Required Documents for Vehicle Registration

Exemptions

Documents required to qualify for an exemption must be provided to the county treasurer’s motor vehicle office when paying for title and registration or registration renewal.

DOR Form AB-30P is the application provided by the Department of Revenue (DOR). The application is used by individuals and organizations to apply for personal property tax exemption. Once submitted to the DOR and reviewed, the applicant will receive a determination letter from the DOR with a decision regarding the application for exemption. This determination letter is provided to the MVD by the customer applying for the exemption to confirm exempt status.

Property tax exemption applications for organizations filed with the DOR are due on March 1 each year. Click the following link for more information: https://mtrevenue.gov/property/property-tax-exemptions/tax-exemption-organizations/

*NOTE: The table below outlines when a determination letter from the DOR is required; however, a government entity (individual or organization) as defined in MCA 15-6-201(1)(a) (federal, state, or local) is exempted (NOT required) from providing a determination letter from DOR.

Exemption TypeRequirementFrequency
Cemetery DistrictDetermination letter from DOR unless exempt*Original title and registration and registration renewal
Charitable OrganizationDetermination letter from DOROriginal title and registration and registration renewal
Developmentally DisabledDetermination letter from DOROriginal title and registration and registration renewal
EducationalDetermination letter from DOR (e.g., private schools, charter schools, First Student Transportation, and others)Original title and registration and registration renewal
Ex-Prisoner of War

For Ex-POW or surviving spouse (if not remarried):

Original title and registration
FederalNone if a confirmed government entityOriginal title and registration
Government (State/Local)None if a confirmed government entityOriginal title and registration
HospitalDetermination letter from DOR:
  • Specific vehicles only (e.g., maintenance, hospice)
  • Vehicles used by hospital management and staff are NOT exempt.
Original title and registration and registration renewal
Irrigation DistrictDetermination letter from DOR unless exempt*Original title and registration and registration renewal
MilitaryFor a non-resident active military service member: NOTE: ARM 42.19.502(3) – exemptions are prorated equally for military versus nonmilitary ownersOriginal title and registration and registration renewal
Montana MilitaryFor a Montana resident who:
  • Entered the service from Montana
  • Serves outside the state of Montana
  • MVD Form MV53 required.
Original title and registration and registration renewal
Potable Water

Determination letter from DOR

  • This exemption applies to vehicles used for maintenance of wells and cisterns.
Original title and registration and registration renewal
Purple HeartFor a Purple Heart recipient who is 50% or more disabled or surviving spouse (if not remarried):
Original title and registration and registration renewal
Surviving Spouse

*Surviving spouse only eligible if not remarried

 

Original title and registration and registration renewal
TribalIndividuals:
  • Proof of Tribal membership
  • Residency on reservation
  • NOTE: Contact county treasurer’s office to verify acceptable proof of membership and residency.

Organizations:

  • Essential tribal government is exempt*
  • Determination letter from DOR is required for private organizations related to a tribe
NOTE: ARM 42.19.502(1) – exemptions are prorated equally for tribal versus nontribal owners.
Original title and registration and registration renewal
VeteranFor a disabled veteran who is 100% disabled or paid at 100% disability or surviving spouse (if not remarried):
Original title and registration and registration renewal

Heavy Vehicle Use Tax

PurposeRequirementsFrequency
The Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) is an annual federal highway tax imposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on vehicles with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more (e.g., trucks, truck tractors, and buses) that use public highways. Revenues generated by this tax are returned to the states for highway construction and maintenance projects.
  • Applicant must provide a stamped copy or e-filed copy of IRS Form 2290, Schedule 1, as proof of payment or exemption from HVUT. E-filed confirmation of payment will include a watermark of the e-file logo
  • Applicants for registration who qualify for exemption from HVUT must still file form 2290 with the IRS
  • A photocopy of Schedule 1 and both sides of the applicant’s cancelled check are also accepted as proof of payment
  • A transaction summary from a third-party transmitter is not acceptable proof of payment
Original title and registration and registration renewal

For more information about HVUT, visit the Montana Department of Transportation’s Motor Carrier Services web site at: http://www.mdt.mt.gov/business/mcs/licenses.shtml.

License Plate Requirements

Active military and veteran license plates are available for all branches of service.

Any requirements for veteran license plates or related past military service must include reference to “other than dishonorable” discharge from service.

License Plate TypeRequirementsFrequency of Action
Active MilitaryAn official certificate from unit commander or reenlistment document verifying eligibility and authorizing the department to issue the platesOriginal title and registration and registration renewal
*Plates are surrendered when no longer eligible
Amateur RadioProof of ownership of amateur radio station license and operator’s license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)Original title and registration and registration renewal
*Plates are surrendered when no longer eligible
Amateur Radio/Veteran or Disabled Combination
  • Proof of ownership of amateur radio station license and operator’s license
  • Proof of eligibility for Veteran or Disabled (Form MV5) license plate
Original title and registration and registration renewal
*Plates are surrendered when no longer eligible
DisabledForm MV5 or permanent (blue) parking placard issued by Montana MVDOriginal title and registration
*Cannot be transferred if disabled individual is removed as owner.
Disabled VeteranAn official letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs stating the disability rating or payment statusOriginal title and registration
*DV plates cannot be transferred to/retained by surviving spouse
Ex-Prisoner of WarU.S. Department of Defense form DD-214Original title and registration
*Surviving spouse may retain license plate if not remarried
Gold Star FamilyComplete the State of Montana Application for Gold Star Family License Plate (Form MV57) and provide the supporting documentation listed on the formOriginal title and registration
Legion of ValorU.S. Department of Defense form DD-214Original title and registration
*Surviving spouse may retain license plate if not remarried
Military ReserveAn official certificate from unit commander or reenlistment document verifying eligibility and authorizing the department to issue the platesOriginal title and registration and registration renewal
*Plates are surrendered when no longer eligible
Montana State Council of Professional Fire Fighters1. Contact the sponsoring organization and request an application form at http://mscopff.org
2. Mail the completed application to the sponsoring organization
3. Once approved, provide the eligibility notification from the sponsoring organization and pay all applicable vehicle registration fees and any special license plate fees
Original title and registration and registration renewal
*Plates are surrendered when no longer eligible
Montana State Fire Chiefs’ Association1. Contact the sponsoring organization and request an application form at www.montanafirechiefs.com 
2. Mail the completed application to the sponsoring organization
3. Once approved, provide the eligibility notification from the sponsoring organization and pay all applicable vehicle registration fees and any special license plate fees
Original title and registration and registration renewal
*Plates are surrendered when no longer eligible
National GuardAn official certificate from unit commander or reenlistment document verifying eligibility and authorizing the department to issue the platesOriginal title and registration and registration renewal
*Plates are surrendered when no longer eligible
Next of KinComplete the State of Montana Application for Next of Kin of Deceased Personnel License Plate (Form MV58) and provide the supporting documentation listed on the formOriginal title and registration
Pearl Harbor SurvivorU.S. Department of Defense form DD-214 verifying eligibilityOriginal title and registration
*Surviving spouse may retain license plate if not remarried
Purple HeartU.S. Department of Defense form DD-214 verifying receipt of a Purple HeartOriginal title and registration
*Surviving spouse may retain license plate if not remarried
Purple Heart/Disabled Veteran CombinationAn official letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs stating the disability rating and U.S. Department of Defense form DD-214 verifying receipt of a Purple HeartOriginal title and registration and registration renewal
*DV plates cannot be transferred to/retained by surviving spouse.
Retired National GuardU.S. Department of Defense form DD-214 or its successorOriginal title and registration
*Surviving spouse may retain license plate if not remarried
Richland County Ambulance Service/Sidney Health Center1. Contact the sponsoring organization and request an application form http://sidneyhealth.org
2. Mail the completed application to the sponsoring organization
3. Once approved, provide the eligibility notification from the sponsoring organization and pay all applicable vehicle registration fees and any special license plate fees
Original title and registration and registration renewal
*Plates are surrendered when no longer eligible
VeteranU.S. Department of Defense form DD-214Original title and registration
*Surviving spouse may retain license plate if not remarried

Registration Purposes Only (RPO)

An “RPO” is issued for customers in specific circumstances. The situations where RPOs are issued and requirements are described below.

SituationRequirementsFrequency
A vehicle registered in another jurisdiction and is being used for gainful employment per MCA 61-3-701 must be registered in Montana. Vehicles in this scenario are not titled in Montana.

Applicant must provide:

  • Evidence of ownership
  • Current registration from the other jurisdiction
Original registration and registration renewal
A vehicle is owned by the federal government. Some federal agencies prefer to display state of Montana plates rather than federal government exempt plates.Applicant must complete and submit MVD Form MV54 provided by the MVD (contact [email protected] to request application)Original registration and registration renewal
A non-resident customer is a health care professional employed in Montana by a rural health care facility or in an area identified as having shortages of certain services as described in MCA 15-6-217 and MCA 61-3-707.
  • Applicant is seeking vehicle registration in an area identified at http://hpsafind.hrsa.gov/ to determine if applicant works in a Health Care Professional Shortage Area (HPSA)
  • Vehicle must be currently registered in another jurisdiction
  • MVD Form MV104
Original registration and registration renewal

Special Mobile Equipment

Special mobile equipment includes vehicles deemed as personal property that occasionally travel on state highways but are not designed or used primarily for transportation of persons or property.

Equipment that is permanently attached to a vehicle does not make the vehicle special mobile equipment. To evaluate if your vehicle may be a special mobile, click the link below.

https://dojmt.gov/special-mobile-vehicle-examples/

In Montana, special mobile equipment is registered and not titled. Before processing a special mobile transaction, the customer should provide a receipt to verify that personal property taxes have been paid via the county treasurer’s office. For more on this topic, click this link: https://mtrevenue.gov/property/property-types/personal-property/

SituationRequirementsFrequency
Equipment known to be special mobileProof of ownership and personal property tax paymentOriginal registration and registration renewal
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