Monday, January 25, 2010


When I got my Montana license plates, I had a moment of sticker shock.  It cost me $490 to register my vehicle, including a $217 registration fee, $231 in county property taxes and a few other miscellaneous fees.  I figured, since they were charging me an arm and a leg, they'd give me handicapped tags, but they didn't.  My registration renewal in Texas would've cost me $64.  

Montana requires both front and back license plates, unlike Texas, which only requires the rear plate.  My vehicle didn't have a holder for a front plate, so I had to go to O'Reilly and get a mount I could attach under the front bumper.  Maybe that's how I'll rationalize it—since I got two plates, it was really only $245 per plate (plus about five bucks for the mount). 

As a small bright side, there's no state vehicle inspection in Montana, so I saved $50 there.  Now I have neither an inspection sticker nor a registration sticker on my windshield.  For proof of registration, Montana only requires an annual sticker you put on your back license plate.  I feel naked without any stickers plastered on the inside of my windshield.  But I like it.

I got one of the brand new, retro-style license plates, like the top one shown here:

The first number represents the county you live in, with the counties ranked by population.  Ravalli County is the 13th largest county in the state (or at least it was as of some arbitrary date), so my plates start with the lucky 13.

I'm glad I got the new plates—they look way better than the old ones:

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