Motor Vehicle Department - Vehicle Title & Registration

(We DON'T do drivers licenses)
WELCOME BACK!
 
We're happy to be open, but we're also busy!  Due to the record number of dealership sales, a large increase in out-of-state transfers and private sales, we are experiencing the highest volume of title completions in Gallatin County's history - more than 4,000 titles a month!  
Regretfully, you should expect long wait times
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION CAREFULLY!
 
OFFICE HOURS:  
The BOZEMAN Office (311 West Main, Bozeman, MT) is open to walk-in traffic using the take-a-number system, Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. 
The BELGRADE Office (312 West Main, Belgrade, MT) is open to walk-in traffic using the take-a-number system, Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. 
Expect long waits!  No time to wait?  Make an appointment here.
 
COVID RESPONSE: 
Per Governor Bullock's recent directive, anyone visiting one of our offices will be required to wear a mask/face covering.  IN ORDER FOR US TO REMAIN OPEN, as a courtesy to staff, and out of respect for your health and that of our other customers, we ask that you please:
1.  Do not bring children into the office unless absolutely necessary.
2.  Do not bring friends or family unless necessary to complete your transaction.
3.  Wear a mask/facecovering.
4.  Follow specific social distancing guidelines and signs in the offices.
5.  Only bring a maximum of 2 transactions per customer.
6.  If you cannot wear a mask, please make an appointment with our Bozeman Office here.  If our lobby is full and we cannot properly offer social distancing during your appointment, you will be asked to wait outside while we can complete your transaction.  
 
TRANSACTION LIMITATIONS:
Due to the number of customers waiting to be served, we are limiting the following:
1.  We can only process 2 transactions per customer/per day.
2.  We are NOT processing personalized (vanity) plate transactions as they are not considered essential and take a long time to process. 
 
JUST HOW FAR BEHIND ARE WE? 
  • PHONE CALLS:  It's not you, it's us.  We are receiving 500+ phone messages a week and struggling to return them all.  We advise you to email us at mv@gallatin.mt.gov.
  • ONLINE RENEWALS:  Gallatin County is partnering with the State of Montana Department of Justice to process online renewals within 2 business days of receipt of your payment.  Paid but didn't receive yours?  It may have been returned to us.  Check to make sure that we have your current address.  If you haven't received your tabs within 2 weeks, and your mail is not forwarded by the post office, email us at mv@gallatin.mt.gov so we can update your address and attempt to locate your renewal documents.
  • MAIL-IN RENEWALS: Please allow two and a half weeks to process your mail-in renewal.  If you haven't received your renewal documents in the mail within three weeks, email us at mv@gallatin.mt.gov for a status update.   
  • ONLINE DEALERSHIP SUBMITTALS: It generally takes three weeks for a dealership to send us your title work.  Please don't submit a request unless you've received notice from your dealership that we have received your documents.  The average time between your submittal to us and completion is also three weeks.  No time to wait?  Please schedule an appointment with us here.
  • NOTIFICATION POSTCARDS: To decrease the amount of public waiting in our lobbies, we have not been sending out notification postcards or texts letting customers know that we have their paperwork.  Please check the link in the upper left-hand corner of this page or email us at mv@gallatin.mt.gov.
HOW CAN YOU HELP US HELP YOU FASTER? 
We ask that you please:
1.  Do not submit any online requests for us to process unless you are willing to pay as soon as you've received an electronic invoice. 
2.  Do not leave repeated/multiple voicemails or emails.
4.  Take advantage of the Governor's 30 or 90-day extensions as listed below - if you qualify.
5.  Please search this website for answers to your questions, including the FAQ link on the left-hand side of this page.
 
EXTENDED DEADLINES FOR VEHICLE TITLING, REGISTRATION AND RENEWALS:
  • NEW DEALERSHIP PURCHASES:  If you purchased a vehicle from a dealership on or after March 16, 2020, you have an automatic 90-day extension to title and register your vehicle. 
  • RENEWALS:  Customers have an additional 30 day grace period past their expiration.   
To process your title and registration requests electronically, please use the submission form (also found on the upper left corner of this page) to submit your request.  We will process submissions in the order in which they are received.  We ask that you kindly allow up to four weeks before contacting us about the status of your submittal.  You will receive an electronic invoice according to the instructions you provide using this form once your transaction is near completion. That invoice will show that it is from a 208 phone number or may reflect that it is from Prompt Pay or Access Idaho/NIC Inc.  If it is from one of those sites, it is legitimate and secure.  Please make the payment as soon as possible.  Failure to make payment within three days of the receipt of your invoice will cause your paperwork to be moved to the end of our submittal queue.  We don't want that, and neither do you!    
 
ONLINE REGISTRATION RENEWALS (TABS):
The fastest way to update your registration (even registrations expired up to 10 months) is to do so online using the State of Montana's website found here.  Once you make payment, law enforcement records are automatically updated even before you receive your registration renewal and tabs in the mail.  As long as we have the correct address for mailing, you should receive your registration, tabs and/or plates in the mail within 7 business days.  If you submitted an online renewal but received a plate instead of just the stickers, it's likely because your plates have not been updated in the past 5 years as required to ensure the integrity of the the reflective coating, or because the font used on some older plates has been adjusted per law enforcement request.

Can't renew online?  If your registration is EXPIRED and you have a reminder from the State of Montana, you can still submit the amount due listed on that notice via check and mail it.  You will not incur a late fee, but you will only be renewed for the period you would have if you had paid on time.  

ADDRESS UPDATES: If you just need to update your address with our office (e.g., recently moved to a new address in Gallatin County), please send us an email with your old and new address - mv@gallatin.mt.gov.
 
APPOINTMENTS: Appointments are currently available using this link.  PLEASE carefully read your email confirmation from Schedulicity.  We cannot commit to completing your transaction if you don't bring all of the necessary documents.
 
ANSWERS TO FAQ'S:  Please visit https://dojmt.gov/driving/vehicle-title-and-registration/ for more information on titling and registering motor vehicles in Montana.
 
CONTACT OUR OFFICE:  If you cannot find the information you need using this webpage, we strongly recommend that you email us at mv@gallatin.mt.gov, but please allow up to three business days for us to respond.  We continue to be extremely far behind in responding to phone messages. While you are welcome to call 406-582-3080 between the hours of 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, we may not be able to answer your call.  If you leave a phone message, there is no guarantee that your call will be returned the same day.  Please leave us your name, number, and a brief description of your question. If there is a specific vehicle in question, please leave either the last six digits of the VIN or the Montana plate number.
 
We are dedicated to providing you with the best customer service possible under the circumstances, with limited staff 
and our limited control.
Thank you for your patience as we overhaul our processes
and please be well.
 
-Your Gallatin County Motor Vehicle Team
 
WE DO NOT PROCESS MONTANA DRIVERS' LICENSES OR REAL ID AT THIS LOCATION.
To make an appointment at a Drivers Services location for a driver's license, REAL ID, knowledge testing, road testing, driver's license transfer, most VIN inspections, and other related services, please visit:  https://dojmt.gov/driving/ or call 866-450-8034 (toll-free). The Gallatin County Driver's License Office is located at 2005 Gilkerson Dr. #B, Bozeman, MT (off of Griffin Drive).
 
Register your Vehicle Permanently:
Qualifying vehicles are 11 years or older. So, this year, 2020, all 2009 vehicles are now eligible. If you are late to renew your registration from the previous year, then you will not qualify until the following year. Fees for permanently registering a vehicle vary based on the value, weight, etc., but you can estimate the cost as being roughly three times the total of an annual renewal. You can call or email our office to get a quote for your permanent registration total. 
 
FAQ's
What do I do if my Out of State Title is being held by Bank?
To be able to register your vehicle in Montana, you will need to request that title from your bank and have them send it to our office.
Please visit our informational pages about out-of-state transfers, found HERE.
How do I get a Handicap Placard/Plate?
To get a Handicap Placard, you and your doctor must fill out an MV5, a Disability Permit/License Plate Application. To receive a placard, you will send this form to the address in Helena listed at the top of the form, PO Box 201431, Helena, MT 59620. The form can be found here. Your doctor's office can usually fax this form to Helena for you. 
To get a Handicap Plate, you can either bring in the completed MV5 (which we will keep and put on file), or if you already have a blue handicap placard, then you can bring that in as well, and we will take a copy of it for our files.
I lost my Montana Title- how do I get a replacement?
You can use the Application for Replacement Certificate of Title, the MV7, and either send it directly to the state with $10.30, or you can complete the transaction in our office by going to the door labeled Room 104 in Bozeman (or at any desk in our Belgrade office). The form can be found here.
I received a Lien Release from my bank; what should I do now?
You have three options after you receive the lien release:
  • You can attach it directly to your Montana title and keep them in a safe place for future use.
  • You can come into our office so we can release it from the system, and then attach the lien release to your current Montana title.
  • You can come into our office so we can release it from our system, and then for $10.30, we can order you a clean title that does not have the lien printed on it at all.
I need a temporary permit for my car; what do I need to do?
If you have recently purchased the vehicle, you will need to bring in proof of a valid sale. If it was a Montana vehicle, that means either a notarized Montana title or a notarized bill of sale. (If either of these things has a notary date that is older than 40 days, we cannot issue a temporary permit.)
If you have an out-of-state vehicle (already in your name), you can get a temporary permit with your out-of-state registration (if it has not been expired for more than 90 days).
What do I need for Veteran Plates/Veteran Disability?
If you want to purchase veteran plates for your vehicle, please bring us a copy of your DD214 to keep on file.
If you want to purchase Disabled Veteran plates for your vehicle, you will need to bring in your letter from the Veteran Affairs office.
You must have either 100% disability rating or a minimum of 50% with a Purple Heart Designation to be able to qualify for any fee exemptions.
What do I need for proof of residency?
If you do not have a Montana Driver’s License or ID, you must present:
  • A Government Issued Photo ID
    • Out of State Driver’s License or ID
    • Passport
  • A Rental Agreement signed by you and your Landlord (within the last year)
  • The deed to your home, the property tax statement, or closing documents to your home
  • OR Two forms of proof that are in your name and reflect your physical address
    • Acceptable forms are:
      • Bank Statements
      • Insurance Card
      • Utility Bill
      • Certified Court Documents
      • Montana Hunting/Fishing License
      • Pay Stub
      • Phone Bill
      • School Transcript/Report Card
      • Voter Registration
      • For people without a physical address a written statement on letterhead from a Montana Social Services Agency verifying residency status and descriptive address
Each State's Title Requirements can be found in the Title Manual
Located here. We honor the rules of the state that your title comes from. Ex: California does not require notarization, so you can register a vehicle in Montana by providing a California title that has just been signed off of by the previous owners. 
Jennifer Blossom

Gallatin County Treasurer/Motor Vehicle Supervisor