Except during a state of emergency proclaimed under ch. 323:
(1) It is unlawful for any person to operate or for an owner to consent to being operated on any highway of this state any motor vehicle, recreational vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer, or any other vehicle for which a registration fee is specifically prescribed, unless at the time of operation the vehicle in question either is registered in this state, or, except for registration under s. 341.30 or 341.305 , a complete application for registration, including evidence of any inspection under s. 110.20 when required, accompanied by the required fee has been delivered to the department, submitted to a dealer under s. 341.09(2m) for transmittal to the department or deposited in the mail properly addressed with postage prepaid and, if the vehicle is an automobile or motor truck having a registered weight of 8,000 pounds or less, the vehicle displays a temporary operation plate issued for the vehicle unless the operator or owner of the vehicle produces proof that operation of the vehicle is within 2 business days of the vehicle's sale or transfer, or the vehicle in question is exempt from registration.
(a) A vehicle may be operated by a private person after the date of purchase of such vehicle by such private person or after the date such person moved to this state if application for registration, except for registration under s. 341.30 or 341.305 , and certificate of title has been made and the person otherwise complies with any applicable requirements of this section.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, if a vehicle is owned by a lessor of vehicles and is leased to a lessee for a period of one year or more and the vehicle was registered in the name of the lessor before January 1, 1998, the department may renew the registration in the name of the lessor in lieu of registration of the vehicle by the lessee. This paragraph does not apply to any subsequent lease of the vehicle by a lessor.
(2) Unless application for reregistration has been made as required by s. 341.32 , it is unlawful for any person to operate or for the owner to consent to being operated on any highway of this state any registered vehicle the construction or use of which has been changed so as to make the vehicle subject to a higher fee than the fee at which it currently is registered or which is carrying a greater load than that permitted under the current registration.
(3)(a) Any person who violates sub. (1) or (2), where the vehicle used is an automobile or any other vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less, as determined by the manufacturer of the vehicle, may be required to forfeit not more than $200.
(b) Any person who violates sub. (1) or (2), where the vehicle used is a vehicle not enumerated under par. (a), may be required to forfeit not more than $500.
(c) In addition to imposing the penalty under par. (a) or (b), the court shall order the offender to make application for registration or reregistration and to pay the required fee. If 45 days have elapsed from the date of conviction and the department has not received an application for registration or reregistration and the required fee, the department shall order the offender to make application for registration or reregistration and to pay the required fee. Unless the department receives the application for registration or reregistration and the required fee within 20 days from the date of the department's order, the department may suspend any or all registrations of the offender. Any registration suspended under this section shall remain suspended until the offender makes application for registration or reregistration and the required fee for registration is paid. For purposes of this section, the required registration or reregistration fee for residents of this state is the required annual or biennial fee, or, if the vehicle is eligible for quarterly or consecutive monthly registration, the fee required in s. 341.30 or 341.305 . For purposes of this section, the required fee for a vehicle registered on the basis of gross weight shall be the fee for the maximum weight for which the vehicle may be legally registered or the weight at which the vehicle was operating, whichever is greater.
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