Notarizing Montana Motor Vehicle Titles
Montana requires that the seller(s) signature(s) on a Montana Motor Vehicle Title be notarized. Once notarized, the title becomes a “negotiable instrument” and ownership is readily transferred to the person holding the title. For this reason, Montana notaries are urged to be particularly conscientious when asked to notarize a title.
- The preprinted notary blocks on most, if not all, of the older Montana titles do not accurately contain all the information required in a proper notarial block. You are responsible for including all nine elements of a proper notarial block. NOTE: The “venue” is missing on most (though not all) existing title forms. You must include the location where the notarization was performed: “State of Montana, County of __________.”
- If there are two or more owners listed on a title, they do not have to have their signatures notarized at the same time or by the same notary, but they must both be notarized. The sellers sign and print their names on the lines provided on the title; the first notary should use the “preprinted block” and be sure to specify whose signature was notarized(“Signed and sworn before me by John Doe (only)”). The subsequent notary completes a full notarial block either on the title (in the lien holder’s section, if there is enough room) or on a separate designated Notarial Certificate for Montana Motor Vehicle Title.
- The Montana Motor Vehicle Division will not accept a title with information that has been in any way corrected or crossed out. If an error is made by the signers or the notary, aStatement of Fact will have to be completed and filed with the Title. A copy of this form is available online at: https://media.dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/9_16-Statement-of-Fact-MV100.pdf.
- Notaries may place their seals in the lien holder section, just to the left of the signature in the notarial block on the older title forms. The new version has a space specifically designed for the new seal/stamp units that will be easier to use.
- Notaries may notarize “open titles,” per the MVD
For more information, please refer to the
Montana Notary Handbook.
Five tips for notarizing a Montana title perfectly - Every time:
Old style titles (issued before September 2010):
New style titles (issued after September 2010):
1. Have the signer print and sign his/her name in the spaces provided. It is imperative that every appearance of the seller’s name be exactly as shown at the top of the title
2. [For “old style” titles only]
After witnessing the seller sign his/her name, place the seller under oath, swearing that the information entered on the title is true and correct.
3. Complete the notarial block. Be sure you print the name of the person(s) for whom you are performing the notarization.
NOTE: Many of the older versions of the title do not have spaces for the venue – you must enter it wherever you can fit it in.
4. Affix your seal/stamp in the space provided on new titles or in the lien holder section as shown in the top image on the older versions.
5. Montana notaries need not re-enter the identifying information that is contained in the seal/stamp. You should line through the spaces as shown.
If a second notarial block is needed for subsequent signers, the notary may either
hand write a complete notarial block on the title if there is room or may complete and attach a loose certificate. Do not use the pre-printed labels that stick on the document – they will be rejected by MVD.
When notarizing a title that has been issued to a business, or for an individual who is signing on behalf of another person, you and the signer
MUST enter: 1. The name of the person or entity shown on the title; 2. The name of the person who is actually signing the title in your presence; and 3. The capacity in which they are signing. For example:
“Fred’s Plumbing, Inc. by Fred Smith, President”
“Agatha Smith by Walter Smith as Personal Representative”
See page 37 of the
Montana Notary Handbook for more information!
The Title and Registration Bureau of the Motor Vehicle Division has determined that titles which require a separate notarial block for a
subsequent signer may be handled in one of two ways:
- The notary may hand write a complete notarial block on the face of the title (usually in the lien holder section) if room is available. The notarial language (i.e., “Signed before me…” or “Subscribed and affirmed before me…” etc.) should be exactly as shown on the preprinted block on that title.
- A separate “notarial certificate” as shown below may be completed and attached to the original title. This form is to be copied, filled out completely and attached to the title if needed. Please note on the title “Notarial Certificate for _____(name of signer)_______ attached.” A similar note should be entered in your journal.
Download the Notarial Certificate