The Andrew Turnbull Network

License Plate Gallery

The Wisconsin Pages:

Dealer

Dealer plates represent the oldest non-passenger class in Wisconsin: Registration of vehicles on display by dealers commenced in July 1905; the same time the first passenger license plates debuted in the state. Early dealer plates are identifiable by the presence of a large, solid star at left.

[Wisconsin 1905-11 dealer]

1905-11 (at)8

[Wisconsin 1912 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1913 dealer]

Missing star (e)

[Wisconsin 1913 dealer]

Different style "1" (e)

[Wisconsin 1914 dealer]

Repainted (e)

[Wisconsin 1915 dealer]

Repainted (e)

[Wisconsin 1916 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1917 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1918 dealer]

(at)8

[Wisconsin 1919 dealer]

Repainted (e)

In 1920, the numbering configuration was changed in order to allow more than one uniquely-numbered plate to be issued to a single dealer. An alpha suffix was added that would increment itself with each additional plate: 344C would be the third plate owned by dealer number 344, for example. This system is essentially still used today, with double letters issued after "Z."

[Wisconsin 1920 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1921 dealer]

(at)8

[Wisconsin 1922 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1923 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1924 dealer]

Upside-down star (e)

[Wisconsin 1924 dealer]

Rightside-up star (e)

[Wisconsin 1925 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1926 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1927 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1928 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1929 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1930 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1931 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1932 dealer]

(at)8

[Wisconsin 1932 dealer]

Earliest double-letter confirmed so far. (e)

[Wisconsin 1933 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1934 dealer]

(at)8

[Wisconsin 1935 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1936 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1937 dealer]

(at)8

[Wisconsin 1938 dealer]

(at)8

[Wisconsin 1939 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1940 dealer]

(at)8

[Wisconsin 1941 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1943 dealer]

(at)8

[Wisconsin 1944 dealer]

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

[Wisconsin 1945 dealer]

(at)8

[Wisconsin 1946 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1947 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1948 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1949 dealer]

Squared prefix (e)

[Wisconsin 1949 dealer]

Rounded prefix (e)

[Wisconsin 1950 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1951 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1952 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1953 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1954 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1955 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1956 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1957 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1958 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1958 dealer]

MH = Mobile Home dealer (e)

[Wisconsin 1959 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1960 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1961 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1962 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1963 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1964 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1965 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1966 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1967 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1967 dealer]

Late variation (at)8

[Wisconsin 1967 dealer]

MH = Mobile Home dealer (e)

[Wisconsin 1968 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1968 dealer]

MH = Mobile Home dealer (e)

[Wisconsin 1969 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1970 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1971 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1972 dealer]

(SD)

[Wisconsin 1972 dealer]

(SD)

[Wisconsin 1973 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1973 dealer]

MH = Mobile Home dealer (e)

[Wisconsin 1974 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1974 dealer]

MH = Mobile Home dealer (e)

[Wisconsin 1975 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1975 dealer]

MH = Mobile Home dealer (e)

[Wisconsin 1976 dealer]

Partial-length groove (e)

[Wisconsin 1976 dealer]

Full-length groove (e)

[Wisconsin 1977 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1978 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1978 dealer]

MH = Mobile Home dealer (e)

[Wisconsin 1979 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1979 dealer]

MH = Mobile Home dealer (e)

[Wisconsin 1980 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1981 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1982 dealer]

(SD)

[Wisconsin 1983 dealer]

(SD)

[Wisconsin 1984 dealer]

(at)1

[Wisconsin 1981 dealer]

MH = Mobile Home dealer (e)

[Wisconsin 1985 dealer]

(SD)

[Wisconsin 1986 dealer]

(at)

[Wisconsin 1987 dealer]

(SD)

[Wisconsin 1988 dealer]

(at)1

[Wisconsin 1988 dealer]

Late variation (at)1

[Wisconsin 1990 dealer]

(at)

[Wisconsin 1991 dealer]

(at)9

[Wisconsin 1994 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1995 dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 2011 dealer]

Narrow stacked letters (at)

[Wisconsin 2009 dealer]

(at)

[Wisconsin 2010 dealer]

(at)

[Wisconsin 2011 dealer]

(at)

[Wisconsin 2012 dealer]

(at)

[Wisconsin 2013 dealer]

(at)

In a peculiar move, the state eliminated validation stickers, colors, and reflectorization from dealer plates in 2011. Some plates have suffix letter stickers, but most have no suffix at all. These crude-looking bare-aluminum subjects are going to be phased in over the next year:

[Wisconsin undated dealer]

(at)

[Wisconsin undated dealer]

(at)

Motorcycle Dealer

[Wisconsin 1957 motorcycle dealer]

(at)9

[Wisconsin 1958 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1960 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1961 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1962 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1963 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1964 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1966 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1967 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1968 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1969 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1970 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1971 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1972 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1973 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1974 motorcycle dealer]

(at)5

[Wisconsin 1975 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1976 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1976 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1978 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1980 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1982 motorcycle dealer]

(at)5

[Wisconsin 1986 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1988 motorcycle dealer]

(at)5

[Wisconsin 1989 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1991 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 2013 motorcycle dealer]

Reflectorized (at)

[Wisconsin 2008 motorcycle dealer]

(e)

Demonstrator

Many sub-types of the motor vehicle business class exist. One of the rarer varieties amongst these is Demonstrator, used on trucks and tractors in excess of 8,000 pounds. The assigned numbers on these plates tend to be in the 4000 series, and do not carry an alpha suffix.

[Wisconsin 1968 demonstrator]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1970 demonstrator]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1972 demonstrator]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1973 demonstrator]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1975 demonstrator]

(SD)

[Wisconsin 1983 demonstrator]

(e)

Distributor

Distributor plates are most often used by entities involved in the wholesale distribution of vehicles; working as a middleman between a dealer and manufacturer. Newer distributor plates often carry numbers in the 7000 series.

[Wisconsin 1971 distributor]

Note the "DEC" designation. (e)

[Wisconsin 1972 distributor]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1973 distributor]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1974 distributor]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1975 distributor]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1976 distributor]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1978 distributor]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1984 distributor]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1996 distributor]

(e)

Motorcycle Distributor

[Wisconsin 1973 motorcycle distributor]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1975 motorcycle distributor]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1983 motorcycle distributor]

(at)5

Finance Company

Used by banks and other financial institutions when moving or demonstrating repossessed vehicles. Finance companies tend to be assigned numbers in the 5000 series.

[Wisconsin 1968 finance co.]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1971 finance co.]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1972 finance co.]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1973 finance co.]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1974 finance co.]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1975 finance co.]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1980 finance co.]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1984 finance co.]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1990 finance co.]

(e)

Manufacturer

At risk of stating the obvious, Manufacturer plates are used by motor vehicle manufacturers to test or demonstrate vehicles.

[Wisconsin 1968 manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1969 manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1970 manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1971 manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1972 manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1973 manufacturer]

(at)2

[Wisconsin 1974 manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1975 manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1976 manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1978 manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1980 manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin undated manufacturer]

(e)

Motorcycle Manufacturer

Wisconsin is notable as being the only state in the country to currently issue plates for motorcycle manufacturers...namely Harley-Davidson, whose central offices are based in Milwaukee and who, incidentally, have been assigned the "41" and "48" prefixes.

[Wisconsin 1965 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1966 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1967 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1969 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1970 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1971 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1972 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1973 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1974 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1975 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1976 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1977 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1978 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1980 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1982 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1983 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1986 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1988 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1991 motorcycle manufacturer]

(e)

[Wisconsin 2008 motorcycle manufacturer]

(JS)

In-Transit/Transporter

In-Transit and Transporter plates are used by businesses that transport vehicles between manufacturers, distributors, and dealers "under their own power" or "in tow on their own wheels;" per the DOT guide. The assigned numbers on these plates tend to be in the 8000 series.

[Wisconsin 1938 in-transit]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1966 in-transit]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1970 in-transit]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1971 in-transit]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1972 in-transit]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1974 in-transit]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1975 in-transit]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1982 in-transit]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1989 in-transit]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1990 transporter]

Same number, different caption. (e)

[Wisconsin 1994 transporter]

(e)

[Wisconsin 1995 transporter]

Narrow stacked letters with inverted "W" for "M." (e)

[Wisconsin 1997 transporter]

(at)2

[Wisconsin 2012 transporter]

(T)

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Last update November 5, 2013.