Beware of Unofficial DMV Websites - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Beware of Unofficial DMV Websites

Updated:
Wisconsin -

From license renewals to vehicle titles and registration, there are a lot of services available at the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles website.
     
But, watch where you click.  Unofficial DMV websites could cost you extra fees.

A viewer in Marinette contacted Target 2 after he tried to pay his license registration online.

A web search lead him to what he thought was the website for the Wisconsin DMV.

We looked into this and learned he's not the only one ending up at unofficial DMV websites.

The DMV's official website, wisconsindmv.gov, gets 200,000 hits a month, but if you do a web search you might not end up there. 

"If you just Google Wisconsin DMV, its going to bring up sites, and we aren't always listed on the top, because I believe the others one pay for their site and we don't," said Don Genin, Regional Manager, Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles.

Genin says with all the unofficial websites out there, it can be confusing.

"We've had people come in, they're upset because the hours they saw on there aren't up to date.  Sometimes information is accurate, sometimes it's not," said Genin.

For example, if you visit wisconsindriverslicense.org, you'll find a disclaimer on the top of the page.  The disclaimer says the site is privately owned and has no affiliation with the Wisconsin DMV or any government agency and it "makes no guarantee that information, forms and any materials offered through the site, will be accurate or reliable."

"They're totally legal, as long as they list that disclaimer that says they're not an official government site," said Genin.  "I think it says something to that effect , they can put the information out there.  Sometimes the information is useful, but they're trying to make money too. If you're paying for a form you know you're not on the right site."

Target 2 attempted to learn more about wisconsindriverslicense.org, like finding out who's responsible for the information and what fees are charged to users.

In an auto email response we were told:

"Our site is a free resource designed to provide you with valuable, time-saving information. If you have a question that wasn't answered on our site, please consider contacting your local DMV office directly."

Again, always look for the "gov" at the end of the web address to guarantee you're on the official website, wisconsindmv.gov.

"If they're looking at the right website they're going to get good information," said Genin.

 

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