Title Transfer Montana

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If you’ve recently moved to Montana, you’ll need to apply for a title transfer and Montana registration at your county treasurer’s office. Bring the previous year’s registration receipt or a signed and notarized copy of your title and be prepared to pay a titling fee. 
When you buy or sell a vehicle or move to a new state, you’ll need to complete a title transfer. The title certifies the legal ownership of the vehicle and is one of the most important documents related to your car. Every state has different rules surrounding the transfer of car titles, so it’s important to know the regulations in your state. 
Title transfers aren’t difficult, but making a mistake could have serious consequences. To help you follow the steps for a title transfer in Big Sky Country, car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled a guide to transferring a car’s title in Montana.
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What is a title transfer?

A car’s title is the document that certifies ownership of the vehicle. A title transfer is the only way to officially transfer ownership of the car if it’s sold or when the owner moves to a new jurisdiction. 
In general, transferring a title consists of two steps. First, the seller must release ownership of the car by completing and signing the back of the title. Then, the buyer takes the signed title to the DMV and applies for a new title.
Beyond those basic steps, the process for transferring a title varies from state to state. Some jurisdictions require additional documentation, such as an odometer reading. 

Who does the title transfer?

If you purchase a car from a licensed dealer, the dealership will handle all the paperwork to complete the title transfer. In many cases, they’ll even include the titling fee in your purchase price. 
If you buy or sell a car privately, however, you’ll need to work with the other parties involved to complete the transfer. You’ll also be responsible for transferring your vehicle’s title if you move to a new jurisdiction that requires a title transfer for new residents. 

Reasons for a title transfer

The most common reasons for a title transfer are moving to a new state and buying or selling a car, but there are other situations that require a title transfer. Examples include:
  • Donating a vehicle
  • Gifting a vehicle
  • Inheriting a vehicle
  • Paying off a vehicle loan

Car title transfer in Montana

In Montana, new residents are required to transfer their title and registration within 60 days of establishing residency. 
Here’s what you need to do:
  • Have all listed parties sign the title and have their signatures notarized
  • Apply for a new title at the treasurer’s office of the county you live in (you may need to make an appointment)
  • Present your old registration or out-of-state title
  • Be prepared to fill out a Statement of Fact about your title if the county clerk requests it
  • Pay all title and filing fees
If you’re selling or buying a car in Montana, you’ll go through the same process to transfer the title, except that you must list the buyer’s name and address and the odometer reading at the time of sale on the certificate of title. 
Montana charges a $12.36 titling fee for all light vehicles, trucks, and buses that weigh less than one ton. For all other vehicles, the titling fee is $10.30
Key Takeaway Apply for your new title at your county treasurer’s office. 

Registering a car in Montana

In Montana, a car cannot be transferred without also being registered. Because the processes are simultaneous, you should be prepared to pay registration fees at the time of a Montana title transfer
For light vehicles, Montana charges base registration fees as follows:
Age of vehicleRegistration fee
0 to 4 years$217
5 to 10 years$87
11 years or more$28
You may pay for a 12-month registration or a 24-month registration. If your car is 11 years old or older, you may choose to permanently register your vehicle; you will not need to transfer the title or renew the registration as long as the same person continues to own the car. 
For a permanent registration, the fees are:
Registration fee$87.50
Montana Highway Patrol Salary and Retention Fee$10
Insurance verification fee$5
Optional state parks support fee$9
You may have to pay additional fees depending on your county of residence, license plate type, and vehicle weight. 
You must keep a copy of your car’s registration in your vehicle at all times, along with proof of valid Montana car insurance. 

Finding insurance for your vehicle

Whether you’ve just bought a new car or moved to the Treasure State, you can save money on your car insurance in Montana with Jerry
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You can still transfer the title if your car has a loan, but you should contact your lender first to make sure that you’re following the best procedure.
Look for a line on the back of the title that says “seller’s signature.” Anyone listed on the front of the title should sign there.

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