Frequently Asked Questions
JUST HOW FAR BEHIND ARE WE?
- PHONE CALLS: It's not you, it's us. We are receiving 500+ phone messages a week and struggling to return them all. We advise you to email us at (Motor Vehicle Email).
- ONLINE RENEWALS: Paid but didn't receive yours? It may have been returned to us. Check to make sure that we have your current address. If you haven't received your tabs within 3 weeks, and your mail is not forwarded by the post office, email us at (Motor Vehicle Email).so we can update your address and attempt to locate your renewal documents.
- MAIL-IN RENEWALS: Please allow 2-3 weeks to process your mail-in renewal. If you haven't received your renewal documents in the mail within three weeks, email us at (Motor Vehicle Email). for a status update.
- ONLINE DEALERSHIP SUBMITTALS: It generally takes three weeks for a dealership to send us your title work. Please don't submit a request unless you've received notice from your dealership that we have received your documents. The average time between your submission to us and completion is also up to 4-6 weeks.
HOW CAN YOU HELP US HELP YOU FASTER?
We ask that you please:
- Do not submit any online requests for us to process unless you are willing to pay as soon as we are completed with your transaction.
- Do not leave repeated/multiple voicemails or emails.
ONLINE REGISTRATION RENEWALS (TABS):
The fastest way to update your registration (even registrations expired up to 10 months) is to do so online using the State of Montana's website found here: https://mt.vitu.com/mvdyourway/vrguest/renewal. Once you make the payment, law enforcement records are automatically updated even before you receive your registration renewal and tabs in the mail. As long as we have the correct address for mailing, you should receive your registration, tabs, and/or plates in the mail within 7 business days. If you submitted an online renewal but received a plate instead of just the stickers, it's likely because your plates have not been updated in the past 5 years as required to ensure the integrity of the reflective coating, or because the font used on some older plates has been adjusted per law enforcement request.
Can't renew online? If your registration is EXPIRED and you have a reminder from the State of Montana, you can still submit the amount due listed on that notice via check and mail it. You will not incur a late fee, but you will only be renewed for the period you would have if you had paid on time.
ADDRESS UPDATES: If you need to update your address with our office, you must come in person with your valid Identification Card.
CONTACT OUR OFFICE: If you cannot find the information you need using this webpage, we strongly recommend that you email us at (Motor Vehicle Email)., but please allow up to 4-5 business days for us to respond. We continue to be extremely far behind in responding to phone messages. While you are welcome to call 406-497-6301 between our normal business hour from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, we may not be able to answer your call. If you leave a phone message, there is no guarantee that your call will be returned the same day. Please leave us your name, number, and a brief description of your question. If there is a specific vehicle in question, please leave either the last six digits of the VIN or the Montana plate number.
We are dedicated to providing you with the best customer service possible under the circumstances, with limited staff and our limited control.
Thank you for your patience as we overhaul our processes and please be well.
-Your Butte-Silver Bow Motor Vehicle Team
WE DO NOT PROCESS MONTANA DRIVERS' LICENSES OR REAL ID AT THIS LOCATION.
To make an appointment at a Drivers Services location for a driver's license, REAL ID, knowledge testing, road testing, driver's license transfer, most VIN inspections, and other related services, please visit: https://mvdmt.gov/ or call 866-450-8034 (toll-free). The Butte-Silver Bow County Driver's License Office is located at 3611 Wynne Ave., Butte, Montana 59701.
Register your Vehicle Permanently:
Qualifying vehicles are 11 years or older. So, this year, 2021, all 2010 vehicles are now eligible. If you are late to renew your registration from the previous year, then you will not qualify until the following year. Fees for permanently registering a vehicle vary based on the value, weight, etc., but you can estimate the cost as being roughly three times the total of an annual renewal. You can call or email our office to get a quote for your permanent registration total again it could take up to 4-5 business days for us to respond.
Out of State Title Transfers Information
To be able to register your vehicle in Montana, you will need to request that title from your bank and have them send it to our office.
If you have recently moved to Montana and you have financing on your vehicle, you may need to submit a formal request to your lender to have your out-of-state title sent to one of our offices in order to obtain a Montana title/registration. There is a specific form provided by the State of Montana to make this request.
You will need to download and complete the https://mvdmt.gov/forms-manuals-vehicle-title-registration/ Request for Foreign Title Transfer (MV63) and fax it to your lender.
The "Secured Party Name and Address" at the top of the form refers to your lender's name and address.
On the "Applicant Name" line, it is helpful to include the names of all owners currently on the title of the vehicle.
The vehicle's year, make/model, and VIN are all required information. (Your existing registration or your loan packet should have this information.)
How do I get a Handicap Placard/Plate?
To get a Handicap Placard, you and your doctor must fill out an MV5, a Disability Permit/License Plate Application. To receive a placard, you will send this form to the address in Helena listed at the top of the form, PO Box 201431, Helena, MT 59620. The form can be found here: Forms and Manuals. Your doctor's office can usually fax this form to Helena for you.
To get a Handicap Plate, you can either email or drop-off the completed MV5 (which we will keep and put on file), or if you already have a blue handicap placard, then you can email/drop-off a copy that as well, and we will keep the copy of it for our files.
I lost my Montana Title- how do I get a replacement?
You can use the Application for Replacement Certificate of Title, the MV7, and either send it directly to the state with $10.30, or you can complete the transaction and email/drop-off along with payment of $10.30 and we will process your transaction. Please allow 4-6 weeks for your title if we process your transaction. The form can be found here: Request for Duplicate title (MV7).
I received a Lien Release from my bank; what should I do now?
You have three options after you receive the lien release:
- You can attach it directly to your Montana title and keep them in a safe place for future use.
- You can email/drop-off your title and lien release so we can release it from the system.
- You can drop-off/mail your title and lien release so we can release it from our system, and then for $10.30, we can order you a clean title that does not have the lien printed on it at all.
I need a temporary permit for my car; what do I need to do?
If you have recently purchased the vehicle, you will need to email/drop-off proof of a valid sale. If it was a Montana vehicle, that means either a notarized Montana title or a notarized bill of sale. If you have an out-of-state vehicle (already in your name), you can get a temporary permit with your out-of-state registration. The cost for a temporary permit is $20.09.
What do I need for Veteran Plates/Veteran Disability?
If you want to purchase veteran plates for your vehicle, please bring us a copy of your DD214 to keep on file. You must have either 100% disability rating or a minimum of 50% with a Purple Heart Designation to be able to qualify for any fee exemptions.
What do I need for proof of residency?
If you do not have a Montana Driver’s License or ID, you must present:
- A Government Issued Photo ID
- Out of State Driver’s License or ID
- A Rental Agreement signed by you and your Landlord (within the last year)
- The deed to your home, the property tax statement, or closing documents to your home
- OR Two forms of proof that are in your name and reflect your physical address
- Acceptable forms are:
- Bank Statements
- Insurance Card
- Utility Bill
- Certified Court Documents
- Montana Hunting/Fishing License
- Pay Stub
- Phone Bill
- School Transcript/Report Card
- Voter Registration
- For people without a physical address a written statement on letterhead from a Montana Social Services Agency verifying residency status and descriptive address
- Acceptable forms are:
Each State's Title Requirements can be found in the Title Manual
Located here: Motor Vehicle Division Forms and Manuals. We honor the rules of the state that your title comes from. Ex: California does not require notarization, so you can register a vehicle in Montana by providing a California title that has just been signed off by the previous owners.