Montana Car Registration: Do’s And Don’ts
If you live in Montana and own a car, or are living outside the state but are planning to register your car here, it is important to keep your car’s registration up-to-date, and maintain a clean driving record. A car that is not registered or has a suspended registration can lead to fines and points on your driving record.
Car Registration In Montana: Do’s
Montana vehicle registration process is easy, but it does require that you have your vehicle inspected by a mechanic before you apply for registration. If you do not have your car inspected by a mechanic, you can still apply for registration; however, it will be processed as an incomplete application and could result in delays or additional fees if approved.
If you’re wondering how to register a vehicle in Montana, you’ll need to register it within 30 days of purchase. This is a state requirement, and the owner’s name, address, and vehicle identification number (VIN) must be recorded on the title. This includes new cars, trucks, and vans purchased from dealerships or private sellers, such as not used car sales. If you purchase your vehicle from a dealer, they will usually handle both titling and registration for you, with automatic plate renewal included as part of the deal.
You’ll also have your license plate issued within 30 days of purchase. The plate will have the same prefix as your driver’s license number.
You can register a vehicle online through the Department of Motor Vehicles website with the help of a Montana registered agent.
You will need the following information:
- Name of owner
- Address where the vehicle was purchased
- VIN of vehicle
- Date purchased
Car Registration In Montana: Don’ts
- Don’t forget to title the vehicle within 30 days of purchase.
- Don’t lose your car’s documentation. Keep it in a safe place.
- Don’t forget to pay your registration fees.
- Don’t forget to renew your license plates every 5 years. If you have a personalized plate, you must renew it by mail with a check or money order payable to “State of Montana” along with your renewal notice and a copy of your driver’s license or state ID card. You can also renew in person at any county treasurer’s office or at any Motor Vehicle Division office in Montana.
Why Thousands Register Their Cars in Montana
1. Low Registration And Licensing Fees
Many states have a flat fee for registering your car, regardless of the miles you drive. Montana is no exception. The lowest registration fee for a passenger vehicle is $26, which applies to all vehicles with fewer than 100,000 miles. The only exception is if you have an electric car or motorcycle that requires special plates.
2. No Emissions Test Required
If you live in Montana, you don’t need to take a special emissions test to register your vehicle because there aren’t any in-state requirements for them. However, if you want your vehicle licensed concurrently with registration, as with some other states, then you’ll need to take a Smog Check State Test in Montana every year at your local Department of Environmental Quality office or Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch office.
3. No Sales Tax For Exotic Cars
Many people are surprised to learn that Montana does not charge a sales or use tax on vehicles manufactured outside the state or sold to non-residents. Residents who do not live in Montana but wish to have their vehicles registered in the state can opt for registering their vehicles through a Montana LLC.
4. No State Inspection Is Required
You don’t have to do much more than pay your registration and licensing fees before getting on the road in Montana, except for those who own high-mileage vehicles that may require periodic inspections by their local DMV offices.
Montana is an excellent state to register a vehicle. The Montana MVD was created to serve the needs of consumers and has continuously worked to improve its services. By combining automatic renewal with online convenience, we now have one more reason to register a car in Montana-saving money.