How To Transfer a Car Title in Wisconsin

How to Transfer Car Title in Wisconsin

If you are in Wisconsin, you must transfer a car title when it's bought or sold, but also when it's left from a deceased owner.

The process of transferring car titles in Wisconsin varies depending on the circumstances surrounding the process but the basic documents you'll need are:

  • Your driver's license
  • Vehicle title signed by the seller
  • Odometer reading
  • Lien release (if applicable)
  • The required fees

In this article, learn everything you need to know about how to transfer a car title in Wisconsin.

Key Takeaways

  • Some car title transfers in Wisconsin are eligible for online transfer.
  • The primary steps to transfer your car title in WI include:
    • Confirm online eligibility
    • Prepare your paperwork
    • Begin the application
    • Verify the primary vehicle owner
    • Enter the vehicle details
    • Pay taxes and fees
    • Register for new license plate
    • Renew the application
    • Complete payment
    • Finalize application

Can You Transfer a Title to a Car Online in Wisconsin?

Yes. In Wisconsin, you can transfer a title online through the Wisconsin eMV public website.

To complete the process online, you must print off your temporary plate and eApplication and then mail the receipt to the Wisconsin DMV.

Online car title transfers in Wisconsin require that you have a valid email address and payment information. However, it is important to mention that not all title transfers in Wisconsin are eligible for the online service.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Wisconsin (Online)

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to transfer a car title in Wisconsin.

1. Confirm Eligibility

Not all applicants are eligible for an online title application. In some cases, you will need to mail your applications and not use the online service.

Here are a few conditions that make you eligible for an online title transfer in Wisconsin:

  • You are up to 18 years old and do not have a child support lien listed on the vehicle record.
  • The seller is not deceased neither is the vehicle a junk vehicle.
  • You don’t have a Wisconsin title in your name.
  • Your title is not for a car that will haul packages for hire.
  • You don’t and will not have a new loan on the vehicle and the dealer/lender will not assist in your application.
  • Your out-of-state VIN must be recognized by the Wisconsin processing system.

2. Prepare your documents

If you are eligible for a title transfer, then you should get your documents ready.

Here’s a list of documents that you will need for your car title transfer in Wisconsin:

  • Driver License
  • Odometer Reading
  • Payment Info, Social Security Number, date of birth
  • Lien Release, if applicable

3. Begin the application

Commence the online title transfer application by visiting the Department of Transportation, state of Wisconsin, eMV public website.

You can simply click “start now” via the application for title and/or license plates (registration) page. This will redirect you to the application, where you will have to choose whether you are applying for a Wisconsin or out-of-state title.

If you are transferring a title in the state, then enter the Wisconsin title number provided by the seller, verify that you are not a robot, and click next.

4. Verify the Primary Owner

Verify the vehicle's primary owner. All online service applicants must be up to 18 years old, as no co-owner below 18 years is permitted to use the service.

Applications for car owners below 18 should be mailed in via the DMV mail address:

WisDOT-eMV Public

P.O. Box 7907

Madison, WI 53707-7907

If you are up to 18, select if you are an individual owner or a non-individual owner (business owner). Individual owners can proceed with entering their driver’s license number or ID number, 4 digits of their social security number, and their date of ownership.

Co-owner title application

In the event that there is a co-owner for the vehicle, sharing equal ownership rights as the primary owner, you must specify in the application. The online title transfer only allows you to add one co-owner. If you wish to add more than one, you will need to send in your application via mail.

If you decide to add a co-owner to your online title transfer application, then you will also need to provide their details while choosing the (AND/OR) relationship between the owners. In the event of signing the vehicle title, all owners will need to be around.

You must verify the address of the owner or all co-owners involved.

5. Enter Vehicle Details

Enter the details of the vehicle. Specify the color of the vehicle and the date of the odometer reading. The VIN you provided should automatically generate the car's make, body style, model year, and vehicle type.

Verify that the brand the seller input on the title and ensure that it is the same as your input. Declare if the car was once a flood-damaged vehicle, hail-damaged, previous police vehicle, or taxicab.

Verify where the vehicle will be primarily kept. Indicate the city/town/village/unincorporated community, or you can specify if the vehicle is kept out of state.

What if there is a lien holder?

Then include a lien release in the application that you will mail to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

6. Pay Fees and Tax

Provide the vehicle's purchase price. This will help allocate a sales tax. However, if there is a tax exemption, you will have to select and input the reason and qualifier for the exemption.

Tax exemption on title transfers is reserved for, but not limited to, vehicles gotten as gifts. You are entitled to a tax exemption if there was no exchange of money during the transaction.

Learn more about the vehicle sales tax and exemptions in Wisconsin in our guide.

7. Register for a New License Plate

Next, use the plate process box to indicate if you need new plates or if you wish to transfer existing plates.

New plates

Select the plate type. If you choose a new plate, enter an operation date. This is the first date that the car is operated by the owner.

Plate transfers

For plate transfers, simply select the plate that you wish to transfer, specify the plate type, and acknowledge the need to order plate replacement if the plates are lost, damaged, stolen, or faded.

In Wisconsin, you can transfer plates from spouses or domestic partners as long as the procedure for transfer aligns with the laws as stated in ch. 770 Wis. Stat.

8. Review the Application

Before you submit your application, review your input and details.

Enter your contact information, a valid phone number, and email address so that you to receive calls or emails about your application. Your receipt and temporary plate will also be sent to the email address that you provided.

9. Complete Payment

Choose your payment method: cheque or savings credit/debit card. Note that there's a 2% convenience fee for credit and debit transactions.

The payment method that you choose will determine the payment portal that you are transferred to.

  • Input your details and payment information
  • Review and complete the payment
  • Print the confirmation page to know your confirmation number

How much does it cost to transfer a car title in Wisconsin?

A title transfer in Wisconsin costs $164.50. If you purchased the car, you must also pay 5% sales tax.

10.  Finalize the Application

After completing payment, go to the state agency website to print your eApplication receipt. Sign the receipt and mail it together with the original certificate of title, your eApplication, and any other supporting documents to:

eMV Public

P.O. Box 7907

Madison, WI 53707-7907

Keep a copy of your submissions, print your temporary plate, and display it on your vehicle. For plate transfers, mail the eApplication receipt and title, so you can continue using the plate on your vehicle.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Wisconsin to a Heir?

Transfer of car titles to hiers in Wisconsin is only applicable if the heir did not leave any property that exceeds $50,000 in value.

To transfer a car title to an heir in Wisconsin, you will need to do the following:

  1. Complete and submit a statement of transfer of vehicles directed to the heir, surviving spouse, domestic partner, or named heir.
  2. Certificate of Title

Request a title replacement with the MV2119 form if the title is lost or misplaced

  1. Complete the Wisconsin title and license plate application
  2. Pay the required fees.

All car title transfer applications for heirs, surviving spouses, and domestic partners should be mailed to:

WI Dept of Transportation

P.O. Box 7949

Madison WI 53707-7949

If the heir's sole-owned property exceeds $50,000, then you must submit a copy of the personal representative papers instead of the statement of vehicles to a surviving spouse, domestic partner, or heir, Form MV2300.


The process of transferring a car title in Wisconsin is simple and can be done online most of the time. You just need to learn how to do it.

You can decide to apply via the online option or mail your applications. Always double-check your details before submitting, and keep track of the receipt.

To learn about the title transfer guides in other states, check out our helpful guides!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to transfer a car title in Wisconsin?

It costs only $164.50 to transfer a car title in Wisconsin and 5% car sales tax when buying a car. Title transfers involving a surviving spouse or domestic partner are done with no fees, and some situations can also call for a tax exemption.

How long does it take to transfer a car title in Wisconsin?

Transferring a car title in Wisconsin takes between 3 -14 days. Online title transfer application in Wisconsin takes only three days or even less, and mailed applications take up to 14 days or less.

How do I transfer a car title to someone else in WI?

Submit the online MV1 form online and pay the associated fee for title transfer.

How much does it cost to register a car in WI?

Car registration in WI costs $85.

Do I need to transfer my car title when I move to Wisconsin?

Yes, if you are a new resident you must transfer your car registration and license to Wisconsin.