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License Plate Gallery

The Wisconsin Pages:

Municipal

It's important to note that through 1940, Wisconsin made no distinction between police vehicles and municipal vehicles not used in law enforcement: The hollow star shape was used on plates for both. Municipal plates from 1941 to 1948 can be identified by a diamond symbol placed before or after the number, while later examples are captioned as such. Plates were issued or validated annually until 1969; since then, two series of semipermanent bases have been issued. Oddly enough, Municipal plates are issued singly.

[Wisconsin 1930 municipal]

(at)3

[Wisconsin 1932 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1933 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1936 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1937 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1938 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1939 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1940 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1941 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1943 municipal]

Small plates used due to WWII metal rationing concerns. (e)

[Wisconsin 1946 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1947 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1948 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1949 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1950 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1951 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1952 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1954 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1956 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1957 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1958 municipal]

"M" prefix used 1958-60 only. (e)

[Wisconsin 1959 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1960 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1961 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1962 municipal]

(at)4

[Wisconsin 1963 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1964 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1968 municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin undated municipal]

ca. 1972-77 (at)

[Wisconsin undated municipal]

(e)

[Wisconsin undated municipal bus]

ca. 1972-77 bus (at)3

[Wisconsin undated municipal]

ca. 1989-94 (at)

[Wisconsin undated municipal]

(at)

[Wisconsin undated municipal]

(at)

[Wisconsin undated municipal]

(at)

[Wisconsin undated municipal]

Changeover to narrow dies by 45689. (at)

[Wisconsin undated municipal]

ca. 1994- (at)

[Wisconsin undated municipal]

Must be Avery sheeting. (at)

[Wisconsin undated municipal]

(at)

[Wisconsin undated municipal]

Cut down to size. (at)

[Wisconsin undated municipal]

(at)

[Wisconsin undated municipal]

(at)

Official

As previously stated, distinct "Official" plates for law enforcement vehicles date back no further than 1941: Earlier "hollow star" plates could be used on police and non-police vehicles equally. In spite of the distinction posed since, Official plates have consistently followed the same colors and replacement cycles as Municipal plates.

[Wisconsin 1953 official]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1956 official]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1957 official]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1958 official]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1960 official]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1963 official]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1966 official]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1968 official]

(at)3

[Wisconsin undated official]

Governor Patrick Lucey's plate. (at)9

[Wisconsin undated official]

ca. 1972-77 (e)

[Wisconsin undated official]

ca. 1977-84 (e)

[Wisconsin undated official]

ca. 1989-94 (at)

[Wisconsin undated official]

(e)

[Wisconsin undated official]

ca. 1994- (at)

[Wisconsin undated official]

(at)

[Wisconsin undated official]

Series run up to 9999 from E on. (at)

[Wisconsin undated official]

Remake (at)

Municipal Motorcycle

Municipal motorcycles have long been issued numbers in the 4000 block. During the years of annual validation, these plates were identical in appearance to ordinary motorcycle plates with the exception of the 1967 issue; which featured a different, non-reflective color scheme. Unlike with municipal and official car plates, no distinction between plates issued to motorcycles for police and municipal non-police use is made.

[Wisconsin 1953 municipal motorcycle]

M = municipal (e)

[Wisconsin 1967 municipal motorcycle]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1968 municipal motorcycle]

(e)

[Wisconsin undated official]

ca. 1989-2003 (at)

State Owned

State Owned plates were (apparently) first issued in 1981. They have a distinctive reflective-red color scheme, and (like Municipal plates) are issued singly.

[Wisconsin undated State Owned]

ca. 1981-84 (at)3

[Wisconsin undated State Owned]

Ratty, but still in use. (at)

[Wisconsin undated State Owned]

ca. 1984-87 - no slot (at)

[Wisconsin undated State Owned]

(at)

[Wisconsin undated State Owned]

ca. 1987-94 - no border (at)

[Wisconsin undated State Owned]

ca. 1994- (at)

[Wisconsin undated State Owned]

(at)

[Wisconsin undated State Owned]

(at)

[Wisconsin undated State Owned]

(at)

[Wisconsin undated State Owned]

Remake (at)3

State Patrol

When the Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Department was created by legislative statute in September 1939, it was organized into three divisions dedicated respectively to registration and licensing, highway safety promotion, and inspection and enforcement on public highways. The lastmost division was the Wisconsin State Traffic Patrol, and initially involved a staff of 46 inspectors statewide.

Several different series of State Patrol plates have been issued over the years; with die variations. Since plate numbers are coded by district and are routinely recycled or remade, there are no clear cutoffs between varieties.

[Wisconsin undated State Traffic Patrol]

ca. 1939-42 (e)

[Wisconsin undated State Traffic Patrol]

ca. 1952-55 dies (e)

[Wisconsin undated State Traffic Patrol]

ca. 1957-59 - grooves top & bottom (e)

[Wisconsin undated State Traffic Patrol]

ca. 1967-84 - partial groove (e)

[Wisconsin undated State Traffic Patrol]

ca. 1967-84 - full groove (e)

[Wisconsin undated State Traffic Patrol]

ca. 1985-88 (e)

[Wisconsin undated State Traffic Patrol]

Four-digit (e)

[Wisconsin undated State Traffic Patrol]

1989-94 (ME)

[Wisconsin undated State Traffic Patrol]

2000- (at)

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Last update November 5, 2013.