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Why Do So Many Luxury Cars Have Montana Tags?

Why do you see so many Montana license plates all over the country especially on motor homes RVs and sometimes high-end expensive vehicles? Well, the reason why is there are some advantages that people may use through titling and registering a car in the state of Montana that could be advantageous for an owner who may have a full-time RV or maybe has multiple houses and multiple addresses. 

The two most common reasons are:

  1. Sales tax advantages
  2. Titling process

Sales tax

The state of Montana does not charge sales tax on vehicles. So if you have a vehicle that you’re purchasing and you can title it in Montana if it’s legal, you may be able to avoid having to pay sales tax, which you would have to pay if you title it in a different state.

Now you want to ensure you’re following all proper laws and regulations and not doing tax fraud or tax avoidance. But if you legitimately have a multiple-state residency, have a full-time RV, or you have some domicile in Montana, you may be able to title your vehicle in that state and not pay sales tax. 

Title process

In order to do this, you will have to create a corporation in the state of Montana unless you’re a resident with a Montana license, but that’s not what most people do. Most people are residents of another state or multiple states. They form a corporation in Montana and title the vehicle in that corporate name. So you’ll have some corporation filing fees usually a couple of hundred bucks and you may have to pay a service to be a registered agent in Montana to title the vehicle in that state. 

Insurance considerations

You also have to consider insurance issues because if you get vehicle insurance for a motor vehicle titled in Montana, you’re representing to your insurance company that the vehicle is domiciled in Montana. Also known as the location where the vehicle is garaged. So you want to make sure you’re not misrepresenting your garage location to your insurance company and here’s why. You might think that you could just tell them “Hey it’s in Montana”, but if you have any type of a claim for an accident or damage, whether it’s your fault or not, you may have issues where the insurance company wants to deny your claim because you’ve misrepresented on your application where it’s garaged. 

Why do they do this? Well, if they’re giving you an insurance rate based on having your vehicle most of the time driving in Montana, it might be a lower rate because it’s a safer state. But if it turns out, you live in a big city downtown Seattle or downtown Chicago, and the rates would be higher there because of more theft, accidents, and more risk of damage, you might be accidentally unintentionally committing insurance fraud.

So you want to make sure you get good legal advice from an attorney and that you get good insurance advice from your insurance agent before you place insurance on the vehicle in Montana. You may be able to get insurance for your Montana title vehicle and still have a garage address elsewhere, just make sure your scenario matches the proper use of this process. 

That’s the reason why there are so many exotic vehicles and high-end vehicles, and expensive motor homes that have Montana license plates on them.  Next time you’re driving by an RV resort or an exotic car meet-up, look at the license plate and see how many are Montana. Even if you’re not anywhere near Montana, you may be surprised at how common it really is.

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