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      12-05-2023, 11:29 AM   #1
T3PO
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Titling a vehicle in Montana via LLC

Curious if anyone has done this? Even better if you live in Colorado. Would love to get some more details regarding the process and laws. Currently checking with CO attorneys as well, but would like some first hand feedback.
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      12-05-2023, 12:30 PM   #2
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Yes I've done it, didn't run into any problems but every state is different. GA and CA are well known for cracking down on MT plates. You also need to verify with your insurance company that they will allow this. I had to call GEICO and get it on a recorded call that they knew I was the owner of the LLC and the car was registered in MT. Don't want to get into a wreck and have them deny the claim because of the car being titled in another state. A lot of car insurers won't allow the car to be titled outside of your resident state or under an LLC/business name. Cost was about $800 including registration, but there's now a law in MT that charges something like an $825 "luxury tax" if the original MSRP of the car was over $150k.
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      12-05-2023, 01:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dgoldenz View Post
Yes I've done it, didn't run into any problems but every state is different. GA and CA are well known for cracking down on MT plates. You also need to verify with your insurance company that they will allow this. I had to call GEICO and get it on a recorded call that they knew I was the owner of the LLC and the car was registered in MT. Don't want to get into a wreck and have them deny the claim because of the car being titled in another state. A lot of car insurers won't allow the car to be titled outside of your resident state or under an LLC/business name. Cost was about $800 including registration, but there's now a law in MT that charges something like an $825 "luxury tax" if the original MSRP of the car was over $150k.
Thank you! Follow up question, is your LLC basically an asset holding company specifically created for the vehicle/other toys or is this actually a business registration for you as well?
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      12-05-2023, 02:12 PM   #4
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I have a MT LLC for cars I keep in CA as I live in PA. It worked well for an E92 M3 US-spec car. It has not been successful with my 94 M3 I imported from Japan. MT required me to get a local (CA) vin verification and have the title translated. I went to the DMV for the VIN verification, and they indicated that one of the digits is different than their data shows for a 94 BMW. So then I had to take the paperwork to CHP to have them physically verify the VIN. That process is a convoluted mess. They operate on appointment only, and they release the following month's appointments on one day the prior month. You have to go stand in line and hope you get an appointment, then have to come back for it and hope the officer plays ball. I've been unsuccessful in over a year.

Really only need to find an officer to look at my VIN, verify it on a MT form, and show proof of their credentials. Haven't been lucky so far.
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      12-05-2023, 03:27 PM   #5
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Virginia has gone after people. I do see them here though. I think it's just a matter of time...then they get your back taxes with usurious interest. The state law is pretty clear that if the car is in VA, it has to be registered VA.

Somewhat related, I was living in NC, but due to things going on in my company, I had to go to the N. VA offices a lot. Apparently, they have these license plate readers on cars trolling parking lots looking for tax evaders or warrants etc. After several months, $1,000 is removed from my bank account from the local county where the office was. I was totally perplexed and astounded my bank would just allow money taken out of my account. But I call the county tax office and they said my car had been photographed there and was in violation of not being registered in the state. I had to explain that it wasn't even a home, it was an office and had to tell them the whole story along with providing google maps photos to prove the location I was at was an office, not residential. Eventually got my money back but I wonder how many people they get who roll over.

Bottom line more power to you if you can get away with it, I don't seem to be able to.
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      12-05-2023, 03:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by c1pher View Post
Virginia has gone after people. I do see them here though. I think it's just a matter of time...then they get your back taxes with usurious interest. The state law is pretty clear that if the car is in VA, it has to be registered VA.

Somewhat related, I was living in NC, but due to things going on in my company, I had to go to the N. VA offices a lot. Apparently, they have these license plate readers on cars trolling parking lots looking for tax evaders or warrants etc. After several months, $1,000 is removed from my bank account from the local county where the office was. I was totally perplexed and astounded my bank would just allow money taken out of my account. But I call the county tax office and they said my car had been photographed there and was in violation of not being registered in the state. I had to explain that it wasn't even a home, it was an office and had to tell them the whole story along with providing google maps photos to prove the location I was at was an office, not residential. Eventually got my money back but I wonder how many people they get who roll over.

Bottom line more power to you if you can get away with it, I don't seem to be able to.
Good insight, I noticed CO has some similar wording, but wonder how it works for a car liscensed under an out of state LLC. This is where the attorney will come into play!
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      12-05-2023, 03:48 PM   #7
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I looked into this extensively and ultimately decided it wasn't worth it for me. I also live in GA where there was a string of busts some years ago. I've also spoken to local car enthusiasts on their perspective, and the subtext from one who once registered cars in MT was: "I wouldn't do it if I were you", in an ominous way. The discussion suggested he knew something.

But, I see MT plates from time to time, but as c1pher mentioned, I think it's a matter of time before states get hip to this. Further, I don't have time to deal with the state coming after me for unpaid taxes or my wife. She deals with the parade of cars at the house (and stored elsewhere) because it doesn't really concern her. That dynamic changes if we have a large tax bill as a result of a tax dodge. I understand this is my problem and likely not yours. Anyhow, YMMV.
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      12-05-2023, 05:34 PM   #8
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I've briefly looked into it, didn't seem worth the hassle just for the tax savings for under $100k cars. Plus registration in FL is cheap. Maybe on more expensive cars or places that do property tax on cars...

It's very popular amongst motorhome owners. Those are typically $200k+ and since a lot of people travel out of state all the time with them I'm guessing it's less likely they run into any issues.
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      12-05-2023, 07:06 PM   #9
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Here’s a very long Fchat thread about it with many opinions on both sides - https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/th...k-down.587351/
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      12-05-2023, 07:23 PM   #10
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fchat users are the most insufferable of all enthusiasts.

CA has more of an issue if you're a CA resident with a MT registered car in CA. Being a PA resident with a CA business, I at least have a valid reason as to why I use MT. Haven't run into issues yet (knock on wood).
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      12-07-2023, 08:54 PM   #11
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MO charges whats effectively a 2% tax on the market value of your car per year (personal property tax). they valued my gt3 at 205k this year which is like 20k more than i paid for it 3 years ago.
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      12-07-2023, 09:59 PM   #12
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Keep posting online about going around the system. Just pay the $. You have it...
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      12-08-2023, 11:56 AM   #13
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I think this is such BS that rich people use this tax loophole to avoid paying all their taxes on their expensive cars. The justification being "..taxes are just too high on my hyper car". Basically the thought is, "I'm rich and I'm better than you thus the state I live in tax laws don't apply to me because I have the means to take advantage of the system through my legal team and a fake LLC".
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      12-08-2023, 02:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XutvJet View Post
I think this is such BS that rich people use this tax loophole to avoid paying all their taxes on their expensive cars. The justification being "..taxes are just too high on my hyper car". Basically the thought is, "I'm rich and I'm better than you thus the state I live in tax laws don't apply to me because I have the means to take advantage of the system through my legal team and a fake LLC".
I’m upper middle class, by no means am I rich. This “loophole” is available to anyone, not just wealthy people. I live in Colorado, where we have shitty roads that are coupled with ridiculously high registration and insurance costs. Within reason anything I can do to save on these costs would be welcomed, for perspective the registration is going to run me around $2-$2.5K. Insurance with no accidents, an 800 credit score and bundled with my home is $3K per year. My taxes are actually not terrible as I live in an unincorporated part of the county I reside in.


I don’t understand why there is hate for this? I don’t know anyone in my circle of people who doesn’t feel like Colorado has a shakedown scam with regards to reg/insurance costs, this includes people all over the income spectrum.
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      12-08-2023, 02:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XutvJet View Post
I think this is such BS that rich people use this tax loophole to avoid paying all their taxes on their expensive cars. The justification being "..taxes are just too high on my hyper car". Basically the thought is, "I'm rich and I'm better than you thus the state I live in tax laws don't apply to me because I have the means to take advantage of the system through my legal team and a fake LLC".
Wait until I tell you about all of the other tax loopholes that rich people exploit legally...
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      12-08-2023, 02:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T3PO View Post
I’m upper middle class, by no means am I rich. This “loophole” is available to anyone, not just wealthy people. I live in Colorado, where we have shitty roads that are coupled with ridiculously high registration and insurance costs. Within reason anything I can do to save on these costs would be welcomed, for perspective the registration is going to run me around $2-$2.5K. Insurance with no accidents, an 800 credit score and bundled with my home is $3K per year. My taxes are actually not terrible as I live in an unincorporated part of the county I reside in.


I don’t understand why there is hate for this? I don’t know anyone in my circle of people who doesn’t feel like Colorado has a shakedown scam with regards to reg/insurance costs, this includes people all over the income spectrum.
i agree. why should i pay the same property taxes as some company with 7 honda civics on their employee/rental fleet? those cars are causing more traffic congestion, and damaging roads with the mileage+ pollution. while a 200k car that does 1500 miles a year doesn't harm anything. doesn't seem fair.

why shouldn't a baseball card or audio equipment collector have to pay 2% a year on that collection? its still personal property
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      12-08-2023, 02:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XutvJet View Post
I think this is such BS that rich people use this tax loophole to avoid paying all their taxes on their expensive cars. The justification being "..taxes are just too high on my hyper car". Basically the thought is, "I'm rich and I'm better than you thus the state I live in tax laws don't apply to me because I have the means to take advantage of the system through my legal team and a fake LLC".
Is the bs that rich people use tax "loopholes" or that tax loopholes exist?

I'm certainly not buying a $203k car anytime soon, probably ever, but I'm sure my accountant uses plenty of LEGAL loopholes to save me money. At least I sure hope he does.

Are you telling me if your accountant or turbo tax or whatever you use tells you hey you can save $XXX by using this legal broke people tax loophole you are going to say nay nay I'm an upstanding citizen and wish to give the government all the money it would like to take from me? If you're answer is yes then you're a liar.
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      12-08-2023, 10:13 PM   #18
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No offense to anyone here, but I always chuckle and think "what a bum" when I see an expensive car with Montana plates in the South.
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      12-08-2023, 11:08 PM   #19
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No offense to anyone here, but I always chuckle and think "what a bum" when I see an expensive car with Montana plates in the South.
They’re thinking the same thing about the guy driving a BMW
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      12-09-2023, 12:06 AM   #20
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They’re thinking the same thing about the guy driving a BMW
It's so true! Imagine an Alpina XB7 with Montana plates!
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      12-09-2023, 12:39 AM   #21
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They have been cracking down on this in SoCal. Cops have been known to pull people over for having Montana plates.

There is actually a page on CHP website for people to snitch on Cali residents using Montana loophole.

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      12-09-2023, 02:35 AM   #22
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Just move to MT, its a better state anyways.
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