Replacing a lost car registration in Montana is essential because it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without having a state-issued registration card. The Montana Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) handles DMV registration copy services as well as all other titling and registration procedures. it is also possible to obtain a duplicate car registration at a Montana County Treasurer's office, if that is more convenient. All MT drivers under the Montana Enhanced Registration & Licensing Information Network (MERLIN) system have their own unique account where all MVD transactions are recorded. Motorists access MERLIN via their state driver's license number or a state or tribal identification card number. Businesses seeking to replace car registration can access MERLIN with their federal employer or tax identification number. For more information on how to replace car registration in MT, review the steps and procedures outlined in the sections below.
When You Need to Get a Duplicate Car Registration in Montana
You should replace vehicle registration documents any time you realize they are missing or damaged so that you can get back to driving legally as soon as possible. If you suspect that someone broke into your vehicle and stole your MT DMV registration copy, immediately notify the police. Documenting the theft might not result in the return of your lost car registration, but you will have evidence of the theft while waiting to obtain your new registration document.
You will also need a duplicate auto registration in MT if you realize that your paperwork is severely damaged by water or other kinds of wear and tear. If your DMV copy of registration is illegible, a law enforcement officer will not be able to tell if it is valid or not. This can result in a ticket and fines, and in some extreme cases, your vehicle can even be impounded.
Other motorists may need to replace car registration documents after realizing that they misplaced, or accidentally discarded of the originals. To avoid misplacing your copy of car registration, always keep it in the same place in your vehicle. Keeping your DMV registration copy inside a locked glove compartment or console keeps it within easy reach and will protect it from being stolen.
Replacing Car Registrations in Montana Online
Motorists may wonder if they can replace car registration online in Montana. Unfortunately, the answer is no. The state online vehicle registration renewal service cannot replace car registration as it is designed to process renewals only. Though online registration replacement services are not offered at this time, residents may schedule an appointment online to save time at the MT MVD office.
Replacing Vehicle Registrations in Montana in Person and by Mail
Replacing car registration in Montana is easily done in person by going to your closest County Treasurer's office or to the MVD office in your county. Tell the agent that you would like to order a DMV lost registration certificate replacement and provide them with your vehicle's tag number and your MT driver's license. If you have a damaged copy of your car registration, you can show this to the agent, but it is not necessary to provide proof that your document is damaged. Consider ordering an extra copy of car registration documents while obtaining your replacement, so that you have a backup on hand. It only costs a few extra dollars to order two at once. Montana motorists cannot request a duplicate car registration by mail to replace a lost or damaged certificate of registration. The MT MVD requires motorists to replace car registration documents in person.
Replacing License Plates and Registration Stickers in Montana
In addition to replacing lost vehicle registration documents, the MT MVD can help motorists who lose one or both license plates from their car. The steps to replace car registration are similar to those needed to replace license plates and stickers. You are required by law to obtain replacements promptly. State law prohibits motorists from driving vehicles that lack proper license plates and it also requires that license plates be replaced every five years, whether damaged or not. To replace license plate registration that have been damaged, visit your local Montana MVD office and bring the damaged plates with you. Bring a current MT driver's license, your Certificate of Registration and cash, a credit card or check to pay the current fee. If you are replacing license plate registration that have been stolen and therefore do not have a plate to bring, you must apply at your local County Treasurer's office instead. Like at the MT MVD, you must show your Certificate of Registration or driver's license to initiate the replacement transaction.
As with lost vehicle registration documents, lost or damaged registration stickers must be replaced as soon as possible. State law mandates that registration stickers be easily readable at all times and the absence of a sticker or decal indicates that the car is not properly registered in Montana. Visit your local County Treasurer's office with your registration card and pay the fee to receive new stickers or decals.