Montana Car Registration: The 6 Most Common Mistakes People Make

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Let’s be honest, life has become quite expensive these days. In order to save money, people tend to try and do things themselves instead of paying for someone else to do it for them. Generally this isn’t a problem but sometimes it can cause issues and difficulties when mistakes are made or something is done differently to the way it ought to be done.

There is one area where you want to avoid mistakes wherever possible, and that is with the Montana car registration process. It may be that you are an out of state resident and simply want to buy/register your vehicle in Montana. Or you may be planning to move to Montana.

You can legally purchase a vehicle and register it in Montana, thus saving on sales tax, but first you will need to look into forming an LLC. Before you do that, though, you will need to do some looking into the process of how to register your car in Montana to ensure that you don’t make any of the following mistakes.

Understandably you will want to get the process over and done with as soon as possible so that you can get into your car and get driving. However, to avoid any legal hitches down the road, you need to ensure that this process is done correctly. While there are companies out there who can do it all for you, it isn’t impossible to do it yourself, as long as you know how to avoid making one or more of the following mistakes.


  1. Using Your Own Name On the Title (Instead of an LLC)


You need to be careful that you don’t put the cart before the horse when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. In other words, before you buy your vehicle you will need to form your LLC (Limited Liability Company) so that you can purchase the vehicle through the Montana LLC.

If you have done it the right way, then you can simply get a certificate of origin from the manufacturer or else a title from the dealer or private party from whom you are buying your vehicle. 

However, if you have gone and done things back to front by buying your vehicle first and only then forming your LLC, it will be your own name on the title instead of the LLC’s name. This means that you are going to have to first form a chain of ownership by transferring ownership from yourself to your LLC. In order to do this you will need to fill out a bill of sale. 

When completing the bill of sale, fill out the buyer section the same way you would a Montana car registration title application. Be sure to fill it in correctly and put the address of your LLC on the form. Once you have filled out the bill of sale you will have to get it signed and notarized.


  1. Making Mistakes On the Title


Something you need to keep in mind when going through the Montana car registration process is that the title needs to be extremely accurate. All information needs to be entered correctly and no errors are allowed on the paperwork. This includes water damage, small rips or tears or even smudges. The title needs to be in pristine condition so ensure that you store it in a safe, secure spot — this means no keeping it stored in the glove compartment of the car. 

You have to make sure that you don’t cross out anything or white out any information in order to enter the correct information. If you do cross out information then the title will not be accepted. 

No matter how careful a person is, there is still the chance of a mistake being made even if it is a small and honest mistake. For instance, you might spell your name incorrectly or sign your maiden name. Perhaps you are so used to writing a nickname you are known by and so you wrote that on the title instead of your full name. It happens. It’s even possible to enter the incorrect VIN number or model name.

When this happens you will need to check with the DMV what their process is for correcting the mistakes. In some cases you could draw a line through the incorrect information and write in the correct information.

You will then need to write a statement regarding the reason for the correction, get it notarized and then you can hand it in at the DMV so that they can issue you with a title that has the correct information on it. Alternatively, you may be required to go into the DMV yourself and be present whilst they correct the mistakes.


  1. Failing to Notarize or Sign Documents Correctly


It is a requirement in Montana that the seller’s signature on a Montana vehicle title be notarized. If any error has been made either by the notary or the signee, then the document will not be accepted. You will then have to print out a Statement of Fact, which will need to be completed and filed with the title. 

Before you buy a vehicle, make sure that the seller’s signature is on the title. Then you need to make sure that you sign it correctly and that the signatures are notarized correctly by a Notary. Transferring an open title is illegal so you will want to make sure that you check this very carefully in order to avoid any legal ramifications later on. 

Another thing to be aware of when buying your vehicle is to take careful note of the seller’s name on the title and the name of the person selling you the car. If they are not the same then you need to either walk away from the deal (it could be a dodgy deal) or else get the seller to correct the mistake and get a replacement title at the DMV. It is easier for the seller to correct the mistake on their side before you sign than it will be for you to correct it at a later date.


  1. Not Brining Enough Money to Pay Fees


Right from the get-go you need to be aware that you are going to be required to pay certain fees in order to register your car and get a Montana license plate. Compared to any other state, the fees in Montana are minimal and very affordable. These fees are going to differ depending on your vehicle, specifically the age of your vehicle. 

When you are doing research on how to register your car in Montana, make sure that you know exactly what the fees are going to be. Then, when you send in all your paperwork ensure that you will have enough money to cover those fees without problems. If you don’t, your car registration process is going to fall through.


  1. Sending Copies of Documents — Originals Are Needed


If you have made it through the whole process so far without falling victim to one of the above pitfalls, there is still this next point which has managed to catch a few people unawares. Some may think that it would be unsafe to send in the original documents (just in case something gets lost in the post), and so they make copies of all the documents, parcel it all up neatly and then send it off to the DMV. 

Unfortunately, sending copies just won’t cut it, as the DMV requires the original documents in order to complete your Montana car registration and send you your Montana license plate.

If they only get copies, they’re going to let you know that they can’t proceed and you will need to then send them the originals, which is going to mean a longer waiting period. So to avoid this delay, make sure that you send in originals of all your documents in order to prevent there being any delay.


  1. Submitting Documents to the Wrong DMV


 If you have managed to make it through all of the previous steps without making any mistakes, don’t heave a sigh of relief just yet because another area where people end up making a faux pas is sending their Montana car registration documents to the wrong DMV address. No, really, it has happened. In fact, it has happened more often than you would think it ought to.

The problem comes in when title work is sent in to the state DMV instead of to the county DMV. Whilst you are going through the registration process in Montana, you need to send all your vehicle title paperwork to the specific county DMV’s office.


Avoid the Above Pitfalls …

For many people, being able to name all the different shades of color on the color spectrum is something they don’t feel the need to do. However, to others this might come naturally. When it comes to the Montana car registration process, though, you will want to use only the basic color spectrum and not the entire spectrum.

For example, if the car you want to register is blue then say blue on the form. Don’t try to specify what kind of blue it is. If you put azure blue or periwinkle blue then it won’t be accepted. Blue is blue, so keep it simple. 

At the end of the day, if you avoid succumbing to these common errors then your Montana car registration process will go smoothly and it won’t be long before you’ll be sporting that new Montana license plate. Alternatively, you could make use of a good agency to do all the work for you.

Learn more about Montana RV Registration and Montana Vehicle Registration


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