DMV replacing all Sesquicentennial and red letter license plates - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

DMV replacing all Sesquicentennial and red letter license plates


Eau Claire (Press Release) - The Department of Motor Vehicles will soon begin replacement of all Sesquicentennial and red letter plates. This process will take about one year to complete.

These plates have surpassed their life expectancy and are no longer in production. 

Current holders of the affected plates should receive information with their renewal notice regarding the process.  Those with personalized plate messages may not be able to retain them if the personalized plate message is already in use on a non-Sesquicentennial or non-red letter plate.  If the message is not already in use then replacement black letter plates will be issued with the same personalized message as the plate being replaced. 

The new plates must be displayed on the vehicle once they are delivered.  If two plates are delivered (all auto and truck plates) then two plates must be displayed; one on the front of the vehicle and one on the rear. If the vehicle is not equipped with a front plate bracket then it is the responsibility of the vehicle owner to obtain such bracket.  

Registration decals will be provided with replacement plates. They should be applied according to the instructions on the envelope that they arrive in.  Only one expiration year decal should be visible at any one time. No unauthorized decals or attachments are allowed on registration plates. 

State statutes require that registration plates be mounted "firmly and rigidly in a horizontal position and conspicuous place." They cannot be hidden behind vehicle accessories such as brush guards or front end covers. 

State statutes further require that plates be "maintained in a legible condition at all times and displayed so that they can be readily and distinctly seen and read." 

Add-on plate frames and covers that obstruct any part of the "readable message" on a registration plate are illegal.  

Once plates become worn and difficult to read it is the responsibility of the registered owner to replace them. Regular auto and truck plates currently cost $2 per plate to replace.  A replacement plate form is available on the DMV website along with information regarding the program.

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