Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Press Release

New for 2021: Reporting odometer mileage when selling a vehicle


By - Dec 10th, 2020 11:43 am

Beginning January 1, 2021 – when you sell or transfer a motor vehicle with a model year 2011 or newer – you must include the actual odometer mileage on the odometer disclosure statement. A federal rule change expands odometer disclosure requirements. This change will improve customer protection by tracking actual odometer mileage for more years as a fraud protection measure.

Previously, any vehicle more than 10 years old has been exempt from reporting mileage upon sale or transfer. The new federal rule gradually increases the exemption from 10 years to 20 years. The change is warranted due to the length of time vehicles remain operational and on the road. Any vehicle of model year 2011 or newer will require odometer disclosure.

“It’s the seller’s responsibility to write in the mileage from the odometer on the title when selling a vehicle. Anyone purchasing a vehicle should make sure that the seller includes the odometer reading before signing the title. When buyers sign the title, they acknowledge the mileage as recorded,” DMV Administrator Kristina Boardman said.

When a vehicle buyer requests a new Wisconsin title, the DMV checks the latest title against available title information and confirms the information is current. Out-of-state vehicle titles are checked by using the Vehicle Information Number (VIN) in a national database. The goal is to ensure the secure creation and maintenance of vehicle records and to reduce fraud through odometer rollbacks. In 2019, the DMV issued 2,017,545 titles and 2020 is on track for similar numbers.

The following vehicles are exempt from odometer disclosure:

  • A vehicle model year 2010 or older
  • A non-motorized vehicle (i.e. trailer-type vehicle)
  • A moped
  • A vehicle with a registered gross weight or gross vehicle weight rating above 16,000 pounds. This includes vehicles that have been registered in Wisconsin or another state above 16,000 pounds at any time in the past
  • A low-speed vehicle (LSV)

Effective January 1, 2021, the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) amended the mileage disclosure rule. Wisconsin DMV has adapted its odometer disclosure practices to comply with federal regulations.

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