How To Cancel License Plates In Wisconsin Online?

In Wisconsin, canceling license plates is a straightforward process that can now be conveniently completed online. Whether you’re selling your vehicle, transferring ownership, or simply retiring your plates, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) offers an online platform to facilitate this task. 

This article will guide you through the steps required to cancel license plates in Wisconsin using the online system.

Understanding License Plate Cancellation

Before delving into the online cancellation process, it’s essential to understand why canceling license plates is necessary and what it entails:

Legal Requirement

Under Wisconsin law, it’s mandatory to cancel license plates when you’re no longer using them. Failure to do so can result in penalties and liabilities associated with the vehicle.

Preventing Misuse

Canceling license plates ensures that they cannot be misused for illegal activities or parking violations after you’ve ceased using them.

Transferring Ownership

When selling or transferring a vehicle, canceling the license plates removes your association with the vehicle, protecting you from potential liabilities.

Online License Plate Cancellation Process

Online License Plate Cancellation Process

WisDOT’s online platform provides a convenient method for canceling license plates without the need to visit a physical office. Follow these steps to cancel your license plates online:

Access the WisDOT Website

  • Visit the official website of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).
  • Navigate to the ‘Vehicle Services’ section, where you’ll find options related to license plates and vehicle registration.

Log in or Create an Account

  • If you already have an account with WisDOT, log in using your credentials.
  •  If you’re a new user, create an account by providing the required information.

Select License Plate Cancellation

  • Once logged in, select the option for ‘License Plate Cancellation’ from the menu.
  • This will direct you to the online cancellation form.

Provide Vehicle Information

  • Enter the necessary details about the vehicle for which you wish to cancel the license plates.
  • This typically includes the vehicle identification number (VIN), license plate number, and other relevant information.

Reason for Cancellation

  • Specify the reason for canceling the license plates, such as selling the vehicle, transferring ownership, retiring the plates, or considering, ‘Can Someone Report Your License Plate?

Confirmation and Payment

  • Review the information provided and ensure its accuracy.
  • Proceed to make any required payments associated with the cancellation process.
  • Payments can usually be made using a credit or debit card through the secure online portal.

Confirmation and Receipt

  • Upon successful completion of the cancellation process, you’ll receive a confirmation message or email.
  • Keep this confirmation as proof of the cancellation for your records.

Important Considerations

Important Considerations
TimingCancel plates promptly to avoid liabilities associated with the vehicle.
DocumentationRetain copies of all communications and confirmations for your records.
Vehicle RegistrationCanceling plates does not cancel vehicle registration; update it separately.
ComplianceEnsure compliance with Wisconsin’s vehicle regulations during the process.
Record-KeepingKeep track of all transactions and communications for future reference.

Remember to stay informed about any updates or changes in Wisconsin’s vehicle regulations to ensure a smooth cancellation process.


How do I know if I need to cancel my license plates?

If you’re no longer using the vehicle associated with the license plates, it’s necessary to cancel them to avoid any potential liabilities.

Can I cancel license plates for a vehicle I’ve sold or transferred ownership of?

Yes, canceling license plates is crucial when selling or transferring ownership of a vehicle to remove your association with it.

Is there a specific timeframe within which I should cancel my license plates?

It’s advisable to cancel license plates promptly when you’re no longer using them to prevent any issues or liabilities.


Canceling license plates in Wisconsin has been made convenient through WisDOT’s online platform. By following the outlined steps and providing the necessary information, you can efficiently cancel your license plates from the comfort of your home or office. 

Ensure timely cancellation to avoid any unnecessary liabilities and maintain compliance with Wisconsin’s vehicle regulations.

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