CHAPTER 342
VEHICLE TITLE AND ANTI-THEFT LAW
SUBCHAPTER I
CERTIFICATE OF TITLE
342.01   Words and phrases defined.
342.02   Excepted liens and security interests.
342.03   Motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer leases.
342.05   When certificate of title required.
342.06   Application for certificate of title.
342.065   Title for salvage vehicle.
342.07   Title for repaired salvage vehicle.
342.08   Department to examine records.
342.09   When department to issue certificate and to whom; maintenance of records.
342.10   Contents of certificate of title.
342.11   Grounds for refusing issuance of certificate of title.
342.12   Withholding certificate of title; bond.
342.13   Lost, stolen or mutilated certificates.
342.14   Fees.
SUBCHAPTER II
TRANSFER OF TITLE
342.15   Transfer of interest in a vehicle.
342.155   Mileage disclosure requirements of transferors and transferees.
342.156   Transfers of leased motor vehicles.
342.157   Motor vehicle salvage pools and auction companies to maintain records.
342.16   Transfer to or from dealer.
342.17   Involuntary transfers.
342.18   When department to issue a new certificate.
342.19   Perfection of security interests.
342.195   Notification of person who has perfected security interest.
342.20   Duties on creation of security interest.
342.21   Assignment of security interest.
342.22   Release of security interest.
342.23   Secured party's and owner's duties.
342.24   Method of perfecting exclusive.
342.245   Electronic processing of certain applications.
342.25   Suspension or revocation of certificate.
342.255   Cancellation of title or registration.
342.26   Hearings and appeal.
SUBCHAPTER III
ANTI-THEFT AND ANTI-FRAUD PROVISIONS
342.30   Identification numbers.
342.31   Report of stolen or abandoned motor vehicles.
342.32   Counterfeiting and unlawful possession of certificate of title.
342.33   Sale of vehicle used as taxicab.
342.34   Department to be notified of destruction or junking of vehicle.
342.40   Vehicle abandonment prohibited; removal; disposal.
342.41   Identity of buyer.
subch. I of ch. 342 SUBCHAPTER I
CERTIFICATE OF TITLE
342.01 342.01 Words and phrases defined.
342.01(1)(1)Words and phrases defined in s. 340.01 are used in the same sense in this chapter unless a different definition is specifically provided.
342.01(2) (2)In this chapter:
342.01(2)(ac) (ac) “Automated format," with respect to any document, record, or other information, includes that document, record, or other information generated or maintained in an electronic or digital form or medium.
342.01(2)(ag) (ag) “Deliver" includes electronic transmission.
342.01(2)(am) (am) “Leasing company" means any lessor who, within the preceding 12 months, has leased 5 or more vehicles for a period of at least 4 months.
342.01(2)(b) (b) “Mileage" means the actual distance that a vehicle has traveled in miles.
342.01(2)(c) (c) “Transfer" means to change ownership by purchase, gift or any other means.
342.01 History History: 1993 a. 159; 1997 a. 27; 2009 a. 28.
342.02 342.02 Excepted liens and security interests. This chapter does not apply to or affect:
342.02(1) (1)A lien given by statute or rule of law to a supplier of services or materials for the vehicle.
342.02(2) (2)A lien given by statute to the United States, this state or any political subdivision of this state.
342.02(3) (3)A security interest in a vehicle created by a manufacturer or dealer who holds the vehicle for sale, which shall be governed by the applicable provisions of ch. 409.
342.03 342.03 Motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer leases. Notwithstanding s. 401.201 (2) (t) or ch. 409, a transaction involving a motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer does not create a conditional sale or a security interest merely because it includes a provision that permits or requires the rental price to be adjusted under the agreement by reference to the amount realized upon the sale or other disposition of the motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer.
342.03 History History: 1991 a. 148; 2009 a. 320.
342.05 342.05 When certificate of title required.
342.05(1)(1)The owner of a vehicle subject to registration in this state, whether or not such vehicle is operated on any highway of this state, shall make application for certificate of title for the vehicle under the following circumstances:
342.05(1)(a) (a) If the owner has newly acquired the vehicle, he or she shall make application under s. 342.15.
342.05(1)(b) (b) If the owner applies for registration of a vehicle without holding a valid certificate of title previously issued to that owner by the department for the vehicle, he or she shall at the same time apply for a certificate of title.
342.05(2) (2)Except as provided in sub. (3), an applicant's eligibility for a certificate of title is a prerequisite to registration of the vehicle. If the applicant for registration holds a valid certificate of title previously issued to the applicant by the department for the vehicle, that is prima facie evidence of ownership of the vehicle and the applicant need not apply for a new certificate of title on application for registration.
342.05(3) (3)This section does not apply in a situation where the law expressly authorizes registration of a vehicle in the name of a person other than the owner or where the law expressly authorizes registration without a certificate of title.
342.05(4) (4)Any owner who operates or consents to the operation of a vehicle for which a certificate of title is required without such certificate having been issued or applied for or any other person who operates a vehicle for which a certificate of title is required, knowing that the certificate of title has not been issued or applied for, may be required to forfeit not more than $200. A certificate is considered to have been applied for when the application accompanied by the required fee has been delivered to the department or deposited in the mail properly addressed and with postage prepaid.
342.05(5) (5)Unless otherwise authorized by rule of the department, a nonresident owner of a vehicle that is not subject to registration in this state may not apply for a certificate of title under this chapter unless the vehicle is subject to a security interest or except as provided in s. 342.16 (1) (a). Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a nonresident may purchase temporary operation plates under s. 341.09 (4). Any temporary operation permit or plate issued under s. 341.09 shall not be considered registration of the vehicle for purposes of this subsection.
342.06 342.06 Application for certificate of title.
342.06(1)(1)An application for a certificate of title shall be made to the department upon a form or in an automated format prescribed by it and shall be accompanied by the required fee and any applicable taxes. Information obtained by the department under this subsection shall be provided to the department of revenue for the purposes of administering state taxes and collecting debt. Each application for certificate of title shall include the following information:
342.06 Note NOTE: Sub. (1) (intro.) is affected by 2005 Wis. Acts 25 and 59. The 2 treatments are mutually inconsistent. Sub. (1) (intro.) is shown as affected by the last enacted act, 2005 Wis. Act 59. As affected by 2005 Wis. Act 25, it reads:
Effective date text (1) An application for a certificate of title shall be made to the department upon a form or in an automated format prescribed by it and shall be accompanied by the required fee and any applicable taxes. The department shall provide the information it obtains under this subsection to the department of revenue for the sole purpose of administering state taxes. Each application for certificate of title shall include the following information:
342.06(1)(a) (a) The name and address of the owner.
342.06(1)(b) (b) A description of the vehicle, including make, identification number and any other information or documentation that the department may reasonably require for proper identification of the vehicle or for determination of the mileage of the vehicle as disclosed by prior transferors.
342.06(1)(c) (c) The date of purchase by the applicant, the name and address of the person from whom the vehicle was acquired and the names and addresses of any secured parties in the order of their priority.
342.06(1)(d) (d) If the vehicle is a new vehicle being registered for the first time, the signature of a dealer authorized to sell that new vehicle, the total of the number of tires normally used on the vehicle during its operation on the highways plus the number of any spare tires with which the vehicle is normally equipped and the manufacturer's document of origin. The document of origin shall contain the information specified by the department.
342.06(1)(e) (e) Any further evidence of ownership which may reasonably be required by the department to enable it to determine whether the owner is entitled to a certificate of title and the existence or nonexistence of security interests in the vehicle.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 69 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on January 3, 2020. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after January 3, 2020, are designated by NOTES. (Published 1-3-20)