Montana

CNCS provides this state by state guide for informational purposes only and makes reasonable efforts to ensure the quality of the information. You are responsible for determining the suitability of the information and your use of the information in this guide, and for compliance with NSCHC requirements (45 CFR 2540.200 - .207). CNCS makes no express or implied warranty, no representation, nor assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness, timeliness, or completeness of any information in, or available through, this guide. The information in this guide is presented in good faith and believed to be correct. You assume the risk of relying on the information contained in this guide. Links to non-CNCS websites are provided for informational purposes only.

CNCS is not responsible for the content of non-CNCS websites. CNCS neither endorses the information, content, presentation, or accuracy nor makes any express or implied warranty regarding external websites or any commercial product or service.

If you identify information that is outdated, please notify us at CHC@cns.gov.

Montana is an open records state.
Some form of criminal history information is open to the public in “open records” states. In “closed records” states, access to criminal history information is not generally available to the public, but is available to authorized entities (e.g. law enforcement agencies).
 

Contact Information 

Montana Department of Justice, Justice Information Services Division 
Phone: 406-444-3625
Fax: (406) 444-0689
 

State Checks 

General Information on State Checks:

  • While two options for types of state checks are listed below, name-based and fingerprint-based, only one type of state check is required. CNCS does not recommend one of these checks over the other. Either the name-based state check or the fingerprint-based state check is acceptable.
  • Please note that to be in compliance with CNCS requirements, recipients may have to conduct checks in up to two states: the  state of service/work check on individuals in covered positions, as well as a state of residence check (i.e. if the state of residence is different from the state of service/work at the time of application).


Name-Based State Checks

Available from: Montana Department of Justice, Justice Information Services Division
 
What is released: Requestors may receive arrest and prosecutor/court information on felony and misdemeanor charges, but information is limited by Montana’s privacy laws. 
 
Cost: $14.50
 
How long does it take to obtain results? Through the online portal system, results may take up to 72 business hours. If the request is mailed, results take 7 – 10 business days once they are received by the Department of Justice, not including mail time. 
 
Available to: The general public may receive arrest and prosecutor/court information on felony and misdemeanor charges, but information is limited by Montana’s privacy laws. Criminal records that have been deferred and later dismissed cannot be released to the public. Certain information may be available from local law enforcement and other agencies but is not available from Montana Criminal Records. For example, requests for police reports, court transcripts, warrant information and probation/parole information should be directed to the appropriate local law enforcement agency or court. 
 
Additional Information
Up to four alias names may be included in the name-based search without further cost. 
Some fees for services increased effective March 1, 2016. See fee schedule at this website for more information. (https://media.dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/Criminal_Records_Fees_as_of_2...)
You must print your check results within 14 days of receipt, or you will have to pay to conduct the check again. 
 

Fingerprint-Based State Checks

Available from: Montana Department of Justice, Justice Information Services Division
 
What is released: Requestors may receive arrest and prosecutor/court information on felony and misdemeanor charges, but information is limited by Montana’s privacy laws.
 
Cost: $10.00 base cost. See fee schedule at this website for more information. (https://media.dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/Criminal_Records_Fees_as_of_2...).   
 
How long does it take to obtain results? If the request is mailed, results take 7 – 10 business days once they are received by the Department of Justice, not including mail time.
 
Available to: The general public may receive arrest and prosecutor/court information on felony and misdemeanor charges, but information is limited by Montana’s privacy laws. Criminal records that have been deferred and later dismissed cannot be released to the public. Certain information may be available from local law enforcement and other agencies but is not available from Montana Criminal Records. For example, requests for police reports, court transcripts, warrant information and probation/parole information should be directed to the appropriate local law enforcement agency or court.
 
Additional information: Cannot be obtained online. Blank fingerprint cards are available from local law enforcement offices or from Montana Criminal Records: 
P.O. Box 201403
Helena, MT 59620-1403 
 

Approved Alternative Repositories 

State repositories are institutions that house and maintain the arrest and disposition (or outcome) information for cases handled in that state. Each state has a central repository, and CNCS has designated one in each state that grantees must use. In some cases, generally when a different institution is able to provide information that is equivalent to what is provided by the state repository, CNCS may designate them as an Approved Alternative Repository.
A fingerprint-based search by the Oregon Department of Human Services (Oregon Department of Human Services Background Check Unit: http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/BUSINESS-SERVICES/CHC/Pages/index.aspx) or the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (http://wyomingdci.wyo.gov/home).
A fingerprint-based check by the Washington State Patrol (http://www.wsp.wa.gov/crime/criminal-history/) will indicate only if there is a record of the individual in the Montana repository. If you receive this notification, you must conduct a full Montana state check using the designated repository indicated above. 
 

FBI Checks 

 
State Repository Provides FBI Checks: Yes, see information below on qualifying organizations

Available to
Statutory authority is required to conduct these checks. Contact the Montana Criminal Records office (contact information provided above) for questions regarding the statutory authority. 
Background checks may be conducted on volunteers under the statutory authority of the National Child Protection Act, as amended by the Volunteers for Children Act (NCPA/VCA). This background check includes the Montana (WIN) check, as required by the FBI. Along with statutory authority, the “Reason Fingerprinted” field must also state “Volunteer” and the role of the worker or volunteer. 
 
Cost (for volunteer): $23.25 (excluding the cost for the fingerprinting service).
 
CNCS FBI Channeler: Organizations that cannot successfully use the state repository for FBI checks may use CNCS’s FBI-approved Channeler, Fieldprint, for FBI checks.
 
Cost: The cost for one FBI check through Fieldprint is $27.50. 
 
How long does it take to receive results? The majority of checks conducted electronically take no more than two business days from the date the fingerprints are captured. If an applicant does not live near a Fieldprint livescan location and fingerprints must be taken manually and mailed, it will take longer to receive the results. See the Fieldprint Guide and FAQ (linked below) for more information.
 
View these links for more information
Fieldprint Guide and FAQs: https://www.nationalservice.gov/FBIGuidance (see document, “Using Fieldprint as an FBI Channeler – A Guide for CNCS Recipients”) 
Fieldprint website: http://www.fieldprintcncs.com/ 
 

NSOPW (National Sex Offender Public Website) Check

A required component of the NSCHC is a nationwide check of NSOPW.gov before an individual begins work or service in a covered position. Please note that a compliant nationwide NSOPW check must include reports from all states, territories, and tribes. If any state, territory, or tribe is unavailable at the time the NSOPW check is conducted, you must either run a nationwide NSOPW check again through NSOPW.gov and ensure that all entities are reporting, or run a separate check for each entity that is not reporting through the state sex offender registry website.

Please note that a check of a single state’s sex offender registry alone is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the nationwide NSOPW check requirement. The information provided in the State Sex Offender Registry Information section is for reference purposes only in the event that a single state sex offender registry check is necessary to supplement an incomplete nationwide NSOPW check.

 

State Sex Offender Registry Information

Montana Sex Offender Registry: https://app.doj.mt.gov/apps/svow/ 
 

Individuals Requesting Criminal History Records (versus Organizations)

1. Please visit https://app.mt.gov/choprs/ and click the “Start Service” button under the “Public Users” box. 
2. Select “Search” and fill out the personal information, then click the “Continue” button. 
3. Verify that the information is correct, then enter payment information. You may pay by debit or credit card, or by electronic check drawn on personal or business checking or savings accounts for $11.50. 
4. Your results may take 72 business hours to process, and will be available for 14 days. 
5. Bring sealed results to program to ensure chain of custody. 


Revised as of 2/16/2018
 

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