The department shall maintain a record of each application for certificate of title received by it and, when satisfied as to its genuineness and regularity and that the applicant is entitled to the issuance of a certificate of title, shall issue and, except as provided in par. (b)
, deliver a certificate to the owner of the vehicle.
If there is a perfected security interest in a vehicle, the department shall deliver the certificate of title to the secured party having the primary perfected security interest in the vehicle.
The department shall maintain a record of all applications and all certificates of title issued by it:
According to engine or identification number.
Alphabetically, according to name of owner.
In any other manner which the department determines to be desirable.
The department shall charge a fee of not less than $2 for conducting a file search of vehicle title records.
The department may maintain any certificate of title or other information required to be maintained under this section in an automated format and may consider any record maintained in an automated format under this paragraph to be the original and controlling record, notwithstanding the existence of any printed version of the same record.
Records maintained by the department under this section are the official vehicle title records.
See also chs. Trans 157
, Wis. adm. code.
Contents of certificate of title. 342.10(1)(1)
Each certificate of title issued by the department shall contain:
The names of any secured parties in the order of priority as shown on the application or, if the application is based on another certificate of title, as shown on such certificate.
Notwithstanding s. 342.02 (2)
, if the applicant is named in a statewide support lien docket provided under s. 49.854 (2) (b)
, a notation stating “Per section 49.854 (2) of the Wisconsin Statutes, the state of Wisconsin has a lien on this vehicle for unpaid support."
A description of the vehicle, including make and identification number, except that if the vehicle was last registered in another jurisdiction the make and model contained in the certificate shall be the make and model contained in the last certificate of title issued by the other jurisdiction.
The mileage disclosure statement required under s. 342.155
, and any notations or qualifying statements explaining the odometer reading specified by the department by rule.
Any other data which the department deems pertinent and desirable.
The certificate of title shall contain spaces for all of the following:
Reassignment and warranty of title by a dealer or wholesaler.
Any information required by the department when a motor vehicle is sold at a motor vehicle auction or motor vehicle salvage pool.
The certificate of title may contain spaces for application for a certificate of title by a transferee and for the naming of a secured party and the assignment or release of a security interest.
Before issuing a new or duplicate certificate of title for a motor vehicle, the department shall permanently record any of the following information, if applicable, on such certificate:
That the vehicle was previously licensed and used as a taxicab or for public transportation.
That the vehicle was previously licensed and used as a police vehicle by a law enforcement agency.
That the vehicle was not manufactured in compliance with all federal emission and safety standards applicable at the time of manufacture, whether or not the vehicle was subsequently modified to meet such standards, and that the vehicle is “non-USA standard".
That the vehicle was a flood damaged vehicle.
That the vehicle was a manufacturers buyback vehicle.
That the vehicle was previously a salvage vehicle.
That the vehicle was transferred to an insurer upon payment of an insurance claim. This paragraph does not apply to salvage vehicles.
That the vehicle was a hail-damaged vehicle. This paragraph does not apply to a hail-damaged vehicle that was repaired with any replacement part, as defined in s. 632.38 (1) (e)
A certificate of title issued by the department is prima facie evidence of the facts appearing on it.
A certificate of title may be issued by the department in an automated format.
A certificate of title is not conclusive evidence of ownership. The purpose of sub. (5) is to furnish convenient evidence of vehicle ownership. National Exchange Bank of Fond du Lac v. Mann, 81 Wis. 2d 352
, 260 N.W.2d 716
Grounds for refusing issuance of certificate of title.
The department shall refuse issuance of a certificate of title if any required fee has not been paid or for any of the following reasons:
The department has reasonable grounds to believe that:
The person alleged to be the owner of the vehicle is not the owner.
The application contains a false or fraudulent statement.
The applicant has failed to furnish any of the following:
Unless exempted by rule of the department, the mileage disclosure from the most recent titled owner and of all subsequent nontitled owners of the vehicle.
Any other information or documents required by law or by the department pursuant to authority of law.
The applicant is a motor vehicle dealer and is prohibited from applying for a certificate of title under s. 342.16 (1) (a)
Except as provided in ss. 342.05 (5)
and 342.16 (1) (a)
for a certificate of title and registration for a vehicle owned by a nonresident, the applicant is a nonresident and the issuance of a certificate of title has not otherwise been authorized by rule of the department. Any temporary operation permit or plate issued under s. 341.09
shall not be considered registration of the vehicle for purposes of this subsection.
Withholding certificate of title; bond. 342.12(1)(1)
No certificate of title shall be issued by the department until the outstanding evidence of ownership is surrendered to the department.
If the department is not satisfied as to the ownership of the vehicle or that there are no undisclosed security interests in it, the department, subject to sub. (3)
, shall withhold issuance of a certificate of title until the applicant presents documents reasonably sufficient to satisfy the department as to the applicant's ownership of the vehicle and that there are no undisclosed security interests in it.
Notwithstanding sub. (2)
, the department may issue a certificate of title if the applicant fulfills either of the following requirements:
The applicant is a dealer licensed under ss. 218.0101
and is financially responsible as substantiated by the last financial statement on file with the licensor, a finance company licensed under ss. 138.09
, a bank organized under the laws of this state, or a national bank located in this state; or
The applicant has filed with the department a bond in the form prescribed by the department and executed by the applicant, and either accompanied by the deposit of cash with the department or executed by a person authorized to conduct a surety business in this state. The bond shall be in an amount equal to one and one-half times the value of the vehicle as determined by the department and conditioned to indemnify any prior owner and secured party and any subsequent purchaser of the vehicle or person acquiring any security interest in it, and their respective successors in interest, against any expense, loss or damage, including reasonable attorney fees, by reason of the issuance of the certificate of title for the vehicle or on account of any defect in or undisclosed security interest upon the right, title and interest of the applicant in and to the vehicle. Any such interested person has a right of action to recover on the bond for any breach of its conditions, but the aggregate liability of the surety to all persons shall not exceed the amount of the bond. The bond, and any deposit accompanying it, shall be returned at the end of 5 years or prior thereto if, apart from this section, a certificate of title could then be issued for the vehicle, or if the vehicle is no longer registered in this state and the currently valid certificate of title is surrendered to the department, unless the department has been notified of the pendency of an action to recover on the bond.
Lost, stolen or mutilated certificates. 342.13(1)(1)
If a certificate of title is lost, stolen, mutilated, or destroyed, or becomes illegible, the owner or person in possession of the certificate, as shown by the records of the department, shall promptly make application for and may obtain a replacement upon furnishing information satisfactory to the department. The replacement certificate of title shall contain a notation, in a form determined by the department, identifying the certificate as a replacement certificate that may be subject to the rights of a person under the original certificate.
A person recovering an original certificate of title for which a replacement has been issued shall promptly surrender the original certificate to the department.
The department shall be paid the following fees:
For filing an application for the first certificate of title, $157, by the owner of the vehicle.
For the original notation and subsequent release of each security interest noted upon a certificate of title, a single fee of $10, by the applicant.
For a certificate of title after a transfer, $157, by the owner of the vehicle, except that this fee shall be waived with respect to an application for transfer of a decedent's interest in a vehicle to his or her surviving spouse or domestic partner under ch. 770
Upon filing an application under sub. (1)
, a supplemental title fee of $7.50 by the owner of the vehicle, except that this fee shall be waived with respect to an application under sub. (3)
for transfer of a decedent's interest in a vehicle to his or her surviving spouse or domestic partner under ch. 770
. The fee specified under this subsection is in addition to any other fee specified in this section. This subsection does not apply to an application for a certificate of title for a low-speed vehicle.
For each assignment of a security interest noted upon a certificate of title, $1 by the assignee.
For a replacement certificate of title, $20, by the owner of the vehicle.
For processing applications for certificates of title which have a special handling request for fast service, a fee to be established by rule which shall approximate the cost to the department for providing this special handling service to persons so requesting.
For the reinstatement of a certificate of title previously suspended or revoked, $25, except that if the certificate of title and registration of a vehicle are suspended or revoked as a result of the same occurrence, payment of the fee under s. 341.36 (1)
shall apply to the reinstatement of both the registration and certificate of title. The fee under this subsection is in addition to any other fee specified in this section.
See also ch. Trans 196
, Wis. adm. code.
TRANSFER OF TITLE
Transfer of interest in a vehicle. 342.15(1)(a)
If an owner transfers an interest in a vehicle, other than by the creation of a security interest, the owner shall comply with the requirements of s. 342.155
and, at the time of the delivery of the vehicle, execute an assignment and warranty of title to the transferee in the space provided therefor on the certificate, and the owner or person in possession of the certificate, as shown by the records of the department, shall cause the certificate to be mailed or delivered to the transferee, except that if the vehicle being transferred is a junk vehicle or has been junked, the owner shall return the certificate to the department in accordance with s. 342.34
No person may transfer a motor vehicle without disclosing in writing to the transferee whether any of the information specified in s. 342.10 (3)
is applicable to the vehicle. No transferor shall knowingly give a false statement to a transferee in making the disclosure. The department shall prescribe the manner in which the written disclosure shall be made and retained.
If an owner transfers his or her interest in a salvage vehicle, the owner shall at the time of the delivery of the vehicle, execute an assignment and warranty of title to the transferee in the space provided therefor on the certificate, and the owner or person in possession of the certificate, as shown by the records of the department, shall cause the certificate to be mailed or delivered to the transferee.
Notwithstanding s. 340.01 (42)
, any person who holds legal title of a vehicle with one or more other persons may, after June 1, 1997, transfer ownership of the vehicle under this subsection if legal title to the vehicle is held in the names of such persons in the alternative, including a vehicle held in a form designating the holder by the words “(name of one person) or (name of other person)".
Except as provided in s. 342.16
, the transferee shall, promptly after delivery to him or her of the vehicle, execute the application for a new certificate of title in the space provided on the certificate or as the department prescribes, and deliver or mail the certificate and application to the department. A salvage vehicle purchaser shall comply with s. 342.065 (1) (a)
Except as provided in s. 342.16
and as between the parties, a transfer by an owner is not effective until the provisions of this section have been complied with. An owner who has delivered possession of the vehicle to the transferee and has complied with the provisions of this section is not liable as owner for any damages thereafter resulting from operation of the vehicle.
If the vehicle being transferred is a motorcycle or an automobile registered under s. 341.27
or a motor home or a motor truck, dual purpose motor home or dual purpose farm truck which has a gross weight of not more than 8,000 pounds or a farm truck which has a gross weight of not more than 12,000 pounds, the owner shall remove the registration plates and retain and preserve them for use on any other vehicle of the same type and gross weight which may subsequently be registered in his or her name.
If the vehicle being transferred is a vehicle registered under s. 341.26
at a special fee and the new owner will not be entitled to register the vehicle at such fee, the transferor shall remove and destroy the plates.
In all other cases the transferor shall permit the plates to remain attached to the vehicle being transferred, except that if the vehicle has been junked the transferor shall remove and destroy the plates.