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Montana Vehicle Registration Fees

Under Chapter 3 of Title 61 on the Montana Code Annotated, you will need to pay registration fees for your vehicle to be legally used in Montana. Registering your vehicle is a paid process, and the fees are proportional to the type of vehicle you own and the number of years it has functioned. 


This article will glance over the different fee structures applicable to cars, bikes, boats, and motor homes. Remember that the registration fees are fixed and prerequisite to completing the registration process. 

Benefits of registering your vehicle in Montana 

Owing a Montana-based LLC comes with various benefits. Let’s look at some of them below:


  1. Montana does not charge sales tax for vehicles. So it is more affordable to buy vehicles here. As a Montana LLC enjoys the rights of a state citizen, you can save up a significant amount by you purchase your vehicle through the LLC. For example, a resident of California can save up to $2,776 in registration fees for a $50,000 car.

  2. It offers liability protection. So if an accident resulted in injury or property damage, your company would be covered by liability insurance, protecting you from costly claims.

  3. Your LLC can protect your personal information. If you prioritize safeguarding your personal information, you should consider filing your LLC’s information instead of yours. As a result, your name will not be attached to your assets’ legal title or registration. 

Key Things To Remember

Under the law of Montana, you will need to register your vehicle with the state legally. If you’re a new resident in Montana, you will need to register your vehicle within 60 days of establishing residency. 


Non-residents employed in Montana will need to follow the same processes. So the paperwork applicable for the average Montana resident applies to them as well. 

Where To Go

In Montana, the Department of Justice Motor Vehicle Division (often referred to as the MVD) is in charge of issuing your registration, ownership title, and driver’s license. Each county has its own local office where you can reach out about registration.


To get answers to your questions about your vehicle registration, you could call them at (406) 444-3933, email them, or visit their website. It is critical to remember that you must renew your registration once a year or every two years. 

Payment Method

You need to pay all registration fees using US Dollars. No other kind of currency is accepted. You can make the payment through cash or a bank account.

Boat and Personalized Watercraft Vehicle Registration fees

All boats, motorized watercraft, and pontoons must be permanently registered in Montana. So you will need to incur a one-time fee for motorboats (i.e., rafts, canoes).

  1. For a watercraft under 16 feet – $65.5 flat fee

  2. For a watercraft within 16-19 feet – $125.5 flat fee

  3. For a watercraft over 19 feet or longer – $295.5 flat fee 


Once you register your boat or watercraft, you will have to contact the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks office near your place. There you will find information on how to get the required validation decals. 

Heavy Vehicle Registration Fees

For heavy vehicles, i.e., trucks, tractors, vans, buses, etc., the fees vary according to the Manufacturer’s Rated Capacity. Fees are also dependent on the age and rated capacity of the vehicle. So the fees in total include –


  1. Gross Vehicle Weight fees that will vary by vehicle 

  2. Registration fee of $23.44

  3. Montana Highway Patrol Salary and Retention Fee of $10.30 


Licence fees for heavy trucks at its rated capacity:


Age of Vehicle

16,999 lbs or less

17,000-26,999 lbs.

27,000-54,999 lbs.

55,000 lbs or more

1 year or less





2 years





3 years





4 years





5 years





6 years





7 years





8 years





9 years






All fees will have a 3% administrative charge added onto it. 

Light Vehicle Registration Fees

As mentioned in Chapter 3 of the Montana Code Annotated, registration fees combine the county option tax on light vehicles. Registration fees will not cover special plate fees that might be required for personalized or specialty plates. Registration fees are due upon renewal. 


The age of your vehicle determines the registration fee rate. The following are the fees you will need to pay. These fees include a 3% administrative fee when the transaction is conducted.


Vehicle Age


4 years or less


5-10 years


11 years or more



Motorcycle Registration Fees

The fees are structured as follows: 


Street-legal motorcycle one-time fees: 




Flat fee for making bike street-legal


Flat fee for off-highway and street legal use


Motorbike safety fee


Montana Highway Patrol Salary and Retention Fee


Plate Manufacturing Fee



Off-highway motorbike one-time fees:


The flat fee for this is $61.25. An additional $10 will need to be incurred for the Montana Highway Retention Fee.

If your motorbike is meant for off-road use, you will need a white decal with “PERM” written on it, which will be a permanent feature of your bike. 

Motorhome Registration Fees

Motorhome owners will be subject to the following fees: 


  1. The core registration fee

  2. The $10.30 Montana Highway Patrol Salary Fee

  3. A $10.30 new issue plate fee

  4. An insurance fee


If your motorhome is used as a commercial vehicle, you will also need to pay the gross vehicle weight fee. The registration fee schedule that underlines your core registration fee is as follows: 


Vehicle Age


Less than 2 years


2 years and over yet less than 5


5 years and over yet less than 8


8 years and over


11 years and over – permanent registration 



All of these fees include a 3% administrative fee with no additional costs. 


Registering a vehicle in Montana is a complicated process. So it helps to know the crucial information about the procedures beforehand. 


Payment of the fees is an essential part of the vehicle registration process. You will be billed according to the kind of vehicle you have. Over time, the cost reduces as your vehicle ages. 


We hope that this article has provided you with a quick summary of the fees that apply to your car. If you have any further questions, we recommend calling your local county office or seeking assistance from a local organization.