Idaho State Tax Commission

Motor Vehicles – Private Parties and Nondealer Retailers

Sales or use tax is due on the sale, lease, rental, transfer, donation or use of a motor vehicle in Idaho unless a valid exemption applies.

This guide is for individuals, leasing companies, nonprofit organizations, or any other type of business that isn't a motor vehicle dealer registered in Idaho.

It explains sales and use tax requirements for those who buy or receive a motor vehicle from a private party or retailer that isn't a dealer (e.g., a furniture store or pizza delivery restaurant). This guide also covers bringing a motor vehicle into Idaho for use here. It explains how sellers and donors must document a motor vehicle sale or gift. And it outlines how a buyer or seller must pay or collect and forward tax if it's due.

Motor vehicle dealers are individuals or businesses that sell five or more motor vehicles in a 12-month period. See the separate Motor Vehicles – Dealers guide if you're buying, leasing or renting a motor vehicle from a dealer, or if you're a motor vehicle dealer.

Types of transactions included

This guide covers the following transactions in which an Idaho motor vehicle dealer isn't involved in any way:

  • Buying, leasing, or renting from anyone who isn't an Idaho motor vehicle dealer
  • Buying from family members
  • Buying from financial institutions
  • Bartering goods or services for a motor vehicle
  • Bringing a motor vehicle into Idaho that you bought in another state
  • Giving or receiving ownership of a motor vehicle as a gift or prize
  • Selling or transferring ownership between businesses or related parties in a business
  • Leasing motor vehicles as nondealer individuals or businesses

Motor vehicle defined

A motor vehicle is a vehicle registered or required to be registered for use on public roads. (See Idaho Code 63-3605L.)

Motor vehicles include
  • Cars
  • Buses
  • Trucks
  • On-highway motorcycles
  • Recreational vehicles required to be registered for use on public roads, such as
    • Motor homes
    • Fold-down camping trailers
    • Fifth-wheel trailers
    • Travel trailers
    • Park model recreational vehicles (new and used)
Motor vehicles don't include
    Vehicles that either:
  • Aren't required to be registered (Idaho Code section 49-426)
  • Are intended for off-road use
    • Snowmobiles
    • Boats
    • Truck Campers
    • Aircraft
    • All-terrain vehicles, utility-type vehicles, and specialty off-road vehicles
    • Off-road motorcycles
    • Modified park model recreational vehicles

Page last updated March 12, 2019. Last full review of page: December 24, 2018.

This information is for general guidance only. Tax laws are complex and change regularly. We can't cover every circumstance in our guides. This guidance may not apply to your situation. Please contact us with any questions. We work to provide current and accurate information. But some information could have technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. If there's a conflict between current tax law and this information, current tax law will govern.