1.

Vehicle registrations need to be renewed regularly. Many states require vehicle owners to renew their registrations every year, although some states offer the option to purchase registrations that last for two years or longer. Most states allow you to quickly renew your car registration online, but you should be aware of the information you will need to provide, the necessary fees and the acceptable methods of payment to ensure a smooth transaction. Our online guide can help you prepare all the required documents and fees so that you can renew your vehicle registration as smoothly and quickly as possible. In it, you will also discover all the steps needed to replace a lost registration and to update your name or address with the DMV.

2. By Mail

Some vehicle owners may prefer to renew their auto registrations through the mail. Certain states will allow their residents to apply by mail, but vehicle owners may need to meet certain eligibility requirements to submit their request. Additionally, the ways in which you may pay your renewal fee are limited to check or money order, and you may experience processing delays due to the time it takes the postal service to deliver your application. Furthermore, you may risk losing your application or registration tags in the mail, adding to the wait time.

3. Via a DMV Office

Renewing your vehicle registration in person at a DMV office is an option if you cannot or prefer not to apply by mail or online. Typically, the DMV will issue your new registration credentials after receiving payment. However, certain states may require you to wait to receive your renewed registration documents in the mail. While visiting a DMV office in person may provide you with more personalized attention, it often involves long waits. Additionally, the office hours of many DMV locations can interfere with your work schedule.


Vehicle owners in Montana must complete the car registration renewal process every one or two years. Registration documents ensure that vehicles are correctly on record with the state and are eligible to be used by drivers. Motorists must pay all DMV car registration renewal fees and provide personal and vehicle details when submitting requests. Additionally, residents should complete the steps before the expiration date stated on their official registration documents.

Applicants can choose to complete a car registration renewal online, in person or by mail. Specific eligibility requirements must be met in order for requests to be approved by the Motor Vehicle Division. Find out more about how to renew your car’s registration by consulting the following paragraphs.

Requirements for Car Registration Renewal in Montana

To meet motor vehicle registration renewal standards in Montana, drivers must present proof of eligibility and other personal details to the state. This information is used to determine whether new registration will be granted to the applicant. The basic renewal requirements in the state are as follows:

  • Drivers must be MT residents.
  • Drivers must have up-to-date auto insurance.
  • Drivers should not have any outstanding parking tickets or traffic infractions.
  • Drivers must pay all required fees for renewal.

Lastly, vehicle owners must renew their registrations before their expiration dates. Driving with an expired car registration is illegal in Montana.

Multiple renewal period options are also available to drivers. Residents can choose whether to update their registration every 12 or 24 months. Additionally, applicants with vehicles over 11 years old can obtain lifetime registration papers from the state.

What do you need to renew your car registration in Montana?

Regardless of whether drivers in Montana choose to renew vehicle registrations online, by mail or in person, they will need to submit specific information. This information includes the following:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Vehicle Identification Number
  • Proof of insurance
  • Proof of emissions testing, if applicable

Montana Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice

Vehicle registration renewal notices are helpful reminders sent to drivers before the expiration on registration documents. Details about the online, mail and in person renewal procedures are available on these notices. Drivers should follow the instructions provided on these letters for guidance when applying for registration renewal.

Montana Car Registration Renewal Notice Lost or Not Received

MT residents who do not receive a notice to renew a car registration are still responsible for renewing prior to their expiration dates. Drivers should ensure that addresses on file with the state-licensing agency are up to date. Notices are sent to these addresses, and if they are outdated residents will not receive reminders.

Montana Car Registration Renewal Options

Understanding where to renew a car registration is important for drivers living in Montana. There are three different methods available for residents to obtain registration renewal: online, in person or by mail. Find out more about each of these methods in the sections below.

How to Renew Your Car Registration Online

The process to obtain a DMV registration renewal online is the easiest way to receive updated forms in the state. Online renewal is available up to one month before registration documents expire. Drivers who qualify for certain exemptions cannot renew registration via the online procedure.

Drivers are required to submit their names, drivers license numbers, Vehicle identification Number (VIN), titles and vehicle numbers. The steps to successfully receive new registration documents in Montana include the following:

  1. Provide necessary personal and vehicle information via the online platform. Information should be valid and up-to-date in order to be approved.
  2. Pay all required DMV registration renewal fees using a credit or debit card.

After successfully renewing your registration, you will receive your updated documents by mail.

How to Renew Your Car Registration by Mail

Understanding how to renew your car registration by mail in Montana is helpful for drivers who would like to utilize this method. Applicants must provide a variety of personal and vehicle details during this process. Additionally, backup documents must be submitted to prove eligibility for obtaining new registration.

Complete the following steps to receive car registration renewal documents in the state:

  1. Submit your motor vehicle registration request and provide all necessary personal and vehicle details.
  2. Provide fee payments by check or money order only. Cash is not accepted via mail.
  3. Provide backup documents for proof of insurance and emissions testing, if needed.
  4. Submit all of the aforementioned items to the state-licensing agency.

When the DMV office has approved your request, you will be sent new registration documents through the mail.

How to Renew Your Car Registration in Person

MT drivers should visit the state DMV office to complete the in-person registration renewal.  Applicants who qualify for exemptions must complete the renewal by visiting a state treasurer office. The following items should be presented when visiting official licensing locations:

  • Request for new registration
  • Any personal and/or vehicle information needed
  • Photo identification, such as valid drivers license
  • Required fee payment, using cash, check or credit or debit card
  • Proof of auto insurance and/or emissions testing, if required
  • Additional verification documents, if required

When requests and personal information are approved by the state, new registration documents are provided to drivers.

Military & Out of State Vehicle Registration Renewal in Montana

If you are a service member who is a resident of another state but currently stationed in Montana, you do not need to register your vehicle in Montana and will have to renew your registration through your home state. However, if you are gainfully employed in Montana outside of your military duties, you will need to register your car in Montana.

If you are a resident of Montana and currently stationed in another state, you can qualify for reduced registration fees after submitting for MV53 at the time of your registration or registration renewal.

Civilian Montana residents currently living outside the state are required to follow the same renewal procedures in place for all Montana residents.

Montana Vehicle Registration Renewal Fees

The car registration renewal cost in Montana varies based on the type of vehicle owned by applicants. Basic fees for vehicles weighing one ton or less are as follows:

  • $217 – vehicles that are four years old or younger
  • $87 – vehicles that are five to 10 years old
  • $28 – vehicles that are 11 years old or older

An addition fee of $825 applies to vehicles valued more than $150,000 that are 10 years old or younger.

Last updated on Wednesday, December 12 2018.

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