Montana Bill of Sale Form – DMV MT Information

In the State of Montana, a Bill of Sale Form is not required for most transactions of vehicles. But a Bill of Sale Form is highly recommended to be completed in order to protect both the buyer and the seller. The Bill of Sale provides a legal record of the transaction acting as a proof of purchase and proof of a release of liability.

A Bill of Sale is required in Montana if the vehicle’s title is missing. You will need to submit the Bill of Sale along with your application for a duplicate title.

Selling a vehicle in Montana can be done only through a licensed dealer or by the person whose name is on the title. When a person tries to sell a vehicle that he or she doesn’t legally own (i.e., he or she is not listed on the title), it’s called curbstoning and it’s illegal. Buying from an illegal dealer will put you at risk.

The State of Montana provides a Bill of Sale (Form MV24) or you can use a Generic Montana Bill of Sale Form.

Tips for filling out the title to sign it over to the buyer:

All fields must be completed in blue or black ink only.
White-out or attempts to erase or scratch out entries void the title.
The buyer’s name and address must be written on the title, per Montana law.
Sellers need to complete the odometer (mileage) disclosure. The mileage must be disclosed on any vehicle newer than nine years. (The year is calculated by subtracting the model year of the vehicle from the current year.)
All owners must sign the title in front of a notary public. Owners can have their signatures notarized without the buyer’s presence.
The buyer must sign the title. The person who signs must be the buyer written on the title.

A lien can occur when the owner of a vehicle took out a loan to buy the vehicle and hasn’t fully repaid the bank, lending institution, or private party who loaned the money. Liens can also be placed on a vehicle when the owner fails to pay child support or for other reasons.

It’s critical to have the security interest/lien resolved before purchasing the vehicle because the lien holder could have a legal claim to your vehicle if the previous owner doesn’t pay the loan.

The names and addresses of any security interests/liens are listed on the front of the title in the section labeled “This vehicle/vessel is subject to the following security interest” or a similar heading on out-of-state titles.

If you are buying a used vehicle, getting a history report – which lists accidents and major repairs on a specific car or truck – is a good idea. You may even be able to convince the seller to provide the vehicle history as a courtesy. Most research databases charge a small fee, but diligent research before making a purchase on the second most expensive consumer item is well worth the price when it could save you hundreds of dollars in the future.

To legally sell a vehicle, you must be the owner listed on the Certificate of Title. Every owner listed on the title must sign over the title in front of a notary public.

It is illegal for you to sell a vehicle that is not licensed and registered in your name unless you have a dealer’s license.

It is illegal for you to display or park a for-sale vehicle on property that you do not have a legal interest in, unless written permission from the property owner is displayed in the vehicle.

Take your license plates off the vehicle before giving it to the buyer. The plates belong to you, not the vehicle. Don’t let the buyer drive the vehicle home with the promise that they will return the plates. If you do not remove the plates, you may be liable for any parking or traffic violations that happen after the sale.

You can ask to transfer the plates to another vehicle you own; contact your County Treasurer’s office for more information. On a classic car or for personalized plates, if you want to transfer the plates to the buyer you must complete form MV100 Statement of Fact to relinquish all rights to the plates. The registration fees alone will not transfer the plates to the buyer.

Because the vehicle will not have license plates and the buyer will need plates to legally drive the vehicle, the best case scenario is for you to go to the County Treasurer’s office with the title and your buyer. You can then sign off in front of the clerk as owner/seller. Then the buyer can finish the transaction, pay the fees, and get a new set of license plates. You remove your plates from the vehicle and the formal transfer of ownership is complete.

Keep a Written Record of the Sale

You may download a PDF of a Seller’s Checklist and Buyer’s Acknowledgement Form as a helpful resource.

To sell your vehicle, you must have the title in your possession. If you don’t have the title, you or the owner of record will have to apply for a replacement title from the state where the vehicle was last titled.

When buying a motor vehicle, every situation will be unique. If you have a question about a specific circumstance, email [email protected] or call 406-444-3661.

It is your responsibility to be an informed and educated consumer. Buying a vehicle is a big decision. Know about the vehicle you want to buy and take your time when making a decision. Make sure you are informed and comfortable with your decision before you approach a dealer or private seller.

Read everything thoroughly when signing paperwork and ask questions if you don’t understand all of it. Buy within your means. When budgeting for a vehicle, consider the costs of maintenance and repairs.

If you would like to know if a dealer is legally licensed, you can email email [email protected] or call 406-444-3661 option 3.

Since you won’t have license plates yet, you can obtain a 40-day temporary registration permit from the dealer or from a Montana County Treasurer’s office.

If you are buying a used vehicle, getting a history report – which lists accidents and major repairs on a specific car or truck – is a good idea. You may even be able to convince the seller to provide the vehicle history as a courtesy. Most research databases charge a small fee, but diligent research before making a purchase on the second most expensive consumer item is well worth the price when it could save you hundreds of dollars in the future.

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is a good source as an independent database. Most states report to NMVTIS, which is designed to protect customers from fraud and unsafe vehicles. An NMVTIS vehicle history report provides data on five key indicators associated with prevention of auto fraud and theft: current state of title and last title date; brand history (e.g., junk, flood, hail, etc.); odometer reading; total loss history; and, salvage history. http://www.vehiclehistory.gov

Note the odometer declaration (mileage) on the title and compare it to the vehicle’s odometer. The mileage must be disclosed on any vehicle newer than nine years. (The year is calculated by subtracting the model year of the vehicle from the current year.) Examine the title closely if the mileage notation seems obscured or is not easy to read.

Compare the mileage on the odometer with the mileage on the vehicle’s maintenance or inspection records. Search for oil change and maintenance stickers on windows or door frames, in the glove box, or under the hood.

Examine the tires. If the odometer on the car shows 20,000 miles or less, the vehicle usually should have the original tires.

Watch for any odometer change warning decals. Federal law requires that a warning decal be placed on the driver’s door opening on the vehicle body, between the upper and lower hinge area, reflecting any odometer changes that have taken place in the past.

Compare the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the title with the VIN on the vehicle. They must match.

The VIN is usually located in two places: on the inside edge of the driver’s door, and where the dashboard meets the windshield on the driver’s side.

https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck

The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VINCheck is a free service provided to the public to assist in determining if a vehicle has been reported as stolen, but not recovered, or has been reported as a salvage vehicle by cooperating NICB members. A VIN is required to perform a search.

http://www.vehicleidentificationnumber.com/index.html

This site provides automobile history reports and information about VINs, deterring fraud and theft, and more.
Buy Insurance

When you’re ready to buy a vehicle, contact an insurance agent about purchasing motor vehicle liability insurance. Under state law, your vehicle must be insured.

When buying a used vehicle, the license plates must be removed by the seller. You must buy new license plates when you title and register your vehicle at the County Treasurer’s office in your county of residence.

Keep documentation of the sale with the seller’s name and address as your record of the sale. A record of the sale can be either a photocopy of the reassigned title or a form or document that includes the year, make, VIN, name, address, driver license number, and signature of the person to whom the vehicle is sold and the purchase price and date of sale of the vehicle. For your convenience, you can use form MV24 Bill of Sale.

As the buyer, you have 40 days from the sale date to transfer the ownership of the vehicle to you. This is done by applying for the title to and registering the vehicle at the County Treasurer’s office in your county of residence. A late fee of $10 will be charged if you wait longer than 40 days.

For more information go to Montana Department of Justice – Motor Vehicle Division.

The mission of the Montana Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is to identify and promote efficient, cost-effective programs that benefit the interests, safety, and well-being of Montana citizens through licensing, registering, and regulating the motoring activities of the public.

The Montana MVD continuously strives for excellence in customer service. Streamlining the way we do business has allowed us to improve our efficiency and make our services more convenient for our customers.

The Motor Vehicle Division is comprised of four bureaus: The Driver License Bureau, Operations and Customer Support Bureau, Records and Driver Control Bureau, and the Title and Registration Bureau.