All vehicles in the state of Montana must be registered with the Motor Vehicle Division.
When you register your vehicle, you can choose from a Standard Plate, Specialty Plate, Personalized Plate, or Disability Plate (if eligible).
All residents and out-of-state workers living in Montana must register their vehicles at the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).
When you go to an MVD office, you’ll need the following:
When you submit your application at the MVD, you have the option to register your vehicle for the following durations:
The MVD provides you with a standard, state license plate. The style of the license plate changes every 5 years.
Alternatively, you can choose from a variety of specialty license plates associated with local organizations, charities, and occupations.
Most plates can be personalized with a custom plate number, as long as the state’s guidelines are followed.
The state of Montana offers a variety of license plates from sponsored organizations. Here are some examples of the plates you can get for your vehicle:
Note: Specialty plates have fees in addition to the standard plate registration fees. For example, some sponsored plates require a donation, administration fee, and plate production fee. Contact an MVD office for more details on speciality plates.
Personalized plates allow you to add your own custom plate number. The following guidelines must be met before your application is approved:
The decision to process your personalized plate is made by the MVD. You’ll be required to explain the meaning behind your license plates.
Before your license plate expires, you should renew your registration with the MVD. Depending on how you registered your vehicle, you may have to renew your license plates every:
Alternatively, if your vehicle is 11 years or older, you can apply for permanent plates, which never have to be renewed.
Upon successfully renewing your vehicle, you’ll receive new registration stickers to apply over the old ones on your rear license plate.
If you apply for new plates (such as personalized or specialty plates), you must surrender your old plates.
You can surrender your Montana license plates either by dropping them off in person or by mailing them in.
Your license plates remain in your possession if you sell, donate, or auction your vehicle. When you buy a new vehicle, you can transfer them over. Otherwise, you will be required to surrender your plates if they are not to be used.
If your license plates fall off your vehicle, or if someone steals them, you should go to the MVD to have them replaced. You must apply for replacement license plates in person.
Replacement license plates in Montana will cost:
If your plates have been stolen, you’ll have to submit a sworn statement. You should also submit a police report to ensure that your license plates aren’t used and abused by others.
In addition to the standard license plate fees, you may also have to pay for local taxes, service fees, and other registration fees. The following are a few of the fees applicable to you when you register or renew your vehicle:
Please contact your local MVD office for more information about the fees required for your vehicle’s registration.
If you require personalized plates and want to see which plate numbers are available, you can look up license plates online.
You can also look up license plates to see the history of a vehicle, such as whether the vehicle has been stolen or not.