Idaho State Tax Commission

Idaho State Tax Commission

Vehicles and Sales Tax

Sales tax is due when you buy a motor vehicle to use in Idaho. For Idaho sales and use tax purposes, a motor vehicle is defined as a car, bus, truck, motor home, or on-highway motorcycle that's required to be registered for use on public roads. Vehicles such as snowmobiles, boats, ATVs, UTVs, and motorcycles intended for off-road use aren't considered motor vehicles and not all exemptions from sales and use tax apply.

If an Idaho resident buys a vehicle outside of the state, use tax is due (with credit given for taxes paid to another state) on the fair market value at the time it enters Idaho.

A sale means any transfer of title to tangible personal property, either through monetary payment, barter, or exchange of goods or services. The sale occurs when a title passes from a seller to a buyer. Unless otherwise agreed, a motor vehicle title passes to the buyer when the seller delivers the goods, even if a title document is delivered at a different time or place.

Forms/publications

  • ST-104-MV, Idaho Sales Tax Exemption Certificate - Vehicle/Vessel
  • ST-133, Sales Tax Exemption Certificate - Transfer Affidavit
  • ST-102, Use Tax Exemption Certificate New Resident or Military
  • ST-133CATS, Sales Tax Exemption Certificate - Capital Asset Transfer Affidavit
  • ST-101, Sales Tax Resale or Exemption Certificate
  • ST-108, Truck Camper, Transport Trailer, Office Trailer, and Untitled Boat Certificate
  • ST-108TR, Occasional Sale Exemption Claim Office Trailer and Transport Trailer
  • TCR, Sales Tax Refund Claim
  • ST-109, Boat Registration Sales Tax Affidavit

Buying a car

If you buy a vehicle…

from:then:
An Idaho dealer the dealer collects sales tax when the sale occurs.
An individual you pay the use tax when you title and register your vehicle at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
A retailer who isn't a dealer (such as a furniture store, pizza delivery restaurant, etc.) the retailer collects sales tax, and you must have proof that you already paid the sales tax when you title and register it at the DMV, or the DMV will collect the use tax.

The bill of sale should include:

  • The sale date
  • Vehicle or Hull identification number (VIN or HIN)
  • Names of buyer and seller
  • Full amount paid for the vehicle. (Note: A bill of sale can be challenged if the purchase price is very low for the type of vehicle sold.)

Moving to and from Idaho

If you're moving to Idaho as a new resident and bringing a personally-owned vehicle that you bought more than three months before your move, you don't have to pay Idaho tax. If you're bringing personally-owned vehicles from a state that doesn't have a general sales tax (e.g. Oregon, Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire, or Delaware), you'll need to complete Form ST-102 and give it to the DMV clerk when you title and register the vehicle.

However, if you're moving to Idaho as a new resident and you bought the vehicle within three months of your move, you have to pay Idaho use tax when you title and register it. Idaho gives a credit for sales or use tax paid to another state.

If your business is moving to Idaho, you may owe Idaho use tax on any vehicles that are brought into Idaho if they're purchased without paying a general sales tax to another state.

If you're an Idaho resident and just bought a motor vehicle in Idaho but will soon be moving out of state, you're still required to pay Idaho sales tax on that vehicle. You have to do that because you're an Idaho resident until you've taken all the steps to complete a change in your permanent residence.

Nonresidents

If you're a nonresident buying a vehicle from an Idaho dealer, you owe tax on the vehicle if it stays in Idaho more than 60 days in a 12-month period. This applies to nonresident members of the military as well. However, if you're a nonresident who will take the vehicle to another state or country and immediately license and title it there, you can buy the vehicle without paying sales tax if you complete Form ST-104-MV and give it to the dealer.

Untaxed purchases

An Idaho resident who buys a vehicle or vessel from a dealer outside of Idaho may not be charged Idaho sales tax. Also, private parties who sell these items don't collect tax. In these cases, you'll pay use tax to the county assessor when you register the vehicle in Idaho. If you buy a vehicle or vessel that isn't required to be registered at the DMV (e.g. aircraft, documented vessels and other non-motorized boats, and some types of off-road vehicles), you need to pay use tax directly to the state. Please contact us at (800) 334-7660 for instructions on how to pay the use tax to the Tax Commission.

The above requirements also apply to Internet purchases unless some other exemption applies to your purchase.

Gifts and inheritances

Gifts aren't subject to sales tax in Idaho. Therefore, if someone gives you a car, you don't owe sales tax on it because you didn't buy it. However, you must complete Form ST-133, Section II, and give it to the DMV clerk when you title and register the vehicle.

You don't owe sales tax on something you inherited because you didn't buy it. However, you must give a copy of the will, court order, or inheritance affidavits to the DMV clerk when you title and register the vehicle.

Contests and raffles

If you win a vehicle in a contest or raffle, you don't owe sales tax because you didn't buy the car. However, you must complete Form ST-133, Section II, and give it to the DMV clerk when you title and register the car. The organization (car dealership, radio station, corporation, etc.) that gives the vehicle away as a prize must pay the Idaho sales or use tax. Also, prizes are subject to income tax. Therefore, you must pay income tax on the value of the car you won by adding the value to your taxable income.

Family sales

If you buy a motor vehicle from your parent, grandparent, or sibling, and the seller already paid sales tax on it when it was purchased, you don't have to pay sales tax when you buy it. However, you must complete a family sale exemption certificate. (The exemption also applies if the seller is a step-relative still related to you by marriage. But, it doesn't apply if the seller is a cousin, aunt, uncle, or foster child.) To claim the family sale exemption, you must complete Form ST-133, Section I, and give it to the DMV clerk when you title and register the motor vehicle.

Auctions and bargain car sales

Auctioneers in Idaho are considered retailers and must collect sales tax on the full sales price when they sell a vehicle at auction. If you buy a vehicle at an out-of-state auction where the auctioneer doesn't collect sales tax, you'll owe Idaho use tax based on the bill of sale when you title and register the vehicle in Idaho. The taxable value includes items such as documentation fees, gate fees, Internet fees, buyer's premiums, etc.

When buying a motor vehicle at an exceptionally low price, how you pay sales tax depends on different circumstances. For example, if you're buying the vehicle from a dealer, the dealer collects sales tax on the amount you actually paid, no matter how low. However, if you buy the vehicle from an individual, you pay use tax on the full value of the vehicle when you title and register it. The price shown on the bill of sale is normally considered the motor vehicle's full value. But, if that sale price is far below the expected fair market value, the county will use the clean retail price shown in the most recent N.A.D.A. Official Used Car Guide to compute the tax you must pay when you register your vehicle.

Bartering or trading

When you give someone something of value (for example, your work) in exchange for a vehicle (for example, a car), you are trading or bartering. Through bartering you've purchased the car and must pay use tax on its value. Plus, through bartering, you've been paid (with the car) for the work you did. Therefore, you must pay income tax on the value of the car that you received for the services you provided. You do this by adding the car's value to your annual taxable income.

Laws and rules

Related information

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April 15, 2015