Motor Vehicle Licenses

Registration


Register motor vehicles, or renew motor vehicle licensing or titles in the Assessor’s Office. Driver’s licenses are acquired from the Sheriff’s Office. For more information, contact the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) at:
P.O. Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707-1129
Phone: 208-334-8000
Economics and Research Department Phone: 208-334-8741
Public Information Phone: 208-334-8601
Vehicle Services Phone: 208-334-8663
Idaho Transportation Website

State Law


State law provides 12 registration periods, starting in January and proceeding consecutively through December, each expiring at midnight on the last day of the month (§49-402, I.C.). The number on the vehicle's validation registration sticker determines when the motor vehicle license expires. A sticker with a "1" expires at midnight January 31; a sticker with a "12" expires at midnight December 31 (§49-402, I.C.). A person purchasing his/her first license for a car received a new plate with the proper adhesive sticker of renewal. §49-402, I.C., gives initial authority to register vehicles for less than a 12-month period or more than a 12-month period and to prorate on a monthly basis. There has been a policy of not registering vehicles less than 1 month nor more than 24 months.

Fees


The fee varies for each passenger motor vehicle not used for hire and each pickup truck having a gross weight of not more than 8000 pounds, depending on its age (§49-402, I.C.). Fees for other types of vehicles are fixed by state law (§49-434, I.C.). Certain types of motor vehicles, such as wreckers (depending on registration category), utility trailers, and motorcycles, have licenses, which expire on December 31 of each year rather than on a staggered basis (§49-402, I.C.). Subsection §49-402(6), I.C., provides for repossession plates to be used by the repossessor moving a vehicle pursuant to a security agreement; plates are issued by the Transportation Department.

County government receives some compensation for the state mandated duties of county assessors. For example, an administrative fee for actual costs, may be imposed in addition to each motor vehicle registration tax or fee collected under §49-402, I.C., and §49-434, I.C. A number of other, title and registration fees are listed in §49-202, I.C. The administrative fees collected under §31-870, I.C., and other sections are placed in the county current expense fund. Idaho law clearly states that county elected office-holders collecting fees must turn over their fees to the County Treasury (§31-3101, I.C.).

Assessor Duties


The role of motor vehicle license salesman was assigned to the Assessor's Office when a local office was needed for licensing a small number of cars in the early part of this century. The operating fee for motor vehicles in Idaho is in lieu of personal property taxes (§49-401, I.C.). Manufactured homes however, cannot be licensed without a verification that the property tax for the applicable year has been paid (§49-422, I.C.).
The assessors are agents of the state Department of Transportation and are directed to perform the duties prescribed in the Uniform Registration Act (§49-205, I.C.) and the Idaho Motor Vehicle Act (§49-401A, I.C.). The Department of Transportation furnishes supplies and license plates (§§49-201 and 49 to 443, I.C.).

These responsibilities require approximately one-fourth to one-third of all the personnel in the assessor's office and often as much as one-half of the total space and capital equipment in the office. In January 1970, the motor vehicle license procedure was changed to provide a staggered license expiration period rather than a single date on which motor vehicle licenses expired. The staggered expiration period has reduced the problem of a single workload peak in the County Assessor's Office.

Legal Responsibilities


The following is a partial list of the legal responsibilities for the assessor's office relating to licensing and titling:
  1. Selling license plates: The assessor:
    1. Handles applications for registration for passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses (§§49-401A, 49-401B, 49-434(1), I.C.)
      1. Motorcycles are included as licensed vehicles (§§49-114(9), 49-402(3), I.C.).
      2. Trailer houses are included as licensed vehicles (§49-422, I.C.).
      3. City buses and school buses are included as licensed vehicles (§§49-402(2) and 49 to 434, I.C.).
    2. Computes license fees (§§49-402; 49 to 434, 49-401B, I.C.)
    3. Creates a record of the restraint and registration issued, by the license plate number (§49-401B, I.C.)
    4. Issues registration cards to accompany each set of license plates (§49-419, I.C.)
    5. Collects registration fees (§§49-402, 49 to 434, 49 to 445, I.C.)
    6. Accepts applications for special plates for national guard, §49-404, I.C., radio amateurs, §49-405, I.C., old-timer license plates, §49-406, I.C., and mails directly to the Idaho Transportation Department
    7. Processes the transfer of license plates from a car that has been disposed of during the licensing period to the owner's new car (§49-431, I.C.)
    8. May sell pleasure boat stickers for the Parks and Recreation Department (§§67-7013,67-7008, I.C.)
  2. Titling motor vehicles: The assessor:
    1. Accepts filing of applications for Titles (§49-504, I.C.), along with required supporting documents, and enters the proper recorded date when a lien is being recorded (§49-510, I.C.)
    2. Collects fees (§49-202, I.C.)
  3. Performs special services in connection with duplicate registration cards, replacement plates and validation stickers (§§49-202, 49 to 425, I.C.)
  4. Collects sales tax, when it has not been previously collected by the seller, e.g. dealer, retailer, or private party (§63-3610, I.C. and by administrative order of the Sales Tax Division of the State Tax Commission)