License plates for official and municipality vehicles have been issued in Wisconsin since 1924. The first unique plate was Municipal plates, issued in 1924. Official vehicles got their own plates in the 1940's, and semipermanent bases for both were issued starting in 1968, then in 1989 again.

This page includes the following license plate types:

Municipal


Municipal plates were first issued in 1924. These plates were undated and uncaptioned, with the only text other than the number being a "WIS" state identifier.

Base Variation Ranges
24 323
3025

In 1930, the first dated plates were issued. Municipal plates used a large "M" in a circle in the middle of the plate, and appear to have started at 00M01, which for Wisconsin is unusual since Wisconsin almost never uses leading zeroes on license plates.

Base Variation Ranges
30 02M06
35M83
1930 Wisconsin Municipal License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

Between 1930 and 1942, municipal plates used the reverse color scheme of normal passenger plates; for example, 1931 plates were blue on yellow while passenger plates were yellow on blue. Plates from 1932 to 1940 had an embossed hollow star.

Base Variation Ranges
31 614
5200
32 1675
5614
33 1134
5521
34 218
6034
35 752
6419
36 1534
6318
37 67
7301
38 1314
8306
[8476]
39 14
6899
[9200]
40 14
8807
1933 Wisconsin Municipal License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

In 1941, municipal plates split off into two types, one being the same "municipal" type, and one being an "official" type. Official plates continued using the hollow star, while municipal plates used an embossed hollow diamond.

Base Variation Ranges
41 3085
9282
42 7309
8757
43 10485
11154
46 604
9168

In 1947, municipal plates used an "OFFICIAL" caption, however as before municipal plates used a hollow diamond while official plates used a hollow star.

Base Variation Ranges
47 2627
10487
48 2919
9730
1948 Wisconsin Municipal License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

Municipal plates used a "MUNICIPAL" caption from 1949 onward.

Base Variation Ranges
49 3451
11528
50 Round Corners 443
12374
Square Corners 12530
51 355
12208
52 2089
13980
1949 Wisconsin Municipal License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1950 Wisconsin Municipal License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1950 Wisconsin Municipal License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1950 Wisconsin Municipal License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

In 1953, the design of municipal plates changed significantly, and this design was used until 1969. From 1958 to 1960, a constant "M" prefix was used, and from at least 1963 onward numbers started at 5001.

Base Variation Ranges
53 10-207
12-168
54 8378
14299
55 3344
12634
56 3640
13768
57 6745
15862
58 M 1939
M13-479
59 M 5112
M13-598
60 M 268
M17-967
61 10-299
23-645
62 7755
25-809
63 5699
25-059
64 8957
31-524
67 5582
34-198
1960 Wisconsin Municipal License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1962 Wisconsin Municipal License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1963 Wisconsin Municipal License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1966 Wisconsin Municipal License Plate
Cody James Corbett
1968 Wisconsin Municipal License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

In 1969, a semipermanent base was issued. These plates were undated, and were a reflective blue color.

Base Variation Ranges
69 Partial Groove
Slot
7693
63482
64183
No Groove
or Slot
66384
67825

In 1989, a new semipermanent base was issued. Like previous plates, these plates were undated, however the 1989 series was tan instead of blue. After 99999 was reached around 2019, a C10001 format was introduced.

Base Variation Ranges
89 Wide Font 5409
44321
Narrow Font
3M sheeting
45689
51461
Narrow Font
Avery Sheeting
52653
56463
71989
Narrow Font
3M Sheeting
86827
Narrow Font
Avery Sheeting
94195
97852
C10006
C23964

Official


Official plates were split off from municipal plates in 1941. Official plates used a hollow star throughout the entire base's history from 1941 to present. Official plates used unique color cycles from 1941 to 1945, with the exception of their tabs which were the same as passenger plates from 1943 to 1945. From 1946 onward official plates followed municipal color cycles for the most part. Number 1 was usually reserved for the governor, with the number 2 also sometimes being used for the lieutenant governor.

Base Variation Ranges
41 14
42 14
43 007
46 14
107

In 1947, official plates gained an "OFFICIAL" caption. Muncipal plates also used an "OFFICIAL" caption, with the only difference between the two types being that official plates used a hollow star while municipal plates used a hollow diamond.

Base Variation Ranges
47
48 14
49
50 57
51 14
675
52 136

In 1953, the design of official plates changed significantly, like municipal plates. 1967 plates used two variations, one earlier nonreflective base, and one later reflective base. Both bases were used until 1969.

Base Variation Ranges
53 448
528
54 475
55 231
56 201
57 36
201
58 36
600
59 576
60 717
61 242
748
62 365
63 242
748
64 1202
67 Nonreflective (2)
67 Reflective 243
1695
1957 Wisconsin Official License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1966 Wisconsin Official License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

In 1969, a semipermanent base was introduced. This series, like the 1969 municipal base, was undated and used blue reflective sheeting.

Base Variation Ranges
69 Partial Groove 3
202
Full Groove 1055
Partial Groove 1190
2978
Full Groove
Slot
A555
A568
Full Groove
No Slot
B246
B491
B543

In 1989, a second semipermanent base was issued. Like before, numbers 1 and 2 were reserved for the governor and lieutenant governor respectively, however there are several 1 and 2 numbered plates that aren't governor plates, but rather are official souvenir plates.

Base Variation Ranges
89 Wide Font 2227
3774
Narrow Font B172
F2275
1989 Wisconsin Municipal License Plate
Cody James Corbett

Municipal Motorcycle


Municipal motorcycle plates were first issued in 1924, being introduced at the same time as municipal plates.

Base Variation Ranges
24 127
30

Like municipal plates, municipal motorcycle plates used an embossed hollow star and used the reverse colors of passenger plates, with 1937 plates being blue on white as opposed to passenger plates being white on blue, for example.

Base Variation Ranges
31
32
33
34
35
36
37 90
38
39 14
40

In 1941, municipal motorcycle plates split off into official motorcycle and municipal motorcycle types.

Base Variation Ranges
41
42
43
46
47 10
48

Between 1947 and 1950, most likely in 1949, municipal motorcycle plates removed the diamond and used an "M" prefix as an identifier.

Also, sometime between 1947 and 1959, official motorcycle plates were merged with municipal motorcycle plates, with all municipal/official motorcycles receiving municipal motorcycle plates.

Base Variation Ranges
49
50 M283
51
52
53 M330
54
55
56
57 M400
58 M13
59
60

Between 1960 and 1963, municipal motorcycle plates dropped the M prefix and instead were issued normal motorcycle plates numbered between 4001 and 4999.

A reflective 1967 municipal motorcycle plate is known; it's unknown whether this is a variation or an error plate.

Base Variation Ranges
61 4488
62
63
64 4147
4405
67 Reflective (4537)
67 Nonreflective 4255
4546

Beginning in 1969 municipal motorcycles were issued semipermanent undated plates. Like municipal plates, municipal motorcycle plates also had a second permanent series issued in 1989. I currently don't know if small-size municipal motorcycle plates were issued beginning in 2002 or not, since so few plates are issued.

Base Variation Ranges
69 4077
4653
89 4043
4342

Official Motorcycle


Initially, when municipal plates split off into municipal plates and official plates, the same split happened to municipal motorcycle plates, with municipal motorcycle and official motorcycle plates being issued. Official motorcycle plates were issued beginning in 1941, and were discontinued between 1947 and 1959.

Base Variation Ranges
41 45
43 041
46
47 250

Municpal Bus


Municipal bus plates were issued between 1969 and 1972. Municipal bus plates used a MB prefix, and about 4,000 plates were made before they were recalled in 1972.

Base Variation Ranges
69 MB 28
MB 3995
1969 Wisconsin Municipal Bus License Plate
Cody James Corbett

State Owned


State owned plates were first issued in 1981, and used permanent red plates.

Base Variation Ranges
81 Border and Slot 2508
6682
Border
No Slot
8893
9094
No Border
Wide Font
10529
11048
Narrow Font 11102
20053

State Patrol


Information on state patrol plates is from Norm Ratcliffe.

State patrol plates were first issued in 1940, and were first issued undated yellow plates with a hollow star and a stacked "STATE TRAFFIC PATROL" caption.

In 1956, a new white base was issued. A hollow star and a stacked "STATE PATROL" caption was used on these plates. Reflective plates were first issued in 1967, and very late into the series around 1988 the star and prefix were screened instead of embossed.

Initially, plates were issued according to badge numbers, however beginning in 1959, the first number was used as a district code, with the district codes as follows:

Numbers from 1 to 99 were used for headquarters and units not assigned a district.

In addition to the district codes, the numbering for each of these district number blocks was also assigned according to the positions as follows:

1956 Wisconsin State Patrol License Plate
Gideon Nicksic

In 1967, plates were reflectorized, and older plates were replaced.

Around 1975, the district codes were changed, with the district codes being as follows:

In 1989, a new graphic base was issued, celebrating 50 years of the Wisconsin state patrol.

The numbering allotments changed in 1989 as well, with the allotments as follows:

Four digit plates were also issued, with two numbers representing the district (11 being for Madison, 22 for Waukesha, etc.) These are the known allotments:

In 2000, a second graphic base was issued, this time being a more basic blue gradient base with a state patrol logo and slogan on it.

In 2005, the district codes changed again, this time being as follows:

In 2014, a third graphic base was issued, which celebrated 75 years of the Wisconsin state patrol.

In 2019, a fourth graphic base was issued. It was mostly similar to the 2000 base, only with a different slogan and other minor variations.

State Patrol Motorcycle


State patrol motorcycle plates were first issued in 1989. Before 1989, state patrol motorcycles were issued municipal motorcycle plates.