Montana drivers can choose from a number of license plates, ranging from the standard plate to designs that reflect their military service or show their support for a Montana college or community organization.
A few general notes about license plates:
- Getting plates - Once you have titled and registered your vehicle and paid all taxes and fees, the County Treasurer’s Office gives you your plates. If the plates you want are not on hand, you may purchase a 90-day temporary permit from the County Treasurer's office.
Transferring plates – License plates stay with the owner and may be transferred to another vehicle only when the vehicle is properly registered through the County Treasurer.
Personalized plates are available for an additional fee of $25, and then $10 for each transfer and/or renewal of that plate. If you want to personalize a sponsored plate, there are additional sponsor fees. For requirements and additional information, see the Application for Personalized License Plates (MV8).
License plate decals, which indicate that an owner has paid all the taxes and fees on a vehicle, generally are issued for a one-year period by the County Treasurer in the county where the vehicle is subject to tax or fee. The decal must be placed on the rear plate.
Types of Plates
Collect Sample Plates
For individuals who collect license plates, current Montana plates are available from the Vehicle Services Bureau by completing the Order Form for Sample License Plates (MV6) and paying the applicable fee. Some sponsoring organizations also sell sample license plates to collectors. Contact the organization of your choice.
Temporary Registration Permits
When you purchase a vehicle or choose a license plate that is not immediately available, the vehicle dealer or your County Treasurer’s Office issues a temporary registration permit (TRP). This permit allows you to drive the vehicle until you receive your new registration and plates. The temporary permits are generated electronically, with a unique number and a detachable proof of temporary vehicle registration.
Using the Permits
- Place the permit in the plastic sleeve provided by the issuer and attach it to the rear of the vehicle, where the license plate normally goes.
- When you receive your registration and plates, you must remove the temporary registration permit and replace it with your new plates.