Montana Car and Truck Registration

The Cheapest County for Light-Vehicle Registration in MT

The Montana DMV classifies cars, SUVs, pickups, vans, and basically anything that is not a motor home or big commercial truck as an “auto.” Whether you have a Nissan Frontier, Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra, Dodge Ram 2500, Ford Super Duty, or Chevy Silverado 3500, the technical MT lingo is “light-vehicle registration.”

We are the cheapest county to register Montana autos in. You have to register the Montana auto in the county of the registered agent. Montana cars and trucks are exempt from sales tax in Montana (MCA 61-3-311), and if you own your pickup, van or car through a Montana LLC, you can take advantage of permanent registration. We can form a Montana LLC for you, including the LLC formation and initial plate registration, all for a total of $1,049.

How the Montana LLC Vehicle Registration Works

If we form a Montana LLC for you, we include the LLC formation fee and plate registration all for a total of $1,049. This also includes the Flathead County DMV fees. Then, once a year, you will be required to pay directly to the DMV the following fees:

Flathead DMV Fees
0-4 years old $262.00
5-10 years old $135.00
11 years or older $60.00
Permanent plate for vehicles that are 11 years or older $130.00

In order to register your vehicle in Montana without paying sales tax, you must purchase your vehicle as a resident of Montana. The good news is that Montana actually considers a domestic MT LLC to be a resident! This means that if you own your MT vehicle through a Montana LLC, you get access to sales tax exemption, property tax exemption and permanent registration. You don’t need to live in or buy your vehicle in Montana. Read on to learn how we can complete this process for you.

What Are the Steps For Using a Montana LLC to Buy a Car or Truck Tax-Free?

  1. Sign up for our Montana vehicle LLC formation service. We’ll submit your documents to the Secretary of State and overnight your LLC formation paperwork.
  2. Using your new Montana vehicle LLC, purchase your Montana pickup or car. Make sure to list your LLC as the owner.
  3. Send us the title work for your car or pickup (or have your dealer send it). We’ll register your vehicle with the state.
  4. Once we receive your plates and registration from the state (typically 8-12 weeks), we will overnight these to you. Please note that the state sends us your title separate from your plates and registration (roughly 40 days later). Once we receive your title, we upload it into your online account and send you the physical copy via USPS Ground Advantage™ within 10 business days (tracking number included).

Long-Term Montana LLC Maintenance

To maintain a Montana car LLC, you’ll need to do two things each year:

  1. Maintain a registered agent in Montana. If you hire us to form your Montana light vehicle LLC, our price includes one year of registered agent service. We charge $49 a year for this service.
  2. To maintain your light vehicle LLC in Montana, you need to submit an annual report. The fee for this is $20, and you can even hire us to complete it for you. (Note: This fee has been waived for the year 2024.)

What Does it Cost to Form a Montana LLC for a Light Vehicle?

Our total price for forming your MT LLC and your MT Vehicle Registration includes all the secretary of state and initial county DMV fees. (It doesn’t include GVW fees it it’s a light truck. See below.) It also includes the first year of our registered agent service and the use of our address in Montana. You can get the whole package for $1,049.

Benefits of Using a Montana LLC to Own a Car or Pickup

In addition to sales tax and property tax-free vehicle registration, you can reap another benefit of Montana residency through your LLC: permanent plates. If your car, truck or van is 11 years old—or as soon as it reaches that age—you’re eligible to pay for permanent plates. That means that you pay a one-time fee of $130.00 and never have to worry about annual registration again.

The other big reason to buy your vehicle with your Montana LLC is asset protection. Your LLC is the owner, and our address is on record. Your name and address stay off Montana Secretary of State and DMV records.

How Long Will it Take to Register My Vehicle in Montana?

Times can vary from 8-12 weeks depending on the state’s workload. If you hire us to handle things for you, we offer same-day LLC formation and DMV registration in order to expedite the process as much as possible. So if you purchase your MT vehicle as soon as your MT LLC is formed and overnight us the title work, you can have Montana plates as quickly as possible.

In a hurry to get on the road? We’ve got you covered. For an additional $75, we’ll get you temporary plates in as little as 10 business days.

Why is Our Montana Light Vehicle LLC Different?

We understand Montana LLC formations and vehicle registrations through and through. We ARE the leader in Montana LLC formations. We file more LLCs in Montana than any other law firm or national incorporation website. Why? We provide more initial tools, great documents, and ongoing compliance tools for Montana businesses. It’s all we do.