Motorcycles were first issued distinct plates in 1909, which, unlike other plates at the time, used a different color scheme and were embossed from their introduction onward. This page includes information on motorcycle plates, in addition to other small passenger vehicles that received small sized license plates.

This page includes the following types:

Most motorcycle dealer types are shown in the dealers page, while collector motorcycle types are shown in the collectors page. Electric motorcycles and moped plates, which will likely be issued later this year, will be in a new "electric vehicles" page. Driver education motorcycle types are shown in the bus/school page.

Motorcycle


Motorcycle license plates were first issued in 1909. Unlike passenger plates, motorcycle plates have been embossed since their introduction in 1909. Additionally, plates on the 1909 base were unpainted zinc on a red background, as opposed to the riveted aluminum on black passenger plates.

Base Variation Ranges
1909 -
1910
3 W
2047W
2402W
1911 277W
1912 792W
3838W
1913 52 W
6186W
1914 119 W
6975W
15 45
7887
16 498-
8908
17 -48-
7961
18 1110
6564
19 692
6245
20 590
7157
21 849
7378
22 601
4846
23 127
198-
267
2126
1915 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull
1916 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull
1917 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull
1920 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull
1923 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull

In 1924, motorcycle plates were issued in two letter series: "A" plates were issued to normal motorcycles, while "B" plates were issued to motorcycles with sidecars.

Base Variation A B
24 A 47
A2069
B 3
B1718
25 A 66
A1761
B907
B1167
26 5 A
2064A
355B
1046B
27 102A
1611A
317B
694B
28 A 31
A1419
B 6
B776
29 A 51
A1560
B384
B905
30 A152
A1959
B199
B365
31 A 1
A1080
B466
1925 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull
1926 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull
1928 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull
1929 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull
1930 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull

In 1932, letters were dropped from motorcycle plate serials and all motorcycles were once again issued all numeric plates.

Base Variation Ranges
32 52
1860
33 15
1538
34 4
1272
35 5
2477
36 272
2830
37 46
1337
38 29
3241
39 141
2943
1940 252
3130
1941 593
3338
1942 12
2938
1943 424
5162
1946 41
5227
1917 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull
1917 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull
1917 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull
1917 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull
1917 Motorcycle
Andrew Turnbull

In 1947, A and B letters were once again added differentiating between regular motorcycles and motorcycles with sidecars. By this point, motorcycles with sidecars were evidently rare with the highest number known being under 200. A small font was used in 1948 and 1949 when registrations for A class motorcycles exceeded 9999.

Base Variation A B
47 29
8150
136
48 Large Font 2400
9619
171
Small Font 10016
11006
(none)
49 Large Font 674
9284
10613
10951
24
69
Small Font 10613
10951
(none)
50 116
9755
105
51 522
8993
131
52 23
8161
50
151
53 Slot UL 453
7115
8804
88
54 Slot LR 54
1885
37
100
Slot LL 2633
8678
55 Slot UL 25
8143
112
114
56 Slot UL Only 113
268
53
82
Slot UL
& Slot ML
783
7454
Slot UL Only 8814
9325
96
107
57 Slot UL 865
9767
99
1948 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1949 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1949 Wisconsin Sidecar Motorcycle License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1950 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1952 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1953 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1954 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Slot LR
Andrew Turnbull
1957 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

In 1958, letter classes were once again dropped, with all motorcycles being issued a single sequential series from that point onward. After 9999 was reached, a 1A23 format was issued.

Base Variation Ranges
1958 7
9959
1A18
1959 170
9442
1A47
4B87
1959 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1959 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

In 1960, a completely new design of motorcycle license plates was issued. Plates in 1960 started at 1, and plates from 1961 to 1965 started at 10001. Plates from this time period in the 4000 block were issued to municipal motorcycles, while normal motorcycles used five digit plates exclusively.

Like motorcycle plates from the mid-1950s, several variations in slot position are known from 1960 to 1964, and slots continued to be used until around 1982.

60 Slot Left 1
10770
Slot Right 11825
61 Slot Left 10413
21407
Slot Right 22210
Slot Left? 22999
62 Slot Right 10170
21656
63 Slot Left 11027
22941
Slot Right 24030
25252
Slot Left 25310
25387
64 Slot Right 10479
21109
Slot Left 22142
28863
65 11685
68899
1948 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1948 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1948 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1948 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1948 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

In 1967, motorcycle plates were reflectorized along with many other plate types. Unlike previous bases, the slot stayed at the left for all plates from 1967 until slots were removed around 1981.

Reportedly, after 99999 was issued on the 1967 base, four digit plates were issued briefly before the 1970 base was introduced. They likely started at 5001 to avoid confusion with municipal motorcycle plates, and several unissued 1967 base plates in the number range of approximately 7000 to 9000 are known to exist. A letter series starting at E1001 was introduced as an overflow format after 99999 was reached beginning in 1972.

Several low number plates (two to three digits) from 1972 appear to be unissued; the reasoning for this is unknown.

Base Variation Ranges
67 Issued 10470
99620
5432
6317
Unissued (?) 7051
9048
70 1077
83986
72 1
99969
E2047
E9845
74 1
96221
E3108
K1998
77 1
98384
E7743
M3955
79 Narrow WIS 1
85753
E2854
N2355
Wide WIS N3045
P2551
Narrow WIS P3881
Q5917
81 Slot 1
99857
E4607
S6282
No Slot T1118
U4046
83 Border 1
92519
E3590
Z6084
No Border A8515
D9930
85 Border 1
96909
E4561
P9952
No Border Q2538
V8802
1967 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Unissued
Gideon Nicksic
1969 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1970 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1972 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1972 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Kevin
1972 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1972 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1972 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1975 Wisconsin Motorcycle (Passenger Sticker)
Passenger Sticker
Gideon Nicksic
1972 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1978 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1979 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1979 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1980 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1981 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1982 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1983 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Border
Gideon Nicksic
1983 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
No Border
Andrew Turnbull
1984 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1985 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1986 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1985 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Border
Andrew Turnbull
1985 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
No Border
Andrew Turnbull
1985 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1985 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1985 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1987 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1988 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

Starting in 1990, plates were revalidated on a biennial basis, being revalidated on even years. Unlike previous bases, the 1994 base likely went through the usual 1 through 99999 numeric sequence, but then started the single alpha series at A101 instead of the usual E1001 of previous bases.

The 1989 base has two known variations; one variation with a debossed "89" in the sticker box, and one without that debossed date. 1994 base plates have several minor variations in sheeting and foreground paint; earlier plates used a nonreflective opaque paint, while later plates used a translucent ink of sorts that reflected back along with the sheeting. Along with the paint change, the sheeting also had minor changes with earlier plates having a much duller texture on the reflective sheeting than later plates. Some plates made very late into the series used Avery sheeting.

Base Variation Ranges
89 Debossed "89" 1
99970
E7369
Z7414
Z9487?
No "89" A5012
B3807
94 3M Sheeting
Opaque Paint
1
99359
A8635
V983
3M Sheeting
Translucent Paint
W2348
W9929
3M Sheeting
Opaque Paint
X5083
3M Sheeting
Translucent paint
X5953
Z7814
AA894
JF391
Avery Sheeting JR632
KB914
1989 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1989 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1989 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1990 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1992 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1994 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1994 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1994 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1994 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1994 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1998 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2000 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2002 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2004 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2006 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2006 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2008 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2010 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2012 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2014 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2016 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

In 2002, Wisconsin became one of the last states to adhere to the standard size for motorcycle license plates, and so a new base was issued. This new base was issued to new registrants only and previous 1994 base plates were valid until 2016.

As before, there are several variations in sheeting composition, with earlier plates using Avery sheeting, plates from the early to mid-2010s using 3M sheeting, and plates from around the late 2010s onward using Avery sheeting again.

In 2023, the "X" series was mistakenly issued instead of the "W" series, so XA-XZ was issued out-of-sequence before WA-WZ. Additionally, the space in the serial appears to be being removed; so far two plates, one in the XX series and one in the WW series, are known to omit this serial space, though a "WF" suffix plate still has the space.

Reportedly, Wisconsin is planning on redesigning motorcycle plates sometime around summer 2024 to be able to accomodate the new "EV" stickers at the top right; this new design will likely be a relatively small redesign, something like changing the "WISCONSIN" caption to a "WIS" so there's space for a sticker at the top right. As far as I know, older plates should still continue to be in use for their normal periods of time. I do not currently know when other motorcycle-sized plate types might be redesigned for EV sticker placement, or what those redesigns might look like. This page will be updated when more information is known and/or confirmed.

Base Variation Ranges
02 Avery Sheeting KV 101
ZV 556
1252 A
1766 Q
3M Sheeting 3602 S
9645 Z
580 AA
941 HY
Avery Sheeting 551 JH
123 XX
nnn WF
nnn WW
Undated Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2004 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2006 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2008 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2012 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2014 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2020 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2022 Wisconsin Motorcycle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

Disabled Motorcycle


Disabled motorcycle plates were first issued around 1990, set to expire in 1992. They started at D101 and have only reached a little over D2000 since then.

There are known variations in sheeting type used on disabled motorcycle plates, however so few of these plates have been found that breakoff points aren't able to be determined. The second run of Avery sheeting (2016 to ca. 2024) is known on plates around D2000, while plates found in the D1000 block largely have 3M sheeting from 2007 to 2016.

The Wisconsin DOT plate guide usually shows the first number issued for all plates as "sample" numbers, and for disabled motorcycle plates, D601 is shown as a "sample" number for the current black on white base. However, D527 has been found to be made on the current base; it is unknown if this is a remake plate, if the guide is wrong, or if something else happened.

Base Variation Ranges
89 D101
D102
94 D340
D430
02 D527
D2255
1992 Wisconsin Disabled Motorcyle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2022 Wisconsin Disabled Motorcyle License Plate
Dale
2010 Wisconsin Disabled Motorcyle License Plate
Andrew Turnbull

Moped


Moped license plates have been issued since 1979, though they were uncaptioned until 1981. The first plates were identfiable by a serial in the Z, and, later, a "Y" series, while later plates used various four digit configurations split in the middle by an "APR" month designation.

Notably, the 1994 series was in use as far as at least 2020, as opposed to their motorcycle counterparts that were replaced in 2016.

As for variations, the moped series has considerably fewer known variations compared to their motorcycle counterparts, with the exception of the 1983 base which has a run of plates in the "Y" prefix series that used a debossed border. 1979 base plates don't have a wide state name variation known yet, while the 89 base doesn't have an undated base variation known yet, with the highest known number still carrying the debossed "89" date.

Information on reflective sheeting for moped plates is sparse, so I only include information on 2002 base sheeting for the time being. The 1994 base probably also has the same sheeting variations, however there isn't enough images on hand to determine breakoff points yet.

Base Variation Ranges
79 Z1001
Z9813
Ynnnn
81 41 44
78 23
C5 87
J4 12
83 Embossed Border 10 96
98 39
A3 04
X8 78
Debossed Border Y1 20
Y3 82
No Border 33 2A
12 1D
85 Border 10 75
84 35
A7 36
G6 03
No Border H2 85
Z7 83
41 3A
95 9D
89 10 01
74 3T
B1 81
X7 32
40 0D
17 5Q
1979 Wisconsin Moped License Plate
Kevin
1986 Wisconsin Moped
Gideon Nicksic

Beginning with the 1994 base, it appears that the serial progression has changed; previously, prefix letters were issued first, however given the known variations, it's likely that suffix letters were issued before prefix letters. When the 11 11, 11 1A, and A1 11 formats were all exhausted, a "A1 1A" format was issued beginning at A1 1A. The current base was reportedly issued beginning around summer 2004.

Base Variation Ranges
94 3M Sheeting
Opaque Paint
13 33
88 81
40 2B
96 0Z
G4 51
K3 17
3M Sheeting
Translucent Paint
R2 13
W9 01
A6 0C
C7 6E
Avery Sheeting E6 1Q
E4 1W
04 Avery Sheeting F3 1F
T1 4Z
V2  4C
X8  1W
Z1 6P
A677C
B230K
3M Sheeting B613Q
C753H
Avery Sheeting D254F
D444J

Autocycle


Autocycle plates were introduced around 2020, set to expire in 2021. Initially autocycle plates were registered yearly every April, however in September 2022 new registrants got a new base that would be registered yearly at all 12 months of the year, similar to regular passenger plates.

The serial format for autocycle plates is 123A4, and uniquely the last digit (4), is currently a constant suffix number, with the numbers running from 101A1 to 999A1, then 101B1 and so on. The earlier base of plates stopped around the mid-B series and the current base without the APR designation started at 101C1, though older plates are still valid and in use.

Base Variation Ranges
20 April
Dated
259A1
962A1
Staggered
Registration
267C1
417C1
2021 Wisconsin Autocycle License Plate
2020 Base
Cody James Corbett
2022 Wisconsin Autocycle License Plate
Mike Swanson
2023 Wisconsin Autocycle License Plate
Chris D.
2024 Wisconsin Autocycle License Plate
Mike Swanson
2024 Wisconsin Autocycle License Plate
2022 Base
Cody James Corbett

Special Designed Vehicle


A very rare type of license plate issued to "home-built, reconstructed or manufactured vehicles having a maximum speed of 35 m.p.h." according to the Wisconsin DOT plate guide. Motorcycle numbers 1200 to 1350 were reserved for this odd class of vehicles, though two mint condition 1981 base plates with the numbers 1351 and 1355 have been seen.

Plates were first issued in September 1980, set to expire in 1981. Plates made after the 1994 base are to be sequential motorcycle plates with a "special designed vehicle" sticker, however to my understanding no new plates have been issued since the 2002 base came out.

Allegedly, "only 12 vehicles ever qualified" to receive special designed vehicle plates during the 1985-1988 base of plates; the validity of such information is unknown for the time being.

Base Variation Ranges
81 1205
1212
1351
1355
83 1212
85 1207
89 1201
94
1981 Wisconsin Special Designed Vehicle License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1982 Wisconsin Special Designed Vehicle License Plate
Chris Ackerman
1986 Wisconsin Special Designed Vehicle License Plate
Chris Ackerman
1988 Wisconsin Special Designed Vehicle License Plate
Cody James Corbett
1992 Wisconsin Special Designed Vehicle License Plate
Mike Swanson

Snowmobile Dealer


Snowmobile dealer plates are issued by the DNR to snowmobile dealers demonstrating snowmobiles. They were first issued in the early 1970s, set to expire in 1975. Plates from around 1994 onward used bicycle sized plates, while older plates used motorcycle sized plates, allegedly being produced on leftover plate blanks no longer in use.

1978 base plates were issued in pairs; it isn't known if 1975 base plates were issued in pairs and it appears pairs were discontinued by the 1988 base. Plates from at least the 1980s onward were reissued each two years, so a dealer would get plates in 1982, 1984, 1986, and so on. Plates were undated all years so many issuance years are estimations, and plates seemingly changed colors at random from the 1990s through the mid 2000s. It appears that in 2018, plates wrapped from S9999 to S0001.

Base Variation Ranges
75 -
78
D211
D9784
78 -
ca. 87
Y10
Y9906
ca. 87 -
ca. 89
D1876
ca. 90 -
ca. 93?
D4238
D6127
ca. 94 -
ca. 97
S1294
S4932
ca. 97 -
ca. 98
S6393
98 -
ca. 99
S6708
S6908
ca. 00 S1336
S1482
ca. 01 -
07
Reflective S3096
S7322
Nonreflective S8516
S9852
07 -
18 (25?)
S0997
S9989
S0819
S1933
1975 Base Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1975 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1978 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1980 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1982 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1984 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1986 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1988 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1990 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1992 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1996 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2000 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2001 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2003 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2005 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2007 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2009 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2013 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2015 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2018 Wisconsin Snowmobile Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

ATV Dealer


Another related type is ATV dealer, which is another type issued by the DNR to ATV dealers. The earliest known plate is from 1994, and like snowmobile dealer plates, many later issues used leading zeroes. Three bases are known to exist, none of which use snowmobile dealer colors, curiously.

Base Variation Ranges
ca. 94 -
05
A1151
A4785
06 -
12
A5713
A9677
13 -
14 (25?)
A0081
A0610
1994 Wisconsin ATV Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1998 Wisconsin ATV Dealer License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
2013 Wisconsin ATV Dealer License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
Created January 16 2019. Updated June 8, 2024.