Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 2. Certificates of Title

Salvage Vehicles

61-3-223. Salvage vehicles. (1) A salvage vehicle for which a certificate of title is sought must be inspected for the vehicle identification number to authenticate the identity of the motor vehicle before an electronic record of title can be created or a certificate of title can be issued. The inspection does not attest to the roadworthiness or safety condition of the motor vehicle and must be performed by an authorized employee or an authorized agent of the department or by a peace officer designated by the department.

(2) The department may contract with a person or entity for use of a facility as a regional inspection site for salvage vehicles.

(3) The department shall collect an inspection fee of $18.50 from the person requesting the inspection for each salvage vehicle inspected. The fee collected under this section must be deposited in the state general fund.

(4) (a) A person authorized to inspect salvage vehicles may seize and hold a vehicle:

(i) if the person has probable cause to believe that the motor vehicle has been stolen;

(ii) on which a motor number or vehicle identification number has been defaced, altered, removed, covered, destroyed, or obliterated; or

(iii) that has a vehicle identification number that does not conform with the vehicle identification number on the certificate of title.

(b) A seized motor vehicle must be held until the identity of the motor vehicle is established and arrangements are made for its lawful disposition. A person authorized to inspect salvage vehicles may use any means necessary to identify a motor vehicle by its vehicle identification number or numbers.

(5) The department may not create an electronic record of title or issue a certificate of title for a salvage vehicle until the identity of the motor vehicle is established.

(6) The department may adopt rules for the inspection of salvage vehicles.

History: En. Sec. 12, Ch. 477, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 63, Ch. 542, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 41, L. 2009.