DSPS Secretary Crim Again Lowers Fees; New Schedule Goes into Effect July 1
MADISON, Wis. – Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin license holders will pay less to renew their credentials starting on July 1, 2021. The new licensing fee structure set by Department of Safety and Professional Services Secretary Dawn Crim reduced fees for dozens of credentials for the second time since she assumed leadership of the agency. In total, 90 of 170 of the licenses with fees set by the department (and not by statute or administrative rule) will be lowered. Secretary Crim also established a $60 ceiling for license fees. No occupations will see a rate increase—the new schedule either maintains or reduces all fees. The biggest change is for registered sanitarians, whose fees will be $24 lower in the next renewal cycle.
This is the second time Secretary Crim has implemented significant fee cuts for Wisconsin license holders. The previous fee study, released in 2019, also reduced fees across most licensed professions and equalized each license initial and renewal fees across the board.
The department is a fee-based agency and receives no resources from taxpayer funds for normal operations. However, DSPS is subject to legislative oversight regarding spending, and revenues in excess of its approved budget cannot be used to add staff or make system improvements without express approval, known as spending authority, from the legislature. Governor Evers’ budget included requests for additional staff in several divisions and upgrading technology across the agency.
“We are sensitive to our customers’ needs,” Secretary Crim said. “We are mindful of both the cost and quality of our services, and we seek to make adjustments both to what we charge and also the resources we have at our disposal to do the best work we can for the people of Wisconsin. Even with these fee reductions, we will generate enough revenue to pass money back to the general fund and make investments that will lead to better service. We hope to see those investments addressed in the budget.”
Statute requires DSPS to evaluate its fee schedule every two years. The adjusted fees will be in effect for fiscal years 2021-2023.
The Department of Safety and Professional Services issues more than 240 unique licenses, administers dozens of boards and councils that regulate professions, enforces state building codes, runs the state fire prevention program, and maintains the award-winning Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which is a key tool in the multi-faceted public health campaign to stem excessive opioid prescribing. A fee-based agency, the Department of Safety and Professional Services is self-sustaining and receives no general fund tax dollars for its day-to-day operations. With five offices and 250 employees throughout Wisconsin, DSPS collaborates with constituents and stakeholders across a wide range of industries to promote safety and advance the economy.