Things to know when selling your vehicle to a private party:
1. You cannot sell a vehicle with a Montana title unless it is titled and registered to you first. Once your name is written on the title as the purchaser, you are obligated to title and register that vehicle before you can resell it.
2. You must provide the purchaser with the most current, unaltered title, properly signed by ALL of the owners listed on the title in front of a notary. A bill of sale does not replace a Montana title. If the vehicle's title has been lost or destroyed, you will need to obtain a new one by completing an Application for Replacement Certificate of Title (Form MV7). This form can be filled out and printed on your computer, or printed and completed manually. Mail the completed form and a $10.30 fee to: Montana Vehicle Services Bureau, P.O. Box 201431, Helena, MT 59620-1431. Replacement titles can take up to four weeks to receive.
3. If your title shows that there was a lien on the vehicle, you MUST provide the purchaser with a lien release. That document can only be obtained and provided by you by contacting your bank.
4. Sellers must always close the title by writing the purchaser's name and information on the title. Open titles are not legal in the State of Montana, and can allow the purchaser to re-sell the vehicle without any tracking and cause issues for you down the road - see the following points.
5. FOR YOUR PROTECTION, it's a good idea for the seller to also get a Notarized Bill of Sale signed by the purchaser. Private sales are not reported to the State of Montana until the purchaser properly titles and registers the vehicle in their name(s) with our office - leaving it in yours. Without proof of sale, you can be held liable for any parking tickets, toll fees, or other fines and fees aquired by the purchaser! It happens more than you think.
6. REMOVE your plates from the vehicle! You might want to be helpful to the purchaser by allowing them to use your plates until they can properly register the vehicle. See #5 above. Remove the plates. Purchasers can use the bill of sale or closed title to prove ownership to law enforcement in the interim.