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Montana Aircraft Registration

Whether you live in Montana or any other state, you can register your aircraft in Montana as long as you own an LLC in Montana and register your vehicle to your Montana-based company. A lot of people form Montana LLCs to register their aircraft and avoid sales taxes. 

The Montana Code Annotated: 67-3-201 governs all aircraft in Montana. The law states that any Montana resident who owns or purchases an aircraft (including ultralights) and who customarily keeps that aircraft in the state must register it with the Montana Aeronautics Division within 30 days of acquisition.

In this article, we’ll be going through everything you need to know about registering your aircraft in Montana.

How to Register

You can choose to register your aircraft on your own. But the easiest way to register your aircraft is through an agency. People living outside Montana will have to register their aircraft with a Montana LLC. 

First, you will need to choose a business name. Two companies cannot have the same name. So you will have to look through the Montana Business Database and come up with a unique name. 

The next step is to find an agency. Luckily, there is no shortage of that. Many agencies will help you form a Montana-based LLC and help you register your aircraft. All of them offer similar services and charge similar fees. So, there is no need to be too picky. Just make sure you choose a reliable one.

After that, you will have your LLC in one to three days. You won’t have to worry about the LLC any further. The agency will take care of the rest. But remember to submit your LLC’s annual report between January 1 and April 15 each year. Otherwise, you will have to pay a $15 late fee. You can also get your agency to do this for you for an extra charge.

The agency will provide you with instructions on how to proceed after your LLC has been formed. The next step is usually paperwork related to your aircraft registration. You will have to fill out a form to the MDT Montana Aeronautics Division. 

In the form, you will need to provide general information about your aircraft, including your aircraft model and a reserved N-number. Normally the agency will provide you with an N-number. If you want to reserve your N-number yourself, you can go to the Federal Aviation Administration website and click on Aircraft Certification. You will be able to reserve an N-number on this page. 

The form will also ask you for information regarding your company and address. If you don’t live in Montana, the agency you have hired will provide you with the necessary information. Most agencies will offer you the option to fill in all forms for you for an additional fee. 

Aircraft must renew their registration every year by March 1st of each year. If you live in Montana, you might have to renew your registration yourself. Many agencies offer an automatic renewal service. But you will usually have to pay a premium for this service. 

Fees

Montana aircraft registration fees are generally not too expensive. If you live in Montana or already own a company there, you will only have to pay the registration fee. But for anyone living outside Montana, you will need to pay additional expenses to your agency. 

The following fees are the rates for aircraft registration according to section 67-3-206:

Aircraft Type0-5 years6-10 years11-20 years21-30 years31-40 years
Single engine, fixed gear, 200 horsepower and under$450$262.50$150$75$37.50
Single engine, fixed gear, over 200 horsepower$750$375$225$112.50$75
Single engine, retractable gear, 2-00 horsepower and under$900$450$262.50$150$112.50
Single engine, retractable gear, over 200 horsepower$1,050$600$262.50$150$112.50
Multi-engine, piston engine$1,200$750$375$262.50$225
Helicopter, piston engine$1,050$675$337.50$225$187.50
Single-engine jet helicopter, prop jet$2,250$1,050$675$450$262.50         
Multi-engine jet helicopter, prop jet$3,000$1,500$900$600$300
Jet engine, no propeller$4,500$2,2500$1,200$750$375
Glider, ultralight, gyrocopter, balloon, homebuilt aircraft, antiques, or any aircraft over 40 years old$30

The base aircraft registration fee rate is fixed, and so, it will be the same for everyone. But the additional fees for making an LLC and agency fees will vary depending on the agency you choose. 

For a Montana LLC formation, you can expect to pay at least $300. Moreover, you will have to pay an annual fee to your registered agent. This fee can start from $49 per year to higher rates. You can choose to pay extra to your agent for more features like automatic renewals, reports, and form fill ups to avoid these charges. 

How Long It Takes

The registration process does not take too much time. Once you start the process, your registration should be complete within a couple of weeks at most. 

It usually takes 1 to 3 days to form a Montana LLC. But this depends on the agency you choose. In any case, it shouldn’t take more than a week to register your LLC and start the aircraft registration process.  

Benefits

We have already talked a great deal about the aircraft registration process in Montana. But should someone living outside Montanana register their aircraft there? 

Well, registering any vehicle in Montana comes with some serious advantages. The first and most important one is not having to pay sales tax on your vehicle, including aircraft. Montana is one of the few states where you don’t have to pay sales tax.

The next benefit is that vehicles in Montana don’t have to go through an inspection. So it is easier for people who live outside Montana to register their vehicles here compared to other states. 

Typically, you have to pay a 3%-10% sales tax on aircraft purchases. So for a $100,000 aircraft purchase, you might have to pay up to $10,000 as sales tax. Your Montana LCC will have the same rights as a Montana citizen. So you can save thousands on your purchase by registering your aircraft in Montana. 

Many people are hesitant to open a Montana LLC just for registering their vehicle. They have the wrong idea that this is somehow illegal.

In reality, it is perfectly legal and widely accepted to open a Montana LLC for registering your vehicle. Moreover, it would disrupt the way corporations and LLCs work if the state banned forming LLCs for the sole purpose of owning something and avoiding taxes. So the state has no incentive to change this in the future. 

Final Thoughts

If you are buying an aircraft, you are already spending a good chunk of money on your vehicle. So you should be looking to save up on any additional charge you can. 

Registering your aircraft in Montana is a widely popular option for this. It is quick and simple, and you can also save thousands of dollars. There are very few downsides to this, and it is easy to find an agency that will set up everything for you.

If you live in Montana, then there is no reason for you to look elsewhere. You can choose to register your aircraft by yourself or hire an agency. Hiring an agency might make things a lot easier and save you a ton of hassle.

Have Any Question?

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