If your Montana MVD sticker is not received, then it is important that you request a replacement as well as avoid common mistakes that can result in this scenario. Montana law requires that motorists display an MVD registration sticker on their vehicle’s license plate at all times and that motorists apply for a replacement if the sticker is lost, stolen or damaged. This is to ensure that you are properly displaying your proof of registration. A vehicle that does not have proof of registration displayed on the license plate is considered inoperable in Montana.

A car plate sticker renewal, initial registration application and replacement request can all result in missing registration documents. An MVD sticker not received after any of these requests may be due to a change of address, an incomplete application, technical errors, human errors and postage issues. While you cannot guarantee that you will receive your registration, you can take steps to avoid common mistakes that can result in a missing vehicle registration sticker.

Common Reasons for a Registration Sticker Not Being Received in Montana

A license plate sticker is not received for a number of reasons, but some of those reasons are within your control. Montana requires that residents inform the MVD of any change to a residential address within 10 days of the change. A registration sticker not received after moving is often the result of a failure to inform the agency of a change of address.  While you can simply change your address with the United States Postal Services (USPS), this will not change you address the Montana MVD has on record. This is because USPS does not forward state mail. Therefore, if the MVD does not have your correct mailing address on file, then you will likely fail to receive your vehicle’s documents after initial registration, registration renewal or a request for duplication material.

If your MVD registration sticker is not received, then it could be a result of a technical or human error. Incomplete applications for registration are often rejected and will result in a license plate sticker not received by petitioning applicants in the state. Additionally, a problem could occur during the processing of your application.

Can you legally drive if my Montana registration sticker was not received?

A Montana car tag sticker is required to be affixed to a vehicle’s license plate before the vehicle will be deemed operable under Montana law. Therefore, you will not be legally permitted to operate your motor vehicle until you have obtained a registration sticker for the vehicle. A car sticker not received following initial or renew registration is not a valid reason to operate a vehicle without the proper tag.

Additional Consequences of a Car Sticker Not Received in Montana

If your license sticker is not received and you choose to operate your vehicle without a registration sticker, then it is important to be aware of the potential consequences that you may face. If you operate a vehicle that does not display a valid and unexpired registration sticker on the license plate because of an MVD registration sticker not received, then you could be pulled over by law enforcement. Law enforcement officials may issue you a citation or, in some circumstances, impound your vehicle. However, if you have recently renewed your registration, then you can use your receipt or temporary registration as proof of registration. However, a temporary registration is only valid in the period listed.

Steps to Take If Your Montana MVD Sticker Was Not Received

If your Montana registration sticker was not received, then it is crucial that you contact the MT MVD by phone or in person to verify whether or not your registration request had been processed. As mentioned previously, a license sticker not received may be the result of incomplete applications, human error and technical difficulties. If you are informed that your initial, renewal or replacement registration request was not fully processed, then it is important for you to request a replacement right away. If your registration was processed, then verify whether or not the Montana MVD has your correct mailing address. If it does not, then it is important that you perform an address change with the MVD prior to requesting registration replacement. It is also a good idea to check with your local mailing distributor in order to inquire whether or not your registration may be at the USPS office or lost in the mail.

Where to Get Registration Sticker Replacements in Montana

It is important to request an MVD sticker replacement right away if there were issues in the processing of your registration request, if the MVD had an incorrect mailing address listed for you or if it is assumed that your registration was lost in the mail.

While you cannot replace sticker online in Montana, you can request replacement registration documentation by visiting your local MVD in person or by submitting your request by mail. Should you choose to request a replacement by mail, it is important to know that it will take longer to process your request due to postage transit times. However, should you need to obtain a replacement registration right away, you can do so by visiting your local MVD. Registration documents will be provided to you during your visit if you choose to visit the local office, allowing you the ability to legally operate your vehicle far sooner.

It is worth knowing that you can renew a registration sticker online, so if your registration was already nearing its expiration date, then you can save yourself time, hassle and money by performing a renewal rather than requesting a replacement if eligible. Overall, the fee for a duplicate tab is $10.30 in Montana.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.