Montana License Plate Number



Montana License Plate Number+overview


The Title and Registration Bureau is in charge of Montana license plate issuance. The county treasurer’s office will provide you with plates once you have titled and registered your car. Also, do not forget about paying all taxes and fees. The county treasurer will issue you a 40-day temporary permit if the ones you desire are not available. Drivers in Montana have a variety of permit plate options. They range from conventional plates to graphics honoring military service or showing support for an MT college or community organization.


Sometimes people wonder what Montana license plate numbers are for. They also ask questions about their origin and purpose. If you too have some questions regarding the topic, please continue reading.

What do the numbers on Montana license plates mean?

According to the Montana Department of Justice, the state legislature created a system in the 1930s. It is to identify automobiles by the county in which they were registered. In other words, they show which county issued the plates and registered them.
Back then, the numbers were supposedly assigned based on the population of each county during the 1930 U.S. census.

What does the 10 mean on Montana license plates?

In 1958, MT issued the Amateur Radio Operator plate, which was the state’s first alternate permit reg. In 1974, the first personalized vanity plates were released. The Generic Specialty License Plate Act was passed by the 57th Montana Legislature in 2001. It allows the Department of Justice to issue specialty plates sponsored by qualified groups or governmental bodies.

These are custom-made with unique backgrounds, colors, or words. They identify the sponsoring organization. The first ones available to the public were the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial and Glacier National Park plates, released in 2002.

The plate issued in 2006 was the first one that was printed on metal. This was a speedier procedure than stamping.

Beginning in January 2010, they introduced the blue “retro” plate. Each design feature is reminiscent of Montana’s traditional permit plates. The white MT on a solid blue background is reminiscent of 1970s tabs. The “Treasure State” motto at the top dates from the 1950s and 1960s. The state name and tag number are in clear, white lettering. This is why the plate has a classic look and makes it visible from a distance.

The “10” refers to the design’s issue year, a feature that was popular in the 1980s. The recognizable silhouette of a bison skull serves as a separator between the county prefix and the tag number.

Can you look up license plates in Montana?

Obtaining a complete car history report can help you save time, money, and headaches in the future. In MT, looking up a license plate is very easy.

For getting that report from the Motor Vehicle Division, you only need to enter some information. After that, you’ll have fast access to information like ownership, odometer readings, titles, and previous accidents.

Additional information

Plate numbers belong to the owners and they can transfer those to another vehicle only if he legally registered with the county treasurer.

Personalized tags are available for an additional price of $25. Also, $10 is for each transfer and/or renewal of that plate. There are additional sponsor fees if you want to customize a sponsored number. See the Application for Personalized License Plates for prerequisites and further information (MV8).

The county treasurer in the county where the vehicle is subject to tax.