Montana Vehicle Registrations with the DMV

How to Register a Vehicle in Montana Tax-Free

Step-by-Step Instructions for Vehicle Registration

A lot of people are looking for ways to register a vehicle in Montana tax-free. Montana vehicle registration is done on the county level. The key to this process is to register in a county where there isn’t a county option tax. That’s why we’re located in Flathead County, Montana. There’s no county option tax here!

With our step-by-step guide, you can register a vehicle in Montana tax-free. However, be warned; it’s not a simple process and it can take awhile if you haven’t done it before. If doing it yourself doesn’t sound fun, you can hire us to form your own LLC and to complete your vehicle registration in Montana for only $849 (including Secretary of State fees, DMV fees, and our registered agent fee). You’ll have your Montana plates in your hands within a week and all of your personal information will be kept off public record. If you complete the process yourself, you won’t be able to keep your personal information private.

 Basic Steps For Tax-Free Montana Vehicle Registration*

*DISCLAIMER: At this time, the Flathead County DMV is NOT accepting title paperwork by mail.  

  1. Form an MT LLC with the Montana Secretary of State.

  2. Fill out a title application (form MV1).

  3. Include a title or Certificate of Origin. (As well as a bill of sale, if necessary. See below for further details.) 

  4. Get a copy of your MT LLC’s Articles of Organization.

  5. Submit the ALL OF THE above paperwork to the treasurer’s office of a MT county without a county option tax.

  6. Wait to receive your new plates from the county DMV and your title from the Montana Motor Vehicles Division (MVD).

Learn More About Montana Vehicle Registration

Read on for detailed instructions for how to register a vehicle in Montana. And you might want to check out our guide on what not to do as well:
Dumbest DMV Mistakes

Fill Out the Application For Certificate of Title for a Montana Vehicle (Form MV1)

There are 5 sections to the MV1. We’ll walk you through each section. Here’s an example of the form: MV1 Form Example

1. Applicant Section

    • Legal Name: Make sure to put the full legal name of your Montana LLC. This should be the exact same name that is on your LLC documents, including any punctuation. The title application MUST be in your LLC name, not in your personal name. 

    • Corp ID: This is the number on your LLC filing. If you can’t find it, just do a search for your Montana LLC here: http://app.mt.gov/bes/. When you locate the name of your LLC, click on it. This will direct you to a new page where you will be able to find your corp ID number on the second line. FYI: You DO NOT need a federal tax ID number to (EIN) to license your vehicle under your LLC or corporation. 

    • Co-applicant’s Legal Name: Leave this section of the application blank. 

    • Owner or Lessee: Select whether your Montana LLC owns the vehicle you are registering or if it is a leased vehicle.

    • Mailing Address: List your address here if you want to receive all your Montana vehicle registration mail, including your renewal post card, plates, registration, and Montana title. If this is the case, we recommend that you include a self-addressed, prepaid envelope in your application packet. Your mailing address does not need to be in Montana. If you do not want to list your address, you can list our Montana address here instead. 

    • Residential Address: In this space, list the address of your registered agent to indicate that your LLC has residence in the state of Montana. 

2. Vehicle Section

    • Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP): In this section, list the MSRP of your vehicle. This is especially important if you are registering your vehicle in Lewis and Clark County or in Missoula County because this counties in particular charge the Montana Excise Sales Tax. However, Flathead County does not, so this information is not a high priority. 

    • Year: Provide the year of the vehicle here. 

    • Make: Provide the make of the vehicle here. For example: Dodge, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, etc. 

    • Model: Likewise, provide the model of the vehicle here. For example: Ram, Prius, Altima, Outback, etc. 

    • Style: Provide the style of the vehicle here. For example: 4 door, 2 door, MH (motor-home), etc. Leave the space blank if you are registering a trailer. 

    • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): In this spot, provide the VIN. Double–and maybe triple–check that this number is correct.

    • Color: Provide only one color of your vehicle. Pick the most prevalent color if the vehicle is multiple colors. Don’t put a color like “antique vanilla sweet cream white.” Just put white.

      Fuel type: List the fuel type in this space. 

    • Unladen Weight: The unladen weight of the vehicle is the weight of the vehicle with nothing in it. This is really only important if the vehicle is over 2,850 pounds.

    • Vehicle-specific questions: Only fill in the sections that apply to your Montana vehicle. Leave the rest blank. 

      • Motor Home Class: Select A, B, or C class. You must select one of these if you are registering your motor home or RV in Montana. 

      • Trucks One Ton and Under: In this space list the weight of your truck. Choose quarter ton, half ton, one third ton, or one ton. 

      • Trucks Over One Ton: Here, list the manufacturer’s rated capacity. This is the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) found on the sticker inside the door of the vehicle. 

      • Trailer/Travel Trailer/Camper/Motor Home: List the weight that the trailer is rated to and the length of the trailer.

      • Motorcycle and Quadricycle: Provide the engine size, wheel size, and overall base. Leave this spot blank if it is not applicable.

      • Other Specialty Vehicles: Indicate if you have a street rod, kit vehicle, custom vehicle, or specially constructed vehicle. 

3. Lien Section:

Mark “No” if you do not have a lien/financing on the vehicle. If you do, you will need to enter your bank’s information—specifically the loan date, dollar amount of the loan, the name of your bank, your corporate ID, and mailing address. It is important to talk to your bank about potential issues before transferring your Montana vehicle to your Montana LLC. 

4. Odometer Section: Skip unless you bought your Montana vehicle from a dealer.

The dealer is required to complete and sign the section of the application. Or, it is likely that the dealer with have a different set of paperwork that they provide for this section. Include this paperwork with the application. The dealer will need to sign and fill out this part. Or, the more likely option is that the dealer will have a different set of paperwork that they give you for this, and you can include that with this application.

5. Applicant’s Acknowledgement

    • Dated: In this section, provide the date. 

    • Signature: Sign the document with your name. Then, follow the signature with, “Manager on behalf of Your Company Name Here“. This indicates that you are signing in the capacity of a member of your LLC, not as a natural person.

    • If Applicant is a Commercial Entity: In this section, provide the exact name of your Montana LLC or Montana corporation.

    • Printed Name of Applicant: Leave this spot blank because you listed the name of your LLC or corporation, which is the legal entity that is applying. 

Please note: Every time you write the company name, make sure it’s written exactly as it appears on the corporate documents. Make sure you include any commas, periods, apostrophes, or other punctuation. Double check that the name is correct. Also, remember that no corrections or white-out are acceptable.

Establish Chain of Ownership For Your Montana Vehicle

This step is a little easier if you establish your LLC in Montana before purchasing your vehicle. If this is the case, all you need is the Certificate of Origin if you bought your vehicle from a Montana dealership, or the title with your exact LLC name on it if you bought it from a private party.

If you bought the vehicle in your natural, legal name, and that is the name that is listed on the title, you will need to make sure there’s a chain of ownership to your LLC. To do so, fill out a Bill of Sale transferring ownership from you personally to your LLC. The Bill of Sale MUST be notarized. When you sign it, make sure to sign the buyer portion of the document, the exact same way you signed the Montana Title Application: Signature, “Manager on behalf of Your Company Name Here“. Also, make sure you include your Montana LLC’s address. This will be our address if we are your registered agent.

All signatures on the title MUST be original. There cannot be any crossed out or whited-out information on the document. If there are, you will need to fill out the Statement of Fact.

What Should I Do If I Bought My Montana Vehicle From a Private Party?

If you bought your Montana vehicle from a private party, send in the title and Bill of Sale you received with your name or your LLC’s name listed. If you bought the vehicle in your name, you will need to “sell” the vehicle from your natural self to your company. See the section above this (“Establish Chain of Ownership For Your Montana Vehicle”) for more information.

What Should I Do If I Bought the My Montana Vehicle From a Dealer?*

*DISCLAIMER: At this time, the Flathead County DMV is NOT accepting title paperwork by mail.  

If you’re wondering what to do with your Bill of Sale from the dealer, just send one of the carbon copies to the DMV with your title paperwork. If it is not required for your MT vehicle registration, they will send it back to you.

FYI: All paperwork regarding your title MUST be original.

Send in Complete MT Vehicle Registration Packet With Payment*

*DISCLAIMER: At this time, the Flathead County DMV is NOT accepting title paperwork by mail.  

In addition to your Montana Title Application, you MUST include three more documents: 

      • Original(s) copies of your chain of ownership document(s) including: title, manufacturer’s certificate of original, and/or bill of sale.  

      • A copy of your Montana LLC or corporation registration. You can send the cover sheet of the registration or you can send the whole packet.

      • credit card authorization sheet with your payment information. Include this document in order to pay the DMV the fees associated with the registration. The fee to register in Montana is $12 for vehicles under a ton and $10 for all other vehicles.

We recommend you use FedEx or UPS to send your documents to the DMV. Include a prepaid, pre-labeled FedEx or UPS envelope back to your address. After the process your application, they will send your plates and registration back to you. If you pay for overnight shipping both ways, you can have your plates and registration in two to three weeks. It will be about a month before the title actually arrives because titles come from the MVD headquarters and take between three and four weeks to be made. 

Flathead DMV
935 1st Avenue West
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: 406-758-5690
Fax: 406-758-5694

Insure Your Montana Vehicle

While vehicle registration in Montana doesn’t require you to submit proof of insurance, Montana does require you to have it (MCA 61-6-301). We’ve put together helpful suggestions for insuring your Montana RV or other vehicle.

Why Are We the Best Option For Your MT LLC’s Registered Agent?

Although you fill out the Montana Vehicle Department (MVD) document, you don’t submit it to that department. You actually submit it to the DMV of the county of your registered agent. Our agency is located in Flathead County, Montana. Flathead County is one of the cheapest counties to license a Montana vehicle in because there is no excise tax. Helena, in Lewis and Clark County, and Missoula, in Missoula County, both charge the county option tax. You’re better off with a registered agent located in Flathead County if you want to be tax-free.

Save on Hassles – Hire us to Complete Your MT Vehicle Registration

Feeling overwhelmed after reading this? Our dedicated Montana staff can obtain your MT vehicle registration for you—with the quickest turnaround time in the West. Simply overnight us your documentation, and you can have your Montana vehicle plates in-hand 2 days later. You can’t beat that!

There’s hundreds of websites out there offering Montana RV LLC registrations, but those just come and go. We pick up clients from those sites all the time. It always looks like this:

Someone decided it would be a good idea to start a website and use their home address to help people register vehicles in Montana. Then, they just dissppear and leave their clients high and dry wondering what to do next. Or, they sell their websites to another company. We’ve seen a couple websites out there with residential addresses off in the woods, addresses of unoccupied houses, or (our favorite) one with a car wash address! Here’s the bottom line: we don’t pull those kind of shady stunts. We’re here, doing the work, and taking care of our customers every day. 

We are the quickest, most efficient, and cheapest Montana vehicle registration service. You’ll save at least $400-1,000 with us over any other firm in Montana. Some people feel better about things if they spend more money on them. We feel better knowing we get word-of-mouth referrals every day.