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Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation
Endangered resources license plates
With each purchase of an Endangered Resources license plate, you will be helping protect and manage Wisconsin's rare species and habitats. The Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation relies on donations like the tax-checkoff and license plate sales for a significant portion of its budget. Your support will ensure these plants, animals and special places will be around for future generations to enjoy.
Our new bald eagle license plate
This dramatic, show-stopping plate celebrates bald eagles’ recovery and helps lay the foundation for our next conservation success together. Your purchase of the plate sends a $25 annual donation to the Endangered Resources Fund to care for the rare plants and animals and unique natural areas that make Wisconsin a special place.
Frequently asked questions
Read the FAQ below for more information about the Endangered Resources license plates.
- When and where can I buy the ER license plate
You can buy a bald eagle or wolf design plate at any time from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. No need to wait for your renewal notice, or until your existing plate wears out. However, making this switch during registration renewal is most economical because DOT retains your original registration date. Thus switching plates in the middle of your renewal cycle may mean you are asked twice in one year for the $25 dollar donation.
Download and fill out Form MV2858 and mail it in or fill it out at the DMV customer service center near you. The plate will be mailed to you by the Department of Transportation.
- How much does the Endangered Resources plate cost?
$25 annual donation
The ER plate provides for a $25 annual donation to the Endangered Resources Fund that pays for work to protect rare plant and animals and state natural areas. Your total bill, however, depends on where you are in the renewal cycle and if you want to customize your tag plate.
For all license buyers with current registrations, there is a $15 issuance fee that goes to the Department of Transportation on top of the $25 donation. So for most people, buying the eagle plate will cost you $40 overall.
If you buy an eagle plate at the same time you renew your registration or within 3 months of your renewal date, you will pay the regular $75 annual car registration fee (more for trucks and other vehicles qualifying to use special plates) and the $40 on top of that.
Once you have your ER plate, it’s important to know that your renewal rate will thereafter reflect a $25 annual donation to the Endangered Resources Fund until you discontinue your use of the plate. If you choose to have a personalized message on your new plate (1 to 6 letters and/or numbers), you will have an additional $15 annual fee added to your renewal.
- How do I know if my registration is within 3 months of renewal?
See when your registration is up for renewal by looking on the registration card you receive and are required to carry in your car.
- How will my $25 donation be used?
Your $25 donation to the Endangered Resources Fund is tax deductible if you itemize on your taxes. It pays for staff for DNR’s Natural Heritage Conservation program (formerly called Endangered Resources) and activities to protect and restore native plants and animals and state natural areas. Our annual report shows how DNR’s Natural Heritage Conservation staff carry out this responsibility, which includes caring for 70 mammals, 56 species of frogs, turtles and snakes, ~ 2,400 plant species and more than 100 distinct natural plant communities.
To meet this responsibility, Natural Heritage Conservation staff work with citizens, private landowners and businesses to count, locate and manage nongame species and plants; provide regulatory protection to endangered and threatened species; provide annual funding to nature centers, conservation organizations and others to help them build their capacity to engage volunteers to collect data to help NHC priority projects; acquire, designate and manage a system of natural areas that protect the very best remnants of Wisconsin’s distinct natural communities and provide refuge for native species. Staff also work with private landowners to provide technical and financial assistance to help them manage their land to preserve and restore native species.
- Have more questions that we didn't cover?
See the DMV's frequently asked questions webpage for more information on fees or if you want to change from the wolf or badger ER designs to the eagle design.