Registering Your Aircraft In Wisconsin

by Michele Cumblad
WisDOT Bureau of Aeronautics
Published in Midwest Flyer – October/November 2020 issue

Fall is upon us. The leaves are changing, pumpkin spice flavoring is everywhere, and Wisconsin aircraft registration renewal fees are due. We have nearly 6,000 registered aircraft in Wisconsin, the oldest dating back to 1917. For many of these aircraft owners, the need to renew your aircraft registration is hopefully no surprise. For those needing a refresher on the rules, or for anyone with aircraft ownership in your future, here’s a quick overview of how aircraft registration works in Wisconsin.

Who is required to register?

If your aircraft is based in Wisconsin for a period of 30 consecutive days, or for a cumulative period of 60 days in a calendar year, you must apply for Wisconsin registration or exemption. Wisconsin registration is required even if you already registered your aircraft in another state.

Owners of “amateur built” and “antique” aircraft pay a one-time $50 registration fee. In addition, some aircraft may qualify for an exemption. If your aircraft is classified as unairworthy, incomplete amateur built, municipally-owned, or museum aircraft, you may apply for an exemption.

When must I register?

Registration is due on the date of purchase, entry into Wisconsin, or upon completion of construction or restoration. Initial registration fees are prorated. After initial registration, subsequent renewal fees are due on November 1.

How do I initially register my aircraft?

Submit a completed and signed application, along with a copy of the bill of sale and check made payable to Wisconsin Department of Transportation for the total amount due for registration fees and taxes. The application and additional information can be found online at Mail the completed forms and payment to:

Wisconsin Department of Transportation
P. O. Box 7914
Madison, WI 53707-7914

How do I renew my registration?

If your registration is due for renewal, a renewal notice reminder will be sent to the registered owner in mid-September. To renew, send the completed renewal notice and check to the mailing address listed above. Aircraft with a gross takeoff weight exceeding 3,000 pounds are required to renew their aircraft registration annually. Aircraft with a gross takeoff weight 3,000 pounds or less are only required to renew their registration every other year.

How are registration fees determined?

Registration fees are determined by the gross weight at take off.

Can I register my aircraft as an antique?

Aircraft manufactured in 1955 or earlier, and used solely for recreation or display, can be registered as an antique.

What if I buy an aircraft registered in Wisconsin?

Upon sale of an aircraft currently registered in Wisconsin, the registration is transferable to the new owner unless it is registered as ‘amateur built’ or ‘antique’. In order to transfer the registration to the new owner, an initial registration application and copy of the bill of sale must be submitted.

What if I sell an aircraft registered in Wisconsin?

If you sell an aircraft based in Wisconsin, please notify us at (608) 266-9657 or

When else do I need to notify WisDOT?

If you change the “N” number; change address; or if the aircraft has been destroyed or is no longer based in Wisconsin, please contact us at the phone number or email address listed above.

What if I have a tax-related question?

Contact the Wisconsin Department of Revenue at (608) 261-7694.

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