License Plates

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The Vehicle Services Bureau regulates the issuance of vehicle license plates. The following guidelines and procedures apply:

  • License plates are issued for a one-year period, by the County Treasurer in the county where owner of the vehicle resides.
  • As of 2001, license plates for light vehicles (1 ton or less) of any age may be registered for 24 months (2 years), or a permanent registration may be issued for vehicles 11 years and older. A two year registration costs 2 x 1yr registration, and a permanent registration costs approximately 5 x 1yr registration. Please contact our office for more information.
  • A vehicle may be operated without plates for a 40-day grace period, before registration, by displaying a temporary registration permit issued by a dealer; or issued by the County Treasurer in the case of a private sale. (During the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, temporary registration permits are automatically extended for 90 days past the date listed on the permit)
  • Anniversary months for renewal of plates are assigned according to the month in which the vehicle is first registered. The anniversary month is identified on the tab on the rear license plate.
  • A renewal notice is mailed for passenger vehicles and light trucks on the staggered system. Failure to receive the notice does not relieve the owner of renewal responsibility.
  • License plates stay with the owners and may be transferred to another vehicle ONLY by the owner of the license plate and upon proper application made through the County Treasurer's office.

For more information on License Plates, please visit the State of Montana's web page on License Plate information.