, a company or business, a sports team or alma mater, or simply a loved one.
In Wisconsin, you can choose a specialized plate design in addition to your personalized plate message. By using both the design and the message, you’ll surely be able to create a license plate that’s perfect for you, and completely one of a kind.
Part 1 of 3: Select a personalized license plate
Step 1: Go to the Wisconsin personalized plate search page. Visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation personalized plate search website.
Step 2: Choose a license plate design. Select your license plate design.
Click on the link on the sidebar titled “Special plates” to see a sample of all the available license plate designs.
Scroll through the options to decide which one you would like.
Step 3: Choose a plate message. Select a personalized license plate message.
Return to the personalized plate search page, and click on the button that says “Check personalized plate availability now”.
Select your vehicle type from the dropdown menu, then click “Next”.
Select the license plate design that you decided on from the dropdown menu, then click “Next”.
Type your message into the box. At the top of the page, you will see how many characters you can use.
You can save time by entering a second or third choice as well.
Tip: You can use all numbers and letters, and spaces, but no special characters. The letter “O” can be changed to the number “0”.
Warning: Your license plate message cannot be crude, offensive, or inappropriate. If your message is any of these things, it may appear as available on the website, but your application will be rejected.
Step 4: Check the message availability. Check to see if your plate message is available. Click the box that says “I’m not a robot”, then click the “Next” button.
If your plate or plate options are not available, keep trying until you find a plate message that works.
Part 2 of 3: Order your personalized license plates
Step 1: Download the application. Download and print the application form.
After finding an available license plate message, click on the image of the specialized plate to go to that plate’s page.
Click on the link to the form on the page to download the application.
Print the application. If you prefer, you can fill out the form on your computer, and then print it.
- Tip: You can read through the page with the form download link on it to get answers to any questions you may have.
Step 2: Fill out the plate info. Fill out your personalized plate information. Check the box that says “I would like personalized plates”.
Select whether you want to be contacted if your plate is unavailable, or given a randomly assigned plate number on your chosen plate design.
Write out the plate message that you chose earlier in the box titled “First choice”. Write additional choices if you choose.
Give a brief but thorough description of your license plate meaning.
- Tip: Use a slash to denote a space.
Step 3: Fill out your vehicle info. Fill out your vehicle information on the application.
Enter the year, make, body type, current license plate number, and vehicle identification number of your vehicle.
Tip: If you don’t know your vehicle identification number, you can find it on the driver side of your dashboard, where the dash meets the windshield. The number is easily viewed from outside the car, through the windshield.
Warning: Your vehicle must currently be registered in the state of Wisconsin.
Step 4: Fill out your personal info. Fill out your personal information.
Enter your name, address, email address, telephone number, and driver license number.
Tip: You must be the registered owner or lessee of your vehicle. If your vehicle is leased, make sure that personalized plates are allowed under the lease agreement.
Warning: Your driver license must be issued by the state of Wisconsin.
Step 5: Sign and date. Sign and date the application.
Sign and date the application, then select the box titled “Have plates in good condition in my possession”.
- Tip: Select the box on the sidebar titled “Opt out” if you don’t want to have your information made available by the Department of Transportation.
Step 6: Make a payment. Pay the personalized license plate fees.
Write a check or get a money order, made out to the Registration Fee Trust, in the amount listed on the first page of the application, under the area titled “Fees needed”.
Step 7: Mail your form. Mail your application to the Department of Transportation.
Enclose your application and payment in an envelope, and mail it to:
Special Plates Unit
PO Box 7911
Madison, WI 53707-7911
Part 3 of 3: Install your personalized license plates.
Step 1: Get your plates. Receive your new plates in the mail.
Once your application has been received, reviewed, and accepted, your plates will be manufactured and sent directly to you.
- Tip: About a month before your plates arrive, you will receive a Certificate of Registration for the new plates.
Step 2: Install your plates. Install your new license plates.
When you receive your personalized license plates, install them on both the front and back of your vehicle.
Be sure to add current registration stickers to your new plates.
Tip: If you are not comfortable removing your old plates or installing your new ones, call a mechanic to come help you out.
Warning: Your new plates must be installed within two days of their arrival.
With personalized Wisconsin license plates, your car will be a little more fun, and little more reflective of your personality. They’re easy to order, and very affordable, so they’re a perfect addition to your car if you’ve been looking for a little customization.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Personalized License Plate in Wisconsin and was authored by Brady Klopfer.