MADISON, Wis. -

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicles warns customers that a number of websites have DMV information and forms but are not the actual DMV website.

Using the real DMV website will save customers time and money, officials said.

“People should type www.wisconsindmv.gov into their browser when they want to research the Wisconsin DMN," DMV Bureau of Field Services Director Donna Brown-Martin, said a release. “If they do a web search to find us, our official Wisconsin DMV site may not be the first one they see.”

Web searches will return a number of sites that have information, but some are for-profit sites and they charge fees for forms and services that are free on the official DMV website, officials said.

According to the release, a good rule of thumb from officials is that DMV forms are always free.

Officials said unofficial sites often do not keep information current.

Earlier this month, all DMV 5-day customer service centers extended their hours, keeping all centers open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to the release. But some of the unofficial for-profit sites didn’t update their information to reflect the change.

“Just the other day we had customers show up at a service center thinking it was open when it was closed. The hours that they had seen on another website were no longer current,” said Brown-Martin. “That’s why we want to make sure our customers know that the place to go is www.wisconsindmv.gov.”

The unofficial DMV websites may be deceiving but they are not illegal, officials said. Disclaimers stating the websites are not owned or operated by government agencies allow them to conduct Internet transactions, but the disclaimers sometimes go unnoticed by web browsers.

According to the release, citizens should watch for .gov in the web address because private, for-profit sites will not contain .gov.