Auto Insurance in Montana (MT)
If You Are Paying More Than $1,227.11 on Auto Insurance in Montana, You Are Paying Too Much.
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Auto Insurance Industry in Montana
- An average consumer pays $1,466.00 on auto insurance
- 154 of every 100,000 vehicles are reported stolen every year
- Accident fatality rate of 2.01%
- Of all accidents: 74% are road-way accidents, 14% are intersection accidents, and 10% of all accidents involve at least 1 truck.
Maintaining financial responsibility while you drive within the state of Montana is essential. Without adequate insurance, you are breaking driving laws and may face steep penalties. It is best to understand state laws before you buy auto insurance for your vehicle to ensure the policy at least carries the minimum requirements.
Montana's Minimum Requirements on Auto Insurance
The state of Montana offers several alternatives for drivers to comply with its motor vehicle liability law:
- Buy auto liability insurance from an authorized insurance provider
- Keep a bond from an authorized surety company
- Deposit $55,000 cash with the state treasurer
- Obtain a self-insurance certificate (for individuals with at least 25 vehicles)
Typically, most drivers in Montana opt to buy auto liability to meet their obligation of financial responsibility. The minimum requirements for private passenger vehicles in the state of Montana are based on a 25/50/10 policy plan. If you choose auto insurance, the minimum coverage amounts are:
- $25,000 physical injury/death to one person
- $50,000 physical injury/death to more than one person
- $10,000 property damage
Maintaining proof of financial responsibility is mandatory in Montana. Your auto insurance provider must notify law authorities when you purchase a policy. However, you must also carry proof of insurance while driving.
Failing to maintain financial responsibility is a misdemeanor in Montana. Penalties differ based on a first-time offense and a second offense. The first time you are caught driving without insurance can result in up to 10 days in jail and a maximum $500 fine. Additionally, five points are added to your license.
With the second offense, you can also receive 10 days of jail time and pay a minimum $350 fine. You will also face an automatic 90-day suspension of your driver’s license.
Consumer Car Licensing Information in Montana
Whether you are a teenager, first-time adult driver or a new Montana resident, you can receive a Class D driver’s license to legally operate passenger vehicles. The Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) within the state’s Department of Justice issues licenses to drivers.
If you are at least 16 years old, you are not required to complete a state-sponsored traffic education program. You are, however, required to take a written test, vision test and road skills test before a driver’s license is used. Not all rural counties have driver exam stations. Those that do may not accept payments for the tests. It is best to call exam stations in advance to find out testing procedures.
Once you have selected an exam station be prepared to show the following before taking the written test:
- Two forms of legal identity
- Proof that you are a Montana resident
- Proof that you are in the U.S. legally
The fees for a Class D driver’s license varies based on your age. Payment is usually made at the County Treasurer Motor Vehicle office if you live near a county office that does not accept payments.
- 21 and older: $40.50
- 18 years old: $15.50
- 19 years old: $10.50
- 20 years old: $5.50
If you recently moved to Montana and have a valid driver’s license from a different state, you are exempt from taking the written test. The vision test is required along with surrendering your out-of-state license for a new Montana license. You must do this with 60 days of becoming a resident. If your out-of-state license has expired, you will need to take the written and road tests.
Motorcycle Licensing Information in Montana
Montana issues permits and endorsements for motorcycle drivers. An application for an endorsement is accepted at any driver exam station if you have a regular driver’s license. To qualify for a motorcycle license, you must:
- Pass the written, vision and on-cycle tests
- Provide proof of legal identity
- Provide proof of Montana residency
- Proof that you are in the U.S. legally
- Pay $40 for a license and 50 cents for an endorsement
Due to the increased number of motorcycle accidents, Montana has extended its testing process. There are five sections that you must pass before the state will issue a motorcycle license to you:
- A comprehensive written test
- Vision screening
- On-cycle skills testing
- Review of your driving record
- Physical aptitude review
An appointment is required to take the on-cycle motorcycle examination. Generally, you can schedule a test online for 13 different stations including Billings, Helena, Sidney and Miles City. The test is not allowed if there is inclement weather. If you fail the on-cycle road test, you will receive a six-month learner’s license to practice operating a motorcycle. During this time, you must be accompanied by a licensed motorcycle driver.
Commercial Vehicle Licensing Information in Montana
Generally, Montana issues certifications of Class A, B and C commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) to residents who want to drive commercial vehicles. To qualify for a Type 1 certification that grants permission to operate a commercial vehicle for interstate commerce, you must be at least 21 years old. A Type 2 certification grants permission for 18 year olds to operate a commercial vehicle for intrastate commerce within Montana borders. Other qualifications include:
- Completing a medical examiner’s card from the Department of Transportation (DOT).
- Submit proof of a valid Montana driver’s license
- Show a valid social security card
- Provide proof that you are either a U.S. citizen or in the country legally
- Pass the written knowledge test, vision screening and driving skills test.
- Acquire CDL endorsements for a school bus, passenger, hazardous materials, if applicable
Montana CDL fees are based on your age and range between $9 and $53. If you are between 21 and 70 years old, you can receive a CDL for five years. Other age groups receive less time on their license.
More Resources on Auto Insurance in Montana
Department of Insurance
- 840 Helena Ave., Helena, Montana 59601
- Phone: (406) 444-2040