When visitor.us receives your vehicle’s ownership documents / title, we run a handful of checks before submitting the vehicle to the Montana Department of Motor Vehicles.

When humans, paper, and ink are involved, mistakes happen.

If you followed the Step-by-Step Title Transfer Process (and I hope you did), these checks will be quick and easy for visitor.us.

Check ownership documents

visitor.us first checks that your vehicle’s title (or, for new vehicles, its Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin / Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin) is authentic, and not a scan, photo, copy, or image of a title (none of which are acceptable for ownership transfer).

If your vehicle is from one of a handful of states, and over a certain age, its registration documents are acceptable.

Check ownership interest release

If your vehicle’s title was issued by a state that requires vehicle titles to be notarized, visitor.us checks that the seller’s signature(s) are notarized.

If multiple owners are listed on the vehicle’s title - and they are not separated by the word “OR” - we check that all owners have signed.

For vehicles owned by non-living individuals, we complete the following checks:

  • A Company - an authorized individual must write the name of the company that owns the vehicle, and sign on behalf of the company.

  • A Trust - The trustee must sign the title, as well as Montana form MV40 - Statement of Trustee.

  • A Deceased Individual.  Each state has its own rules for releasing the ownership interest of a deceased person in a vehicle.  The rules of the state that issued the title must be followed.

Check Odometer Disclosure (if required)

Sellers of vehicles model year 2011 and newer must list the odometer reading at the time of sale, and sign to attest to the odometer reading’s correctness.

For vehicles 2011 and newer, visitor.us checks for the vehicle’s current odometer reading on the vehicle’s title, or on a separate Conforming Odometer Disclosure form.

Check Lien Release (if required)

Ownership of a vehicle with a loan outstanding against it cannot be transferred to a new owner until the loan is paid off.

If a loan against a vehicle is documented in the lien section of the vehicle's title, visitor.us checks for:

  • The lien release field on the vehicle’s title has been signed and stamped by an authorized representative of the entity listed on the title as the lienholder, or

  • The title is accompanied by a lien release letter that has been signed and stamped by an authorized representative of the entity listed on the title as the lienholder.

Check Reassignments

Sometimes, the seller of your vehicle isn’t the person listed on the front of the vehicle’s title.  For example, the owner listed on the title may have sold the vehicle to someone, who is selling the vehicle to you.

Only licensed auto dealers can “reassign” vehicle titles to a new owner in this manner, without first titling the vehicle in their own name.  If the vehicle has been reassigned, visitor.us checks to see if the intermediate owners are all licensed auto dealers.

visitor.us also checks for a clear chain of ownership from the person listed on the front of the vehicle’s title to your Montana LLC. For example, if John Smith is listed on the front of the vehicle’s title, he sold the vehicle to Supreme Auto Group, and Supreme Auto Group sold the vehicle to Main Street Motors, and Main Street Motors sold the vehicle to you, the chain of ownership should look as follows:

  • Seller: John Smith
  • Buyer: Supreme Auto Group by John Doe, agent
  • First dealer reassignment:
    • Seller: Supreme Auto Group by John Doe, agent
    • Buyer: Main Street Motors by Jane Roe, agent
  • Second dealer reassignment:
    • Seller: Main Street Motors by Jane Roe, agent
    • Buyer: You.

If any signature on the title was followed by “POA” or “Power of Attorney,” visitor.us checks that the title is accompanied by an authentic power of attorney document.

Check New Registered Owner

Finally, visitor.us checks the title to see if your Montana LLC is listed as the vehicle’s new registered owner.

Remember: in order to own a vehicle in Montana, you must have a presence in the State.  You do not have a presence in Montana; your LLC does.  Therefore, please remember to list your Montana LLC as the new registered owner of the vehicle, not your individual name.