Wisconsin's first state-issued plates date back to 1905, and started out as flat zinc plates with riveted aluminum characters. The first base was intended to be permanent, however in less than a decade that changed. Since then many bases of plates have been issued, and many more types of plates were added to accomodate various types of vehicles and people. This page covers types of plates used on normal passenger vehicles and a few related types.

This page includes the following types:

Passenger


Wisconsin first started issuing license plates in July 1905. These were made out of black painted zinc plates with aluminum numbers riveted to them. The initial fee was $1 for a plate to be used permanently on the vehicle it was registered to.

In 1909 existing plates were set to expire and were renewed for $1, while new registrations cost $2. Plates from 1905 to 1911 were used until December 31, 1911, though the issuance of undated black plates stopped after July 31, 1911.

Base Variation Ranges
1905 32-W
21957-W
1905 Wisconsin Passenger
Gideon Nicksic

In 1911 plates were to be issued on an annual basis and from August 1 to December 31, 1911, 1911 dated plates were issued for a $5 fee. 1,287 pairs of plates were issued in that timeframe.

Base Variation Ranges
1911 13W
1258W
1911 Wisconsin Passenger
Gideon Nicksic

In 1912 all previous plates were replaced and plates were replaced on an annual basis, being valid from January 1st to December 31st of each year. The material of the plates changed in 1913 from zinc to steel.

Base Variation Ranges
1912 29W
24570W
1913 56W
34042W
1912 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1913 Passenger
W. Yoder Auction

Beginning in 1914, all plates were made out of embossed steel. From 1916-1917, and 1921 onward plates used a "WIS" to identify the state, while plates from 1914-1915, and 1918-1920 used a single letter "W" as a state identifier, although a single 1918 plate in the 1917 "WIS" format is known to exist. 1917 plates had a triangle of dots around the "17" date, allegedly with the state and year identifiers reading "WIS./'17." 1921 base plates are known to have a longer plate variation issued late in the series.

Base Variation Ranges
1914 Narrow Date 56W
39958W
Wide Date 40217W
53095W
15 41
79283
16 -41-
114986
17 -798-
164288
18 -731-
184332
19 413-
223482
20 -731-
274650
21 731
319-519
22 731
359-264
23 -1-
421-441
1916 Passenger 5 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1917 Passenger 5 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1918 Passenger 5 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1918 Passenger 6 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1918 Passenger 17 format
17 Format
Martin Riley, ALPCA #13862
1919 Passenger 5 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1920 Passenger 6 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1921 Passenger 5 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1923 Passenger 4 Digit
W. Yoder Auction

In 1924 plates gained weight class codes. Initially weight codes were full-sized letters, however from 1925-1931 weight codes were a small letter above the date. 1928 and 1929 plates have two fonts for the weight codes, with the estimated breakoff between the old and new fonts to be around 10-000A for most series, with the exception of the A weight class.

Base
Weight
Variation A
1,600
B
2,000
C
2,800
D
4,000
E
>4,000
24 A2576
A156-655
B5065
B137-090
C 656
C93-573
D2834
D81-779
E1180
E4075
25 60 A
27-395A
96 B
254-938B
1533C
118-029C
3492D
112-042D
297E
6386E
26 A 310
A19-774
B 397
B257-408
C 142
C154-025
D 699
D124-475
E 691
E9539
27 1567A
19-917A
269 B
238-984B
1 C
185-388C
60 D
141-801D
691 E
11-914E
28 Old Font A 38
A17-297
B 57
B214-221
C1892
C233-714
D 140
D155-478
E 172
E16-471
New Font

C236-498


29 Old Font 262 A
12-248A
40 B
7862B
813 C
7895C
434 D
8920D
1717E
9824E
New Font 13-333A
13-935B
181-519B
10-268C
294-303C
12-416D
172-601D
14-597E
20-236E
30 A 735
A8026
B 33
B133-455
C2593
C331-248
D1101
D173-173
E 147
E24-087
31 1019A
1865A
1311B
91-793B
6 C
339-681C
325 D
169-262D
3353E
22-479E
1924 Passenger 5 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1924 Passenger 6 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1925 Wisconsin Passenger 3 Digit
Pete Madsen
1925 Passenger 4 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1926 Passenger 3 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1926 Wisconsin Passenger 4 Digit
Pete Madsen
1926 Wisconsin Passegner 5 Digit
Pete Madsen
1927 Passenger 4 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1927 Passenger 5 Digit
Gideon Nicksic
1928 Wisconsin Passenger 3 Digit
Pete Madsen
1928 Passenger 4 Digit
Andrew Turnbull
1928 Passenger 5 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1928 Passenger 6 Digit
Pete Madsen
1929 Passenger 3 Digit
Pete Madsen
1929 Passenger 4 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1929 Passenger 5 Digit
Gideon Nicksic
1929 Passenger 6 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1929 Passenger A
Old Suffix
W. Yoder Auction
1929 Passenger B
New Suffix
1929 Passenger C
New Suffix
W. Yoder Auction
1929 Passenger D
Old Suffix
Pete Madsen
1929 Passenger D
New Suffix
W. Yoder Auction
1930 Passenger 4 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1930 Passenger 5 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1930 Passenger 6 Digit
W. Yoder Auction
1931 5 Digit
Gideon Nicksic
1931 Passenger 6 Digit
W. Yoder Auction

In 1932 weight classes were dropped for passenger plates, and plates used a much more rectangular format. 1932 was also the first year that the full state name was put onto the plates, though shorter "shorty" plates still used a "WIS" identifier. From 1932-1933 numbers under 1000 used short plates, and from 1934-1939 numbers under 10000 used short plates. The slogan "AMERICA'S DAIRYLAND" was added in 1940 and there were two different fonts used for the numbers, the latter being a return to the taller letters from 1932-1939 allegedly because of law enforcement complaints about the shorter letters being less legible. However, the shorter font was returned in 1941. The 1940 base also has a variation in which there is a slightly embossed platform around the captions and slogan. 1937 plates also had a very subtle variation; an earlier base that had a short nub in the "3" in "37," and a later base that used a longer nub.

Base Variation Ranges
32 398
581807
33 2-255
565-789
34 179
578-194
35 Horizontal Dash 104
601-433
Vertical Dash 610-158
36 Horizontal Dash 10
95-010
Vertical Dash 110-999
667-109
37 Short "3" 179
708-770
Long "3" 711-851
714-171
38 179
705-296
39 Short Dash 104
703-574
Long Dash 706-359
722-459
40 Short Numbers
Platform
4878
Short Numbers
No Platform
5122
268-839
Tall Numbers 551-003
746-545
41 4805
791-130
1932 Passenger 6 Digit
Andrew Turnbull
1937 Passenger 6 Digit Short Date Nub
Short Nub
Andrew Turnbull
1939 Passenger 5 DigitGideon Nicksic
1939 Passenger 6 Digit
Andrew Turnbull
1941 Passenger 5 Digit
Andrew Turnbull
1941 Passenger 6 DigitGideon Nicksic

In 1942 a multiyear base validated by tabs was issued. Due to the war effort corners were very rounded and the corners were saved. In late 1942, front plates were discontinued and motorists were instructed to keep their front plate; meanwhile, new plates issued were issued on a small, almost motorcycle-sized base that used a mere three characters that ran through every combination possible with letters and numbers. Windshield stickers with an image of the plate in reverse colors were issued in lieu of front plates, and when back plates were revalidated with tabs they were also issued windshield stickers to revalidate the front "plate." After 1943 full size plates were issued again, and both sizes were used through 1945.

1942 plates were issued as sequential numbers, however the small 1942 plates were much more complicated. The numbering started at A00 and it would run to A09, then go from A0A to A0Z, then A10 and so on. So each character would run from 0 to 9, then A to Z, treating the letters like extensions to normal numbers. So C19 would be a higher number than AZD, for example. Once ZZZ was reached the numbering restarted at 00A and the numbering system continued, except that the last character cannot be a number if all the other characters are numbers. The last plate issued was 9ZZ, then A000 was issued and plates sequences were issued normally, then Z999 was reached and the format started again at 0A00 and went to 9K99.

Base Variation Ranges
42 Full Size Plate 3568
703 630
771 626
42 Small Plate ED5
ZPX
2KU
5BZ
43 B542
Y761
5G44
42wipl8243987
Gideon Nicksic

In 1946, Wisconsin issued a new base set to expire between June 1946 and May 1947; in doing so, Wisconsin became the first state to stagger registrations between all 12 months of the year, and the second state to stagger registrations at all. There are three major variations: the first dated base from the initial allocation in 1946, the second undated base, and a later squared base issued from late 1949 to 1952.

The first letter corresponds to the month of expiration, and for two digit months the first two numbers are stacked and correspond to the month of expiration also.

Base
Month
Variation 1
Jan
2
Feb
3
Mar
4
Apr
5
May
6
Jun
7
Jul
8
Aug
9
Sep
10
Oct
11
Nov
12
Dec
46 Small
prefix



6 13467

9 2612



Large
Prefix
1 89453
2 41961
2 92628
3 86057
4 14462
4 95972
5 92462
6 62324
7 27972
8 84059
9 4310
9 99417
10 33797
10 90861
11 696
11 78410
12 88949
Undated
Narrow
Boltholes
1 91974
1 97809
2 95007
2 99662
3 87942
4 97647

6 75043
6 84226
7 30625
7 37313


10 92864
10 98673
11 79131
11 89258
12 92715
12 99376
Undated
Wide
Boltholes
  3 92467
6 87244
6 97776
7 41134
7 55055
8 89265
8 99305
11 96875
Square
Plate
1 98938
1 109-908
2 103-834
2 123-684
3 100-111
3 128-330
4 102-882
4 130-196
5 97002
5 132-301
6 101-881
6 124-313
7 59301
7 85281
8 100-379
8 129-662
9 103-186
9 129-655
10 101-921
10 121-955
11 97890
11 109-197
12 101-081
12 126-176
1950 PassengerGideon Nicksic
1946 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1948 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1952 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull

In addition to normal variations, there has also been variations in the metal type used for the plates, and even tabs, issued. It appears that between 1950 and 1952 a run of aluminum plates was issued then in late 1954 all plates permanently switched back to aluminum.

These are the known ranges:

Base
Month
Variation 1
Jan
2
Feb
3
Mar
4
Apr
5
May
6
Jun
7
Jul
8
Aug
9
Sep
10
Oct
11
Nov
12
Dec
46 Steel 1 89453
1 109-908
2 92628
2 103-834
3 86057
3 105-024
4 95972
4 114-999
5 92462
5 116-703
6 13467
6 102-262
7 27972
7 61768
8 84055
8 100-907
9 2612
9 115-394
10 33797
10 115-210
11 696
11 109-197
12 88949
12 122-585
Aluminum
2 115-446
2 123-684
3 110-355
3 128-330
4 118-661
4 130-196
5 118-102
5 132-301
6 112-698
6 124-313
7 61768
7 85281
8 106-031
8 129-662
9 122-086
9 129-655
10 118-807
10 121-955

12 126-176
1952 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1950 PassengerGideon Nicksic

In 1953 a new format of plates was issued, which was the first to introduce Wisconsin's notable "gutter border" design. Due to the design of the plate, the state name was abbreviated to "WIS" again. The serial format changed to a A12-345 format, with A being coded to the month of expiration like previous plates.

During this base of plates, there were many overflow formats made to accommodate rising registrations throughout the years, with the most notable being the addition of a new AK-1234 format with the K being a constant letter. After the 1955 series was exhausted L and N were added as second letters.

1953 base plates went extremely close to the end of the series, so much so that it's unknown if they stopped at C99-999 or if they went to C100-001 or above using the 1950 font like 1953 insert trucks did. 1955 base plates exhausted the AK-1234 format and according to microfilm research they overflowed to EK10003, KK10003, and LK10001 for the May, August, and September series. There are no other overflow formats expected for 1957-1960.

The 1955 base used a 6"x12" format late in the series, as the standard plate size was being adopted nationwide. The 1959 base had two major variations, one in which it had a groove at the top and the "WIS" was to the right of the bolt, and a late "61" variation which doesn't have the groove and the "WIS" is to the left of the bolt.

Base
Month
Variation A
Jan
B
Feb
C
Mar
D
Apr
E
May
H
Jun
J
Jul
K
Aug
L
Sep
P
Oct
T
Nov
V
Dec
53 A 2118
A99-899
B 2171
B96-337
C85-463
C99-880
D12-243
D99-902
E38-027
E99-119
H27-419
H97-850
J 1611
J83-347
K34-803
K96-719
L19-276
L97-398
P93-057
T85-766
V 1172
V98-526
55 Large
Plate
A32-449
A95-719
B60-114
B99-157
C38-297
C96-188
CK-8718
D85-570
DK-7532
DK-7766
E51-847
E93-455
EK-9082
H17-548
H75-586
HK-5911
J 1611
J93-066
KK-8366 L16-712
LK-5790
P77-921
PK-3356
T 8408
TK-2398
V 1872
V41-748
VK-3210
6"x12"
Plate





J94-447 KK-9148 LK-8012
LK-9711
PK-4134
PK-4690

57 A 6412
AK-8847
B 3236
BK-8497
CL-8782
D 371
DL-8760
E 3
EL-8113
H 2
HL-5913
J 1611
JK-3039
K 410
K26-463
KL-9445
L 1093
L13-621
LL-2382
P 270
PL-1245
T 792
T 5400
TK-5300
V 8875
V92-406
VL-3895
59 AL-3607 B 9054
BK-9914
CL-1916
CL-8765
CN-3096
DN-2572 EN-9076 HN-5861
J 1611
JK-6809
K 410
KL 2913
KN-4060
LL-9663
PK-7270
T 5400
TK-6210
V17-946
VL-6971
61 Format






LN-1807
PL-5718

VL-7611
VL-8027
1953 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1956 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1957 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1957 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Kevin
1957 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1957 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1958 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1959 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Kevin
1959 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1959 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1959 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1960 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
61 Format
Andrew Turnbull

Like 46 base plates, there were multiple runs of different materials used for the plates. Aluminum was used from 1955 onward.

Base
Month
Variation A
Jan
B
Feb
C
Mar
D
Apr
E
May
H
Jun
J
Jul
K
Aug
L
Sep
P
Oct
T
Nov
V
Dec
53 Aluminum A 2118
A88-580
B78-418
C85-463
D12-243
D40-934




Steel A93-969
A99-899
B92-399
B96-337
C99-880
D98-681
D99-902
E38-027
E99-119
H27-419
H97-850
J83-347
K37-444
K96-719
L19-276
L97-398
P93-057
T85-766
V41-602
V97-216
Aluminum









V98-526
55 Steel A32-449 B85-386 C38-297
D85-570 E93-455 H17-548






Aluminum A37-558
A95-719
B90-992
B99-157
C96-188
CK-8718
DK-7532
DK-7766
E93-455
EK-9082
H75-586
HK-5911
J93-066
J94-447
KK-8366
KK-9148
LK-5970
LK-9711
PK-3356
PK-4690
TK-2398
V22-384
VK-3210
1953 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Steel
Gideon Nicksic
1956 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Aluminum
Andrew Turnbull

In 1961 stickers replaced tabs. The letter codes shifted and two letters were allocated for each month series, with A and B being alloted to January and C and D being allocated to February, for example. Beginning in 1966 low numbers below 10-001 were issued as reserved as "reserved series" plates and were issued for an additional $3 fee.

Base
Month
Variation A, B
Jan
C, D
Feb
E, F
Mar
G, H
Apr
J, K
May
L, M
Jun
N, P
Jul
Q, R
Aug
S, T
Sep
U, V
Oct
W, X
Nov
Y, Z
Dec
61 A 4204
B26-211
C 597
D25-344
E 8469
F39-367
G 1510
H39-731
J 1870
K46-491
L 249
M39-533
N 1611
P17-497
Q 97
R42-294
S 2072
T33-321
U 797
V21-534
W 1100
X21-009
Y 1069
Z30-064
63 Tab Slots A 308
B34-386
C 1
D29-502
E 8255
F44-370
G27-279
H51-183
J 502
K48-880
L 1
M50-727
N 1611
P25-557
Q 97
R41-893
S 986
T40-782
U 2723
V40-030
W 792
X25-755
Y 5583
Z30-517
No Tab Slots





P36-681
P38-636



X27-062
X27-064

65 Tab Slots A1n-nnn



No Tab Slots A21-305



Tab Slots A34-057

 

No Tab Slots A49-714
B46-991
C99-519
D48-353
E 68
F71-094
H77-452 K47-592
K85-369
M81-302
N 1611
P61-727
Q22-682
R75-558
T66-591
V63-123 W 1100
X44-056
Z47-680
1961 Wisconsin License Plate
Kevin
1961 Wisconsin License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1961 Wisconsin Passenger License Plate
Gideon Nicksic
1962 PassengerGideon Nicksic
1963 Wiconsin License Plate
Kevin
1963 Wiconsin License Plate
Andrew Turnbull
1963 Wiconsin License Plate
Kevin
1963 Passenger 5 Digit
Andrew Turnbull
1963 Passenger No Tab Slots
No Tab Slots
Andrew Turnbull
1964 PassengerGideon Nicksic
1965 Wisconsin License Plate
Kevin
1965 Wisconsin License Plate
Kevin
1965 Wisconsin License PlateGideon Nicksic
1965 Wisconsin License Plate
Kevin
1966 Wisconsin License Plate
Kevin
1967 Wisconsin License Plate
Kevin

In 1967 a new reflective base was introduced. This base also featured the full state name again, and a "WIS" identifier hasn't been used on passenger plates since. In 1969 an AB 1234 format was introduced and was used for series that overflowed the A12-345 format. The 1973 base had a "crude" font variation where only one die set was stamped into rubber as opposed to two matching sets being used. As such the plates have a lot less crisp stamping and the paint jobs tend to be sloppy. The 1980 series had the slo t removed in 1985 and a year later the gutter border was removed just before the first graphic plates were issued. There was also several variations in the font used for the state name and slogan.

Two letter plates with letters in the AA, BB, CC, DD, EE, GG, and UW series were issued low numbers from 1 to at least 889; it is unknown exactly what these plates are.

Base
Month
Variation A, B
Jan
C, D
Feb
E, F
Mar
G, H
Apr
J, K
May
L, M
Jun
N, P
Jul
Q, R
Aug
S, T
Sep
U, V
Oct
W, X
Nov
Y, Z
Dec
68 Slot UL A49-469



Slot LR A53-846



Slot UL A60-146



Slot LR AA 8191
CB 2222 ED 4508
EF 8949
GG 1987
GG 1996
JJ 3464 LF 2915
LG 7485
N30-641
NC 1448
NE 9991
Q24-924
Q36-036
QB 2843
QG 3157
SF 1502
UA 4149
UE 2247
W18-688
X96-798
Z77-776
YA 3585
73 Normal
Stamping
A11-840
B40-284
C17-221
C76-768
E17-207
F74-769
G13-391
H79-009
J16-162
K94-278
L19-719
M71-896
N13-714
P52-505
Q11-995
R79-578
S21-236
S30-212
W11-606
Crude
Stamping
B48-542
B74-137

F82-910
F91-676
H95-594?
K99-2nn
M97-817
P86-091
ND 4280
R84-413
R89-620
S33-572
S77-185
U12-168
V72-900
W18-454
X66-828
Y11-284
Y88-587
Normal
Stamping
B91-055
CN 7973
EB 7869
EY 1342
GA 1104
GB 5872
JA 2921
KB 2284
LA 1130
LB 9735
NE 9453
NW 9092
QA 9724
QY 2696
S84-618
S98-984
V77-641
V78-027
X73-206
WB 744n
Z16-969
Crude
Stamping



GC 1124
GC 4868

LC 1373
LC 6396


T14-478
T71-528
V90-991
V99-622
WC 1873
WC 4603
Z35-849
Z69-925
Normal
Stamping



GD 5786

LD 3414


T72-624
UA 4531
UV 4618
WD 3866
WL 1999
Z73-346
Z92-532
Crude
Stamping



GE 3247
GE 4034

LE 4656
LF 9196


T73-006
T86-271

WL 4604
YB 2679
Normal
Stamping



GF 7371
GY 1682

LG 1891
LX 7978


SA 3354
SW 5420


YC 3358
YK 9919
80 Bolt
and Slot
A11-320
AR 2246
AR 8899
C97-015
D47-468
CA 3327
CS 8588
E71-273
F34-281
ES 9172
FB 7685
GL 8172
HA 8955
K27-991
JV 9041
KC 9050
L93-643
LB 6269
MA 9345
N69-724
NG 2716
PA 4379
Q37-256
R82-943
QC 1160
QZ 9737
S79-161
T73-787
SU 1389
SU 7277
U99-694
UK 7093
US 9552
WL 9189 Z14-054
YG 9677
YJ 9776
Border
No Slot
AS 2190
AU 8034
CT 2269
CW 4194
FD 8864
FF 6916
HB 1280
HF 3852
KD 2943
KH 8084
MB 1986
ME 7375
PB 6968
PE 2907
RA 1460
RF 5480
SV 6591
TA 7537
UT 1986
UW 2403
WM 1429
WQ 9332
YK 4501
YN 9896
No Border
or Slot
AV 1075
AX 3873
CX 1255
DA 5194
FG 2063
FL 8272
HG 1786
HM 5056
KJ 3756
KP 6462
MF 4966
ML 7146
PF 3444
PK 3449
RG 3931
RG 8793
TB 1856
TE 3787
UX 1853
VB 6684
WR 3800
WT 9067
YP 2098
YR 2851
1968 Passenger 3 Digit
Reserved Series
Kevin
1968 Passenger 3 Digit
Reserved Series
Kevin
1968 Passenger 3 Digit
Reserved Series
Kevin
1968 Passenger 3 Digit
Reserved Series
Andrew Turnbull
1968 Passenger 5 Digit Slot UL
Slot UL
Andrew Turnbull
1968 Passenger 5 Digit Slot LR
Andrew Turnbull
1968 Passenger 2 Letter
Andrew Turnbull
1968 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1969-1971 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1972 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1973 Passenger 3 Digit
Reserved Series
Mike Sells
1973 Passenger 3 Digit
Reserved Series
Kevin
1973 Passenger 3 Digit
Reserved Series
Andrew Turnbull
1973 Passenger 4 DigitReserved Series
Gideon Nicksic
1973 Passenger 5 Digit
Gideon Nicksic
1973 Passenger 5 Digit Crude Stamp
Crude Stamp
Mike Sells
1973 Passenger 2 Letter
Kevin
1973 Passenger 2 Letter Crude StampCrude Stamp
Gideon Nicksic
1973 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1974 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1975 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1976 Passenger
Mike Sells
1977 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1978 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1979 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1980 Wisconsin License Plate
Reserved Series
Kevin
1980 Passenger 1 Letter
Andrew Turnbull
1980 Passenger 2 Letter
Gideon Nicksic
1980 Passenger 2 Letter Border/No Slot
No Slot
Andrew Turnbull
1980 Passenger 2 Letter No Border/No Slot
No Border
Andrew Turnbull
1980 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1981 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1982 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1984 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1985 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1986 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1987 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1988 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1989 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1990 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1991 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1993 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic

Wisconsin introduced graphic license plates in 1986. The series started off with a blue lettered base, however law enforcemnt complained that the plates were too close to Illinois plates at the time which also used a blue on white graphic design. Blue base plates were only issued for around a year and were validated to 1993-1994, though vanities commonly were validated as far as 2001.

Reportedly the earliest of the graphic plates were reissues only; AAF-105 was issued to a new registrant at the time of release.

Base Variation Ranges
87 AAX-195
AZR-200
Undated 1987 Series Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1987 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1993 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1994 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
2000 Passenger Reserved Series
Andrew Turnbull
2001 Passenger Vanity
Gideon Nicksic

Red graphic plates were first issued in 1987, starting at BAA-101. Around the mid-N series the ink color changed slightly and a narrow font was used starting at NME-101. The series went to WRE-999 and plates were gradually replaced between 2000 and 2014, with all wide font plates being replaced between 2000 and 2003, P to T series plates being replaced in 2009-2010, and the rest of the plates being replaced in 2014. Like blue lettered plates, there are some red-lettered vanities that were validated beyond their normal usage period to as far as 2022, though replacements were issued long ago.

Base Variation Ranges
88 Wide Font
Dark Ink
BAA-101
NJR-894
Wide Font
Bright Ink
NLF-830
Narrow Font
3M Sheeting
NME-105
WKB-944
Narrow Font
Avery Sheeting
WKT-544
WRE-970
1988 Passenger Wide Font Dark Ink
Andrew Turnbull
1988 Passenger Narrow Font 3M Sheeting
Narrow Font
Andrew Turnbull
1988 Passenger Narrow Font Avery Sheeting
Avery Sheeting
Andrew Turnbull
Undated 1988 Series Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1989 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1990 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1991 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1992 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1993 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1994 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
1995 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1996 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1997 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1998 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
1999 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2000 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2001 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2002 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2009 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2010 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2011 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
2012 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
2013 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
2014 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull

In 2000 the font color changed and the graphics were revised. A new graphic baseplate was planned however they ran into issues and revised the graphics of the current plates.

Four different sheeting variations have been used, with Avery sheeting being used from the beginning of the series in 2000 to 2006, 3M sheeting being used from 2006 to 2016, Avery sheeting being used again from 2016 to 2023, and new "prismatic" 3M sheeting being used from late 2023 onward. Due to statue changes specifically requiring prismatic sheeting, there likely won't be any sheeting manufacturer changes for the forseeable future.

Plates used a 123-ABC format, and initially the issuance sequence was relatively simple. However, after reaching 999-ZXZ, numbers jumped to 101-ZYK to avoid confusion with human service vehicle plates, went to 999-ZYZ, then jumped to 101-ZZB to avoid confusion with "for hire" plates issued from 2000 to 2004, then continued through the ZZZ series. After that, the 6 digit format was finally exhausted in May 2017 and an ABC-1234 series was issued starting at AAA-1002, with AAA-1001 being retained by the DMV.

Base Variation Confirmed
Ranges
Expected
Ranges
2000 Avery Sheeting 101-AAA
925-LKW
101-AAA
999-LKZ
3M Sheeting 830-LLB
705-ZCU
101-LLA
999-ZCY
Avery Sheeting 206-ZCZ
132-ZEH
564-ZZB
892-ZZZ
AAA-1003
AWK-9782
101-ZCZ
999-ZXZ
101-ZYK
999-ZYZ
101-ZZB
999-ZZZ
AAA-1002
AWK-9999
Prismatic Sheeting AWL-1002
AXJ-nnnn
AWL-1001
AXS-1441
2000 Passenger Avery Sheeting
Avery Sheeting
Gideon Nicksic
2000 Passenger 3M Sheeting
3M Sheeting
Gideon Nicksic
2000 Passenger Avery Sheeting
Avery Sheeting
Gideon Nicksic
2004 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2005 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
2006 Passenger
Andrew Turnbull
2007 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2008 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2009 PassengerAndrew Turnbull
2010 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2011 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2012 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2013 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2015 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2015 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2016 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2018 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2020 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic
2025 Passenger
Gideon Nicksic

Duplicate


Duplicate plates were issued from around 1925 to 1941. As the name suggests, they are duplicate plates issued to motorists who lost their plates. Early plates used a large, fully spelled out "DUPLICATE" caption, while later plates from around 1929 onward used horizontally rotated shortened captions such as "AUTO/DUPL."

Base
Weight
Variation A B C
D E
25 756 B 229 C
 
26 796 B 215 C
310 C
100 D
27 780 B
879 B
 
28 C 289
 
29 B-558
 
30 C 388
D 217
31  
 
1927 Duplicate
Andrew Turnbull
1930 Duplicate
Andrew Turnbull

Like normal passenger plates, weight codes were dropped in 1932. Most plates from this time onward used a small stacked "DUP" or "DUPL" caption. Duplicate plates were discontinued in 1943.

Base Variation Ranges
32 2486
2866
33 2531
2609
34 2723
35 3000
36 3447
37 2759
38 2422
2615
39 2984
3400
40 2716
3048
41 2009
3356
42 2 208
1939 Duplicate
Andrew Turnbull
1941 Duplicate
Andrew Turnbull

In Transit Permit


In transit permits were issued from 1975 to 1982. They were a precursor to temporary plates.

Base Variation Ranges
75 513026

Temporary


Temporary plates were issued beginning in 1982, replacing in transit permit plates.

Base Variation Ranges
82 693784

In 2020, a plain paper temporary plate was issued, and registrants can print the plates at home on their printer.

Base Variation Ranges
20 TnnnnU

Loaner


Loaner plates have been issued since 1974, dated 1975. According to the 1984 plate guide it was used when plates were applied for but weren't received:

"Issued to a Wisconsin resident only for any vehicle requiring a license plate, when the application has been submitted to the Registration Bureau by the applicant and the licenses have not been received."

Base Variation Ranges
73 LZ 1697
80 LZ 1281

For Hire


For hire plates were first issued in 1973. They are issued to vehicles for hire, commonly being used on taxis. They were discontined in 2004, however plates are still valid and have been used at least to 2021.

Base Variation Ranges
73 ZZ 1705
ZZ 9716
80 Groove and Slot ZZ 1244
ZZ 2000
Groove, No Slot
No Groove or Slot ZZ 2127
ZZ 2130
88 Wide Font ZZA-458
Narrow Font
00 501-ZZA
1979 For Hire
Andrew Turnbull
2011 For Hire
Andrew Turnbull

Fleet


Fleet plates are Wisconsin's newest type of plates that were reportedly issued starting in December 2022. Fleet plates have a unique graphic design and are undated.

Base Variation Ranges
22 Centered
Avery Sheeting
10001AFT
13394AFT
Right Aligned
Avery Sheeting
13750AFT
21608AFT
2022 Fleet
Gideon Nicksic

Human Services Vehicle


Human services plates have been issued since 1980. They are used on vehicles transporting elderly or disabled people.

Base Variation Ranges
80 Groove and Slot ZY 1705
Groove, No Slot
No Groove or Slot
88 Wide Font
Narrow Font ZYE-798
00 544-ZYC
367-ZYF
1987 Human Services
Andrew Turnbull
2000 Human Services
Andrew Turnbull
Undated 2000 Series Human Services
Andrew Turnbull
2009 Human Services
Andrew Turnbull

Disabled


Disabled license plates are issued to disabled people, and were first issued in 1961, dated 1962.

Base Variation Ranges
61
63
65 DA 1441
68 DA 1892
73 DA 3827

In 1980, a new "DIS" prefix was used. A wheelchair symbol was added in 1988, and there was no blue lettered base issued. Early plates used a screened "DIS" and wheelchair, while later narrow font plates used an embossed "DIS" and wheelchair. Later plates also dropped the caption and replaced it with the "America's Dairyland" slogan.

Base Variation Ranges
80 Groove and Slot DIS 4538
DIS 9762
Groove, no slot DIS A863
DIS C566
No Groove or Slot DIS D211
DIS D713
88 Wide Font DIS7580
DISQ684
Narrow Font DIS AZ30
DIS CT72
12548D
1985 Disabled
Andrew Turnbull
Undated 1988 Series Disabled
Andrew Turnbull
1988 Disabled
Andrew Turnbull
2000 Disabled
Andrew Turnbull
2001 Disabled
Andrew Turnbull

In 2000 a D suffix was used for disabled plates instead of a "DIS" prefix, and plates started at 30001D for unknown reasons. The D series was exhausted around 2013 and a new "DS" stacked suffix was used.

Base Variation Ranges
00 Avery Sheeting 30110D
3M Sheeting 92474D
10009DS
10999DS
Avery Sheeting
2009 Disabled
Andrew Turnbull
2010 Disabled
Andrew Turnbull
2011 Disabled
Andrew Turnbull
2012 Disabled
Andrew Turnbull
2014 Disabled
Andrew Turnbull

In addition to disabled license plates, there are also disabled cards that are placed inside the car. They are also issued stickers, and they are meant for the card. However, every once in a while someone will stick a disabled sticker on a license plate.

2000 Passenger with 2000 Disabled Sticker
Andrew Turnbull
Undated 2000 Series Passenger with 2008 Disabled Sticker
Andrew Turnbull

Disabled Veteran


Disabled veteran plates have been issued since 1950, and are issued to disabled veterans as the name suggests. In 1977 a new base was issued, and it appears older plates were reissued, even though the only difference was that the VET prefix was stepped as opposed to normal letters in the serial.

Base Variation Ranges
50
53
55
57 VET 321
59 VET 384
61 VET 384
63 VET 384
65 VET 800
68 248 VET
VET1002
73 VET 1
101 VET
781 VET
77 VET 1
VET 1725
80 VET 1
VET 2283
88 VET 1
1976 Disabled Veteran
Andrew Turnbull
1987 Disabled Veteran
Andrew Turnbull

In 1992, disabled veteran plate designs split off from normal passenger plate designs.

Base Variation Ranges
92 Wide Font VET 1
Narrow Font VET 5053
09 11342V
2009 Disabled Veteran
Andrew Turnbull
2011 Disabled Veteran
Andrew Turnbull

Amateur Radio


Amateur radio plates have been issued since 1951 with 1952 dated plates. They are issued to amateur radio operators and plate numbers are their callsign.

1972 Amateur Radio
Andrew Turnbull
2002 Amateur Radio
Andrew Turnbull
2010 Amateur Radio
Andrew Turnbull

Disabled Amateur Radio


In the spirit of having a disabled plate for every type, Wisconsin also has disabled amateur radio plates.

2014 Disabled Amateur Radio
Andrew Turnbull
Created November 1, 2018. Updated May 7, 2024.