It is a defense to a violation of sub. (1)
that the person did not know, and had no reason to know, that the motor vehicle registration was suspended, revoked or canceled at the time of the violation.
Refusal to accept or failure to receive an order of suspension, revocation or cancellation mailed by the department to the person's last-known address shall not be a defense to a violation of sub. (1)
. If the person has changed his or her address and fails to notify the department as required in s. 343.22
, then failure to receive notice of suspension, revocation or cancellation shall not be a defense to a violation of sub. (1)
This section does not apply if operating the motor vehicle was made necessary by a situation of emergency.
Operation of unregistered or improperly registered vehicle. 341.04(1)(1)
No person may operate and no owner may consent to being operated on any highway of this state any motor vehicle, recreational vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or other vehicle for which a registration fee is specifically prescribed, unless at the time of operation any of the following applies:
Except for registration under s. 341.30
, a complete application for registration of the vehicle, including evidence of any inspection under s. 110.20
when required, accompanied by the required fee has been delivered to the department, submitted to a dealer under s. 341.09 (2m)
for transmittal to the department, or deposited in the mail properly addressed with postage prepaid.
If subd. 1.
applies and the vehicle is an automobile or motor truck having a registered weight of 8,000 pounds or less, the vehicle displays a temporary operation plate issued for the vehicle unless the operator or owner of the vehicle produces proof that operation of the vehicle is within 2 business days of the vehicle's sale or transfer.
Unless application for reregistration has been made as required by s. 341.32
, it is unlawful for any person to operate or for the owner to consent to being operated on any highway of this state any registered vehicle the construction or use of which has been changed so as to make the vehicle subject to a higher fee than the fee at which it currently is registered or which is carrying a greater load than that permitted under the current registration.
Notwithstanding sub. (1)
, a vehicle may be operated by a private person after the date of purchase of the vehicle by the person or after the date the person moved to this state if application for registration, except for registration under s. 341.30
, and certificate of title has been made and the person otherwise complies with any applicable requirements of this section.
All vehicles subject to renewal of registration may be operated provided that application for reregistration, except for registration under s. 341.30
, has been made.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, if a vehicle is owned by a lessor of vehicles and is leased to a lessee for a period of one year or more and the vehicle was registered in the name of the lessor before January 1, 1998, the department may renew the registration in the name of the lessor in lieu of registration of the vehicle by the lessee. This paragraph does not apply to any subsequent lease of the vehicle by a lessor.
do not apply to the operation of a vehicle that is caused by pressure of natural physical forces causing the owner or operator reasonably to believe that operation of the vehicle is the only means of preventing imminent death or great bodily harm, as defined in s. 939.22 (14)
, to a person or imminent public disaster.
Any person who violates sub. (1)
, where the vehicle used is an automobile or any other vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less, as determined by the manufacturer of the vehicle, may be required to forfeit not more than $200.
Any person who violates sub. (1)
, where the vehicle used is a vehicle not enumerated under par. (a)
, may be required to forfeit not more than $500.
In addition to imposing the penalty under par. (a)
, the court shall order the offender to make application for registration or reregistration and to pay the required fee. If 45 days have elapsed from the date of conviction and the department has not received an application for registration or reregistration and the required fee, the department shall order the offender to make application for registration or reregistration and to pay the required fee. Unless the department receives the application for registration or reregistration and the required fee within 20 days from the date of the department's order, the department may suspend any or all registrations of the offender. Any registration suspended under this section shall remain suspended until the offender makes application for registration or reregistration and the required fee for registration is paid. For purposes of this section, the required registration or reregistration fee for residents of this state is the required annual or biennial fee, or, if the vehicle is eligible for quarterly or consecutive monthly registration, the fee required in s. 341.30
. For purposes of this section, the required fee for a vehicle registered on the basis of gross weight shall be the fee for the maximum weight for which the vehicle may be legally registered or the weight at which the vehicle was operating, whichever is greater.
Use of registered farm trucks regulated.
A motor truck under s. 340.01 (18) (a) 1.
registered as a farm truck under s. 341.26 (3) (a)
may be used for personal and family purposes if the primary use of that motor truck is for purposes specified in s. 340.01 (18) (a) 1.
, except that a registered farm truck may not be used in furtherance of any nonfarm occupation, trade, profession or other employment, including commuting to or from the place of such nonfarm occupation, trade, profession or employment. A motor truck under s. 340.01 (18) (a) 2.
may not be used for personal and family purposes. This section does not apply to dual purpose farm trucks registered under s. 341.26 (3) (am)
. Any violations of this section are subject to the penalty prescribed for violations of s. 341.04 (2)
When vehicles exempt from registration.
A vehicle, even though operated upon a highway of this state, is exempt from registration if any of the following applies:
The vehicle is operated in accordance with the provisions relating to registration of dealers, distributors, manufacturers, transporters or finance companies.
The vehicle is operated in accordance with the provisions exempting nonresident or foreign-registered vehicles from registration.
The vehicle is operated exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
The vehicle is a farm tractor used exclusively in agricultural operations, including threshing, or used exclusively to provide power to drive other machinery, or to transport from job to job machinery driven by a farm tractor; used for special occasions such as display and parade purposes or for participation in tractor or antique vehicle clubs, including traveling to and from such events; or used for testing, maintenance, and storage purposes.
The vehicle is a trailer or semitrailer used exclusively for the transportation of farm machinery, implements, produce or supplies on a farm or between farms.
The vehicle is a trailer or semitrailer permanently equipped with a well-drilling outfit or designed for moving pea viners and used exclusively for either of those purposes.
The vehicle is a fork-lift truck, a specially constructed road or truck tractor used for shunting trailers or semitrailers in terminal areas or a trailer that is used principally off the highway.
The vehicle is a trailer, semitrailer or camping trailer having a gross weight of 3,000 pounds or less and not used for hire or rental.
The vehicle is a trailer or semitrailer not operated in conjunction with a motor vehicle.
The vehicle is a new motor vehicle being operated only across a highway from its point of manufacture or assembly.
The vehicle is a motor vehicle being towed, except that when the person operating the vehicle supplying the motive power is a transporter, that person must be registered as a transporter.
The vehicle is a piece of road machinery.
The vehicle is an implement of husbandry or an agricultural commercial motor vehicle.
The vehicle is a motor truck that is operated upon a highway only when directly crossing the highway.
The vehicle is a repaired salvage vehicle operated to or from a location where it is to be inspected as required by s. 342.07
, or is an unregistered vehicle operated to or from a location where it is to be inspected as required by s. 110.20
The vehicle is owned by a technical college district board, used exclusively to instruct students in techniques of automotive repair and maintenance and is operated only within 5 miles of the technical college to transport the vehicle to or from a technical college. The operator of the vehicle shall, when operating the vehicle upon a highway, carry in the vehicle a letter from the district director of the technical college stating that the vehicle is exempt from registration.
The vehicle is an amphibious motor vehicle capable of carrying 10 or more passengers when used for sight-seeing purposes, registered as a boat with the department of natural resources and operated upon a highway for a distance not to exceed 5 miles.
The vehicle is owned by the United States.
The vehicle is registered by a federally recognized Indian band or tribe and is exempt under a reciprocal registration exemption agreement under s. 341.409
The vehicle is a motor bicycle, electric bicycle, or bicycle, except as provided in s. 349.18
The vehicle is a wood harvesting slasher, as defined by the department by rule, that is used principally off the highway.
See also ch. Trans 316
, Wis. adm. code.
The vehicle is an off-road utility vehicle being operated in accordance with s. 346.94 (19)
Notwithstanding s. 341.26 (3) (ar)
, the vehicle is a farm truck tractor being operated solely in intrastate transportation and is transporting manure, grains, silage, haylage, or equipment between fields or between a farm and a field at the time of operation or is being operated from its point of purchase to the operator's farm. This subsection does not apply to transportation by a common motor carrier or contract motor carrier.
History: 1971 c. 207
; 1973 c. 90
; 1977 c. 29
; 1983 a. 50
; 1985 a. 187
; 1985 a. 197
; 1987 a. 349
; 1991 a. 39
; 1993 a. 288
; 1995 a. 138
; 1997 a. 27
; 1999 a. 9
; 2003 a. 192
; 2007 a. 11
; 2009 a. 157
; 2013 a. 13
; 2015 a. 55
; 2019 a. 34
Snowmobiles shall not be registered under this chapter but shall be registered under ch. 350
History: 1971 c. 277
All-terrain vehicles and utility terrain vehicles.
All-terrain vehicles and utility terrain vehicles are not required to be registered under this chapter but shall be registered under s. 23.33 (2)
Electric scooters and electric personal assistive mobility devices.
Electric scooters and electric personal assistive mobility devices, even though operated upon a highway of this state, are exempt from registration.
History: 2001 a. 90
; 2019 a. 11
Personal delivery devices.
Personal delivery devices, even though operated upon a highway of this state, are exempt from registration.
History: 2017 a. 13
All motorcycles that are only being operated off the highways, as defined in s. 23.335 (1) (y)
, are not required to be registered under this chapter but shall be registered as required under s. 23.335 (3)
History: 2015 a. 170
Optional registration. 341.06(1)(1)
The department shall register the following vehicles upon proper application therefor and payment of the required fee even though such vehicles may be exempt from registration:
A trailer or semitrailer or camping trailer having a gross weight of 3,000 pounds or less and not used for hire or rental. The registration fee charged under this paragraph shall be the same as the fee under s. 341.25 (1) (gd)
A vehicle owned by a nonresident and which would be subject to registration if owned by a resident. The registration fee charged shall be the same as if the vehicle were owned by a resident.
A vehicle registered under authority of this section is not on that account exempt from any property tax which would be payable in the absence of such registration.
Registration of special vehicles.
The department shall register a specially designed vehicle which is authorized for operation by a person holding a special restricted operator's license under s. 343.135
if the special vehicle meets the equipment standards established under s. 347.02 (6)
History: 1979 c. 345
; Stats. 1979 s. 341.065; 1979 c. 355
; Stats. 1979 s. 341.067.
Certain vehicles to be registered by resident lessee. 341.07(1)(1)
If a motor truck or truck tractor is to be operated in this state under authority of a common carrier certificate or contract carrier license issued by the department to a resident of this state, including a Wisconsin corporation, and such operation is in accordance with a lease or operating agreement with the owner of the motor truck or truck tractor or other person authorized to enter into such lease or operating agreement, the certificated or licensed carrier shall register such motor truck or truck tractor in this state unless it has been so registered by the owner. This section applies even though the motor truck or truck tractor is owned by a nonresident.
If a motor truck or truck tractor is operated by or with the consent of such certificated or licensed carrier on any highway of this state when such vehicle is not registered in this state or when such vehicle is required by s. 341.04 (2)
to be reregistered, such carrier is subject to the penalty provided in s. 341.04 (3)
. The court, in addition to imposing the penalty, shall order the carrier to make application for registration or reregistration and to pay the fee therefor.
This section does not affect the interchange of trailers and semitrailers as authorized by s. 341.41 (4)
Mobile air conditioner servicing information.
The department shall provide information concerning the requirements for servicing mobile air conditioners under s. 100.45 (4)
to the public.
History: 1993 a. 243
Application for registration. 341.08(1)(1)
Application for original registration and for renewal of registration shall be made to the department upon forms prescribed by it and shall be accompanied by the required fee.
The forms for application for original registration and for renewal of registration under sub. (1)
shall include the information required under s. 85.103 (2)
and the applicant's birth date.
Applications for original registration of a vehicle shall contain the following information:
A statement that a form on which the applicant may indicate to law enforcement officers the existence of an invisible disability is available on the department's Internet site and at local examining centers. The department shall make available on its Internet site and at each local examining center a separate form on which an applicant may indicate that he or she has a disability that may not be immediately apparent to another. The form shall include the following statement together with a set of check boxes allowing a person to indicate that the person wishes to disclose the condition indicated by the check box. “I have an invisible disability that I wish to disclose to law enforcement officers and that may include:
Appears deaf or unable to understand.
Has difficulty speaking or communicating.
Engages in repetitive or self-stimulating behaviors such as rocking or hand flapping.