Montana License Plate Lookup

Montana License Plate Lookup

Montana License Plates are required to register vehicles. Currently, the Montana Department of Justice issues the license plates.

Using Montana License Plate Lookup

A license plate lookup provides vehicle owners with much information. You can have more detailed information about its

  • registration features and title
  • mileage and odometer readings
  • structural damages
  • latest safety inspection
  • VIN*

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a particular code that is assigned to a vehicle by the automaker. VIN is a 17 character code and it is considered to be the vehicle’s identity code. It includes the vehicle’s model year, origin country, serial number, etc. You must check the Vehicle Identification Number whenever you buy a used car.

Note: VIN cannot be changed!

Types of Montana License Plate

All vehicle owners can apply for standard licenses, in case they do not want to request other plates. In particular, Montana law requires that you issue your license plate every 5 years.

Anyways, Montana has some other types of plates. Here are some of them:

  • Personalized License Plate: You can personalize a sponsored plate, only if you pay an additional fee. The fee is approximately $25. Then you may have to pay $10 for each renewal or transfer. For all the requirements and details you can check the Application Form for Personalized License Plates.
  • Vintage and Pioneer License Plates: Vintage and Pioneer plates are used for vehicles that are older than thirty years or if they are used mainly for collecting purposes. You just need to fill out the application form for registration and send the final version to the Vehicle Service Bureau. But prior to that make sure you pay all the vital fees as well. Note: Do not send the application form to your county treasurer’s office.
  • Original Montana License Plates: Original Montana Plates are issued during the same year the vehicle is manufactured. Note: These kinds of plates are not getting re-manufactured. You must get existing plates. All you need to do is to send the application form to your county treasurer’s office and pay the required fees.
  • Disability Permit/License Plates: To apply for a disability license plate you must fill out the Special Disability Parking Permit application form indicating your constant disability. The first set of a plate is free. In case of additional sets of plates, you must pay a $100 fee. If you are experiencing a permanent disability, the license is valid for 6 months.

Getting your Montana license plate

If you are living in Montana and possess a vehicle you must register it and apply for custom plates. In case you own the following vehicles, the law requires them to be registered in the state:

  • Motorcycles
  • Quadricycles
  • Travel Trailers
  • Utility Trailers
  • All-terrain Vehicles
  • Passenger Vehicles

The main Montana license plate requirements are the following:

  • Proof of Valid Insurance
  • Odometer Statement
  • Bill of Sale
  • Payment for Applicable Fees

If the vehicle is a brand new car, you must represent the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin. If it is secondhand, you must approve the vehicle’s current title and registration. In case the vehicle came from another state, you must fill out VIN Check Form and represent Custom’s Entry Documents.

In Montana after owning a car, you must obtain car registration tags with the help of the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).  The state’s Department of Justice (DOJ) manages the car registration tags. At this point, drivers must appear in person and get their car tags at a county treasurer’s office. After proper registration and titling of the newly acquired vehicles, the county treasurer will provide car owners new plates.

In addition, before getting a license plate car owners should determine between a 12 or 24-month registration term or a permanent one. In some cases, car owners are eligible to apply for permanent registration. However, this procedure is more common for motorists whose vehicles are 11 years old or more.

License Plate Fee

You probably do not know but taxes in this state are different from the other ones in the US. The fee mainly depends on what kind of registration you want (12 months, 24 months, or permanent registration).

Since you must obtain car registration cards and license plates together in Montana, applicants must pay an $87.50 registration fee. You must as well pay the costs concerning the issuance of plates. It includes

  • $10.30 for new issuance
  • $10.30 for a new number (replacement plate)
  • $15.45 for duplicate plate
  • $10.30 for duplicate permanent tab

In case you are applying for a personalized MT license plate, you will also need to pay an additional $25.75 fee.

Montana DMV may reject license plates for several reasons, check out our banned Montana license plates page for more details.

Applying for Fee Waivers

A vehicle owner may apply for a fee waive if that person:

  • is a veteran who had 100% disability level, or is paid at the 100% disabled rate
  • is a veteran who had at least a 50% disability rating and was awarded the Purple Heart (this means he was killed or injured as a result of enemy action)
  • was a prisoner of war
  • was murdered while on active duty (died of a service-connected injury or disability)

The necessary document for Fee Waiver is an official letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs. But if the military service member was murdered on active duty, the surviving spouse will need a letter from the U.S. Department of Defense. Then you will need to complete the application form for registration and after paying all the fees send the completed version to the Vehicle Services Bureau.

Montana Veterans License Plates

If you have trouble in finding the Department of Veterans Affairs’ letter which is verifying your or your deceased partner’s disability rating, payment status, or maybe the reason of death (as a result of injury or disability, that is connected with military service, contact the Veterans Service Office of the Montana Department of Veterans Affairs.

Whenever obtaining a license plate or renewing your vehicle’s registration, you should know that the veteran assignment on a driver’s license or ID card is not a proof of eligibility to receive veteran license plates. Veterans must provide official documentation confirming their eligibility to display veteran license plates or get discharge from vehicle registration fees.

Montana License Plate Renewal

In case you want to renew your permit plate, you will just need to renew your vehicle’s registration. You can do it either every 12 or 24 months.

Additionally, if you want to apply for a car tag renewal, they must appear in person at a county treasurer’s office. Moreover, they can do it online by sending an email message. When motorists renew license plate materials by your mail, they must assign some specific renewal instructions and mailing address that is included on the car’s registration renewal notice.

Most of the time, in Montana vehicle owners must renew their car tags in person if they need to apply for an up-to-date license plate, they should mention whether they move to another state or county, as well as if their address changes.

Where can I apply for Montana License Plate?

Once you want to apply for a Montana license plate you must visit the MT Department of Justice. Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) issues the license plates in Montana.

The first thing you will probably need to do is titling. For this step, apply to the county treasurer’s office at the county where you live. In some counties, you can visit only after an appointment. So contact them first to avoid any problems. Then you should provide the necessary documentation. If you have recently bought a vehicle from a certified car dealer, the trader should send the necessary documents to your county treasurer’s office. You must keep a copy of the registration receipt in your vehicle all the time, along with the proof of liability insurance. When you have titled the ownership of a vehicle and it is already transferred you must present the signatures of all parties on the face of the titles. By the way, be ready to pay all the required fees!

Additional Information

If you are a resident of Montana but now you decide to move on to another county you still can use your current license plate until your next regular renewal. The plates are active till the registration expires. So if you decide to move on to another county you must update your address with the MVD’s Driver Services Bureau within 10 days.

As for non-residents who are paid workers in Montana they must present their existing out-of-state vehicle registration to the county treasurer’s office.

For more information, you can apply…

Montana Department of Justice, MVD
P.O. Box 201430, 302 N Roberts,
Helena, MT 59620-1430
Phone Number: (406) 444-3933
Email: [email protected]

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