This is the preview version of the Wisconsin State Legislature site.
Please see for the production version.
217.01   Title.
217.02   Definitions.
217.03   License required.
217.04   Exemptions.
217.05   Application and fees.
217.06   Licenses, how granted; conditions.
217.07   Order denying application.
217.08   License procedures.
217.09   Revocation; suspension; reinstatement and term of licenses.
217.10   Powers of division.
217.11   Duties of licensees.
217.12   Prohibitions.
217.13   Other statute applicable.
217.14   Liability of licensees.
217.15   Delinquent seller of checks.
217.16   Penalties.
217.17   Testimonial powers.
217.18   Power to secure evidence.
217.19   Division orders; rules of procedure.
217.20   Court review.
217.21   Records; reports.
217.01 217.01 Title. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Seller of Checks Law".
217.02 217.02 Definitions. In this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:
217.02(1) (1)“Authorized agent" is a person who is authorized by a licensee to sell its checks.
217.02(2) (2)“Check" means any check, draft, money order, traveler's check, personal money order or other instrument for the transmission or payment of money.
217.02(2m) (2m)“Division" means the division of banking.
217.02(3) (3)“General order" means an order of the division other than a special order.
217.02(4) (4)“Licensee" means a person licensed under this chapter.
217.02(5) (5)“Location" includes each place in this state where business as a seller of checks is conducted, including any office of the licensee and the place of business of any authorized agent of the licensee.
217.02(7) (7)“Personal money order" means any instrument for the transmission or payment of money in relation to which the purchaser or remitter appoints or purports to appoint the seller thereof as the purchaser's or remitter's agent for the receipt, transmission or handling of money, whether such instrument is signed by the seller or by the purchaser or remitter or some other person.
217.02(8) (8)“Sell" means to sell, issue or deliver a check.
217.02(9) (9)“Seller of checks" means a person who, as a service or for a fee or other consideration, engages in the business of selling and issuing checks or the receiving of money for transmission or the transmitting of money, or the transmitting of money to foreign countries.
217.02(10) (10)“Special order" means an order of the division to or affecting a person.
217.02 History History: 1983 a. 189; 1991 a. 316; 1995 a. 27; 2005 a. 158.
217.03 217.03 License required.
217.03(1)(1)No person shall, as a service or for a fee or other consideration, engage in the business as a seller of checks without first securing a license from the division to do so.
217.03(2) (2)The licensee shall be liable on checks duly issued for it by each authorized agent and shall furnish each such agent not exempt under s. 217.04 with an authorization in the form approved by the division in lieu of a license from the division, to be displayed in the agent's place of business indicating that it is an authorized agent of the licensee. An agent so authorized by a licensee shall not be required to secure a license.
217.03 History History: 1991 a. 316; 1995 a. 27.
217.03 Annotation Wisconsin has a compelling interest in applying statutory regulations to banking activities on Indian reservations. 80 Atty. Gen. 337.
217.04 217.04 Exemptions. This chapter does not apply to any of the following:
217.04(1) (1)Banks organized under the laws of this state or authorized to do business in this state with respect to checks sold in a bank.
217.04(2) (2)Credit unions, with respect to checks sold in the credit union office, except as provided in s. 186.113 (22).
217.04(3) (3)Savings and loan associations with respect to checks sold in the savings and loan office, except as provided by s. 215.13 (41).
217.04(4) (4)U.S. post-office money orders.
217.04(5) (5)Savings banks with respect to checks sold in the savings bank office, except as provided under s. 214.04 (20).
217.04 History History: 1991 a. 221; 1995 a. 151.
217.05 217.05 Application and fees.
217.05(1)(1)Each application for a license shall be made in writing and under oath to the division and shall contain such information and be in such form as the division prescribes. The application shall state the full name and business address of:
217.05(1)(a) (a) The applicant, if the applicant is an individual.
217.05(1)(b) (b) Every member, if the applicant is a partnership, limited liability company or association.
217.05(1)(c) (c) Every trustee and officer if the applicant is a trust.
217.05(1)(d) (d) The corporation and each officer and director thereof, if the applicant is a corporation.
217.05(1m) (1m)
217.05(1m)(a)(a) In addition to the information required under sub. (1) and except as provided in par. (c), the application shall contain the following:
217.05(1m)(a)1. 1. If the applicant is an individual, the applicant's social security number.
217.05(1m)(a)2. 2. If the applicant is not an individual, the applicant's federal employer identification number.
217.05(1m)(b) (b) The division may not disclose any information received under par. (a) to any person except as follows:
217.05(1m)(b)1. 1. The division may disclose information under par. (a) to the department of revenue for the sole purpose of requesting certifications under s. 73.0301 and to the department of workforce development for the sole purpose of requesting certifications under s. 108.227.
217.05(1m)(b)2. 2. The division may disclose information under par. (a) 1. to the department of children and families in accordance with a memorandum of understanding under s. 49.857.
217.05(1m)(c)1.1. If an applicant who is an individual does not have a social security number, the applicant, as a condition of applying for or applying to renew a license, shall submit a statement made or subscribed under oath or affirmation to the division that the applicant does not have a social security number. The form of the statement shall be prescribed by the department of children and families.
217.05(1m)(c)2. 2. Notwithstanding s. 217.09 (7), any license issued or renewed in reliance upon a false statement submitted by an applicant under subd. 1. is invalid.
217.05(5) (5)Each application for a license shall be accompanied by:
217.05(5)(a) (a) Financial statements. Financial statements reasonably satisfactory to the division.
217.05(5)(b) (b) Locations. A list of the locations in this state at which the applicant or its authorized agents, listing them by name, is engaged or proposes to engage in the business of selling checks but such list shall not be required of an applicant which tenders the maximum license fee and agrees to file or deposit, and does file or deposit, a bond or securities in the maximum sum of $300,000 as provided in s. 217.06.
217.05(5)(c) (c) Investigation fee. A nonrefundable fee of $300 to the division for investigating the application. If the cost of the investigation exceeds $300, the applicant shall, upon demand of the division, pay the excess cost. No investigation fee shall be required for renewal of a license.
217.05(5)(d) (d) License fee. An annual license fee of $500 plus $5 for each location within this state at which a licensee sells or issues checks, with a maximum annual fee of $1,500.
217.06 217.06 Licenses, how granted; conditions. Every license issued shall be in the form prescribed by the division and shall be issued to the applicant if:
217.06(1) (1)The applicant has filed the required application and paid the required fee.
217.06(2) (2)The financial responsibility, financial condition, business experience, character and general fitness of the applicant are such, in the opinion of the division, as to command the confidence of the public and to warrant belief that the business will be conducted honestly and efficiently. The division may investigate and consider the qualifications, character and general fitness of officers and directors or others associated with the applicant in determining whether this qualification has been met.
217.06(3) (3)
217.06(3)(a)(a) A surety bond issued by a bonding company or insurance company authorized to do business in this state has been filed in the minimum principal sum of $10,000 for the first location and an additional sum of $5,000 for each additional location unless the division determines that a bond in such amount is insufficient in which event it may require a bond in a larger sum, but in no event shall the bond exceed $300,000. The bond shall be in a form satisfactory to the division and shall run to the state for the benefit of any claimants against the applicant or the applicant's agents to secure the faithful performance of the obligations of the applicant and the applicant's agents with respect to the receipt, handling, transmission and payment of money in connection with the sale of checks and to reimburse the division for any examination or liquidation expense. The aggregate liability of the surety in no event shall exceed the principal sum of the bond. The surety shall have the right to cancel such bond upon giving not less than 60 days' written notice to the division, but such cancellation shall not release the surety from any liability that may arise with respect to obligations of the licensee outstanding on or prior to the effective day that such bond is canceled. Such claimants against the applicant or the applicant's agents may themselves bring suit directly on the bond, or the attorney general may bring suit thereon in behalf of such claimants, either in one action or successive actions.
217.06(3)(b) (b) In lieu of such corporate surety bond, or of any portion of the principal thereof as required by this section, the applicant may deposit with such banks or trust companies in this state as the applicant designates and the division approves, interest-bearing obligations of the United States or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or guaranteed by the United States, or of this state, or of a city, county, town, village, school district or instrumentality of this state, or guaranteed by this state, to an aggregate amount, based upon principal amount or market value, whichever is lower, of not less than the amount of the required corporate surety bond or portion thereof. The securities shall be held to secure the same obligations as would the surety bond but the depositor shall be entitled to receive all interest thereon, shall have the right with the approval of the division to substitute other securities for those deposited, and shall be required to do so on written order of the division. The licensee shall pay all expenses of maintaining the deposit of obligations deposited in lieu of a corporate surety bond.
217.06(4) (4)The applicant has provided all information required under s. 217.05 (1m) (a).
217.06(5) (5)The applicant has not been certified under s. 73.0301 by the department of revenue to be liable for delinquent taxes.
217.06(5m) (5m)The applicant has not been certified under s. 108.227 by the department of workforce development to be liable for delinquent unemployment insurance contributions.
217.06(6) (6)If the applicant is an individual, the applicant has not failed to comply, after appropriate notice, with a subpoena or warrant issued by the department of children and families or a county child support agency under s. 59.53 (5) and related to paternity or child support proceedings and is not delinquent in making court-ordered payments of child or family support, maintenance, birth expenses, medical expenses or other expenses related to the support of a child or former spouse, as provided in a memorandum of understanding entered into under s. 49.857.
217.07 217.07 Order denying application. If the division is not satisfied as to all matters specified in s. 217.06, it shall enter a special order denying the application for a license and shall return the license fee to the applicant and retain the investigation fee. The division shall make findings of fact as part of and in support of its orders denying any application for a license.
217.07 History History: 1995 a. 27.
217.08 217.08 License procedures.
217.08(1)(1)License posting. Every license issued shall state the office either within or without the state, where the records are maintained. The license and the authorizations as agent shall be kept conspicuously posted at the respective locations, and no such license or authorization shall be transferable or assignable. Nothing herein shall prevent a licensee from appointing new agents or from terminating the authorization of any existing agent.
2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 186 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on October 31, 2020. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after October 31, 2020, are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-31-20)