Montana Department of Justice
Home / Motor Vehicle Division – MVD / Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Inspections

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Inspections

Vehicle identification number (VIN) inspections are conducted for a variety of reasons:

  • to verify a vehicle description
  • to verify the vehicle in possession is the same vehicle documented on the title paperwork
  • to correct inaccurate data on a title
  • to verify that no VIN exists prior to issuing a state-assigned VIN
  • to properly identify rebuilt salvage vehicles (excluding vessels, snowmobiles and off-highway vehicles)

There are three different stages of VIN inspections – Stage I, II and III – that can be performed on a vehicle. Requirements and fees differ among the three stages, so read the following information carefully.

Stage I VIN Inspections

Stage I VIN inspections are required if the identity of the vehicle is in question or when a Canadian registration or a bonded application is submitted. Proof of ownership is not required for Stage I VIN inspections.

Local law enforcement officials, driver exam station staff, and participating local county treasurer’s motor vehicle office staff are authorized to perform Stage I VIN inspections. The VIN inspector must complete the appropriate sections of the Vehicle/Vessel/Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Identification Number Inspection Certificate (Form MV20) during the inspection.

For Stage I VIN inspections performed by driver exam station staff, the customer is required to schedule a Stage I VIN inspection appointment at a driver exam station through the online Appointment Scheduling Service or, for offices that don’t offer online scheduling, visit a driver exam station.

Stage II VIN Inspections

Stage II VIN inspections are required on vehicles:

  • 5 years of age or older with an out-of-state or Montana salvage certificate issued before October 1, 2011
  • 15 years of age or older with an out-of-state or Montana salvage certificate issued on or after October 1, 2011
  • On reconstructed vehicles of any age (e.g., changing cab)
  • When additional VIN information is required for the vehicle
  • When the identity of the vehicle is in question

Department of Justice employees, including driver exam station staff, Montana Peace Officers, or motor vehicle compliance specialists, are authorized to perform Stage II VIN inspections. The VIN inspector must complete the appropriate sections of the Vehicle/Vessel/Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Identification Number Inspection Certificate (Form MV20) during the inspection.

For Stage II VIN inspections, the customer is required to:

  • schedule a Stage II VIN inspection appointment at a driver exam station through the online Appointment Scheduling Service or, for offices that don’t yet offer online scheduling, call a driver exam station to schedule an appointment
  • provide the required title documentation as outlined in the Title Manual (e.g., salvage certificates, bills of sale, purchase receipts to prove acquisition of all component parts used in the rebuilding process; see Title Manual section on Requirements for VIN Inspection on Rebuilt Salvage Vehicles)
  • determine the age of the vehicle by subtracting the vehicle model year from the current calendar year
  • pay the associated fee

Stage III VIN Inspections

Stage III VIN inspections are required on vehicles:

  • Less than 5 years of age with an out-of-state or Montana salvage certificate issued before October 1, 2011
  • Less than 15 years of age with an out-of-state or Montana salvage certificate issued on or after October 1, 2011
  • When the identity of the vehicle is in question

Commercial Vehicle Operator Licensing (CVOL) examiners, driver licensing regional managers and motor vehicle compliance specialists are authorized to perform Stage III VIN inspections. The VIN inspector must complete the appropriate sections of the Vehicle Inspection Report (Form MV208) during the inspection.

For a Stage III VIN inspection, the customer is required to:

  • schedule a Stage III VIN inspection appointment by telephone in the appropriate driver licensing region
  • provide required titling documentation (e.g., salvage certificates, bills of sale, purchase receipts to prove acquisition of all component parts used in the rebuilding process)
  • determine the age of the vehicle by subtracting the vehicle model year from the current calendar year
  • pay the associated fee

 

Regional Offices
Map of Driver Licensing Regions
Legend color (blue) Western Regional Offices
Kalispell
CDL/VIN Specialist:
Bryan Durgan
Phone: 406-257-2148
Missoula
CDL/VIN Specialists:
Milo Coladonato & Gina McCrary
Phone: 406-329-1350
Legend color (red) Central Regional Office
Billings
CDL/VIN Specialists:
Lee Laird &
Curtis Eckhardt
Phone: 406-896-4334
Legend color (green) Northern Regional Office
Great Falls
CDL/VIN Specialist:
Jennifer Anderson
Phone: 406-727-2569 or 443-9270
Helena
CDL/VIN Specialist:
Rob Johnson
Phone: 406-491-0917
Legend color (orange) Eastern Regional Office
Glendive
CDL/VIN Specialists:
John Palmer &
Victoria Gambrel
Phone: 406-377-1600

 

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