How to Transfer a Vehicle Title in Montana

A title transfer is required in Montana to prove ownership if you bought a new or used car. The title transfer is required if you sold, donated, or gifted your car, too.

The title transfer process is easy in the state of Montana requiring a few steps filing info, paying fees, and submitting paperwork. In this article, you’ll learn how to transfer a title between private parties including as an inheritance or gift. Plus, how it’s done when coming from out-of-state or via dealers.

Montana Auto Title Transfers: How It’s Done

Selling your vehicle or buying one through a private sale? You usually have about 30-days until you need to register the vehicle.

This is the process (including both parties):

  1. Retrieve the vehicle’s title or request a duplicate title
    1. Buyers: You may need a lien release from the current owner
    2. Sellers: Provide a lien release to the buyer if needed
  2. Fill the title transfer section on the Montana certificate of title – including:
    1. Full legal name and address of buyer and current owner
    2. Date of sale (month, day, and year)
    3. Notarized signature of the seller
  3. Complete the Application for Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle (MV1)
    1. Buyer/seller information
    2. The vehicle description
    3. Odometer declaration (if applicable)
    4. Application signatures
    5. Bill of sale
  4. Bring any necessary documents:
    1. Proof of identification
    2. Proof of insurance
    3. Documents stating any liens have been paid
  5. Pay the taxes and fees
    1. Title: $12
    2. With lien: $8.24

Always keep copies of the bill of sale for record-keeping. Complete these steps and you’ll have completed the title transfer process.

Alternative Title Transfers

Montana wants to know when titles are transferred outside of private sales whether buying from a car lot or passing the vehicle & title around family and friends.

Buying from Dealerships

Dealerships will process your title & registration, sending documents to their appropriate locations. If they don’t, request the forms and deliver them to an MT DMV. The DMV will process your information and you’ll be soon on your way.

Out-of-State Vehicles

You’ll have about 60 days to transfer your out-of-state title. This process involves bringing your title/registration, filing the MV1 form and (if applicable) MV100 form, and paying your fees. After it’s completed, you’re good to go.

Inheriting a Vehicle

Inheriting a vehicle involves having the surviving family members or the probated estate transfer the title to the new owner. This may involve showing a death certificate while filing the MV1 form. This process is identical for non-probated estates minus an executor handling the process.

Gifted/Donated Vehicles

The process of gifting or donating your vehicle is largely the same as passing it to a family member. You will complete the process much like transferring a title through private sales. You’ll set the sale price at $0 and may also file extra paperwork to get a tax incentive.