Paperwork When Buying a Car in Montana

When you buy a car in Montana, you'll need to receive paperwork from the seller in order to properly transfer ownership.

Use this guide to find out more about the documents the Montana Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) requires to title and register your car following a purchase.

Paperwork for Montana Car Buyers

What you need to title and register your new car depends on how you purchased it: from a dealership, or from a private party.

If you purchase a car from a dealer, the dealership will almost always provide your county treasurer's office with the necessary paperwork required for titling and registration. However, if circumstances are different for some reason, make sure you obtain EITHER:

  • The Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO) for new cars.
  • The vehicle title for used or certified pre-owned cars.

For cars bought from a private seller, you'll need to obtain the vehicle title in order to transfer ownership yourself.

Items to be completed on the title include the following:

  • The current odometer reading.
  • The purchase price.
  • The sale date.
  • Signatures from both you and the seller.

If the title has been lost, it's the seller's responsibility to apply for a new one before completing the sale. They may do so by submitting an Application for Replacement Certificate of Title (Form MV7) to the Montana MVD.

MT Vehicle Registration Paperwork

In order to properly title and register your car, bring the following paperwork to your local county treasurer's office:

For more information on how to title and register your new car in Montana, visit our sections on Title Transfers and Car Registration.

Out-of-State Registrations

In addition to those documents above, the following paperwork may be required when attempting to title and register a vehicle from another state:

  • The current out-of-state vehicle registration.
  • A completed Statement of Fact (Form MV100).
  • A Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin OR a bill of sale.
    • May be needed if you don't have a title.
  • Your out-of-state license plates.

Bonded Titles

If you buy a vehicle without a title or registration and the seller is unable to apply for duplicate, you'll need to acquire a bonded title. You will need:

Drop all of this off in person at your local county treasurer's office, or mail it to:

  • Vehicle Services Bureau
  • Motor Vehicle Division
  • Montana Department of Justice
  • 302 N Roberts
  • Helena, MT 59620

Bill of Sale

Though a bill of sale is not required for registering and titling your vehicle, it's always smart to keep a copy of one for your records. You'll probably never need it, but if you do you'll be glad you have it on file. You can easily download a copy of this document from our Bill of Sale page.


Application for Break/Bond Title
Use this MVD form to apply for a Montana title for a vehicle without a title.
Application for Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle
Apply for a new vehicle title with the Montana Motor Vehicle Division.
Application for Replacement Certificate of Title
Request a duplicate Montana vehicle title from the MVD.
Statement of Facts
Supplementary form used to add or clarify information related to driver and vehicle transactions with the MVD
Vehicle Identification Number Inspection Certificate
If required, submit this vehicle/vessel/off-highway vehicle identification number inspection form to the Montana MVD for title and registration purposes. Must be completed by a certified inspector.
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