Wisconsin – Motor Vehicle Sales to Foreign Missions

2/1/2013

SALT Report 2107 – The Wisconsin Department of Revenues issued guidance regarding recent changes to the procedures for sales and leases of motor vehicles to foreign missions and their members or dependents.  Effective immediately, exemptions from Wisconsin sales and use taxes on sales or leases of motor vehicles based on diplomatic or consular status should only be granted if the seller or lessor has been issued a Motor Vehicle Tax Exemption Letter by the Office of Foreign Missions (OFM).  Diplomatic Tax Exemption Cards are no longer an acceptable form of documentation for the sales and use tax exemption.

Because of the changes, the seller or lessor must contact the OFM to request a Motor Vehicle Tax-Exemption Letter prior to finalizing a sale or lease of a motor vehicle.  The request must include:

  • The seller’s or lessor’s name, mailing address, and telephone and fax numbers
  • The color, year, make, and model of the vehicle being sold or leased, and
  • For official motor vehicles -the name of the purchasing foreign mission, or
  • For personal motor vehicles – the name of the mission member or their dependent, as it appears on their current A series or G series visa, as well as the person’s U.S. Department of State issued Personal Identification Number.

In addition to the above requirements, individuals must also present one of the following:

  • A valid passport containing a current A series or G series visa,
  • U.S. Department of State protocol identification card,
  • U.S. Department of State driver’s license, or
  • U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Exemption Card

Each Motor Vehicle Tax Exemption Letter will have a unique identification number. The letters will also provide further detail regarding new registration requirements. For example, sellers and lessors are now required to send all original ownership documents to the OFM for registration and titling purposes. Once registration has been completed the OFM will issue a registration card and a federal license and send the title to the lien holder.

For Further Information

Wisconsin Department of Revenue – Wisconsin Tax Bulletin, page 6

Office of Foreign Missions