Montana Car Registration: 5 Tips to Get You Started

If you just purchased a vehicle in Montana and are now the proud owner of a shiny new car or truck, then you’re probably eager to get out on the open road. Before you do, make sure that you’ve taken care of the important paperwork and are in compliance with state regulations. You don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the law and have to deal with fines, penalties, and a tarnished driving record.

Luckily, Montana vehicle registration is fairly straightforward and easy to complete. If you’re new to the state, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules and requirements for car registration before you visit your local license and tag office.

Here are the ins and outs of how to register vehicles in Montana:

The Requirements

The process of getting a car registered in Montana starts with obtaining a license plate. You will need to visit the local Motor Vehicle Division office and provide a variety of documents. In order to obtain a license plate, you will need to provide a vehicle title, proof of car insurance, a photo license or non-driver ID card, a completed Application for Registration form, and a bill of sale if your car was not purchased from a dealer.

Vehicle Title

You need a car title for vehicle registration in Montana. Ask your dealership for your vehicle title if you have paid the amount in full. When you buy your car through a loan, you don’t have to bring the title; have proof of payment, and your lender will act as a lien.

Proof Of Vehicle Insurance

The state of Montana requires all drivers to have vehicle insurance to protect against financial risk in the event of an accident. You may purchase insurance from a private company or through the state’s public assistance program. You must keep a signed copy of your policy in your car at all times.

Pay Fees And Taxes

Although registering a car in Montana comes fairly cheap compared to other states, it doesn’t come free. Here are the registrations fees

  • Cars 4 years old and under: $217.
  • Vehicles 5 to 10 years: $87.
  • Cars over 11 years: $28

The rates are per 12 months of vehicle registration. To get the state’s license plate, you will dig your pocket for more than $10 and $25 for customized plates. Then there is a tax calculated according to car type, depreciation, and manufacturer-suggested retail price. If you can’t pay all the fees, you can’t register your car.

File Your Documents

Once your required documents are in check, from your car title to insurance proof to tax receipt, your car is ready to be registered by the DMV.

Vehicle Registration for Non-residents

If you are a non-resident in Montana and need your vehicle registered, work with a Montana registered agent to help you set up a Montana LLC. You can then register your car on your newly formed LLC.


When you have a car, you have certain responsibilities that come with it. One of those is keeping up with your car’s registration. This might seem like a hassle, but it’s actually pretty easy especially when working with a reputable agent in Montana like 5 Star Registration or 1 Dollar Montana.

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