Montana Vehicle Registration Renewal Guide
How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in Montana
Do you need to know how to replace your vehicle registration in Montana? Read on and find all the information and links you need to get the job done in the FAQ below.
In Montana, your registration, title, and driver’s license are issued by the Montana Department of Justice Motor Vehicle Division, often referred to as the MVD.
While there is a website, most of the services you need to replace your car registration are taken care of in your county at the County Treasurer’s Office. For a quick answer to most questions, the website does have a Live Chat Bot, or you can call (406) 444-3933 or email them.
Did You Lose Your Registration or the Title?
Make sure you are trying to replace the right piece of paper. Your registration shows the license plate number associated with your vehicle, and it generally needs to be renewed once a year. Most people keep it in the glove box.
The title shows who owns the car and if you have a car loan, the title remains with your bank until you pay it off. You need to show your registration if you are pulled over for a ticket or if you are in an accident.
How to Replace Your Vehicle Registration in Montana
If you accidentally misplaced your car registration or it can no longer be read, it’s time to replace it. You will need to visit your local county treasurer’s office – the county in which the car is registered.
You will need the following documents or information to replace your vehicle registration in person in the state of Montana:
- The current license plate number.
- The vehicle identification number.
- Your driver’s license.
- Payment for the duplicate document.
While you can reprint a receipt for renewing your registration online, the receipt is not considered the registration. You may receive a ticket for failing to provide proper documentation unless your have the registration card duplicated.
Where to Go for Your Replacement Vehicle Registration In Montana
Every county in Montana has its own County Treasurer’s Office. Click here to find yours.
Your county office may or may not have its own website, but they all have phone and fax numbers. You will want to call ahead to verify when they are open as smaller counties may have limited hours for the Motor Vehicle office or close during the lunch hour.
If you recently moved and have not transferred your registration to the new county yet, you will have to return to your old county office for the replacement vehicle registration. In some instances, they may allow you to do it through the mail if you call and now live too far away.
What Forms of Payment are Accepted?
All county offices accept cash and personal checks. Some offices do take credit cards, but not all of them. Ask before you go.
The fees will vary from county to county, so check with your local office for costs.
Can You Get One Online?
You cannot print out a duplicate registration for Montana online, but you can renew online. If you renewed your Montana car registration using the online portal, you will be able to reprint your receipt.
Otherwise, you will be visiting the MVD office at the County Treasurer.
Lost or Stolen License Plates: Ordering a Replacement Car Tag in Montana
If your plates are stolen, report the theft to the police or sheriff department. Take the report down to the County Treasurer and order replacement car tags. If your plates are simply damaged and cannot be read anymore, a replacement plate will cost $10.30.
Since you have to get new license plates every five years, if yours are four years old, you might want to wait a few months for your renewal to come around.
How to Order a New License Plate Sticker
Every year you receive a sticker to place on your license plate to show you renewed on time. If your sticker falls off or becomes damaged, you can pick up a new one at the county treasurer.
You will need to show your current registration and driver’s license. The clerk may ask to inspect the license plate to verify loss of the sticker.
What if Your Car Registration is Permanent? Do You Need to Replace It?
Montana allows you to permanently register light vehicles that are over 11 years old. While you don’t have to renew every year, you still need to maintain the plates and your registration document.
You will need to get a replacement registration or plates if yours are missing. Follow the directions listed above.
Should you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local county MVD office, or contact the MVD at their central location in Helena by calling (406) 444-3933. However, for fast and easy answers check out their website and give the chat bot and chance to help.