Montana License Plate Information Summary
The Montana Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) will issue you license plates when you buy a new car. From then on you can keep renewing your license plates when you renew your registration. You have the chance to transfer your plates when you buy a new car, so you will probably only have to buy Montana license plates once.
Montana License Plates Offered
Montana offers standard plates, vanity plates, disability plates, and some specialty plates. You can contact the MVD for your options.
Their standard license plate design changes every five years, but you can keep your old design if you want.
If you make your purchase from a dealership, you will get temporary plates that are valid for 40 days. If you buy from a private seller, both you and he/she must go on the day of the sale together to the MVD office, make the sale transfer, and then get your license plates. There is no lag time. It must be done on the day of the sale.
You will also get a sticker to place in the upper right-hand corner of your Montana license plate.
When You Need To Get Montana License Plates
You must get a Montana license plate within 60 days of moving to the state. You have 40 days if you buy from a dealership. If you engage in a private sale, it must be done on the day of the sale.
Keeping Your License Plates Up To Date
With few exceptions, you have the choice of renewing your registration and license plates every 12 or 24 months. You will then get a new sticker to put on your plate.
The exception is if your vehicle is at least 11 years old, at which point you can get a permanent registration – and permanent Montana license plates.
If Your Montana License Plates Are Stolen
If your Montana license plates are stolen or damaged, first you must write and sign a letter describing what happened and bring it to the MDV office.
Then you have to pay $10.30 for a plate with a new number, $15.45 for one with your old number, and $1 for a new sticker. If you have permanent plates, you will have to $10.30 for a new permanent sticker.
Transferring Or Surrendering Your License Plates
You will surrender your Montana license plates if you move out of state. Should that happen, you can apply for a partial refund of the fees you have paid for your plate at the MDV office.
If you buy a new car, you can simply transfer your old license plates to your new car.
Montana License Plate Costs
Montana license plates cost $10.