Selling a Car in Montana

When you’re selling a vehicle in Montana, there are some requirements that you must meet. We’ve collected the appropriate information here regarding these requirements so you can make sure you know exactly what you need to do to ensure an easy, hassle-free vehicle sale.

1. Title Information

In Montana, you can only sell a vehicle if you have complete ownership of it. In other words, any “lien” (loan) on the vehicle must be paid off before you can sell the vehicle. If you have paid off a lien, double-check your title to make certain that the lien has been released. If not, have the lienholder submit a Lien Release to the state.

You should also make certain that you have the actual title. If you cannot find the title, you’ll need to request a replacement title from the Montana Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) office. You will need the physical title so that you can fill out the necessary information for the buyer as proof of the transfer of the vehicle. Both your signature and the buyer’s signature will be necessary and are required by law to be notarized.

2. Bill of Sale Requirements

Montana requires people to submit a Bill of Sale when they sell a vehicle. The Bill of Sale should include the following:

  • The new owner’s name
  • The full address of the new owner
  • The seller’s name
  • The full address of the seller
  • The date of the sale
  • The sale price
  • A full and detailed vehicle description, including the vehicle’s make, model, year, series number (if applicable) and body type (2-door, 4-door, sedan, etc.), as well as the vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The vehicle odometer reading at the time of sale
  • The signature of the seller
  • The signature of the buyer

You can use the state’s Bill of Sale form to take care of this requirement.

3. Inspections

Montana has no vehicle inspection or emission testing requirements. You are not responsible for any such testing before you sell your vehicle.

4. License Plates

In Montana, when you sell your vehicle, the license plates stay with you instead of remaining with the vehicle. Transferring the plates is possible as long as you register the vehicle through the county treasurer. If you are not going to transfer the plates to a new vehicle, make sure you return them to the MVD before you cancel your insurance or you could face unintended fines or liability for the vehicle after you’ve sold it.

5. Odometer Disclosure Requirements

Montana requires people to formally disclose the vehicle odometer reading when they sell a vehicle that is 10 years old or newer. Completing the odometer reading section on the title transfer form is sufficient to fulfill this requirement.

6. Other Information

If you have questions or want more details regarding vehicle selling, check out the Montana Motor Vehicles Division website.