Montana has some of the most pristine, scenic areas in the West, including Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. It is also home to the Old Faithful geyser and Flathead Lake. If you’re moving to Montana soon, there are four tasks you’re most likely to complete are:
- Change of Address Registration (Driver License or ID Card)
- Getting a Montana driver’s license (new residents and military personnel)
- Military services license requirements
- Updating your vehicle registration (for residents, military, and non-residents)
In this article, we’ll tell you about the state-specific guidelines you must follow once you become a Montana resident.
Change of Address Registration (Driver License or ID Card)
Individuals must notify Montana’s Motor Vehicle Division within ten days of a change of address. State law requires this deadline in case there are any registration problems. If the state’s MVD cannot reach a driver, the person could lose their driving privileges.
To update or file an address with the MVD, complete the Change of Driver License Address (Electronic Record, Form 34-0300). There is no fee for updating your record online. This form is available from county treasurer and driver’s license stations. People can also get them from Montana Highway Patrol officers.
If you want your new address on your photo driver licenses, you must:
- Visit a Montana driver’s license station and get a replacement driver’s license.
- Pay the replacement driver license fee at the driver’s license station. Pre-paid receipts will have a nominal fee variation when paid at a county treasurer’s office.
Getting a Montana Driver’s License (New Residents)
Out-of-state drivers can apply for a Montana driver’s license. The state’s Motor Vehicles Division requires drivers to do the following:
- Individuals must apply for a state driver’s license within 60 days of moving to the state if the applicants seek non-commercial licenses.
- People seeking a commercial driver’s license must apply within 30 days of arriving in Montana.
Additionally, they must provide the required documentation:
The MVD may ask new residents to pass a written test, road test, and a vision test. Driver examiners may use this at their discretion and can waive these tests for people who have a valid license issued by another state.
Driver Licenses for Military Personnel
Montana’s MVD has specific regulations for military members who want to apply for a driver’s license within the state.
- Active-duty personnel who have a valid driver’s license (issued by another state) don’t need to get a state license if they don’t have a non-military job.
- If armed forces spouses get jobs within the state, they have 90 days to get a driver’s license after they find employment.
- Personnel (with valid Montana driver’s licenses when they enter the military) may use a state driver’s license until 90 days after an honorable discharge.
- If you’re stationed out of state and need a military exemption, you can request an extension using the Military Exempt Status Driver License by Mail Form (34-1303).
You can renew your Montana driver’s license by mail. Download the Instructions page and Mail-In Renewal Standard License Form (21-1900A). For details, contact the Motor Vehicle Division Customer Care Center at (866) 450-8034. If you are out of state, e-mail the Motor Vehicle Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Active duty doesn’t include full-time active duty with the National Guard unless the National Guard has been called to federal service (ARM 233141). More military resources are available on the military services page.
Car Registration in Montana
Under state law, new residents must apply for a title and register their vehicles within 60 days of establishing their residency.
Residents who move to another county may continue using their plates until their registration renewal date. The state requires residents to update their address with the MVD Driver Services Bureau within ten days of moving. Their current vehicle registration and plates remain active until it expires. Once it does, they can renew their vehicle registration with the county treasurer’s office. Citizens with permanently registered vehicles don’t have to take any registration action.
For a list of current registration fees, visit this page.
Montana Car Registration (Military and Non-Residents)
Montana has special car registration rules for military and non-residents.
- Military Employees: Non-residents stationed in Montana may register their vehicles in their home state. If they hold a job outside the military, they must register their vehicles in Montana.
- Non-Residents: Under the MCA 61-3-701 through 704, non-residents who have a job in-state must register. They should present their current out-of-state registration to the county treasurer’s office. Taxes or fees (in lieu of taxes) are due, along with registration fees (U.S. funds only). Non-residents may register by the calendar quarter. The vehicle must display the license plates from both its home state and from Montana.
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