Montana License Plate Lookup

Check any Montana License Plate for vehicle history records

Vehicle services in Montana are managed by the Department of Justice through its Motor Vehicles Division (MVD). To legally operate a vehicle on state roads, it must be properly titled and registered, which can be done at your local county treasurer's office.

Using VinFreeCheck, you can perform a license plate lookup for vehicles registered in Montana. Our service is free and provides comprehensive information about the vehicle, including a complete history report, odometer records, and technical specifications. This is especially beneficial if you are considering to purchase a used car.

Given that some dealers may attempt to sell defective vehicles disguised as great deals, it's important to verify any vehicle you're considering is truly roadworthy. Simply enter the vehicle’s license plate number and the state it was registered in. You'll receive a detailed report in seconds.

For more information on the titling and registration process, visit the Montana MVD's website.

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    Fun Fact 🏁

    Up until 1999, Montana had a law that allowed drivers to operate their vehicles at any speed they deemed reasonable and prudent during the day on most highways. 

    However, this changed in 1999 when Montana established specific numeric speed limits due to federal pressure and safety concerns.

    Where is My Montana Plate Number?

    Montana requires a vehicle's license plates to be displayed on the front and rear of the vehicle. You can also find the plate number on important documents, such as the vehicle's registration card.

    Montana registration card sample

    How to Obtain a Montana License Plate

    For new residents of Montana, you have 60 days after establishing residency to complete the titling and registration process. If you are working in Montana but stay in another state, you must present your current out-of-state vehicle registration to the local county treasurer’s office. There will be associated fees that you will need to pay. You must also display the license plate or decal from both your home state and of Montana's.

    For Montana residents moving to another county, you can continue to use your current plates until the annual registration renewal is due.

    Make sure you also bring the required documents along with you.

    • Completed vehicle registration application form
    • Certificate of title
    • Valid driver's license
    • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO)
    • Proof of auto insurance
    • Proof of residency (for out-of-state applicants moving to Montana)
    • Payment of all relevant fees
    • Other supporting docs where relevant

    If you bought the vehicle from a licensed local dealership, the dealership will help you send the relevant paperwork to the county treasurer's office.

    The state's Title and Registration Bureau handles issuance of license plates. Once you've completed the titling and registration process, you'll be given your new plates via the county treasurer's office. If they're not ready, you'll be issued a 40-day temporary permit. When you receive the temporary permit, place it in the plastic sleeve provided and then attach it to the rear of the vehicle.

    What Plates Can I Apply For?

    Standard: Standard plates are available in four different patterns. All standard plates use a standardized "123456A" format (six numbers and one letter); only the Centennial plate design uses the "ABC123" format that's primarily used on sponsored plates.

    State law requires the issuance of new plates every five years. Permanently registered light vehicles or trailers can continue using plates issued to them on the initial registration of their vehicle.

    Personalized: These plates come with an additional fee of $25.75, and $10 for each transfer and/or renewal of that plate. Other relevant fees also apply, such as for the use of the plate background of your choice.

    You can have up to 7 characters (up to 6 for motorcycles and small trailers) for personalized plates, and you'll need to provide the meaning of the license plate combination you chose. Note that you may be refused certain combinations that are deemed offensive or misleading.

    Sponsored: These refer to plates "sponsored by qualified organizations, colleges or governmental bodies are designed with distinctive backgrounds, colors or phrases that identify the sponsoring organization." These require annual registrations, though there are some exceptions.

    The cost for applying and renewing sponsored plates includes a donation that goes directly to the sponsoring organization as a contribution to their work. Available sponsored plates include:

    • State museums
    • State parks
    • Conservation groups
    • Collegiate plates
    • Education foundations/groups/causes
    • Organizations
    • Youth groups

    Disability: Plates issued to persons with disabilities. Applicants only need to pay the standard plate fees.

    Military/Veteran: These are eligible to active duty, or former serving, members of any US armed force, as well as recipients of any combat decorations (such as the Medal of Honor).

    What Do I Get from the Lookup Report?

    A license plate lookup provides you with all the information you need about a vehicle you intend to purchase or have already purchased. Information you will be able to access includes:

    Market value: You'll be able to determine the estimate of the car's true worth or market value. This way, you'll know if you're being over- or undercharged for a used car.

    Vehicle specifications: You may be interested in knowing the vehicle’s make, model, and technical specs before you purchase the car. This report gives you detailed facts on all of a vehicle's attributes.

    Odometer record: Sellers may alter a car's odometer readings, making buyers think that the vehicle has been driven for less than it actually has. This report protects you from odometer fraud by allowing you to spot inconsistencies in odometer records.

    Accidents records: This checks if the car has been involved in any prior accidents that have been reported. There could be underlying faults with the car that were not properly addressed, making it unable to be operated optimally.

    Junk/salvage title check: In some cases, cars that are wrecked in a major accident can be written off as a ‘total loss’ by an insurance company. With the report, you'll know if a vehicle has been considered junk and is no longer roadworthy or worth repairing to an optimal condition, owing to the exorbitant costs to do so.

    Flood records: This informs you of any previous damage to the car caused by floods. Intense weather conditions such as this are capable of destroying a car. Sometimes, these faults may not be visible and you may not even be informed by the vehicle seller. With this license plate lookup, you'll be able to tell if the car was in a flood before.

    Lien records: Provides information on whether the car has been used in a lease, as collateral for a debt, as a rental car unit, etc. A car dealership is legally required to clear off existing liens before selling the car to you; otherwise, you'll end up being held responsible to fully settle the lien.

    Previous owners: Gives you information on the number of owners the vehicle has had, and the duration of ownership for each owner. This information helps you determine whether the vehicle has been overused, but does not reveal any personal information of these past operators.

    Is the Lookup Report Really So Important?

    Certainly, the ability to safeguard yourself against potential scams is invaluable, especially when navigating the complexities of purchasing a used car. A vehicle history report is an essential tool that can help you make informed decisions and identify any warning signs that sellers might have intentionally obscured.

    Odometer fraud is a prevalent scam where the vehicle's mileage is manipulated to appear lower than it actually is, suggesting less wear and tear. This deceptive practice is not only a federal crime but also a trap that could cost you thousands in unforeseen repairs if you unknowingly purchase such a vehicle.

    The reliability of the information in these reports is backed by comprehensive and continuously updated data from authoritative sources like the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). Having access to dependable data helps ensure that you're making the best possible decision.

    Fortunately, obtaining a report has never been easier. With VinFreeCheck's free lookup service, you can quickly gain the insights you need, giving you confidence as you search for a great deal on a used car, ensuring you pay a fair price for a vehicle that meets your expectations.

    Is a License Plate Lookup Legal?

    We adhere strictly to the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), which restricts the disclosure of any private information belonging to vehicle owners. Additionally, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows individuals to access information collected by the government, balancing transparency with privacy.

    Using our lookup report, you can discreetly verify whether a vehicle might be stolen, without accessing any sensitive information about the original owner. At VinFreeCheck, we ensure that all data provided is 100% reliable, sourced directly from officially recognized databases like the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). Feel free to conduct a quick and free check on any vehicle with our service!

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