New to Montana
Upon moving to Montana, there are a number of actions you'll take as you establish residency. These include titling and registering your vehicle, registering to vote, and transferring your out-of-state driver's license for a Montana one. If you're active duty military now stationed in Montana, some of these requirements may not apply to you based on your status.
The Montana Department of Justice's Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) consists of 4 bureaus, each of which handles a specific category of services:
- Driver License Bureau: Issues driver licenses and state ID cards; handles VIN inspections and driving skills exams.
- Title and Registration Bureau: Issues titles and registration; maintains motor vehicle records.
- Records and Driver Control Bureau: Provides driver license records; executes license suspensions and revocations mandated by the court.
- Operations and Customer Support Bureau: Operates the MVD Customer Care Center and CDL Helpdesk.
You may also interact with the Montana Secretary of State while establishing residency; it is responsible for elections and voter registration.
Are you bringing your out-of-state car with you into Montana? You'll need to have it registered in Montana within 60 days of your move. To do this, you'll need to visit your local MT MVD office in person with all the required documents and payment for the registration fee. You should also inform your out-of-state DMV office that you've moved and are registering your car in another state.
For more information, visit our Car Registration in Montana page.
If you have a special vehicle, such as a motorhome, off-road vehicle, or moped, your registration and licensing requirements may differ. For more information, visit our registration guide for Montana Special Vehicles.
Changing states is an excellent time to compare auto insurance providers. Make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck by visiting our Car Insurance in Montana page.
While there are no emissions or safety inspections requirements currently in Montana, it's still a good idea to have your car checked regularly. It can prevent costly repair fees in the long run and save you from being stuck with a broken down vehicle. For more information, visit our Car Inspections page.
When you move to Montana, you must transfer your out-of-state driver's license to the state within 60 days of moving. You'll need to visit your local MT MVD office in person and surrender your previous driver's license. For a complete list of documents you'll need, as well as applicable fees, visit our Applying for a New License in Montana page.
If you're a teenager with an out-of-state driver's license/permit, you will be able to transfer it for a MT driver's license as long as you meet the state's graduated driver's licensing (GDL) program requirements. Read our Applying for a New Teen License page for requirements.
Commercial Driver's License
If you need a commercial driver's license (CDL), your licensing process may differ. Follow the instructions on our Applying for a New CDL page.
If you don't intend on driving in your new state of Montana, you may wish to apply for an ID card instead. You can use an ID card to prove your identity, age, and address. You will need to visit your local MT MVD office and provide proof of your identity and payment for the ID card fee.
For more information, visit our Identification Cards in Montana page.
If you were registered as an organ donor and/or registered to vote in your previous state, it's important to note that your details aren't automatically updated to reflect your new Montana address. You'll need to re-register with Montana's registries once you become a resident.
You will be able to do this when you apply for a MT driver's license or ID card, or you can do it at another time separately. For more information, visit our following pages:
If you're in Montana temporarily to fulfill your military obligations, you should read our Drivers in the Military page. You may find that you are exempt from some licensing and registration rules that apply to those not currently serving in the military. Your spouse and/or dependents may also be eligible for these exemptions.
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