What vehicles do I have to register?

Under state law, all motor vehicles including motor homes; motorcycles and quadricycles; travel trailers; utility trailers; all-terrain vehicles; sailboats over 12 feet in length; motorboats, jet skis, other motorized watercraft; and snowmobiles must be registered with the state.

**Pickup campers are an exception—they must be titled but are not registered.

Registration requirements apply to all Montana residents as well as:

Montana residents moving to another county

Montana residents moving to another county may continue to use their current plates until their annual registration renewal is due. The current registration and plates remain active until the registration expires. At that time, the customer needs to renew their vehicle registration and update their address with their new County Treasurer's office. Those with permanently registered vehicles do not have to take any registration action.

Military Employees

Non-resident military personnel stationed in Montana may register their vehicles in their home jurisdictions or in Montana, unless they are gainfully employed in Montana outside of their military duties. If they are gainfully employed outside those duties, they must title and register their vehicles in Montana.


Under § 61-3-701 through 704, MCA. non-residents who are gainfully employed in Montana must present their current out-of-state vehicle registration to the County Treasurer's office. Taxes or fees in lieu of taxes are due, along with appropriate registration fees (U.S. funds only). Non-residents may choose to register by the calendar quarter. The vehicle must display the license plate or decal from both its home state and from Montana.

Registration and Fees

  • Under § 61-3-321, MCA registration fees are in addition to the county option tax levied on light vehicles and the fees levied in lieu of taxes on other vehicles. Registration fees do not include special plate fees for personalized plates and specialty plates, or other miscellaneous fees.
  • Registration fees are due upon renewal or transfer of ownership. No credit is given for taxes or fees paid. Only U.S. funds are accepted.
  • Organ-Donor and Brain-Injury Awareness – When you register your vehicle, you may make a donation of $1 or more to organ-donor and traumatic brain-injury education and support programs. Just ask your County Treasurer.
  • Cancer Screening Support Fund – When you register your vehicle, you may make a donation of $1 or more to support cancer screening programs. Just ask your County Treasurer.

Registration Purposes Only (RPO)

An “RPO” is issued for customers in specific circumstances, as detailed below.

A vehicle registered in another jurisdiction and is being used for gainful employment per § 61-3-701, MCA must be registered in Montana. Vehicles in this scenario are not titled in Montana.

Applicant must provide:

  • Evidence of ownership
  • Current registration from the other jurisdiction
Original registration and registration renewal
A vehicle is owned by the federal government. Some federal agencies prefer to display state of Montana plates rather than federal government exempt plates.Applicant must complete and submit an Application for County Numbered Plates by a United States Government Agency (MV54) provided by the MVD (contact [email protected] to request application)Original registration and registration renewal
A non-resident customer is a health care professional employed in Montana by a rural health care facility or in an area identified as having shortages of certain services as described in § 15-6-217, MCA and § 61-3-707, MCA Original registration and registration renewal


Property Tax Exemptions

Documents required to qualify for an exemption must be provided to the County Treasurer’s office when paying for title and registration or registration renewal.

The Department of Revenue's (DOR) Form AB-30P is used by individuals and organizations to apply for personal property tax exemption. Once submitted to the DOR and reviewed, the applicant will receive a determination letter from the DOR with a decision regarding the application for exemption. This determination letter is provided to the MVD by the customer applying for the exemption to confirm exempt status.

Property tax exemption applications for organizations filed with the DOR are due on March 1 each year. Click the following link for more information: https://mtrevenue.gov/property/property-tax-exemptions/tax-exemption-organizations/

Exemption Type and Requirements