Montana Vehicle Registrations with the DMV

How to Register a Vehicle in Montana Tax-free

Step by Step Instructions

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 a while if you haven’t done it before. If that doesn’t sound like fun, you can hire us to form your Montana LLC and complete your Montana Vehicle Registration, for only $800 (including SOS and DMV fees). You’ll have your Montana plates in your hands within 2 to 3 days and keep all your personal information off the public documents (if you do it yourself, you will be unable to keep your personal information private on the public documents). 

Basic steps for tax-free Montana vehicle registration

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

  2. Fill out a Title Application (MV1).

  3. Include a Title or Certificate of Origin (as well as a Bill of Sale, if necessary. See details below).

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

  5. Submit 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).

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 (MV1)

There are 5 sections to the MV1. We’ll walk you through each section.  MV1 Form Example

1. Applicant Section

    • Legal Name: Make sure to put the full legal name of your Montana LLC. This should be exactly like on the corporate LLC documents with periods, commas, or lack thereof. (the title application must be in the company 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/. Click on your name when it pulls up and on the next page you’ll see your ID# on the second line. (You don’t need a federal tax ID to license a vehicle under your LLC or corporation.)

    • Co-applicant’s Legal Name: Leave blank.

    • Owner or Lessee: Mark if your LLC owns the Montana vehicle you’re registering or if you’re leasing it.

    • Mailing address: You can put yours here if you want all your Montana vehicle registration mail—your renewal post card, plates, registration, and title—to come to you. (We also recommend you include a pre-paid envelope in your original registration packet.) The mailing address does not need to be in Montana. If you don’t want to list yours, you can list our Montana address here.

    • Residential address: This is your Montana LLC headquarter address (use the address of your registered agent), because your Montana LLC is a resident of Montana.

2. Vehicle Section

    • Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: If you register a vehicle in Helena or Missoula, this would be important because those counties charge an excise sales tax, but Flathead County does not, so this isn’t important, but you should put your price here.

    • Year: Year of MT vehicle.

    • Make: Dodge, Chevy, Ford, etc…

    • Model: Ram, Taurus, Super Duty, Prius, etc…

    • Style: 4 door, 2 door, MH (motor-home), leave blank if trailer.

    • Vehicle Identification Number: Also known as a VIN number. Double—and maybe triple—check that this number is correct.

    • Color: Only one color. Pick the most prevalent one if you have multiple colors. Don’t pick a color like Vanilla sweet cream white; just put white.

    • Fuel type: Diesel or gas.

    • Unladen Weight: This is the weight of the vehicle with nothing in it. You just need to know if it’s over or under 2850.

    • Vehicle-specific questions: Only fill in the section that applies to your Montana vehicle and leave the rest blank.

      • Motor Home Class: A, B, or C class. You must select one of these if it’s a motorhome.

      • Trucks One Ton and Under: Choose ¼, ½, 1/3, or 1 ton.

      • Trucks Over One Ton: Manufacturer’s rated capacity—this is the GVW found on the sticker inside your door.

      • Trailer/Travel Trailer/Camper/Motor Home: Put the weight it’s rated to and the length of the trailer.

      • Motorcycle and Quadricycle: Engine size, wheel size and overall base. Leave blank if not applicable.

      • Other specialty vehicles: Indicate if you have a street rod, kit vehicle, custom vehicle, specialty constructed vehicle.

3. Lien Section:

Mark “No” if you don’t have a lien/financing on the vehicle. If you do, you’ll need to enter your bank’s information—specifically the loan date and dollar amount, and the bank’s name, corporate ID and mailing address. It’s important to talk to your bank about putting the MT vehicle in the name of your MT LLC.

4. Odometer Section:

Skip unless you bought your Montana vehicle from a dealer. 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: You fill out the date information.

    • Signature: Sign the document then put after it “Manager on behalf of _______ (Your company name).”
      So example: [your signature] – manager on behalf of [your LLC name].

    • If Applicant is a Commercial Entity: This is where you fill in the LLC or Corporation name exactly as on the corporate documents.

    • Printed Name of Applicant: Leave blank, because you put the name on the commercial entity blank.

Please note: Every time you write the company name, make sure it’s written exactly as it appears on the corporate documents. This means including commas or periods in the name or leaving them out if there are none. Also remember, no cross-outs or white-outs are acceptable.

Establish Chain of Ownership for Your Montana Vehicle

This step will be simple if you establish your LLC in Montana before buying your vehicle. All you’ll need is the certificate of origin if you bought it from the manufacturer, or the title if you bought it from a dealer or private party, with your exact LLC name.

If you bought the vehicle in your name, and your name is on the title, you will need to make sure there’s a chain of ownership to your LLC. This means filling 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 section of the title the same way  as the MT title application: Your name – manager on behalf of your LLC name. And make sure to include your Montana LLC’s address—our address if we’re your registered agent.

Everything on the title needs to be original signatures. Like the application, there cannot be cross-outs or white-outs. If there are, you need to fill out the Statement of Fact.

If you bought the Montana vehicle from a private party:

Send in the title you received from the private party, with your name or your LLC’s name listed. Also include the Bill of Sale (See above if you bought the vehicle in your name.)

If you bought the Montana vehicle from a dealer:

If you’re wondering what to do with your Bill of Sale from the dealer, just send in one of the carbon copies to the DMV with your title work. If they don’t need it for your MT vehicle registration, they will send it back to you. 

Please remember all Montana vehicle title work must be originals. Your MT LLC paperwork is ok as a copy, but titles, title applications, Bill of Sale, and basically anything regarding title work needs to be original.

Send in Complete MT Vehicle Registration Packet with Payment

Along with your Montana Title Application, you’ll need to include 3 more documents:

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

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

  • credit card authorization sheet with your payment information. Include this document to pay the DMV the direct fees associated with the registration. The fee for Montana vehicle registration is $12 for regular cars or trucks (“light vehicles”) and buses or trucks under a ton. The fee is $10 for all other vehicles.

Although you fill out the MVD form, you actually submit it to the treasurer’s office/DMV of the county your registered agent is in. Our agency is the Flathead County DMV. Flathead is one of the cheapest counties to license a Montana vehicle in, because there is no excise tax in Flathead County. Helena and Missoula charge a county option tax, so you’ll be better off with a registered agent in Flathead County to be tax-free.

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

We recommend you use FedEx or UPS to send your documents to the DMV with tracking, and include a pre-paid, pre-labeled FedEx or UPS envelope back to your address. They will put the plates and registration in it after they process it, and UPS or FedEx will pick it up at the DMV at their normal daily pickup times. If you pay for overnight delivery both ways, you can have your plates and registration in up to 2 to 3 weeks.

The Montana vehicle title will come in about a month because titles come from the main MVD headquarters and take about 3-4 weeks to be made.

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.

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, where someone decided to start a website and use their home address to help people register vehicles in Montana. Then they just disappear and leave their clients high and dry or sell their websites to another website company. We’ve seen a couple websites out there with residential addresses off in the woods, houses for rent or sale, and our favorite…a car wash… just in our county alone! We get a lot of clients changing to us from a couple of real shady operations in Helena.

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. Hiring us to form your LLC will be $300, and using our MT vehicle registration service will be $500 for autos and $500 for RVs, and that includes all the DMV fees. That’s it.