If you’ve tried to register a title or purchase license plates in the past few months, you’ve noticed that the office in the Missoula County Courthouse is closed, and has been for quite some time.

Missoula County Clerk and Recorder Tyler Gernant explained why the office is shuttered for now.

“Our office is closed due to COVID,” said Gernant. “We did try and reopen for a period there with appointments only, but it’s just that our office is really not set up for social distancing that's really required, and so we stopped doing appointments and are back to just doing things online and through the mail. There are a number of options for online and through the mail and we're getting things out actually fairly quickly for things that need to be done right away.”

Gernant described some of the online options available through his office.

“If you already have your vehicle registered, titled, to renew it, through the state system that's run through the Department of Justice, they actually just a couple weeks ago extended the amount of time that you can be expired for that. So now if your registration has been expired for 10 months or less, you can go through their system and renew it. That's the fastest easiest way for us because those come directly to us as a download that we send out the next day.”

Gernant explained how to register a title for a vehicle purchased from a private party.

“We have a portal to request a temporary permit, so if you bought a car from a private party on Craigslist or Facebook or however you did it, you can go onto that Missoula clerk dot US and submit a request for a temporary permit,” he said. “Those temporary permits are actually good for 130 days right now, so it actually ended up being cheaper to be honest with you, because those cost $20 and you don't have to register for four months essentially.”

Gernant said the online feature must give way to the U.S. mail for certain other transactions.

“You have to mail in your paperwork because we do require original paperwork in order to process the title request,” he said. “But once we have that paperwork, we will mail you an orange card that has your file number on it, and then you can go to title by email.us and fill out that application with your file number from the orange card. And then it takes about four weeks from when that happens to when we mail out the plates and the invoice.”

Click on these links to access help from the Clerk and Recorders Office. You may also call the Missoula County Treasurer's office at 258-4847.


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