Yellowstone County, Montana
Motor Vehicle
License Plate Information Contact Department

To make an appointment, please schedule online or call 406-256-2833.

The Title & Registration 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 the vehicle is subject to tax or fee. 

- 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 more than 11 years old. A two year registration costs 2 x 1yr registration, and a permanent registration costs approximately 4 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 40-day permit issued by a dealer if purchased from a dealer; or a vehicle purchase permit issued by the County Treasurer. 

- Anniversary months for renewal of plates are assigned according to the month in which the vehicle is first registered. The anniversary month is identified by the decal on the 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 when proper application is made through the County Treasurer's office. 

License Plate Types

Vehicle owners can choose from several types of license plates.

Standard Plates

The standard plate is issued to all vehicle owners unless other plates are requested. Personalized license plates are available on either the standard plate or on specialized plates, for an additional fee.

Special Plates

The following types of special plates are available:

Amateur Radio Operator Plate, which is available to a vehicle owner who holds an unrevoked and unexpired official amateur radio station license and operator's license. The additional fee for the plate is a one-time fee of $10.30.

Vintage Plate, which is available for use on a vehicle that is more than 30 years old and is used solely as a collector's item, rather than for general transportation. The additional fee is $25.75 for vehicles weighing 2,850 pounds or less and $30.90 for vehicles weighing more.

Collegiate License Plates, which depict the name and a special logo for various public and private colleges in Montana. Both two-year and four-year colleges participate in the program. The additional fee is $30, which goes to a scholarship fund at the selected school.

Military Plates, which are available in a variety of styles to reflect an individual's military experience. The bureau issues plates for National Guard members, reservists, military veterans, disabled veterans, former prisoners of war, survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack, persons with disabilities, and veterans who were awarded the Purple Heart. There is an additional fee of $10 to be paid annually for veteran and Purple Heart plates.

To view specialty plate designs sponsored by organizations, please visit the State of Montana "Specialty Plates" page.