After we receive your vehicle’s properly assigned prior title (or other ownership document), we will bring it to the Montana Motor Vehicles Division (MVD) for registration.
Upon registering your vehicle, we receive its Montana registration document, license plate(s) and title.
visitor.us generally receives your registration, plates and title one to two weeks after receiving your vehicle's properly assigned prior title.
Your registration document proves your vehicle’s authorization to be driven on public roads, and it must be kept with your vehicle at all times.
Your registration will expire at the end of the month, one year after the date of your vehicle registration, unless your vehicle is a trailer or a motorcycle.
For example, if your vehicle was registered on January 15, 2024, its registration will expire on January 31, 2025.
Montana registrations for trailers and motorcycles are permanent, meaning that they never have to be renewed. Registrations for these vehicle types list 12/31/9999 as the registration expiration date.
For all vehicles other than motorcycles and trailers, Montana issues two license plates. One plate has a pair of decals on it, which indicate the month and year of the expiration of the registration linked to the plates.
The plate with the decals on it should go on the rear of the vehicle. Montana law requires vehicles to display the other license plate on the front of their vehicle. Displaying it on your dashboard is acceptable while you’re in Montana; while you’re outside of Montana, understand that other states and countries are not in the business of enforcing Montana’s laws.
If you have a motorcycle or a trailer, you will receive one license plate, which should be displayed on the rear of your vehicle.
Montana requires sellers to keep their license plates when they transfer ownership of a vehicle. Your plates are yours to keep after your visit wraps up.
In addition to receiving a Montana registration document and license plate(s), you’ll receive a Montana title for your vehicle.
Your title is your vehicle’s ownership document. It doesn’t prove your vehicle’s authorization to be driven on public roads, so it doesn’t need to be shown to law enforcement (except, potentially, at border crossings).
Keep your title safe - you’ll need it to sell or export your vehicle at the end of your visit.
After we register your vehicle, and obtain your vehicle’s registration document, license plate(s), and title, we’ll move to the next step, Receiving your Montana plates, registration, and title by mail.