In order to apply for a new Montana car registration, you need to complete a number of important steps when applying. In order to simplify the process, you will need to gather the necessary documents, calculate your required fee payment before being able to obtain a Montana car registration. Online assistance can help you complete all of these steps quickly and easily by providing you with all of the information you need to know about replacing your license. Start simplifying your application process today.
2. By Mail
Rather than get ahead with online assistance and services, some Montana residents prefer to handle their DMV transactions via mail. Drivers can complete a few different procedures by mail, but payment methods are restricted, and the transactions have inconvenient and lengthy turnaround times for results.
3. Via a DMV Office
Certain transactions must be completed in person at a Montana DMV office. However, before visiting a local branch, be sure to verify that the location offers the service you require. Not all DMV procedures can be completed at every location. Additionally, note that wait times are typically lengthy. So make sure to take advantage of online assistance to prepare for your visit.
Montana car registration is regulated by the Title and Registration Bureau of the Montana Department of Justice (DOJ). Car registration in MT is only possible for vehicles that are titled in Montana, as the two processes are handled simultaneously. Any time a car transfers ownership, it must be registered in the name of the new owner. Additionally, vehicle registration must take place within 60 days of the vehicle owner becoming a new Montana resident. For more information on how to properly register a vehicle in Montana, study the following sections.
Montana Vehicle Registration Information Required
Since 2009, motor vehicle registration in Montana has been issued through the Montana Enhanced Registration and Licensing Information Network (MERLIN), a computer system created to streamline title and registration transactions. Each new car registration applicant creates a unique MERLIN account and receives a customer identification number for all future transactions. DMV car registration applicants use their driver's license number or their state or tribal identification card number to create an account. Businesses seeking auto registration services must use their tax identification number or federal employer number. Motorists getting car registration documents must also show the current car title, a signed bill of sale, a current photo identification card, proof of insurance and the vehicle's odometer reading if the car is less than 10 years old. Montana does not require emissions testing to obtain a car registration or title.
Where to Register a Car in Montana for the First Time
All initial vehicle registrations in Montana must be conducted in person. Bring all car registration documentation to the closest County Treasurer Motor Vehicle Office. Applicants wondering how to get car registration completed in the quickest way possible will benefit from making an appointment. Although all County Treasurer offices are closed on state holidays, operating hours vary greatly between locations. Some remote car registry offices are only open one day per week, while others are only staffed one or two days each month. Call your local County Treasurer's office to obtain its specific operating information and make an appointment, if necessary.
How to Register a New Car in Montana
The Montana registration of vehicle application process begins with creating a new account with the MERLIN system, if you are a new resident in MT. To get car registration for a new vehicle, you must have a valid Montana driver's license number or a state or tribal identification card number. Be sure to obtain one of these before going to the County Treasurer's office. All new car registration applicants must complete Form MV1, Application for Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle. In most cases, this one document covers titling and registering simultaneously. If you bought your new car from a licensed dealership, the car dealer will handle the car registration process for you.
Montana car registry applicants seeking a designer or personalized license plate must complete an additional document. While getting car registration services at the County Treasurer's office, ask for Form MV8, Application for Personalized License Plates. This auto registration document explains the colors and designs of available vanity plates and gives drivers three options for personalized text.
How to Register a Used Car in Montana
Auto registration in Montana for used cars can vary depending upon the type of used vehicle being registered. Vehicle registration applicants with previously-owned cars must be registered in the MERLIN system and provide the required documents listed in the "Montana Vehicle Registration Information Required" section above. If you need Montana car registration, but the title paperwork is missing, complete MV2, Application for Registration Without Title Paperwork and explain the reason for the missing title. Having a lost title, a title in possession of a third party or a title in the process of reissuance are three valid reasons for applying for registration without presenting the title. If the car registry is for a used vehicle that was titled in another state, complete Form MV1, Application for Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle.
Motorists seeking car registration in Montana for certain antique vehicles need to complete Form MV3, Application for Registration of a Vintage or Pioneer Vehicle. Vintage plates are reserved for the registration of vehicles manufactured in 1934 or later, and for cars more than 30 years old. Pioneer plates are issued to cars manufactured in 1933 or earlier. For legal auto registration purposes, Vintage and pioneer vehicles must be owned and operated as collector's items only. Vehicles with these types of car registration may be driven in parades or exhibited at car shows, but they cannot be used for general transportation purposes.
Temporary Montana Vehicle Registration
Applicants wondering, "How can I temporarily register my car in Montana?" can find answers on the Montana Motor Vehicle Division's website. It offers an online car registry process where drivers can obtain a 40-day temporary car registration for recently purchased vehicles. Montana motorists and dealers can create, reissue or void temporary registration permits by entering the car's vehicle identification number (VIN).
For Montana vehicle registration information, including issues regarding temporary car registration, use the following mailing address, phone number or email address:
Title and Registration Bureau
P.O. Box 201431
302 N. Roberts
Helena, MT 59620-1431